1864

 

“My clothes are all getting too small round”

 

Camp of 3rd Regiment Vermont Vols.
January 24, 1864

My Dear Mother,

Your last received one week ago yesterday, I will endeavor to answer now. I thought I would not answer it until I could tell you I had received the Express box you sent me and as I received it last night all nice and good, I take the present moment to inform you of it. Everything was nice and good as quite a number of my comrades could tell you who have had a bite of it. Please to tell me what the express charges and paper envelopes, sausages, sugar were separately in your next.

I presume you have heard ere this that [my cousin] Frank Davis had got a 2nd Lieutenancy in a colored regiment. Therefore, he has left this army as we have no colored troops in this army. My friend [Edward] Hatch is at home on the recruiting service since just before we crossed the Rapidan on our last campaign.

I have not tried the ducks yet. The pies and cakes and cheese were splendid and butter also. I was glad to see you thought about putting in what we call, “Boston Crackers” out here. They are very good to pack in boxes as they will not hurt. The butter is very nice. I broke the outside of the jar. It was in almost all pieces. You know it was set right in the corner and I of course commenced right on that corner to open it. Well I struck the corner three or four times with an axe and made things rattle in that corner some, but the butter was as good as though the jar hadn’t had one side knocked off. One can of the blueberries we opened. They were excellent as some of my tent mates could testify. I guess you thought I was fond of cayenne pepper as there was two papers—one of them having about a gill in it. And then there was two papers of black pepper and one paper and one box of green tea and two bunches of sugar. I thought rather strange. We draw black pepper and dried apple now of government rations but they are not so good as yours, either of them. I never saw so good dried apples out here as that you sent me. The nuts were very acceptable and please to “attend my sincere thanks for her lively partridges” &c. to Grandmother. Tell her if nothing falls on me bigger than a common-sized contraband, I shall try and visit her again this summer.

We are having fine weather—quite warm. We haven’t had any snow to speak of yet. We had about 2 inches once. I believe I am growing fat. My clothes are all getting too small round and I had to let my belts out about 2 inches more than I ever did before.

Has Annie started back yet? I suppose Ada is going with them by what she says. Give my love to them all and tell Mr. Mansur I am very much obliged to him for the dried beef and that I should like to hear from them whenever they feel like writing. Oh! while I think of it. I want some stripes—either 5/8 or 3/4 of an inch wide of black velvet, 3½ yards. Send by mail. Also some postage stamps. I guess ½ dozen will last me till we get paid off again and then I am going to send to Washington by a fellow from our company who is detailed in P. O. Department of 6th Corps and goes to Washington every few days, and get some. I will send you that money as soon as we are paid off. Hoping I may hear from you soon, I will remain, as ever, your son, — H. Clark, Co. A, 3rd Vt.


“Only a short time now”

 

Camp of 3rd Vermont Vols.
February 18, 1864

My Dear Mother,

I have delayed writing you for some time but believe me, it was not because I did not want to answer your kind letter but because the cold and windy weather we have been having lately deterred me from it. It is a fine day but quite cold here today. My health is first-rate and I hope this will find you enjoying the same blessing. There is not much going on here. There is not much danger of my re-enlistment while I am in the service. I am in the color guard yet and intend to remain if I do not get reduced or promoted.

Is Annie with you yet? Give my love to her. I hear from Springfield, Vt., that she intends visiting there. If she does, I should like to know as I want to tell her something before she goes so that she need not get prejudiced in regard to some persons by certain stories she may hear.

About that “express box,” I want you should give my thanks to Aunt Martha and all who contributed to fill it. I would like to have them seen me and my tent mates eating the contents. They would have thought that we enjoyed soldiering pretty well. I will send Alvin word to send you $15.00 and you can charge me with the $10.00 and Express &c. and credit me with the $15.00. I guess I will have him send you $21.00 and then you can do as you choose with it. After you get it, please to tell me how we stand.

