October 1st, 1862

Frederick Oct 1st 1862

Dear wife,

I wrote you a few lines this morning, I thought then it would be the only opportunity I should have of sending you a line that I should have but we are doing nothing today, so I thought I would write a little more.

It seems a little strange to me that I don’t hear from you oftener, perhaps you write contraband articles1, if so, you had better alter your tone so that I can hear from you once in a while for it is hard for me to be away from you and not hear how you get along and I want to hear from the baby. I think of her much, may God spare her to you and me and make her what she should be, an honor to her parents and a blessing to her race.

I want to hear from you, the wife of my bosom, it is my prayer to God that I return to my dear wife (you must not think that I am unwilling to die for my country because I want to return, as I want to do all I can to put down the rebellion, if it costs my life) but I look forward to the day when [I] shall again press your warm lips and hear your sweet voice. When I think of you and my child it gives me courage and hope.

I know I shall do my duty in the hour of danger. There is some talk of us going into battle but I don’t think there is much danger at present. I believe we are to be a fighting regiment, some regiments never see a fight, but I guess we shall.

I wish I could write you a description of our journey here2, but I can’t today yet. It is a most beautiful country for scenery, equal to old Connecticut. The lofty hills and beautiful streams and splendid landscapes we saw made me forget all my troubles for the time. I wish you could go with me over the same route in peace, perhaps you will some time.

I have not much to say if you have got all the letters I have written. I hope you get along well in getting in the crops. I hear that potatoes are not worth much, but you had better sell those on the hill as soon as you can for I know they won’t keep. The others I think you can keep. Write me how many you get.

I hope Ed Dwight has paid you, write and let me know. He says he has paid all the bills. Dr. Swift had better pay you what he has and not trouble himself to collect any more but you can tell him I am out about fifteen dollars.

I boxed all of my stuff when I left Arlington Heights and have not got them yet but they will come on.3

We slept on the ground last night but felt no inconvenience. We can rough it pretty well, I found some breakfast this morning in Frederick and shall get some more tonight. It was the first good meal I have had since I left home. I must stop for I have used all the paper I can get until my goods come. Please direct to Seargt. C A Burleigh Co I 20th Regt CV via of Washington D.C.

Your affectionate husband,


  1. This comment was probably said in snark or humor, as letters written to or from Civil War soldiers were not censored unless a special situation warranted the censorship.

    One such case were letters written by POW soldiers - both governments enacted very general censorship programs for letters going in or out of prisons and letters crossing the lines between the two armies. 

  2. The 20th Connecticut moved from “Camp Chase” in Arlington Heights to Frederick Maryland on the evening of the 29th of October, not reaching Frederick at late in the afternoon on the following day. This movement caused the first name to be added to the regiments death role when Timothy Devine, of Company K, fell from one of the cattle cars that the men were being transported in and was run over. 

  3. When the 20th Connecticut moved from Arlington Heights, the men were instructed to leave their knapsacks, containing their blankets, tentage, change of underclothing, and personal effects under charge of the post Quartermaster. Their equipment did not catch up with them for several days, meaning that they had no cover at night.