28 March 1864

Brandy Station, Virginia
March 28th 1864

Dear Father,

Not having heard from you for some time, I though it proper to send you a few lines. I hope you received my last letter.

I am well and all ready for our coming campaign which by the number of troops constantly arriving here I do not think will be far distant and I hope now as we have the Lt. General [Grant] to command us, we will meet with a little better success than heretofore for I fear if the war is not terminated pretty soon, the people will get tired and raise a counter rebellion. And with the means now at hand, if the war is not settled, I would justify the people in doing so. It has struck me very forcibly of late that things are not altogether worked on the right principle. I have been reading McClellan’s report. I believe he has been very wrongfully used. The President and Halleck used him most shamefully while in command of the Army of the Potomac. I wish you could read it. I know it will do you good. I don’t believe anyone is fully aware of all the reverses and crosses he met while in command. I believe he is one of the greatest and most patriotic hero of this war. If you get the book entitled, “The Life, Campaigns, and Services of General McClellan,” you will then see the life picture of one of the greatest men. You will pardon me for I have not turned Democrat yet. I have only found out a slight mistake I have made. There, I have run entirely away from what I undertook to write.

Father, I owe my brother Albert $8.00 (eight dollars) and he is very anxious to get it before the first of April. so if you can spare that amount, you will do me a great favor if you will send it to him immediately. We have not been paid yet. Consequently I have not received once cent since I came here from home—only what you have sent me. I shall send you the money just as soon as I can get it. I am in need of nothing particular at present. Father, please send Albert the money if you can possibly spare it and please write on the receipt of this. Give my love to Mother and the rest. I hope you are all as well as myself, I hope Mary is getting better by degrees. Please remember me to all enquiring friends while I remain your obedient son, — C. Van Houten

P. S. Mr. John Hill left here only a few days ago. I hope our quota is filled. — C. V. H.

All our boys are back. Joe Bosoly came back and the next day he had the Delirium tremens. He wanted someone to shoot him. I received a letter fro Elizabeth this afternoon. She is well.