My dear, dear Husband,
I received your line tonight from Frederick City, I am ten thousand times obliged to you for your thoughtfulness in writing to me so often, and I am very sorry that you don’t receive my letters. This makes 4 that I have written this week, one Sunday, one Tuesday night, and Wednesday night1, so please don’t accuse me any more of being negligent about writing you.
I declare it is too bad that you should not have a decent place or anything to eat, I thought they used you mean enough but I didn’t suppose that they had got so that they freighted you on the cars like so many head of cattle2, and when I sat down to my supper I couldn’t help but cry to think that you were going without decent food, while I had things so good, and we did have something good tonight, some most splendid peaches with plenty of cream and sugar. They were delicious, but every mouthful I ate I thought how I wished you had them.
Boss Ed went over to Wales Dickerman’s3 after some peaches this afternoon, I had talked of going with him, I thought I would be extravagant enough to buy a peck and preserve a few; but I couldn’t go very well so I sent Mother. She took our market basket, which you know is a large one, Wales didn’t measure them but he filled that basket full for 50 cents, and as nice large peaches as you ever saw. His wife, it seems, is a sort of a cousin of ours, when their peaches are gone, I guess I will go over a-cousining again.
You didn’t write me how you felt, I am afraid that moving and going faint and hungry and all you will make sick of it. I wish I knew whether you would ever get my letters but I suppose you will be as likely to get them as this so there will be no use in my writing over again to you what I have written in them, they all had things that I wanted much to say to you, regarding business, if you miss any of them please let me know.
Mr. Thayer has been in our house today, he says he wrote to you a few days ago, he says you have a good understanding of Bible Truths, and you might be the means, if you choose, of doing a deal of good among your comrades. He thinks you will exert a good influence among them.
If you ever stop at any place long enough again so as to have a box sent, we are going to send one. I was very sorry that we didn’t make a start in time to have had it reach you before you left Camp Chase. When I heard how miserable you were last week, I felt out of patience with myself. I have been watching some of the branches of Catawba grapes4 to see if they were going to get ripe so as to send you some, if it was cold weather enough we should send you some baked chickens, baked lamb, or something of that sort, but if it shouldn’t keep, it would spoil everything else and I suppose you have stinky meat enough without having it sent from Connecticut.
As I have written (I don’t know how many times before), if you felt that your health is failing, don’t wait until you are dying for fear that folks will think you want to shirk, but do try and get home, won’t you? Or if you are taken suddenly sick, let me know so that I can come to you; for with all your bravery and courage, you know if you were sick, it would be a comfort to have your wife around your sick bed.
You ask if I have distributed your pictures, yes, and I wish I had more to scatter for there are so many that seem to want them. A few days after you left, I wrote to Mrs. Phelps and sent her one of them. I have never heard anything from her, or any of them, you know it isn’t me that they
[The letter appears to be missing a page]
Mother sends love, Mr. Bryar’s folks express and seem to feel a great deal of sympathy for you. Mrs. Bryar says she should think she was living in heaven, it [is] so quiet and peaceful here. There is summers peace. Oh how I wish that they might come to some terms without more bloodshed but I presume not, they will get fixed for a winters campaign that will kill off a good slice of the army and start up [again] in the spring and take all the rest that are left here. Oh! for a leader.
Of the three letters mentioned, we only have the one written on Tuesday left. Either the letters never got to Cecil, or they simply didn’t get saved. ↩
In his letter on the first of the month, detailing the regiments travels from Camp Chase (Arlington Heights) to Frederick, Maryland, Cecil said this:
We left Washington [the] night before last and were one day and one night in miserable cattle cars in coming here and have not had anything to eat except what we brought in our haversacks, and that has spoilt. I thought I would get a good breakfast this morning and pay for it but I can’t get it for love or money. ↩