I am going to try and enlarge my pile a little when I once get out of this. I could do so by re-enlisting but I had rather do it some other way. Give my love to the children and keep a good share to yourself. It is only a short time now before my term of service expires. I don’t know whether I shall get out before 16th day of July or not. I hope to but don’t place much dependence on it.

Hoping I may hear from you soon. I will close hoping it isn’t as cold there as here. With much love, from your son, — James Henrie Clark, Co. A, 3rd Vt. Vols., via Washington D. C.


“Custer’s cavalry went with our column”

 

Camp near Brandy Station, Va. ¹
March 28, 1864

My Dear Mother,

Yours of the 25th inst. was received this evening and I answer immediately. I was glad to hear from you once more. I think my last letter must have got mislaid or carried as you say you have not heard from me since last month. I was glad to hear you were not unwell. As to that business about the “Deed,” I will sign it if everything is all right. I don’t exactly understand about it but all my object is not to commit myself by signing something I don’t fully understand. Certainly I will sign anything that won’t injure me and will benefit you.

The last time that I wrote you, I told you to send me some postage stamps but I suppose the letter got miscarried. And also I wanted to know if you had received the money $15.00 I told Alvin to send you. I sent orders for him to send you $15.00. I don’t know but what the letter was lost. If it was I have lost the “Order” of course.

My health is very good. I don’t know as it was ever better. I was glad to hear of [sister] Annie’s good health and [sister] Ada’s also.

We are still in camp. We went out on a reconnoissance the 27th ult. and went to near Madison Court House at the time of the late “Cavalry Raid.” [Brig. Gen. George] Custer’s cavalry went with our column and attracted the enemy’s attention while [Brig. Gen. H. Judson] Kilpatrick pushed on to the Rebel Capitol in another direction while the Rebs were trying to find to what we were doing where we were. We were gone 4 or five days and had quite a storm while we were out and did not have any tents so we experienced some rather hard times. But we talk considerable now about our short term of service which—at the longest—is only 3½ months from this time, and that isn’t long, is it.

Hoping this may find you in good spirits, with much love, I will remain as ever, your son, — Henrie Clark

P. S. I have not been to Washington lately but I suppose Uncle Reuben’s folks are all well. There are about two month’s pay due you now which you will receive from Alvin soon. He will draw it as soon as convenient. It was due the 16th or 20th inst., I don’t know which. I suppose you have heard of the death of Alvin’s little boy Freddy as he died over a week ago. Hoping to hear from you soon, I remain as ever, your son — Henrie Clark, Co. A, 3rd Vt. Vols.


¹ This letter as found in Clark’s pension file.


Camp near Brandy Station, Va.
April 8, 1864

Dear Mother,

I received the Deed tonight and have signed and had it witnessed. You must remember we have no “Justice of the Peace” out here. But I went to the “Judge Advocate” and so that will be alright. These deeds you know should have Internal Revenue stamps on them. As there are none in the regiment, I forward the Deed and you must get a Revenue Stamp and forward to me so I can put on my initials and the date of giving said Deed and I will return it and you can put it on.

I received a letter from Hudson, Ohio, tonight. They all wrote. James sent his photograph.

It is getting late and I shall have to close this. I am in good health and hope this may find you all the same. With much love to all. I will write again Sunday.

From your son, — Henrie Clark


“There is not much danger of moving”

 

In Camp [Brandy Station, Va.]
April 9, 1864

Dear Sister [Annie],

I received your favor of the 3rd inst. and answer immediately. I was very glad to hear of your good health and Ada & James also. I had been thinking for some time past that I must write you. But I had been putting it off till I was almost ashamed to write.

We are having very bad weather here—raining almost all the time. But as long as it rains, there is not much danger of moving so we don’t find any fault with the rain.

You say, “you should think I might write three letters to your one” as it is no task for me. I should rather think it was somewhat of a task for me by those two lines up near the top of this page. but you are mistaken about it being so easy for me to write letters. It is quite a task as we don’t have any conveniences for writing here either.

