Homer Curtiss, 2nd C.H.A., March 30, 1864
Fort Ellsworth Va,
March 30th 1864
Dear Friends at Home,
Long before you get this
you will have seen Homer Sackett, and will probably have received
the first installment of my diary. I do not know whether you had
best read it yet or not, it is rather too recent now. However I do not mind, so you keep it quite to yourselves and don't get biassed
against my body by it. Don't allow it to influence you at all.
When did Homer get along? Did Aust come home with
him, and how do you enjoy him, or them? He is a gay one.
We are in the midst of a terrific storm, one of the worst
I have met in Va. A cold rain and sleet falling in a heavy
wind from the nor'west making a grand combination as the
theatre bill put it that surpass most of the Storm King's late
efforts in this Dept. It don't affect me much as I am under a
roof, but the poor fellows out on guard or picket, have it rough.
I guess we will get off to the front, either this week or next
as we have been expecting marching orders for some days. Lt. Gen. Grant
seems to be cleaning out the lazy Artillery from the Dept. of Washington.
The 15th N.Y. next Sunday. The 2d and 4th N.Y. Saturday and Monday
the 1t C.A. is under marching orders today, and the 10th N.Y. also seems
to be. Likely we will get orders tonight or tomorrow, and the away we go.
When Homer Sackett went up last Monday, I was pretty sure
there would be some furloughs granted to us that we might go home
to vote and I think now we were pretty sure of them at that time, but
the morning after he left, an order came down to Headqrs countermanding
the order under which the furloughs were to be granted, so that cake
is all dough and I shall not get home this year. I am a little sorry
but not very much disappointed, as I never got to think seriously
that I should get home, though I really hoped to.
I am not doing much Co. duty now, as I was detailed by
Maj. Rice to assist Col. Smith in making out some Ord. Returns
and Inventories, and as they rather drag for a day or two, I
am now writing for Mr. G.S. Williams in his new book "A
Manual of the Constitution." Have written 6 or 10 pages of close
MS for the press. Have also assisted Q.M. Sergt. Erwin in his
Clothing Account and have lots of odd bits of writing to do besides.
Altogether I am pretty busy, though the boys all delight
in calling me "Officer's Pimp" "Play-off" and such endearing
titles, but as they say it only in jest, and all treat me well I
don't mind them, and have a good time besides.
There is a great deal of moving to and fro and shipping
of books, and I have no doubt the Spring Campaign will open
soon, and I must hope to better purpose than the last two or three.
Gen. Grant goes out by here, and out west, and all around town
telling no one when or where he goes. He has been out to Culpepper
two or three times within a few days, and seems to be flyin' roun'
at a great rate. Burnside is at Annapolis filling up his old "Ninth
Corps," and it is rumored that he will cooperate with Gen Meade and
Gen Foster in the reduction of Richmond. Already we feel the change
at the head, and can almost see victory ahead of the oft defeated
Army of the Potomac. Gen. Grant is not worshipped as Genl.
McClellan was when we came out, but there is more confidence,
not so much love, but more respect. I guess "U.S." will bring us
around all right, and then "Hurrah for Home!"
I've got a little library here that I would give several shinnies
if it could be got to you before we leave. There is my "Friedrich
der Grosse," "Army of the Cumberland," "Roundabout Papers," "Newcomes,"
"Reveries of a Bachelor," "Decameron" and "Art of Extempore Speaking" all
which I dislike leaving with the Alexandrians to manure their soil
withal. Mayhap I will get an opportunity to send up part at least.
Where is Aunt Phebe? I have not heard a word of her this
year. Give her my love and my best regards to Uncle Clark Smith.
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How are you all, Lincoln men or Fremonters? I am Lincoln
all over, believing him to be worthy of another trial when I hope he
may have a bit of sunshine. However I abide the decision of
the Baltimore Convention, like a good citizen of the Republic.
You may hear even at this date some rumors of the love of the army for
Little Mac. I hear citizens speak in that way. So far as I know it is
all [unclear]. I don't know a man that supports him, in our brigade.
How are things with you, livables I mean, wearables and eatables
pretty high? We have got up well toward Richmond prices down here,
but we shall live it out I reckon. However it goes rather rough with
eggs at 80¢ per doz. Butter 30¢ per lb. Beef 20¢ per lb. Queer aint it?
I have just finished Cap's "Chap 1 Vol. 1" of
his new book. As I am tired and have nothing in particular to
say, I will bring my coarse print letter to a close pretty soon.
Yesterday I saw a man who owns a claim in Vineland
and he knew Mr. R.C. Smith and spoke of him but no word
spoke of the "Miss Henrietta" knew no such. Neither do you or any
one else, it is a phantom delusion, only believed by a few old
women of both sexes. Lt. Berry spoke of it last night, spoke of it as
a reality but of long, long ago. Oh! I've right fast enough.
Write soon, give out my regard to the few profusely and visit Sackitt.
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