Camp near Falmouth Va.
I rec. your letter in
ten days since, I had previously
written you a letter which you had
not rec. at that time. I rec.the paper
you sent me, containing Col.Cross’s speech.
He carried home our colors because they
were all tired & worn out. He will bring
us some new ones. Don’t flatter your self
that we are to see no more service. I have
hoped that we should be relieved but
it is no use. I suppose they think we are
as good food for powder & ball as
any other 80 men. We are not relieved
from duty either we have to take our turn
for picket etc etc. the same as ever & there are
so few of us that it comes very hard on the
boys, they are on duty all the time. For once
an orderly has the easiest time of any man
in camp. I don’t have to go on picket or guard
police or fatigue. You wanted to know
why I do not get a furlough. The idea of
a soldier getting a furlough is ridiculous.
An officer has to have a certificate from
a surgeon - the corps surgeon - that he
is sick & unfit for duty before he can
get a furlough. I see that congress is
talking of consolidating the old regts:
anything but that. It would almost
raise a mutiny in this regt to put us
into another. We are the 5th Regt. N.H.V.
& we never will fight under another
name. It can’t be done without doing a
great deal of injustice to the officers & the men,
noncommissioned officers & men. There are nearly
a full number of nocom.officers in each regt.
& if two regts. are put together then one half the
Sergts. & Cerpls must be reduced to the ranks.
The surplus com. officers of course would be
discharged as they cannot be put into the
ranks. This would suit the most of them
It is very well for members of congress
who live at their ease fore sumptuously
every day & drink brandy & wine to
talk of these things they say it would save
a few dollars to the Gov. can’t they find
anything to economize upon but the poor
soldiers who are shedding their blood
to carry out their schemes. I am afraid
if the soldiers could get hold of some
of these men they would make short
work of them. They are detested by us all,
newspaper correspondents say. The army is in
excellent sprits & eager for another fight---this
is all common[?]. The soldiers almost to a
man are tired of this war & anxious for it
to close & they see no hope of ever ending it
by fighting. I think myself that we never
shall whip the south. I dare say that we
cannot – but that we never shall. They have beaten
us at Vicksburg & taken Galveston & the
fight at Murfreesboro is not much of a victory
at least it is barren of any results. This
is the way it has been for a year & what reason
have we to hope for any improvement. We can
never have a better army or better opportunities
then we have had this past year & what has
been gained, in my opinion the North is weaker
& the South stronger then ever before. You may
think I an getting disaffected, I don’t know
but I am. I am dissatisfied at any rate.
Dissatisfied because it is all the result of bad
management & there are no signs of any im-
provement. I sent for a box two weeks ago,
I shall begin to look for it soon,
Capt. Cross is the commander of this regt. now.
If ever the vacancies are filled up, he
will be a Major.
You write me about getting rich, how
under heavens do you suppose I am to
make money here. I get 17 dollars per
month. I know of no way to get more,
you would not want me to go round
peddling cigars tobacco etc. with the
little drummer boys? If I was Quarter
master or Commissary perhaps I
might get rich. Allow me to say that
no one can honestly make money in the
army. There are many ways to do it dishonestly.
I would send you a list of them if I thought
you would want me to adopt any of them.
My health is very good.
Write again soon Give my love to all