4 November 1864

Fort Davis, Virginia
November 4, 1864

Dear Father,

Your kind letter of the 26th came duly to hand but as I was just writing to Mary, I thought it would do as well to wait awhile before I answered it. I am very glad you are all so well. I was much surprised to hear of Samuel’s being sick. I had not heard of it till you said he was getting better. I [hope] by this time he will be well. It must come very hard upon you at this time to be alone. I hope you will have good luck in getting your corn all husked and the buckwheat thrashed. All I want of my part of the buckwheat is the tax paid and ¼ sent to Albert’s wife.

And I want a box sent so if you have any left after this, you may send me a quarter. I should like very much to have a box now for I believe we will stop here for sometime. If you have time to send me one, I would like to have it as soon as possible. I should like to have some apples, some sausage—if you have any, and a bottle of blackberry brandy. The Dr. says it will be good for my complaint. Please send me a box of good pills for the diarrhea. Please send my fancy short that I bought last winter. I have to look a little nice now since I am an officer. If Mother has any butter to spare, I should like very much to have come and you can send some mince pies. Well there is no use of me detailing what I want for you know as well as I do what is good and Mother knows about those little round holes with cake around that used to hook. I am getting hungry for some good stuff from home and I can’t wait much longer. Tell Molly to send my mittens. I will not ask here for anything else for she will know what I would like but if she should think of anything to put in, I shall be very much obliged. Maybe she can send me the boy so I can have a look at him. Tell Sammy to put something in the box for me and then I will write to him a good boy letter.

Albert has written to you. I suppose you have received his letter by this time and he has also received yours. He is well and likes his business first rate. He has been on one march but has not seen a sick day yet. I hope he will always get along well. I cannot say that I am well or I am not sick. I still do my duty but I have the piles all the time and consequently have to run pretty often. It is a real bother. I have to get up two or three times a night. It has rained since Tuesday and now it is very muddy but there is a good wind so the mud will not last long. We have had some very cold nights. It begins to look like winter quarters but I don’t think we will see much. I would like very much to come home to vote but I am afraid I can’t. I wrote to the President to give me a furlough but I have not heard from it yet. But I must close. Give my love to Mother and Mary and all the rest while I remain your affectionate son, — C. Van Houten

Don’t forget the box as soon as possible. — C. V. H.