I am glad to hear Ada is well and contented. I hope she will remain so. Mother misses her. I had a letter from her last night. She is well.

Yes! you did have a splendid present and I know you like it. It must have been quite costly.

You ask me if I think I can come and see you this summer [in Ohio]. I should be very much pleased to come and possibly I may come. I have some thoughts if I get out of this safe of investing my spare funds in a small house in Springfield if I make up my mind to stop there as I shall have enough to make a commencement—about $500—and that isn’t a bad one. Perhaps that doesn’t look very large to you—it doesn’t to me—but then it seems as though a young man commencing with that, if he was disposed to be economical, could get along. What think you?

I suppose if I should take a notion to come from Washington out there, I should take the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and come to Cleveland, shouldn’t I? I think Cleveland is on the line of that railroad, isn’t it? I suppose Ada sees a great many things that are new to her. I hope to hear from you both often. You must have a chance to write much longer to me while I am out here. I suppose you know Frank Davis has got a 2nd Lieutenancy in a Nigger Regiment.

Hoping to hear from you soon. With much love, I will remain as ever, your affectionate brother, — Henrie


“Still a soldier and liable to be so some time longer”

 

Camp 3rd Vermont
[Brandy Station, Virginia]
April 20, 1864

Dear Mother,

It is about time for me to hear from you again but I thought I would write a few words to let you know that I was still a soldier and liable to be so some time longer. I am  well and hope this will find you the same. I heard from [sister] Annie last week. They were all well.

Mother, I think I have got an old hat there at home. If you can double it up so as to send it by mail, I wish you would so that I can have it when I start on another campaign. It is a first-rate thing to keep the rain out of one’s neck. If it is worth sending, I wish you would send it. If not, please to get me a new one—size 7¼—as we can not get any here. The sutlers have all left and when I was in funds, they had no hats, but got some just as I got out. Do it all up—only leave some ends sticking out. Send it as soon as you can. I guess my old one will do. All I want is something to keep the rain out of my neck.

Everything is quiet this way. Hoping to hear from you soon. Consider me as ever, — Henrie

With love to all.


“Your noble brave boy”

 

Washington [D. C.]
June 1, 1864

My Dear bereaved Cousin,

How I do pity you. How I would relieve you of some of the burden of your great sorrow—not all—for I feel it too great for your poor soul to endure. Fly to Him that giveth and taketh away in full faith and it will be some comfort to your aching heart. Dear cousin, it will not be long at the longest before you will join your noble brave boy in his heavenly home—no more parting—no more sorrow there. When I think of the bliss and happiness beyond I almost feel as though I could give up the pleasure and comforts of this life and die without one  fear or one regret. What a glorious cause your boy laid down his life for and amid all your sorrow, I feel there will be a calm, serene smile light up your countenance when you reflect that he died for his country. I loved him and who could know the manly, honest countenance and not.

Mother and I for the first time bowed our heads and wept in sorrow since this war commenced. He was the first we had known and loved that had died. What was his gain was your loss and we mourned for your great grief and feel how feeble must be this effort to offer you consolation. I have done all i could to recover his body for you, at first with some hope of success. But when I learned from the War Department the guerrillas had possession of that part of Virginia, then I saw it was useless for me to do more although could I have secured a conveyance, would have run the risks. A gentleman by the name of Fletcher has been to see me and desires me to send his kind regards and deep sympathy for your troubles. If there is anything I can do for you when we have possession of that part of the battlefield where Henry rests, ask me with perfect freedom and I am at your service.

Give my love to Aunt Martha and tell her I will write her again soon, but I am very busy now and have not hardly an minute to myself. Will probably see you all before the summer is out. Accept much love from Mother and myself, and hoping this letter will find you more calm and resigned to the will of our Father.

