Newport News, Va.
October 12, 1862
As it is very rainy today, I have not started for my Battery as I intended so I thought I should answer your letter. I received it on the 8th. I was very glad to hear from you and to find you all well. I am much better. I expect as soon as it gets clear again. Dr. J[ohn] G[eorge] Ryerson says I must not go yet for he thinks I am hardly fit for duty yet. But if I stay here much longer, the boys in the Battery will call me a “Dead beat”—a term very often used by our soldiers if anyone plays off so I intend to return as soon as possible. He thinks that if I would stay here a couple of weeks longer, I could get to go north but the chances are so slim I hardly think I will make it out, and if I should stay and not get home, I should miss this great battle which is about to take place. That you would not like to see me lying here idle while the rest of my countrymen are fighting hard and winning glory, honor and fame. I came here to fight and not to be in the hospital and since I have been out here, I have learned to bear trials and disappointments and I think if ever I return once more to duty, you will never hear of anymore complaints. I was almost discouraged once but I think that was more homesickness than anything else. I have got over that now (but if I could come home for awhile, I would be very glad of the chance) and the first chance I get, I will come.
I received a letter from Mary this morning. She is well and at her Aunt’s, Mrs. Bucklee’s, No. 110 Oliver Street, New York. I am very sorry Albert has broken up housekeeping. He need not have done that because Mary was a going to stay with him this winter. I did not intend she should stay but I intended to pay her board. I should not have let her stay without. Now she thinks of boarding in the house of William Kents—the same place that All. stays. She can get board for three dollars a week so I think I had better let her stay although I do not like Mrs. Kent at all. I suppose Mary will be better satisfied along with Fannie. I received Eliza’s letter but I shall not answer it. I think she mettles herself too much with my business. She had better look at home. I would like to know what Mariah Bayer thought of my wife. I suppose she would have like to poison her.
I am glad you have raised something off of my lots. I hope I shall be somewhere this winter so you can come and see me. You must make Uncle Cornelius come and pay your fare. I know he would be pleased. Give my love to all. Give Mother a good kiss for me. Write soon. From C. V. H.
P. S. You can all write as soon as you please for Dr. Ryerson says he will get all my letters and send them to me wherever I may be.