October 15th, 1862

From Cecil Burleigh | Transcribed by Caleb Grove

Oct. 15th
Camp near Harpers Ferry

Dear Wife,

I am very busy at present, we are cleaning up the ground here and building an oven for baking and I have to superintend the job. I guess from appearances we are to stay here for some time, if you want to send a box send it soon and according to the directions in a previous letter1. I shall get it, Sergeant Paddock has received one today, it was only 3 days on the road.

Send on some some dried beef if you can afford it, a little butter, and some jelly would not go bad. If Orin wants to send some wine, I have no objection. I don’t want any clothes sent at present unless you have some mittens ready. If you have you can send them though I don’t need them as the weather keeps warm, yet I don’t know as I shall ever want my drawers. I have not worn any yet.

I received your ninth letter, read it [and] put it in my pocket carefully but can’t find it now. I read it hastily for when we are called for we have to start lively. I would not have lost it for a great deal but there is no help for it. I have all the rest safe.

You said something about your bounty2, you need not give yourself any trouble about that. Esq. Hitchcock has all the documents necessary. I enlisted on the 13th day of August and your pay commences from that date. Esq. Hitchcock will pay you. I suppose they pay once in two months but it may be three.

I begin to wish myself home but am not homesick. I should like to be at home when you are alone, it would be nice to come home to supper some night and have a stomped in pie but it’s no use talking.

You need not worry about our fighting, the way things are going on. Why in thunder we don’t move on is more than any sane man can tell. As you say, I guess that they are [waiting] for the Rebs to recruit. This army will never be in any better condition than now, sickness alone will reduce it if nothing else, we live better than we [had.]

I guess we shall have enough to eat such as it is hereafter but if we had not have bought [food] we should have starved.

I have written this letter so fast that I have not thought of half I wanted to and my time is up, I shall write you Sunday when I hope to have time to collect my thoughts.

Kiss the baby for me and give my love to Mother. Yours affectionately,

C. A. Burleigh

P.S. Dumpy had better look out for I may get back yet. C. B.

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

  2. Through the efforts of William B. Wooster, Lt. Col. of the 20th Connecticut, each Connecticut volunteer (enlisted men and non-commissioned officers like Cecil) received an additional $10 per month, and their families also received $10 per month. This was a considerable amount considering that a private earned just $13 each month from the Federal government, and their families received nothing.