Fayetteville, Virginia, January 19, Sunday A. M. — It rained almost all night; still falling in torrents. A great freshet may be expected. . . .

Great war news expected. Burnside’s expedition sailed; near Cairo, a great movement forward; Green River, ditto. What we need is greater energy, more drive, more enterprise, not unaccompanied with caution and vigilance. We must not run into ambuscades, nor rush on strongly entrenched positions. The battle of New Orleans and many others in our history teach the folly of rushing on entrenchments defended by men, raw and undisciplined it may be, but all of whom are accustomed to the use of firearms. Such positions are to be flanked or avoided.

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Jan. 19. Witnessing boat collisions and wrecks is getting old, and the boys are amusing themselves by writing letters, making up their diaries, playing cards, reading old magazines and newspapers which they have read half a dozen times before; and some of them are actually reading their Bibles. Of all the lonely, God-forsaken looking places I ever saw this Hatteras island takes the premium. It is simply a sand-bar rising a little above the water, and the shoals extend nearly 100 miles out to sea. The water is never still and fair weather is never known; storms and sea gulls are the only productions. Sometimes there is a break in the clouds, when the sun can get a shine through for a few moments, but this very rarely happens. The island extends from Cape Henry, Virginia, to Cape Lookout, North Carolina, with occasional holes washed through it, which are called inlets. It is from one-half to two miles wide, and the only things which make any attempt to grow, are a few shrub pines and fishermen. I don’t think there is a bird or any kind of animal, unless it is a dog, on the island, not even a grasshopper, as one would have to prospect the whole island to find a blade of grass, and in the event of his finding one would sing himself to death. The inlet is very narrow, not over half a mile in width, and the channel is still narrower, consequently it makes an indifferent harbor. Still it is better than none, or as the sailors say, any port in a storm. But as bad as it looks and bad as it is, it is, after all, a very important point, perhaps as important in a military point of view as any on the coast. It is the key or gate-way to nearly all of eastern North Carolina, and places us directly in the rear of Norfolk, Va. This island is not without its history, if we may believe all the fearful and marvelous stories that have been written of it, of its being the habitation of wreckers and buccaneers in ye good old colony times.

Theatricals.

The boys are up to all sorts of inventions to kill time. In the amusement line the officers have started an exhibition or theatre up in the saloon. It is a clever device to break the dull monotony; to cheer up the loneliness and homesickness which seem to prevail. The exercises consist of recitations, dialogues, singing and music, and make a very good evening’s entertainment. A limited number from each company are nightly admitted, and I can see no reason why it will not prove a success, as there seems to be no lack of talent, music or patronage. For a comic performance, one should be down in the after-cabin of an evening, especially about the time the officer of the day, who is a lieutenant, comes around to silence the noise and order the lights out. This after-cabin is a sort of independent community, having its own by-laws, and throwing off pretty much all restraint and doing about as it pleases. The officer of the day is pretty sure to keep out of the cabin during the day, but comes to the head of the stairs in the evening, and gives his orders. Very little attention will be given them, until finally he will venture down stairs, when he will be greeted by an hundred voices with, “Officer of the day! turn out the guard!” And a hundred more will respond, “Never mind the guard!” and this will be kept up until they finally drive him out. Sometimes, after the officer of the day has failed to restore order, the colonel will come to the stairs and say, “Boys, it is getting late; time to be quiet.” That is the highest known authority, and order will come out of confusion immediately. Without any disparagement to the lieutenants, the boys have a great respect for Col. Upton; he has only to speak and his wishes are cheerfully and instantly complied with.

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19th.—I confess to myself to-night, that deeply as I am I interested in the cause for which we fight—the question of government against anarchy—what I have witnessed today has cooled much of the enthusiasm with which I entered the service of this government, which I find so tardy in doing justice to those who are fighting for its preservation: This is a stormy day in mid-winter. Whilst going my rounds of camp to see what was needed for the health and comfort of the men, I passed the guard house of the regiment, and stepped in to see the condition of things. I there found soldiers—formerly my neighbors—sons of my friends, imprisoned in a pen where pigs could not have lived a fortnight without scalding the hair off them, (this is not figurative language) and in which these men had been kept for three months, awaiting the decision of a court martial which had tried them for some trivial offence, the extremest penalty of which would have amounted to some three to six days’ confinement! at all events, under the extremest limit of the law, its punishment could not have exceeded in severity a sentence of three days’ imprisonment in this vile hole of filth and water! Yes, they had been tried, and for three months had been kept, not only in this vile hole, but under indignity and disgrace, awaiting the convenience of gentlemanly officers, to send them word whether they were honorably acquitted, or that they must be imprisoned for two or three days. When these men, who, perhaps, have never been guilty of offence besides being suspected of it, are released from this disgraceful punishment, will they not feel indignant at hearing the justice of their government questioned, and be ready to rush to arms again to defend it? If scenes like this are necessary to the preservation of a government for my protection, then in God’s name let me be untrammelled by conventional forms, and left dependent on my own powers for my protection. I assumed a prerogative; I pronounced most of these men sick, and ordered them sent to my hospital. They will hardly be pronounced well before the gentlemanly members of the court get ready to inform them of their sentence.

