March 22, 1863

From Cecil Burleigh | Transcribed by Caleb Grove

My own Dear Wife,

You may be somewhat surprised at receiving another letter from me so soon but since I mailed my todays letter, I recieved yours1 writen the night after you were so nearly made homeless, and its contents had affected me so that I loose no time in writing you a few lines though I don’t know what posible good I can do.

The mere thought of what might have hapened had the fire started in the night has completely upset my philosophy and made my blood run cold. What a horable fate would mine have been to been robed, by a dreadfull death, of wife, child, and mother. May we thank the ever mercyfull God that you have been saved from so dreadful a fate, and that I have still a family to love and cherish. It would be bad enough to loose a comfortable home but I will not think of that if my dear Wife and child are spared me.

I think you had better have the fireplaces that connect with the flues that are used bricked up (except that in the kitchen that you can see to every night) if necessary you can draw money from the bank to do it. I don’t know when I can get any money from the Government they seem very slow about paying off, but I guess it will come some time. I am allmost sory I went home2 it cost so much, but should we never meet again the survivor would not regret it.

How worried and tired you must have been after the excitement and labour was past, and you must have wanted me to assist and comfort you, I fear that it will, added to your cold, make you sick.

I shall look for the next letter with great anxiety. How kind it was in when you were all tired out to sit down and write me such a long loving letter, I think every day what a treasure and blessing you are and if I ever get home again I will try to be more diserving of you, than I ever have been.

I fear this letter will be dull and uninteresting but I cannot write in a cheerful strain to night. There is a time to laugh but there is a time for sober reflection also and to night seems to be the time with me for I am sitting at 10 oclock when the camp is silent as the grave with no sound to disturb the solemn stillness that reigns at this wretching hour (except the scratching of my pen,) thinking of home and loved ones far away whom I have deemed safe from the dangers to which I am exposed, but who as it seems to me, have but just escaped a death more horable than than any other. Oh how little we know of the future the thick veil that covers that unknown world is lifted but a little and we try to penetrate its depths in vain we do indeed sometimes have premonitions of of coming events even as the moaning of the winds give warning of the coming storm that it bears upon its bosom, but the great future is all unknown to us except what what is revealed by the inspiration of deity, perhaps it is best that it should be so, in order that we may learn to trust ourselves in the hands of him who alone is able to guide us through that unknown sea to which we haste. Oh how weak and frail is man how infinite is the Great Creator yet his care is over us and his mercy protects us he holds us in his right hand and not one shall be lost except the son of perdition.

Dear wife I am loth to take leave of you to night but it is geting into the wee small hours and I must close this interview for it seems as though I had been with you to night perhaps you have wandered in your dreams away down here and I have been vaguely conscious of your presence, if so I will give you a spirit kiss and bid you goodnight while I finish my letter in more of a mater of fact stik.

You spoke of making aunt Laura a present I think it a most judicious one and one she will be likely to prize you have shown your usual good judgment in the selection, tell uncle Orin that I have left the wagon entirely to Ezra he says he will leave it to Street who will be home in a few days they will buy my part of the wagon and I think I will let them have it. Remember me to mother and all our friends, kiss the baby and keep up good courage.

I remain ever your faithfull and devoted husband,

C A Burleigh

  1. Sadly, this letter of Caroline’s has been lost. 

  2. In early March, Cecil was allowed to go home on a furlough.