I am yours truly, — R]euben] A. Bacon ¹

P. S. While writing this I was suddenly called to Baltimore and was away two days and have had just time to finish.


¹ Reuben A. Bacon (1838-1885) was the son of Reuben Bacon (1811-1891) and Ruth Jane Coburn (1814-1838).


“That roll of honor and of imperishable fame”

 

Department of Agriculture
Washington D. C.
June 5, 1864

Dear Cousin,

Last week I received a letter from my wife (written and sent to her by Miss Hannah Sherwin) from which I learned of your sad affliction in the loss of your dear boy and I sympathize most deeply with you. Would to God that I could say or write some word or thought that would serve to alleviate your sorrow. That he died a noble-hearted brave boy fighting in the foremost ranks the bitter enemies of his country and of humanity, does not serve to dry a mother’s tears or heal her wounded heart, but it does place your dear boy’s name on that roll of honor and of imperishable fame with the rest who have sacrificed their lives that their country might be saved—among those whose memories will be cherished and honored through all coming ages.

I called to see Dr. Bacon immediately after I received the letter. He informed me that the locality where the battle took place was now in the possession of the rebels and that it would be impossible to get the remains at present. He said that he would write you at once informing you about the condition of things.

I have no doubt, however, but that there will be a time before another winter when the remains can be removed. I shall keep myself informed in regard to the condition of things in the locality where your boy rests and will do all that I can to aid in receiving his remains.

Please give my kindest regards to Aunt Lucy and say to her that if it is a possible thing, I intend to go and see her the next time that I get to New England. Please remember me to Ezekiel and to his family. And believe me your sympathizing friend and cousin. — William Fletcher


“A lock of his hair”

 

Camp on the Chickahominy [river], Virginia
June 5, 1864

Dear Mrs. Clark,

I received your letter last night [and] have but a few minutes to write as the mail is going right out but will write you a few lines. I don’t think it possible for to get Henrie’s body for several months as our forces do not occupy that country & if anyone ventured out without an escort, the guerrillas would be likely to be a little too familiar. I think no one could go there & find his grave but someone of us that help[ed] bury him as there are so many buried near him & the mark on the headboard was made with a lead pencil. The only way we could find it would be by knowing the ground & by the way, we put up the headboard which is nailed against a tree at his head. I did not think to get a lock of his hair until after we had buried him & gone away. I wished that I had thought of it sooner but his hair was very bloody—he being hit in the head.

I know nothing of his affairs with the government or state but think he had not drawn much of his state or allotted pay. I think Alvin must know something about the matter. I will do anything I can for you for Henrie & I were great friends. Have been very intimate for the last 4 or 5 years. I think that you will not be able to get his body but wish it might be so you could. Perhaps after I get home this fall (if I live) I can manage some way to get it. But as the mail is ready to go, I must close.

Hoping this may find you all well, I remain yours truly, — E. D. Hatch


piper
Charles F. Piper’s ID Badge—soldiers purchased these to wear so their bodies would be identified on the battlefield. Charles was one of Henry Clark’s best friends in Co. A, 3rd Vermont

“The sound of cannon & the rattle of  musketry”

 

Petersburg, Virginia
June 20, 1864

Mrs. Clark,

Yours of the 15th came to hand night before last as we lay in the rear line of battle & had plenty of time & room to move for we (our regiment) were in a safe place behind a high bank in a kind of a ravine where the rebels could not get their deadly missiles to injure anyone.

Last night at dark, the regiment went out & into the front line of battle but are behind earthworks where if they keep down & not show themselves, they’re all comparatively safe, but if they go to looking around too much, are liable to have a bullet go uncomfortably near overhead. There has been considerable cannonading this morning but did not do much damage, I guess, at least. The rebel’s practice was wild, very poor, & our batteries soon silenced them. There has been but very little musketry today thus far. I do not think the Johnnies will be able to hold Petersburg. I think we will have possession of it in a few days now as our advanced lines are in the outskirts of the town.