From this last scene I passed on to look up a party of our Regiment, who had been detailed to guard the General’s Headquarters. I found them; and, my God! what a sight!— Around the house occupied by the General was a large ditch, some five feet deep, and some ten or twelve feet wide, dug as the commencement of a fort. In this ditch, over which a few evergreen boughs had been thrown as a covering, stood a well dressed Lieutenant, (from my own county) with a squad of soldiers guarding the General’s house—the Lieutenant trying to infuse into the men a little warmth of patriotic feeling, whilst the winter torrents poured through the evergreen branches, and their whole frames shook with cold in this sentry house, charitably built for them by orders of the General, who at that moment was being joyful over his wine, and with his friends!! And is this the REPUBLIC, the government of equality for which I am fighting? If we were men, this would be pitiable, but we are only soldiers, volunteer soldiers at that; and what right have we to be cold, when our services are wanted for the comfort of a General? But these are only thoughts; should I write or speak them, it would amount to shameful insubordination, and I should be disgracefully dismissed from the service of the country which tolerates it. I am too honorable a man to permit myself to be disgraced, even for the privilege of uttering a truth. I therefore decline to say, or even to write, what I have seen.

This afternoon I received an order to be ready to move at a moment’s notice, and to give no more certificates for furloughs, as the applications would not be entertained. I have lost faith in the idea that the authorities have the slightest intention to move. They have seen our impatience to do something, and this order is a mere dumb-watch thrown us children to amuse us with the old promised hope that “when it gets a little older it will keep time.”

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To Mrs. Lyon

Cairo, Sun., Jan. 19, 1862.—Cairo is on a very low peninsula at the junction of two rivers, and has a levee all around it to protect it in high water, the surface being some feet below high water mark. Cairo contains about 2,000 inhabitants I think, but how they live here is more than I can tell. The business of the place is all done on the Ohio river, which appears nearly as large as the Mississippi.

The troops that have already left here are back of Columbus somewhere, and have done no fighting yet. Some of the gunboats have gone down the river and there are seven here, all finished but one, and that is nearly done. I can not tell you anything about what is to be done; and, indeed, we know but little about what is going on all around us. We rely upon Chicago papers for intelligence mainly.

Columbus is only twenty miles from here, and of course is to be taken; but when, and who is to do it, I do not know. The ragged 8th expects to have a hand in it, however, when the thing is to be done. The companies are in barracks and in the best of spirits. Barracks comfortable.

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Headquarters 2d Brigade S. C.

Beaufort, S. C. Jan. 19th, 1862.

My dear Mother:

I am so accustomed to commence all documents in an official form, that even in a letter to you I find myself employing the customary heading. I regret very much that this letter will not reach you by the “Atlantic,” but it is too late — the steamer sailed a day sooner than at first reported. But I trust Walter has told you I am well, that Uncle Phelps has reported my purchase of a new horse, and that Capt. Wm. Elliott, who has returned home with your address in his pocket, will relieve your mind of all anxiety as regards the effect of my late illness. But tell Walter that all my fretting and fuming on two points was in vain. After writing as I did about the sword, I went to the express office to make a last inquiry. The office was closed, so I despatched my letter. On going to dinner a few hours later, one of the officers spoke up: “By the way, there’s a package for you at the express office, about three feet long and four or five inches deep.” My sword after a long delay at Fortress Monroe, at last had come. I am charmed at Walter’s forethought, and I promise to wear it with double pleasure, for the great love we bear each other.

