14 May 1865

Battery B, 1st N. J. Artillery
May 14th 1865

Dear Father,

Your kind letter of the third has reached me. I am glad to hear that you are all in good health for this leaves me in the best of spirits but very tired and footsore for we have at last reached within four miles of Alexandria and five from Washington, but tired as we are we feel good to think our journey is near an end. No more marching, no more fighting, no more to hear the hissing of the Rebel shell. Peace has at last crowned our efforts—Glorious Peace—that will last through all ages. We have not only brought peace to our beloved country, but we have brought Liberty to all men, and now since there is to be no more slavery, I think there will be less chance for Rebellion. And I see now by today’s paper that we have captured the arch traitor Jeff Davis and all his crew. God is in our cause everywhere. He leads us in the right path to Peace and Liberty. Oh! how thankful the United States should be that they were spared the awful snares of Davis’s Government. I am most thankful that I am one of the instruments in the hands of wise men that were used to give us back our country far better than ever it was before. There is nothing that I could day too good for General Grant or too bad for Jeff Davis. There is no punishment had enough for the latter, or no glory good enough for the former. He might be called with Lincoln the Saviors of our country.

I suppose you at home feel glad that the war is over and rejoice at the success of our armies but how do you think the soldier feels. Well, I will tell you. He feels proud that he has done his duty and now is going home to join his kindest friends and I hope everybody will use the soldiers well. They have seen hard times and consequently have been hardened in a great many things, so people at home who have had all the chance this country afford to keep their morals correct must look over a great many things that the soldiers may say or do for a time. If anyone should happen to be caught hammering an old acquaintance, just look it over for you may be sure it is only paying up an old score and there will be many such old debts to pay. But use the soldiers well and they will appreciate your kindness. The old Copperheads must keep very quiet and mum or there will be need of a great many surgeons to bind up sore heads.

We marched in review through Richmond and Fredericksburg. I will tell you about the cities when I come home, if Mother will only have plenty of biscuit and milk for me, and some rice and milk pies and puddings. I will tell you now before I come, you will all know what to treat me on. Oh! yes, I will want some wheat and Indian cakes with honey on. You will all know soon enough when we are coming home. Tell Mother her boy is still alive and well although he has been through hailstorms of those little things that go whish past your ear, calling you cousin zip, but I never owned any relation to them. But those times are past. Tell her he is coming home to eat lots of good things if she will only give them to me.

But I must close for it is time to cook supper. We have marched sixty miles on nothing but hard tack and coffee, but there was plenty of good things on the way but what would a poor fellow do when he hadn’t a cent. I just had to see others eat and turn to my hard tack and coffee. That is what makes me think about all those good things I could get at home. But never mind. There is better times coming.

So goodnight from your son, — C. V. H.

Albert is not very well. He has the same complaint I had last fall. — C. V. H.