Robinson
Orasmus B. Robinson helped bury Henry’s body in the Wilderness

The names of the boys that helped me bury Henrie [are] Sergts. Daniel L. Shaw of Springfield & O[rasmus] B. Robinson. Shaw goes home when I do. Robinson has re-enlisted for 3 years more. The other boy that helped us, E[dwin] J. Flanders, was killed June 1st at Cold Harbor—poor fellow—shot through the neck. I will give to other boys the address of those gentlemen in Washington & if anything can be done to get his remains, it shall be done. I think perhaps this fall something may be done but he would be so no one would recognize him. What mail that has come for him has been returned home to you & the rest to those that wrote them as far as was known from the handwriting in the envelope. The paper with the handkerchief in it I think has never been received at the company. Must have been lost or stolen before it came as far as this. If it should come, I will forward it to you.

If nothing happens to prevent, I think in 25 days we shall start for home as our term of service will then expire. It should have been out June 1st but they chose to keep us longer. I can’t believe that Henrie is not agoing home with us. I wish it might have been otherwise but God’s will & not ours be done. I shall be glad when my term is out for I am thinking I shall admire life at home better than a life in camp for I think it better suited to my mind & taste.

Henrie’s tent mates for the past winter & his intimate friends were Oscar Mason, Daniel Shaw, & Charles Piper—all very good & kind-hearted boys & good friends to him. I shall be very happy to make you a visit when I get home which I hope will be very soon.

Yesterday was Sunday & as our brigade was put in on a very small piece of ground, Chaplains [Daniel A.] Mack of the 3rd [Vermont] & [Alonzo] Webster of the 6th [Vermont] held a meeting & made it a very interesting meeting too. Your meetings & ours are very different. While yours is all quiet & peaceable, ours is often held while the sound of cannon & the rattle of  musketry is ringing in our ears & perchance an occasional artillery bullet will come in & send one or more of our number to their long home. And then we think of home & of the friends who are looking anxiously for the return of the loved ones that are in the army.

[June 21, 1864] Tuesday P. M., 2 o’clock

It has been very quiet all day until within about a half an hour there has been a little artillery practice. One shell wounded 4 men in the 77th New York & each one will have to lose a leg—poor fellows. They will be cripples for life if they survive the operation of having them amputated. Such are the horrors of war. ¹

We are having beautiful weather for campaigning. Have not had any rain for several days. A shower would be very acceptable to lay the dust & clear up things. Oscar Mason is at Brattleboro. I hope he may be able to go home. He was wounded severely in the calf of the leg & must have suffered considerable as he lain of the field over 24 hours before he was carried off. But I can’t write anymore now. When I go home, I will see those gentlemen in Washington if I stop there & perhaps we can arrange it so something can be done this fall. Hoping this my find you all well, I remain yours truly, — E. D. Hatch


¹ The roster of the 77th New York shows six men being wounded before Petersburg on 21 June 1864. These included: James G. Allen, James E. Barnes, John R. Hall, James A. Lawrence, George H. Skidmore, and Moses Tatro. The four receiving leg wounds were probably from this list.


“I should be able to find his grave”

Springfield [Vermont]
September 24, 1864

Dear Mrs. Clark,

Yours of last month was received in due time & I ought to have answered it long ago but put it off from time to time & was not aware how quickly the time was passing but today I will try & answer in my dry style. This is a dull, damp, lonesome day. has been trying to get up a storm for several days past but don’t make out very well although it rained a little last night & some this morning.

My parents & sister as well as myself are all very well now. I am at work in the machine shop where I worked before I went to war.

I am afraid you will not be able to get Henri’s remains this fall but I will render you any & all the assistance in my power. I am confident that I should be able to find his grave & the right body also. Charley Cook was buried by the side of Henrie. I do not know the points of the compass but them bodies lie parallel with our lines as they ran through the woods. Henrie lies on the side next to the enemy & Charley next to our folks with their heads towards the Plank Road. If I should go out there I should want Daniel Shaw to go with me & then I know between us there would be no mistake. He is in Washington now at work for the government.