Then the matter of the 79th officers sent out with commissions from Gov. Morgan, although not having a pretext of a claim for recognition — well, my efforts, somewhat Quixotic, and decidedly mutinous in character, were of no avail. I had set my heart on seeing Wm. Elliott in a position which every man who knows him acknowledges to be his due. The Lieut.-Colonelcy was vacant, the Colonelcy too; one of these offices the General declared he should have, but the Governor of New York had to attend to his friends and so William lost his promotion. I was indignant, outraged. I tried to get all the officers to resign, sooner than submit to imposition. Luckily for me, the men I sought to influence were “Canny Scotch” — the promotion of Elliott had no material interest to them. They could say that it was a shame, but losing the liberal pay the U. S. Government allows was too much of a stretch upon their sense of justice, so I was saved a deal of foolishness which must have ended disastrously. Necessarily in the army a great amount of temporary injustice is done, but in the long run merit will rise. And so I satisfy myself that Wm. Elliott will yet be a Colonel or something more, but he must bide his time. I meant to have written ever so much more, but just hearing the “Baltic” sails directly, I halt abruptly, hoping this may catch her.

Love to all.

Affectionately,

Will.

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Sunday January 19th 1862

A rainy day, but Julia & I went out to ch in the afternoon. Dr Dwight, Missionary from Constantinople, officiated, rather a thin “House.” Mr Short did not come up on account of the rain I presume. It is very foggy this evening. Mrs Fenwick (Wido[w]) has been here all the evening. I have just been home with her to I St. She is a very pious Baptist but somewhat excentric as her Sunday evening visit might prove, but she is and [sic] old acquaintance. The City has been very quiet today, but the Drums are beating this evening. Last year at this time we were expecting an attack upon the City and the public mind was much agitated. The hideous form of Treason was just showing its head. None then imagined that the Civil War then threatened could possibly attain anything like its present proportions.

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The three diary manuscript volumes, Washington during the Civil War: The Diary of Horatio Nelson Taft, 1861-1865, are available online at The Library of Congress.

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Romney, January 19, 1862.

We left Unger’s Monday morning and reached here on Wednesday, after three days’ hard march on roads as bad as rain, sleet and snow could make them. For some time since we reached here it has been raining, and the whole country is flooded with water. Since we left Winchester three weeks ago, we have indeed been making war upon the elements, and our men have stood an amount of hardship and exposure which I would not have thought was possible had I not witnessed it. In passing through it all, I have suffered but little, and my health is now as good as it ever was. Whilst this is true of myself, our ranks had been made thinner by disease since we left Winchester. Two battles would not have done us as much injury as hard weather and exposure have effected. After writing to you last Sunday, I concluded to write to the Governor to consider my resignation as withdrawn and I would trust to the chance of getting a furlough to go home. I am promised it as soon as Echols returns, and his furlough is out sixteen days from this time. I hope Jackson will have concluded by that time that a winter campaign is fruitful of disaster only, as it has been, and will put us at rest until spring. Then I may expect to see you.

 

Now, darling, just here the mail has come to hand, bringing your letter of the 15th inst. and the gratifying news that all are well at home. You say the sleet and snow were falling whilst you wrote, and you felt some anxiety lest I might be exposed to it. You were just about right. I left that morning at daybreak and marched in sleet and snow some fifteen miles to this place. When I got here the cape of my overcoat was a sheet of ice. If you have hard times, you may console yourself by knowing that I have hard times, too. I am amused with your fears of an inroad of the Yankees into Rockbridge. Their nearest force is about eighty miles from you, and if the roads in that section have not improved very much, they will have a hard road to travel. You all are easily scared. By the time you had been near the Yankees as long as I have, you would not be so easily frightened.

You must come to the conclusion which has forced itself upon me some time since. Bear the present in patience, and hope for the best. If it turns out bad, console ourselves with the reflection that it is no worse. We can see nothing of the future, and it is well for us we don’t. I have but little idea to-day where I will sleep to-night, or what shall be doing to-morrow. Our business is all uncertainties. I have been in great danger only once since I have been in the service, yet I suppose I have thought a hundred times that we were on the eve of a battle which might terminate my life. Now, after all, Love, I think it best to trouble myself little with fears of danger, and to find happiness in the hope that you and I and our dear children will one day live together again happily and in peace. It may be, dearest, this hope will never be realized, yet I will cherish it as my greatest source of happiness, to be abandoned only when my flowing blood and failing breath shall teach me that I have seen the last of earth. All may yet be well with us.

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U. S. Flag-Ship Hartford,

Philadelphia, Jan. 19, 1862.

