Camp near Falmouth Va.
Monday March 2, 1863
I rec. a letter from
you Saturday & one yesterday. I know I’ve not
written to you for some time. it was because
I had nothing to write. You know I can’t write
unless I have something to say. I shall not write
to Samuel just yet for fear he will go home
before he could get the letter. I shall send a letter
to him to Raymond next week. At last I am
able to say My box has come. It got here today
& in much better condition than I expected.
The pies were all mouldy & I had to throw them
away. Every thing else was good & did not even
taste of mould. Your fruit-cake is delicious.
I thank you for it with all my heart.
The boots are perfect fits & are just what
I most need in this horrible mud. Of course
I’ve had a good time. It is almost as good as a
[on the side of the page. Continuation from the back]
If you want to know how I look now,
I look at one of my
miniatures. I am the same
now as ever. As for whiskers
or mustache, I can’t raise any
I’ve been trying ever since I
came out here but it is no use.
They won’t come out.
Do you know of anything
that would incline them
to do so?
week at home. You wanted to know about
Smith of Co K. Well he is a very clever
fellow for ought I know & has been a middling
soldier. Tho he hurt his reputation very much
by the way he went home. He was hit in
two places by spent bullets, but did not
shed a drop of blood. He went to the hospital
after the fight. The surgeon examined him
& told him to go to the regt . The night we came
back across the river our regt went on picket.
Capt Cross told him to go into camp & have
things ready for us when we got in the next day.
Instead of that he laid about the hospital & the
next day put about the cars & went to Washington
when he got into a hospital with the wounded
& so got a furlough. There were several in the Co.
that got hurt as bad or worse than he that have done
duty even since. He was always considered
a good bummer as we call such ones here.
Gilmore Johnson of Rye is in this Co. He is
an excellent soldier & a good fellow. I have
always liked him because he is always
so willing to do his duty. he has been
with the regt in everything except the battle
We are to be reviewed tomorrow by Gen Hooker.
The boys have confidence in him. They know
he is a fighting man & they know that is the
one thing needful. I think Burnside would have
been successful had he been supported by
his subordinate Generals. It is a notorious
fact that many of them worked against him
all the time & defeated his plans I don’t
think Hooker will bear such conduct
with quite so much patience as Burnside
did. The feeling is the army is very good
much better than it was. Tho it never was demor-
alized as anything like it is. There is a good deal
of grumbling & fault-finding; but it is
all among the democrats & is caused by reading
democratic papers & letters sent to them by their
friends at home. Nine tenths of the desertions
are caused in this way. & 99/100 of the deserters are
democrats: now this feeling or fever was caught
from the North. It did not exist here till it
had begun to rage[?] at the north. I hope & pray
that it will be most effectually put down in N.H.,
a week from tomorrow, I regard the democratic
party of the north today as much my enemies
& the enemies of my country as any rebel host
I ever fought against, - I only wish they were
when I could fight them with a soldier’s
weapons. I could do it with more zeal than
I ever fought the butternuts.
They are doing all they can to create deserters
factions & even mutiny in the army. They are
sending letters & circulating their papers &
pamphlets among the soldiers and they are advising
& encouraging desertions etc. I never would has
believed there could be found a hundred men
in the north so cowardly traitorous, if they give
this [---?] in the north, then you may look
out for "peace on any terms". All of Jeff Davis’
demands will be acceded to, it will be far
better for Jeff than any foreign intervent-
ion he ever hoped for. I hope the loyal
people of N.H.realize this & are exerting themselves
accordingly. As for myself, I had rather fight
& wallow thru Va 10 years than stop
short one inch of totally & effectually putting
down this rebellion. I cannot see peace by any
other way. Please tell your humble people of
Rye that the army is not sectional. it will
fight traitors no matter what section they
are in, Major Cross has got back, he is looking
splendidly. Col Cross is in Washington detailed in
a Court martial. Capt Butler has not got here yet
tho we are looking for him every day.
It is getting late and I must close. Write again
soon. All my love to all. I thought you were going to
send me your potograph, why don’t you. I have
intend to write about it every day[?]. & the next
time Mother is at Rye or Father either make them
go over to Portsmouth & have theirs taken & sent to me.
I have always wanted them but never could think to
wish about it before. G.S.Gove