October 12th, 1862

Sunday eve1

What a beautiful night, Louise and I have been setting by the window, she seemed quite amused with the moon; and I could in imagination see you coming up the railroad, and coming in the gate, oh how I wish it might be reality.

I’m so lonely tonight, Mother has gone to church. Bryar’s folks have gone away. Baby is asleep, and I am alone, and yet not so much alone as I might be, for I suppose I have a dear husband yet living; and I have the privilege of chatting with him through the medium of pen, ink, and paper, although the pleasure of seeing him is denied me. It seems too bad, when I have such a good, quiet time, to write, that I must need have the headache, but my head does ache so bad that I fear I shan’t think of half I want to say, or write anything that will be of interest to you.

If you should receive my last letters you will know pretty much all about our business here. Mr. Keith is going to take 20 bushels of potatoes at 48 cents per bushel. Henry is to take them to him. I believe there was about 50 bushels in the back lot, and little over 20 in Aunt Sarah’s lot. I have thought of asking Jim Lech to take some, and get us some more mackerel. Henry says he means to get the stalks off Aunt Sarah’s lot this week, William husked some Tuesday, but we have had rainy weather ever since Wednesday morning until yesterday.

I wonder if you poor fellows have to lie on the ground without shelter when it rains. I do hope they won’t put you into battle soon, I should think they might have seen the folly of putting their new regiments into the front of battle, unless their object is to kill off our best men. If you should have to go, don’t be reckless, don’t fling away your life; it is worth more than you seem to talk, if you should have to go, won’t you read in that little book I gave you what it says about wounds, stopping the flow of blood, &c.

God grant that I have not got to hear of you as wounded and suffering on the battlefield, the very thought takes my breath, and makes my tears flow like rain, it don’t seem as if I could bear the reality; when the 15th went I was glad you wasn’t to go in that because you would have had to have gone sooner, now I wish you had been in their regiment for they are not likely to have much fighting to do at present. If you should get killed or die there, as far as I myself am concerned, I shan’t care much how the war goes anyway.

Mrs. John Hall2 and Martha were here yesterday to dinner. Mrs. Hall had her baby, it isn’t very handsome, but she is quite forward about talking, but she doesn’t run alone yet and she is 15 months old. Martha said she had a long letter from you. Mrs. Hall thought that you was quite partial to give Martha your picture, and not give one to her, when you used to live with her, I thought so too, but I had none to give, they were all disposed of you know. Martha and I went over to Wales Dickerman’s after peaches; but I won’t describe our jaunt, for Martha said she was going to write to you today and I presume she will do it so much better than I would that it would put my description all in the shade. I exerted myself to make their visit pleasant, and I presume that they went home thinking I was very happy, but last night after they had gone I had a good cry. I had assumed more gaiety than I felt, and there must be a reaction.

Ed Dwight didn’t pay me that money3 but he promised to send it as soon as he got home. Those things which you was to send, haven’t come yet. The last time I said anything to Dr. Swift, he said that there was about a dollar and a half that he had collected, do you expect him to try and make the 15 dollars you spoke of?4 Boss Ed keeps Fanny yet.

If we could know whether you would stop there long enough for a box to reach you, we would start one right off. You want me to attach Seargt. to your name. I will if you wish me to, but it seems foolish to me, it seems as if I was trying to make a show of your office.5

Remember me to all inquiring friends. I know I haven’t said half I want to but I feel miserably, I shall write again soon.

I hope you will get my letters, for poor as they are I have no doubt but they would be worth something to you. Mother sends love and good wishes, so do all the folks and now accept much love and many kisses from your devoted wife, Carrie

[P.S.] Don’t, my dear husband, rush thoughtlessly into battle and I hope you have made your peace with God, and taken Christ for your friend, but remember that it is a serious thing to exchange worlds.

[P.P.S.] Please give the enclosed to Mr. Paddock, you correspond with other ladies so I thought it would make it all right. I have been to church this afternoon for the first time since you left, I haven’t felt as if I could go, you used to go with me.

  1. This letter was undated. Through the context, we have determined that this letter was probably written on October 12th. 

  2. Ruth Hall wrote Cecil a letter about the visit as well on October 16th

  3. Edward Dwight Dickerman owed Cecil and Caroline $50, quite a sum back in 1862. He had been visiting his birthplace in Connecticut and was returning to his home in Illinois. 

  4. In Cecil’s letter to Caroline written on October 1st, he wrote:

    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. 

  5. On October 1st, Cecil wrote to Caroline to address her envelopes to:

    Seargt. C A Burleigh Co I 20th Regt CV via of Washington D.C.