This morning, at 10 o’clock, the U. S. screw sloop Hartford was put in commission as the flag-ship of the Western Gulf Blockading Squadron. The following is a list of officers ordered to join her:

Flag Officer—David G. Farragut.

Fleet Captain—Henry H. Bell.

Commander—Richard Wainwright.

Lieutenant and Executive Officer—Jas. S. Thornton.

Lieutenant and Ordnance Officer—Albert Kautz.

Surgeon—W. Maxwell Wood.

Assistant Surgeon—Joseph Hugg.

Paymaster—George Plunkett.

Master—John C. Watson.

Acting Masters—D. S. Murphy, C. Desames, Jos. G. Lewis .

Marine Officers-1st Lieut., John L. Broome; 2d Lieut., Geo. Heisler.

Flag Officer’s Secretary—Thomas Walden.

Flag Officer’s Clerk—B. S. Osbon.

Acting Midshipmen—H. B. Tyson, E. C. Hazeltine, Jno.

H. Reed, H. J. Blake.

Engineers—Chief, J. B. Kimball; 2d Assistant, Jno. Purdy,

E. B. Latch, F. A. Wilson; 3d Assistant, C. M. Burchard,

Isaac Degraff, A. K. Fulton, C. J. COOPER.

Boatswain—James Walker.

Gunner—Jas. Duncan.

Acting Carpenter—J. H. Conley .

Acting Sailmaker—Jno. A. Holbrook.

Clerks—Captain’s, A. D. Bache; Fleet Captain’s, T. B. Waddell; Paymaster’s, F. C. Plunkett.

Master’s Mates—E. J. Allen, Thos. Mason, Lewis S. Locke.

The first business of the crew was to put the ship in sailing order, which, with taking on board provisions and the like, occupied several days. We dropped down to Newcastle, Del. and remained a couple of days, and then went back to Fort Mifflin and took in powder, which is said to be the last article taken on board before sailing, and the first article discharged on returning from a cruise. We then dropped down to Newcastle again, and after receiving on board the Flag Officer and the Fleet Captain, Henry H. Bell, with a salute, proceeded to sea.

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January 19.—A battle took place to-day at Mill Springs, near Somerset, Ky., between the National forces under command of General Geo. H. Thomas, and the rebel forces, commanded by General F. K. Zollicoffer, resulting in the utter rout and defeat of the rebels. The Confederates commenced the attack at half-past five in the morning. The fight lasted till late in the afternoon,

when the rebels were driven off the field in great confusion, their leader, General Zollicoffer, being among the slain. On reaching their entrenchments, a few miles distant from the scene of action, they were cannonaded until dark, by the National batteries, and during the night succeeded in making good their escape across the Cumberland River. About one hundred and fifty rebel prisoners were taken, and ton guns, about one hundred wagons, upwards of twelve hundred horses and mules, large quantities of small arms, with subsistence and hospital stores captured. Besides these a large number of flags were taken on the field of battle, and in the deserted entrenchments.—(Doc. 16.)

— This evening the United States gunboat Itasca captured the schooner Lizzie Weston, of Apalachicola, Fla., loaded with two hundred and ninety-three bales of cotton, one hundred and fifty-two thousand five hundred pounds, bound for Jamaica or a market. She was sent in charge of a prize crew to Philadelphia.

—Colonel Williams’ regiment of Pennsylvania cavalry passed through Louisville, Ky., on their way to Munfordville, where they will take a position a few miles beyond Green River. They are well supplied with arms, though their horses are not generally up to the requirements of active service.—Louisville Journal, January 20.

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18th.—I visited Washington to-day, through such rain and such mud, as no civilized country, save this, can sustain, and preserve its character for purity. Am back to-night. On my return, I find on my table the following: ” General Order No. 11.

“Headquarters, &c.

“When the time arrives for the troops of this Brigade to move, the following will be the allowance of the means of transportation:

“Five wagons to the companies of a Regiment (two wagons to each company); one wagon to the Regimental Hospital.

“Each wagon will carry the forage for its horses. The sixty rounds of reserved ammunition will be carried in extra wagons. In the company, wagons will be carried rations for two or three days, company mess equipage, and officers’ baggage, which will in no case exceed the amount by regulations for baggage in the field. The forage for horses of regimental and field officers will have to be carried in their wagons. This notice is given so that soldiers and officers may be aware, that all property not above mentioned, to be preserved, had better be removed, for if the troops march, it is probable the first notice given will be the presence of wagons for loading,

“By order of Brig. Gen. ––––.”

