Camp near James River ¹
July 8, 1862
I received your letter of the 30th on the 4th of July and was much pleased to hear that you were all doing so well and hope that you all spent a pleasant 4th of July. Probably you have heard already how we have spent our July days. The 1st day was pretty well occupied by us in arresting the advance of the rebels at Jamestown where our captain was killed. Since then, we have been marching for several days through mud up to the horses bellies. But we are now camped in a nice valley where I expect we will remain till we get recruited up. If you can anyway make it convenient to send me a box in the course of a week, I would much thank you. Do please send it as quick as you can. Please send me a can of tomatoes. I have not received any letters from Albert or Fannie yet. I received Mary’s letter for the 30th but have not had an opportunity to answer it yet. Give my respects to all enquiring friends and answer this soon. Until then, I shall remain your affectionate son, — C. V. H.
James River, Va.
P. S. Take good care of Mary.
¹ According to Michael Hanifen’s book on the History of Battery B (p. 28), after the Battle of Malvern Hill in which their commander, Capt. John E. Beam was killed: “Wet, cold and hungry we marched, in mud knee deep, to Harrison’s Landing, on the James River, where we went into a cheerless bivouac in what had been a wheat field the day before, but was then a sea of mud. But the next morning the sun arose bright and clear. We moved back from the river a mile and camp ed in a grove on mill race near mill pond.” Hanifen went on to say (p. 29-30) that: “We went to the Peninsula with one hundred and forty- three officers and men for duty. Shortly after arrival at Harrison’s Landing we had only seventy-four for duty. Four had died, one killed, three wounded, the balance were in hospital and Rebel prisons. August 5th, Lieut. Monroe resigned. An election for Captain was held, and Lieut. A. J. Clark was elected over Woodbury, who went north on furlough. The hills to the north were fortified, and the four Parrott guns placed in a redoubt on that line.”