18 September 1861

Newport News, Virginia
September 18, 1861

Dear Father,

I received your letter today and was very glad to hear from home. I am improving very fast I think. I shall return to duty in about two or three weeks. I wish I had been there when they had their last fight. I have not heard whether our Battery was in or not but I suppose of course it was, I can tell you, didn’t our forces drive them this time. I guess they will try to enter Maryland again but I think they will wait till General McClellan is dead or not so near at hand. They may say what they please about him but his men know him and he knows his men. He knows when he is about. His men will follow him through everything.

I am sorry so many men have had to be bought but it makes no difference to me about their rewards. I think we have the greatest of either. Long after this war is over (and God grant it may soon be) those poor soldiers who volunteered at the first call will be pointed out as the men who did the hard fighting and who ought to have—and will have—the greatest rewards. That is my opinion. I don’t call these men patriots but men who have sold themselves for tools to save our country and Union. Don’t you think so? I have wished for my discharge but now I would hardly take it if it was offered me. I want to see this through.

I have sent to Mary for another box. I wish you would please make a box for her. If you have a strong bottle, you may send a little wine and anything else you wish. Give my love to Mother & accept the affections of your poor soldier boy. — C. V. H. (write soon)

Some tobacco will come very acceptable. It is so dear out here.

James Onderdonk wishes to be remembered to you & all. I should like to have a pair of suspenders.