Now that begins to look like business, and if our General means to put us in the way of doing something—if it will only not prove another counterfeit cry of “wolf”—we shall be pleased. Gen. McClellan has already grown several inches in the estimation of those whose confidence began to get shaky. I do not like that expression of “for if the troops march.” It looks a little wolfy. But I shall try to think it means “go in.”

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To Mrs. Lyon

Cairo, Sat., Jan. 18, 1862.—We arrived here last night, slept in the cars, and have this moment taken possession of the barracks. Do not know when we shall go. It rained, thundered and lightened all night. The storms here are terrific. I never saw mud before. It is sublime beyond description. The mud here is ankle deep everywhere off the sidewalks, and you may judge what sort of traveling it is.

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Saturday, January 18th 1862

Weather still soft and the crossings horrible. For the first time in Washington I saw boys cleaning off the crossing on [our?] street, and taxing the passers bye. Mr Short of Buffalo (the “Greek fire Bomb” inventor) called upon me today. He married my cousin (long ago). Expect him to go to church with us tomorrow. I had quite a lengthy conversation with Geo W Prentice in the office today. He questions a great deal, listens attentively to all that is said, but rarely expresses an opinion in conversation. No particular news in the City, did not go on to the Ave tonight, staid at home. “Bud” came from the Presidents about dark. Young “Bob” Lincoln has just got home from Cambridge to spend the vacation.

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The three diary manuscript volumes, Washington during the Civil War: The Diary of Horatio Nelson Taft, 1861-1865, are available online at The Library of Congress.

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Saturday, January 18, 1862. — Attempting to rain this morning. All important movements everywhere stopped by the rain and mud already. Still further “postponement on account of weather.” How impatiently we look for action on Green River [and] at Cairo. As to the Potomac, all hope of work in that quarter seems to be abandoned. Why don’t they try to flank the Rebels — get at their communications in the rear? But patience! Here we are in a good position to get in the rear via two railroads. Suppose two or even three or four bodies of men were to start, one by way of Lewisburg for White Sulphur Springs and Jackson Depot, one via Peterstown and Union, east side of New River, for Central Depot, one via Princeton and Parisburg [Pearisburg] right bank of New River, for Dublin, and another via Logan Court-house for some point lower down on the railroad.

A heavy rain falls — warm, spring-like, copious. The scenery of New River is attractive. The river runs in a deep gorge cut through the rock to a depth of one thousand to two thousand feet. The precipitous cliffs, occasionally cut through by streams running into the river, the rapid rushing river, and brawling mountain streams furnish many fine views. The Glades, a level region near Braxton and Webster Counties, where streams rise, and a similar region, called the Marshes of Cool, are the cattle grounds of this part of western Virginia. Braxton and Webster are the haunts of the worst Rebel bushwhackers of the country. Steep mountains, deep gorges and glens afford them hiding-places. They are annoying but not dangerous except to couriers, mail-carriers, and very small parties. They shoot from too great a distance at large parties to do much harm. .

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Mrs. Thomas Gibbons, mentioned in the following letters, was one of the distinguished Hopper family of “Friends”— strong abolitionists and managers of what was called the “underground railroad.” Through their efforts many wretched hunted colored people were landed safely in Canada. Mrs. Gibbons was busy in the war from the beginning, and all her life long, with serene determination, waged her own war against evil wherever she encountered it.

From Abby Howland Woolsey.

J. C. called here yesterday bringing Mrs. Thomas Gibbons to see us. She told me much that was interesting, and disgusting too, about her experience at Fall’s Church; the brutality of the regimental surgeon, etc. She and her daughter go on again the 24th of this month, and unless they hear something to the contrary will go to the same regiment, the 23d New York Volunteers. She had thought of writing to Georgy; wished I would do so, and see if she could learn from any of the assistant-surgeons, at the office, from the Commission, or from the army officers, where she would be most needed. They want to go where people are least liable to help, and where there is most to do. We are to have some towels, little books, etc., ready for her. . . . Mrs. Gibbons said that Horace Greeley was greatly distressed at the course of the Tribune; he was sick at her house three weeks with brain fever, this autumn, the result of disappointment, etc., etc., in the paper.

