From the Archives: Civil War Letter
Camp Dog River Near Mobile Ala
March 5th 1864
My Own Dear Julia,
Your favor of the 25th Feby was received a few days since and I was truly glad to hear from you and that you was all well. I wrote you by Mr Queen a few days since which I suppose you have received ‘ere this. My health is good with the exception of a sore throat some signs of dipthera. It has been hurting me for 3 days. But hope I will get better in a few days. Capt Harden will carry this to Atlanta as he has to return to NC to file his bond and attend to some business at Raleigh for the Regt. I am sending by him for some cloth + instructed him to leave it at Atlanta. He has got me to hold on the Q M Office untill he returns which will be about 40 days. I will get $40 a month extra until I turn the property over to him that is from the time he got his appointment the (10th Decr). I do not know when I can get orders or a furlough. I will try when he returns. I was sorry to hear that you was left alone again, but I expect it was all for the best. If Ma does not work too hard she is getting good wages. They have advanced the prices of provisions on us so heavy that the wages I get will not more than keep me up. Rest assured I will do all I can for my little Family but you will see my chance is bad when they charge us 240 ct pr lb for pork + other things in proportion. Ese all the econemy you can + make all the Garden you can.
Mr Queen told me if you needed anything to let him know. His business House is the old barracks building. The firm is Wilburn Taylor Queen + Co. Dr. Taylor is his partner I think. I would be glad you would get acquainted with his Family. They live in the Grove back of Mrs Howards. Oh, Julia you have no idea how glad I was to hear your old acquaintance had called to see you again not withstanding she was rather late in paying her visit but better late than never. You will see from my last letter that I had despared of her calling soon. She has got on very good terms with me. We have cause to be very thankful that things are working on so well. Is it not very strange that she is so punctual. She has never been so kind before. Perhaps she thinks it is war time and the Ladies need all the help thy can get. I hope I may be spared to see you often + her occasionly as long as I have to stay in the service. It is very hard for me to be seperated from such friends, but we must contend and do the best we can + try + put up with such disappointments. I am doing a little better than I did a few days ago, but still their is an aching void at times. Some times I get vexed to think that I cannot have better control of my feelings but a mans mind passions + characteristic and will have their way, in spite of him. When I think what a Kind Wife I have + how affectionate + loveing she is and how devoted I love her + our offsprings how else could I be than to love her society and the affectionate embrace + loveing Kiss that I have received so often, during the last 8 years. all these things make me with + pray to be with her again + so stay during life. Oh I do hope Peace will soon be restored and all our Soldiers be allowed to go home once more and not have to carry a furlough with them that soon notifies them their time is out and they must soon return to their commands or be considered a deserter. our cause seems to be prospering and I hope the Yankees will soon see the error of their way + come to terms of peace + compromise.
I have just finished washing my self + put on clean clothes and sit down to finish my letter as Capt H. will start soon in the morning. I will write to William in a few days. I am at a loss to know what to do in his case. in the first place I do not know whether I can effect the swap or Transfer. it is rather a difcult matter and I am fearful he would not act right, but I hope he would act the Gentleman as he was so near related to me. but I will give it a trial. I was glad to hear Capt Mount had called to see you and I am sorry that I did not get an extension so I could have went with him to get that safe out from Murphy but it is out of my power. I am here + cannot get away easy, but I think I can get orders when Capt Harden returns. if not I perhaps will get off sometime during the Summer. I am more anxious to go back home than I had any idea I would in so short a time. all we want now is for every Man to come out + do his part + we will soon be free but their is such a great disposition on the part of so many to work them selves out of service that is causes thos that will bear the burthen to have to remain that much longer. I Love my Family perhaps as devotedly as any man + would be as glad to be at home, but at the same time I want to see my country free from Yankee Tyranny and that cannot be don by staying at home. we must endure toil dangers + many of us sacrafise our lives before it is accomplished. I know it would be hard on his Family but tell me the difference betwen my Wife + Her and evry Soldier in the same condition and I have never discoverd any great amount of charity in him to my Family or any other Family but a great Thirst for the allmity Dollar, but I have nothing to say if he is not able to do duty. so their has been another change in the Hall + the Atlanta Hotel. thy change their base pretty often. My Throat is much better to day. it hurt me a great deal last night. we are all in good health. the weather is vry pleasant and we are doing as well as most soldiers that is thos that do not visit Saint Michael Street famous for the great number of Fancy Women. I never have seen so much Ludeness in all my Life but I dont patronize them my self – I think too much of that little Lady at home even if I was corrupt enough to visit such places.
I believe I have written all I can think of. Give my Love to Ma Sister Jennie + Mr P. an last though not least the children. tell them Pa often thinks of them and wishes he could be with them.
Let me hear from you as often as you can. I must close by subscribing my-self as ever your devoted and affectionate Husband.