Cornelius Gold, 6th C. V. I., March 16, 1864
Hilton Head S.C. March 16 1864
My dear Mother
The three "Billy-dooses"
came safely and sweetened me in tripple [sic]
measure, a day or two ago. It was partly
as good as being there to share your jubilee
only through letters. Such reports do not
make me homesick, but on the contrary give
a home feeling wherever I am by bringing
you all nearer in spirit. It does not so
much matter where our bodies are, if the wings
only touch. Nothing adds more to my happiness
here, than to know of bright days at home.
I suspect Henry had a tearing time with
the girls, and you a happy one in the midst
of all. Not every mother can boast such a
jolly crew of children, good children, too are
they not! The scape-grace was well out of the
way this time. It must have been sweet relief
to be rid of such an animal for once. And as
for me, (since it is I who say it + not you)
I am glad to have ministered to your joint
enjoyment even by absence. But that visit
is over now and -- Mr. Woodruff did not
come by the Arago today! How sorry I am. I would
not selfishly wish to cut short his visit at home
but am growing hungry for a sight of the good
man. You see we have been quite without a
shepherd these seven weeks and we only made
provision for an absence of 20 days. "The calves
are a blattin' in the barn"! Sadly as we miss
him however, the Light of Port Royal did
not wholly depart with him. Almost without
a human leader certainly with no "ruling
spirit" aside from the Spirit of God men
meet and are moved with one impulse strong
+ deep. The "Tongue of Fire" is among us.
Indeed it seems to be abroad, kindling
the Country, with a flame purer than
mere patriotism. It will help our cause.
For when the national sacrifice burns with
fire from heaven, no rebel hands can guard
it. There are three meetings in town
each week on Sunday, Tuesday + Thursday
evenings, not crowded, but with a good
and increasing attendance of right earnest
workers, full-hearted men. They remind
me much of the old noon-prayer meetings
in New York. I think I told
you of my call from George Bissell, but not
of the last surprise. Charlie Goodyear
appeared suddenly at our tent door the other
day, on his way with his regiment to Beaufort.
We had just found out our whereabouts, though
he had been several days in the vicinity.
Mr. M. and I walked down to the dock with
him and had quite a little visit with him.
Likely enough he will be back here again
soon when the acquaintance may be renewed
with a trice. You do not know what a fellow-
feeling we fellow townsmen have for each
other. We have occasional accessions
of recruits to the regiment in small parties.
The largest, 41 men, came yesterday. Among
those who joined some weeks ago was an
old first Lieutenant of this regiment, who
had been discharged the service on account
of ill health, and on recovery, volunteered
again as a Private in the 6th Conn. I see
in the Colonel's list of recommendations
to the Governor, is that of this man for
promotion to 2nd Lieut. Please thank Fanny
Stanwood for a nice letter she sent me last
mail, since I can not possibly do it myself
this week, and I am sure she would not
wish me to. I am bravely over the foolish days
when the frist [sic] duty on reading a letter was
to write one in return. I am sorry to say
some of my friends are of the same
mind with me in this matter, as is quite
evident from their long waiting. With me
duty + desire do not always keep company.
I want to write "dreffully." This time, even
you, must let me off with this little. It shall
not be so next week if I can help it. Am
feeling in Prince Condition, and presume am
really so. The rebels have not yet surrounded
us, and may find it difficult to do so on an
island with gunboats keeping guard. Cornelius.
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