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January 18.—John Tyler died at Richmond, Va., in his seventy-second year, having been born in 1790. He was a native of Charles City County, Va. On reaching his majority, he was elected to the Legislature of that State, and five years subsequently to the House of Representatives. In 1836, he was chosen Governor; but served only a year and a half, having been sent to the United States Senate to fill a vacancy. This spring-tide of promotion continued until 18-10, when he received the nomination for Vice-President from the Whig party. The death of General Harrison opened the White House to Mr. Tyler, soon after which, by turning his back upon the party which had placed him in power, he added a new term to the political vocabulary.

The great events of his administration were the vetoing of the United States Bank Bill, and the making of preparations for admitting Texas—a measure which was brought about shortly after his retirement, in 1845. Since that date Mr. Tyler lived on his plantation, near the village of Hampton, Va. The commotions of last winter brought him out of obscurity, when he acted the part of a peace-maker for some time, previous to his allying himself with the rebel faction.—N. Y. Commercial, January 21.

—Captain- Phelps, with the gunboat Conestoga, made a reconnoissance, from Cairo, Ill., up the Tennessee River to-day, and shelled a point just below Fort Henry, where a masked battery was supposed to be, but did not succeed in drawing its fire.

—Captains Murdock and Webster returned to Cairo last night, from an expedition to Bloomfield, Mo. It was a complete success. They captured forty of the rebels, among them one lieutenant-colonel, two surgeons, one adjutant and three captains.

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Friday, January 17, 1862. — Froze last night to harden mud; cold and clear this morning; warm and bright all day. We feel rather lonely — so many gone. One regiment departed.

We hear of the resignation of Cameron and Welles. What does this mean? I think we must gain by it. I hope such men as Holt and Stanton will take their places. If so, the Nation will not lose by the change.

Read Nat Turner’s insurrection of 1831. I suspect there will be few such movements while the war continues. The negroes expect the North to set them free, and see no need of risking their lives to gain what will be given them by others. When they discover their mistake and despair of other aid, then troubles may come.

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Hall’s Hill, Fairfax County, I’a.,

Friday eve., Jan. 17, 1862.

Dear Sister L.:—

“The long and weary months pass by” and still we camp in old Camp Porter, or, as it was called before our new tents were up, Camp Leslie.

For several days the weather has been so stormy that we have had but little drill. We have had some two inches of snow and then rain and sleet, making everything so slippery that it stopped all military operations.

You will ask what we have busied ourselves about. In the daytime we sit round the tents, reading, telling stories, grumbling about the rations, discussing the prospects of marching, cursing the English about the Mason and Slidell affair, expressing a willingness to devote our lives to humbling that proud nation, and talking of this, that and the other. Those whose tastes incline them that way are playing with the “spotted papers,” but you will be glad to know that not one game of cards has been played in our tent since I lived in it or in the old one, either, and more than that, I have not played a game since I’ve been in the U. S. service. I don’t know as I am principled against it so much, but I don’t know how to play and don’t care to learn. I spend much time in writing. The boys laugh at me for writing so many letters, but I think it is as good a way of spending time as many others.

I have thought I would send you a present. Nothing less than my French comb. It is a singular thing, according to our notions, but I have no doubt it is a good one. Its value is nothing, however, except that which attaches to it as a soldier’s comb and all the way from France. I don’t know but some young ladies might consider it an insult for a young man to send them a fine comb. You can feel just as you please about it.

The individual, if there be any one in the army more thought of than any other, the one so long waited for by the boys with emaciated portemonnaies, has arrived. We were called to sign the pay-roll about 4 p. m. yesterday, and by midnight seven companies were paid and the rest of us by 9 o’clock this morning. That is rather quick work I call it.

I little thought when I crossed the Long Bridge last September that I would be so long here with no chance of meeting the enemy. But so it is. It seems to us very slow business, this crushing out the rebellion. I do not know but our leaders know best, but it seems to us very dull business, waiting for the rebels to be conquered by kindness. Our President is altogether too tender-hearted, too much afraid of touching the rebels in their tender spot— their niggers. General Sherman, whom he has sent to South Carolina, is such another bugaboo. He has done nothing except to land there. If Jim Lane had been sent there with permission to whip them the best he could, he would have had South Carolina used up by this time, Charleston and Savannah in our possession and a good foothold for our forces. But no, it would not do to go to work so. This is not a war against slavery, but for the Union. We must preserve the Union, but not touch slavery. Away with such nonsense, I say, and the soldiers all say so. Give us a haul-in-sweep of their niggers, their houses, towns, and everything, only conquer them quickly.

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