Henrie was paid up to April 1, 1864 so they [owe] him a month & 5 days pay & his bounty of $100 besides his state & allotted pay. Probably Alvin will know about that part of his affairs.

My mother & sister send their best respects to you & yours. Hoping this may find you all in good health. I am yours truly, — E. D. Hatch


The next three letters were written by Aledelia (“Delia”) N. Hatch, the sister of Ed D. Hatch who served with Henrie in Co. A, 3rd Vermont Infantry. We learn from these letters that Henrie and Delia were intimate friends and most likely would have married had Henrie survived the war.

“God saw fit to call him away”

 

[Springfield, Vermont]
[November 1864?]
Sabbath Morning

Mrs. Clark,

Although a stranger to you I have felt for a long time as though I would like to pen you a few lines as I could not see you. I suppose you know that Henrie and I were fast friends as he told me he wrote you about it after he was home. I feel as though I could open my heart to you somewhat as you are his dear Mother of whom he so often spoke. No one can feel his loss more than I do unless it is yourself. I do not pretend to stand between you and him as there is no one like a Mother in this world. I have been accused of not mourning for him but there is a just God in heaven. He knows my sorrows [and] by Him I shall be judged and not by earthly men and women. I will tell you how it has been with me since his death. I have felt as though I wished no one to mention his name to me as it has seemed so hard that he could not have come back to us when he had passed through so many hardships and his time was so near out. I never saw anyone seem to anticipate so much pleasure as he did at the thought of once more being at home. But God saw fit to call him away and we must try and feel that it is for the best.

it is a great consolation to me that my brother [Ed] could bury him as well as he did as many a brave soldier lays there now unburied—so I hear. My Mother wishes to be remembered to you and there is not a day passes but we speak of you and wish we could see you. My Mother always thought a great deal of Henrie. She says if you ever come to Springfield to be sure and come and see us.

I have one word to say which perhaps would be better unsaid. Nevertheless I will say it as I feel interested somewhat and it is this—that if Henrie had have employed someone beside Alvin to transact his business for him, I think he would have gained. Please do not mention this as I do not say it to cause any unkind feelings but Alvin is rather negligent.

I have a Company Register with all the company’s names on it. It is very pretty and I prize it highly because it was his gift. Still if you wish it, I will send it to you as he was your dear boy. I will not tire you by writing more. Please remember me kindly for your boy’s sake if not for myself. I remain yours with sympathy, — Adelia Hatch


“Not a dry eye in our house”

 

Springfield [Vermont]
December 11, 1864

Dear Mrs. Clark,

I cannot tell you how glad I was to hear from you for I felt all the time after Henrie’s death that you could sympathize with me better than anyone else. Still you being a stranger to me I hardly dared write you for fear you might think I was intruding upon your own grief. If Henrie had lived, he intended to come here when he was discharged and then he wished me to go to his home with him and I probably should if God had seen fit to spare him to us.

About a month before he was killed he wrote to me he should be killed the first day he went into battle. I tried to cheer him up and convince him it was only a fancy but he assured me he knew it would be so and after that he wrote me every day and sent them every other day for he said he felt as though he had got but little while longer to write and he wanted to improve all the time he had. In one of those letters he spoke of you and how he wished we were acquainted so that after he was gone I could go and see you for he knew you would take his death very hard. You can imagine how I was feeling all those weeks.

I have over one hundred letters he has written me and I assure you they are precious to me. We have been living on a farm since last May but my brother has bought our old home in the Village back and we moved here two weeks ago and right glad are we to get back here too for my brother boards with us and it seems as it used to before this cruel war called him away.

