February 4th, 1863

Wednesday eve, Feb 4th

Dear husband,

I have been up to the basement a little while tonight, Libby Peck was here to tea and I had to go with her (she wished me to send her love to you) I didn’t stay but a short time, because I wanted to finish my letter to you, and I felt afraid I should take more cold up there, I have a hard cold in my head, which you know is very uncomfortable. Louise is about as she has been for several days, not sick, but worrisome, but I will try and get along with that as well as I can and be content if she don’t get sick.

It has been a dreadful cold day, the sun has shone bright all day but it hasn’t thawed at all. It is a bitter, cold night, I haven’t seen Fanny1 when she seemed to feel the cold before, this winter, but tonight she shivered with the cold in the stable. I have been so worried for fear that you were almost freezing; that I haven’t hardly thought as I was cold but I find tonight that most all the folks have got letters but me.

Joe wrote that your “squad” had found an old mill that had a fireplace in it, and that you were fired quite comfortable, and it is a great comfort to me. I shall sleep better tonight for going up to the basement and learning that. It seems their letters came tonight from Chesire they were given into the hands of someone to bring on account of having money in them, and he mailed them in Chesire.

I should think Joe was making money, he sent home twenty dollars in his letter, and his pay couldn’t have been much more than that. I believe I told you in what I wrote last night not to pinch yourself for the sake of sending me money, for I think I shall do very well.

I got another item of news tonight that wasn’t so pleasant, Adams and Co. Express2 have stopped sending boxes to the place you are, I was making preparations to send to you this week Saturday or the first of next week or at the first opportunity of getting it to the express office, and now that is all knocked in the head, I supposed of course they would take freight to where you are, but as I had a chance thought I would send and see.

Henry I.3 went today to see about it, and they told him that they had sent there until within a week but they had had orders not to anymore, I can’t understand it, I mean to find out more about it, perhaps it is a mistake. Hinsdale they say went yesterday, if I had have known that the other company couldn’t have taken things I should have sent by him.

I think Aunt Sarah had a box packed and sent to the Express today, but if what I hear is correct, it won’t go. She said I could put in a little for you but I thought I should send in a few days, so didn’t do so. I am going to ask you some questions about things to send, for I rather think I shall send sometime.

Have you lost your havelock4, and if so would you like another? I am sure they must be useful when out in the rain to keep the weather from dripping down your neck, those little foolish caps are no protection, do your handkerchiefs stand by you yet? Don’t you need more stockings, would you like a bottle of camphor, and some more pills? They say that a great many soldiers have knit woolen caps that they draw on their heads to sleep in, would you like one? Shan’t I send you some stationary and I am going to send you some envelopes anyway, whether you want me to, or not, and finally would you like something good to eat? Try and think what you would like best and of every little thing that you need and let me know.

Henry G. says he can’t have you down there he wants you to come home, and buy some wood with him. He is talking of buying some that belonged to Uncle Ezra’s estate I believe, for he has a chance to furnish to the rail road company here, some 5 hundred dollars’ worth.

You say you are sorry to learn that I am growing old in feelings, I guess you would be sorry to see how old I have grown in looks, I can see that time is fast leaving his marks on my face, if you should ever see me again you would take me for your grandmother; I suppose you are growing young and handsome.

You have never told me what your past friends told you about your folks at home, whether your father was living or not.5

They say the lecture last night6 was tip top, they said when he got through, Mr. Thayer asked to be allowed to speak, he said “he must say he never heard so much common sense is so short a space of time, in his life.”

There has bad news come about Lyman Goodyear7. I guess I told you that he had got into the commissary department in the 24th Regt., report says that he, with 3 others; (one of them is a barber from the lower part of the place, that talked of enlisting in your company) have been taking rations which belonged to the soldiers and selling them and putting the money in their pockets and that they have got caught and put in the lock up, if it proves to be so, it is a pretty disgraceful piece of business for one in Lyman’s place. I hear that Mr. Carters has written home that it is so, I tell you this war is great on developing character. We don’t know how much temptation we can resist, until we have a trial.

I feel all out of patience with Adams and Co., I am disappointed, I was getting ready to send to you, and I want to.

I don’t see how you can keep decently clean, yourselves or your clothes, when you have to be in so much mud. Be careful about taking cold when you have a wash [in] this cold weather.

I don’t feel as if I had said half I want to and I guess I have said more than you will want to read. Mother sends love, so does Aunt Sarah. Louise says she wants to “kiss Pap tweet (sweet)” and I wouldn’t feel bad if I could. Goodnight, my dear husband, God bless and keep you and bring you home to your,


  1. Their horse. 

  2. Adams and Co. Express was the “UPS” of the day. 

  3. Probably Henry Lucius Ives

  4. A havelock was a piece of fabric that was worn under the cap and covered the back to the neck, draping to the shoulders. The primary design was to keep the sun off of the necks of the soldiers, but the primary usage was that of a coffee strainer, according to the soldiers. 

  5. On his letter of November 30th, 1862, Cecil wrote about eating Thanksgiving dinner with some old friends of his from New York state, and hearing directly from home. 

  6. On the day before, Caroline wrote that the Church was having a lecture on the subject of music. 

  7. Lyman was one of the nine-months men that enlisted when the Government couldn’t recruit enough 3-year soldiers. He was assigned to the 24th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry and send to Louisiana. He died there May 24, 1863, for unknown reasons.