17 February 1864

Brandy Station [Virginia]
February 17, 1864

Dear Father,

Yours of the 15th was kindly received this evening. I am very glad to hear that all are well at my home for many is the times I think of home and all my dear friends, and more than ever since I have been back. I hardly knew before what a home was. Since yesterday morning, I have often thought of comforts that are there. No one but those who have been living in tents can realize the disagreeable weather we have had down here since Monday. Yesterday it snowed and rained in the morning and in the afternoon it blew up cold. Several tents were blown down and a great many trees. There was a large tree blown down across Joe Bosoly’s tent but fortunately no one was in it (I suppose you will see him very soon for he started home this morning). I don’t know as it has been all winter as it was today but it is a little milder tonight.

Capt. [George T.] Woodbury is now visiting us. He is a splendid officer. I wish I was under his command.

I have not received Mary’s letter yet but I hope it will be on hand soon for I feel very anxious to hear what she has to say. I hope you or Mother will not worry about this news you have heard. Tell Mother that there is nothing the matter of any serious extent. I guess Mary and I will settle it between ourselves someway. Tell Mother it will all pass over again. It is true that I have heard some great stories while in Newark that if they were true, would make a large breach in a certain little contract. But I hope it may all prove false. There is no one I could love better than Mary for my wife, so it has grieved me very much to hear what I have. Now I want you to be careful who you blame this too. I don’t think anyone of you knows who told me. I hope, Father, that you and Mother will think no more about this. At any rate, please don’t let Mary know that I have said anything to you about the matter for I know I have said too much already and she would think so too. I hope everything will come straight again. I know it will if I can get home once more.

Father, I begin to feel very much obliged and highly honored to think that I have some of the best men in Morris County to work in my behalf and thank you all very much for what you are doing. I shall do all in my power to make myself worthy of your efforts.

I have received a letter from Dr. John Ryerson. I will enclose it with this and then you can see what is demanded of me. I have set the whole in motion and I think it will work well. I have answered the letter. I told them I would do all I could in the way of getting reenlisted men assigned to our township. I have offered a friend, if he will furnish 25 names for our township, I will give him five dollars apiece for them if we get the men and I do not get the commission. I don’t think I shall lose much at any rate as long as Mr. Hill is at our head. And if I do lose $1.25 by my bargain, I don’t care. It will all be for the good of my country. I did not tell John that I had done this. I don’t know if they would like it or not but it is the best way I can do for I can not leave camp just as I please or I should see the men myself. John said that a man direct from B______ was to see me and tell me how to manage this affair but no one has been here yet. I cannot say with any authority what bounties the men will receive from our township but I suppose it is the same as the rest $3.50. I shall do all I can to relieve our township from the horrible draft for fear we might get Henry Rome and some other Copperheads into our army, for such men would be the ruin of our cause.

I wish you would send me the latest book of infantry tactics. I want the best, and tell me in your next if there was a ten dollar greenback in your letter for Mary. Give my love to Mary and all enquiring friends my regards and accept much esteem from your son, — C. V. H.