My mother is sick now with a cold. She has a very bad cold and we fear she will have a fever if she does not get help soon so I have had all the hard work to do about moving and getting settled and feel about tired out but I was willing to do anything to get back here for I have been Oh! so homesick ever since I moved up to the farm. I went there the sixteenth day of last May and that very day came the news of Henrie’s death and I think that made me feel different about staying there. But Mrs. Clark, I try to feel as though it were far better to have him die as he did than to fall into the hands of those brutal southern men and die as thousands of our poor boys do. And another thing, he has passed from this land of troubles, I trust, to a happier world beyond the skies.

I am glad to hear you say you have given up having his body taken up for my brother thinks it very doubtful about your getting it even could they live to get where the body is. My brother thinks it very doubtful about there being anymore of those Registers. We will let the matter rest now. I hope to see you sometime. Then we will see about that. You shall have my picture soon. I have none taken now. And I thank you very kindly for your invitation to visit you. I would be most happy to and will if I ever feel as though I could. I am a poor girl but Mrs. Clark, I have as warm a heart as anyone as your poor boy well knew. I have always felt very thankful that he came here or home on a furlough for he seemed to enjoy every moment he was here. But Oh! he felt so bad when he went away. There was not a dry eye in our house—not even my father’s—for they all though much of Henrie.

Mr. Davis’s family are all well. I have not seen any of them for some time as I have been confined at home so much. My Mother and brother send love. Ned says he will write you soon. Please accept this poor letter and please call me Delia, not Miss Hatch. I hope to hear from you soon. I remain your friend in sorrow, — Adelia Hatch


“It is all for the best”

 

Springfield [Vermont]
February 12, 1865

Dear Mrs. Clark,

I hasten to answer your kind epistle which reached me safely. I have been quite sick for the last few weeks but am improving daily. I had a very severe cold and have still a cough but I trust it will wear off if I do not get any more cold. My mother is out of health also. She attempted to take a little boy and a severe pain caught her in her back and she has not been able to walk since. I have to dress and undress her, draw her around in a chair. She is some better today and I hope will soon recover for she suffers awful.

I have attended church today and heard two very interesting discourses, I saw Judge Porter the other day and spoke to him about Henrie’s affairs. He said the state pay was ready. He had informed Mr. Mason that he could have it but that he had not called for it. The other he cannot tell anything about. You will have to wait until the powers at Washington move which seems very slow at first thought. But on reflection we soon see how much they have to do to keep all those records of the thousands upon thousands of our poor dead boys. I have had an Uncle die in the army this last month. He left a wife and two children and they tell her it may be a year before she will get all her pay. You can have the State pay anytime Alvin sees fit to get it. The remainder time will bring around.

My brother has gone to Waterbury, Vermont, to work in a machine shop but the poor boy is homesick. He loves his home dearly. I think I never saw a boy hate to go away from home as bad as he does. I feel lonely without him for he is always cheerful and as kind as a brother can be to me. I have had no own father since I was six years old and no sister. Therefore, I have always looked to him for everything.

Since I have been sick, I have been reading over the letters Henrie wrote me. I have one hundred and one and I could not make it seem as though he were gone and I was never more to see him. His letters were so much like him. One would be all cheerful and gay. Then another dejected and he would be sad and want to come home. I shall ever keep them as sacred mementoes of bygone happier days.

You must try and feel that it is all for the best he ever done his duty as a true and noble soldier should and I trust he is happier than we could make him here. And could he speak today, he would say Dear Friends, mourn not for me but prepare to meet me in a better land where there will be no more parting.

I have not seen any of the Davis’s family for a week or more. I think they are all well as I should have heard of it.

My brother wished me to give love to you and to say to you that you lost a noble boy and he his best friend, but that he thought we ought not to wish him back. I feel that he is far better of than those poor soldier boys who are starving and freezing by the barbarity of those Southern monsters. I hope to see you ere many months elapse. I would like very much to visit you but I could hardly afford it now—everything is so high. I will close hoping to hear from you often.

I remain your loving friend, — Delia

P. S. I will give you my  proper address. Almost everyone calls and writes my name Delia. Adelia N. Hatch. Mother sends love to you and yours.


 

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