Homer Curtiss, 2nd C.H.A., June 16, 1865
Hd Qs 3d Brigade Hardins Division
Fort Baker June 16th 1865
Yours of the 13th inst is just received, here
in a new and strange land, and I hasten to acknowledge it, in
a few lines of explanation of this our last move, with remarks on
its probable effect for our immediate discharge from the service of
the U. States. The first we heard of the change of our Regt. from
Suf. to Actg. service, was yesterday morning, when an order was received
from Brig. Hodges, which was as follows - in effect at least - if not in
words. The following named Regts will repost without delay to
Maj. Genl W.S. Hancock Comd'g Middle Military Division, for
garrison dut, x x x x x
2d Conn. Vol. Heavy Artillery
Co. H reported promptly, and at daylight this morning, we left our
camp on Halls Hill near Balls Cross-roads, bade the dear old 2d Brigade
1st Division + 6th Corps and marched down past Fort Corcoran over the
Acquaduct bridge through Georgetown and Penn. Av. over Navy Yard
bridge up here say a couple of miles from the E. Branch over which
the N. Yard bridge is thrown to Fort Baker where are the Hodges of
the 3d Brigade Hardins Divn. Col. H. relieved M of Worcester of the 3d
Mass. Arty and his regt the 3d. Arrangements were soon made
by which Col. H. became Brigdr Comdr. Mr. Vaill AAAG. Huxley
AAGW. Curtis A Prol. Office and we were counting on a glorious
finale to our military career, when orders came down from Divn
Hdqrs, directing the old staff officers to remain until officially relieved,
which knocked us considerably, and we are now in a state of con-
fusion equalled only by our dont careativeness - for we are going
home so soon it does not seem to matter except in a bit of pride
grateful or ungratified as the case may be. We therefore wait
definite orders, and just at this time rather expect an order to
move out, and go to some other post. No one seems to care much
for though we are beautifully situated, the most so we men
have been, we have become so accustomed to moving that it
has no terrors for us, and we go wherever ordered without careing
for authority or utility. I do like field life better than garrison
duty - always did - even in the good old fighting days gone by,
how much more in these halcyon days of peace.
I cannot way definitively at all, what effect this move will
have for our discharges, but I have very little faith to believe that
it will facilitate them at all. You speak of my "artful
talk" in my 1st note, but it is by no means certain that we do
not remain here or hereabout with the expiration of our term of
service, in Sept. Though I hope we shall be back next week -
back to Conn, of course I mean. Dont worry about it any way
it will be but a few weeks at the longest, when, God willing, all
of us will return to our houses, our friends and to civilization.
Dont let Aggie go away until we return. For I have engaged
her for the lake picnic if I mistake not? (N.B. Couldnt you
include her in that limited list of eligibles?) I do not think there
will be anything very grand after all, in our return to Conn, for
there will be but a handful of us, to return, not more than 300
men at most 40 of which will be Conn officers, but we shall
return with great gladness, even if our welcome is not a warm
one. For we are all heartily sick of this life, and long for the
fresh air and freedom of the hills of our England.
8 o'c eve'g same day -
Things are a bit settled before we retire to rest
this evening. Col. Hubbard is to comd the Brigade retaining the old
staff with the exception of Ord. Officer, who is relieved, and I occupy
his desk, so you see I am just temporarily on Brig. Staff. I hope and
trust for the first, last + only time, for it is not a place for one of
my temperament and abilities to aspire to. Dont think I am now
feeling anything more than usually smart. For indeed I am not very
well pleased with my new place. You see I had just got all my returns
for Regt property in a very good way, and hoped to get a certificate
of non indebtedness from the Ord Office within a week, but now I am
stuck again, in for more of that pleasant prospect usually designated
Ord. + Ord. Stores and with no end of returns - fret and worritt - but
no matter it cannot be for quite 2 months, and I will try to endure
unto the end of this term.
I am quite pleased with the pictures, especially the one you selected
as the best, there can be no doubt as to its superiority, but some who
have seen all like the others better. I think I shall have to get
more of that particular picture for general distribution, as it is
probably the last military photograph I shall ever have. Without any
conceit at all dont you think this picture rather an improvement on
that one I had take in Balt. in 1862 and sent to Seth?
I see you think I spend too much time in N. York but I declare to
you I could not help it there, nor could I now if I was similarly
situated. Flora is the pleasentest little girl of my acquaintance,
and she so fascinated me that I have no doubt but what if she had
asked me to stay in N. York until Sept. I should have done it, and
felt happy in doing it too. Queer phenomenon, is it not?
Tell John as soon as you see him to hurry up and return as I
wish him to come to Hedges, and take care of my pony, which the
boys nearly minced while I was home, by hard riding and no care.
Cly's death seems very sad, but perhaps not more so than death
always does when it comes so near to our own persons. I always
loved Cly, but never felt acquainted with him at all. He never
seemed like any other one of the family but like a wandering star
or comet in our domestic firmament. He is gone from it now
however, and we shall never look upon his nhghness again.
So you continue to build chateaux d'Espaigne as highly as ever?
When you build on a foundation of anything pertaining to soldiers
you have a very unsubstantial foundation and your superstructure
will almost invariably tipple over. I wish it were otherwise but am
sorry to know that no dependence can be placed on soldiers
stories. For tonight then I must stop. From what we
hear this evening by order and sequal I think we shall not
remain here very long, but I think we are pretty sure to stay
at least one night in the fortification which is the dream of some.
Sat. morn'g June 17th
It is morning and we are still at Fort
Baker, happy and careless as ever. I hope we will move out of here
for I dont like to be steved up in barracks when the great canopy
furnishes so much better cover for sleeping under I reckon
we will move out in a day or two sincerely hope so, and rejoin
our old brigade. Bother the fortifications say I
You do not mean to say that you really expect Ralph
Sissie, and the little boys out in Conn. this year do
you? I wish they might come but I can scarcely expect them
I have the same guilty feeling that I did not go out to
see Cly when I got my leave which you speak of in your letter.
but I do not see now but what I did better than I should
have done if I had gone to Waverly. For I should have had
to hurry to get around on time, and then he would have been
so sick that probably he would scarcely have any but his nurses
very much. I hope we will all see him and Louis beyond the
grave, when we shall meet under better auspices than here
each understanding the other for better than it was possible
to have done here. For the present then we bid him Good by
Co. "H" is up 5 miles from here at Fort Mohan I think you will
hear from Austin there Charles would hardly wish me to stay
in the service after all I think, if he knew how little I made by it
But his like or dislike can scarcely alter my decision
now. For I doubt if the matter of money would influence
me by a grain. I have no idea what I can do to make
my daily bread outside the army but I expect to get it in earning
if I do not save it. I dont think he would really owe me
a living, but I presume it will pay me that amount and
charge the same to my account.
New orders are out, changing the garrisons of the
forts this materially altering the position of the Co in line
as for example Co. "H" is moved from 5 miles left of here to the right of
us some half mile. Great movements these, more fuss
and stir than the movements of our whole corps made in the field.
We now garrison 11 forts stretching over a front of some 8 or 9 miles.
From East branch to opposite Alex. Va. the following are
our forts from right to left Mahan, Meigs, Dupont, Davies,
Baker, Wagner, Rickets, Stanton, Snyder, Carroll, Greble. "H" Co.
is in Wagner, near by us here at Baker Hodges of Brigade and
Regt. Baker garrison consists of Co. I or M comd by Capt.
E.W. Marsh and so we go again. Oh the orders! orders
by the cord or ton.
No more to day Good morning
I enclose an excellent picture of Gen. Wright, also Gen Custar
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