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Holmes Brigade, USV, Inc.
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Fort Scott April 30th 1865
My Dear Wife,
It is Sunday night and I propose to as far as I can to obey the injunction "remember the Sabbath day & to keep it holy" While away from you, by sitting apart and dedicating the Sabbath to writing and thinking of my dear wife. The Sabbath is always quite a gala day in the Army. In the morning we have a general inspection. That is all the arms & accoutrements, clothing, cleanliness and quarters of the men are examined and a general cleaning up is had. Then in the afternoon we have dress parade.
So you see I cannot give you all the day but I always have part of the day and all of Sunday night that I dedicate to you. And you know Sis that I always Sunday night to you for a long time before we were married. And we used to enjoy them to didn't we. How I used to wait week after week for Sunday night to come around and then - well Sis you know the rest as well as I. Those were precious Sunday nights weren't they. I love to think of them don't you? I don't want you to think that I am only going to think of you Sunday nights but only that I am going to give to you that night as I used to. So you may expect at least a letter from me every Sunday night. I could write to you oftener and write short common place letters such as I see some of the officers write to their wives; just merely telling them that they are well and hoping they are the same, and maybe a few inquires about friends and neighbors and closing by subscribing themselves "A fortunate husband" and it is no pleasure for me to write so to you. When I write to you I want to be alone and set down and talk to you as near as I can as though you were sitting by my side. I always see you when I am writing to you just as plainly as though you were present. Your firm features and eyes, your hands and feet, your face, everything is distinct to me as though I ?? kisses for your lips and was looking straight into your eyes and that is the way I love to write to my own dear Sis.
I have just managed to get some ink and will finish my letter with a pen instead of a pencil. The last letter I received from you was dated April 9th. I have been looking every night for a letter but none have come. I shall be so glad to get another letter from you. Have you received the letter I wrote you at Warrensburg and the one I wrote you at Paola and the one I wrote you since I have been here, three in all since I left St. Louis. You wrote me you had received my photograph. How did you like it. Did I look natural. How did I look in Military uniform. You wrote I looked cross. I want to know if you thought I was good looking. In my three last letters I have written you to send your photograph. Now do send it Sis. I shall be so pleased to have it. Send Lill's to if you can.
Our Colonel arrived this last week with the last two companies of the Regiment. The eight companies that came when we did were commanded by Lt. Col. Shea. We all like the Colonel. He makes us all stand around when on duty but off duty he is a social genial gentleman. I like soldiering pretty well as well as I expected. The greatest drawback is being separated from you and Lill. If I could have you here I should be perfectly happy. Mr. Allen is here. I think the boys will like him pretty well. I don't think he will find a very heavy work of grace going in the 48th Regt and but a small chance to get up one.
Religion is at a very low ebb in the army out here and in fact among the people generally as far as ny observation has extended. I do not know much about the society here. I understand there are a few old residents here together with some of the officers and their wives who reside here that make up the respectable part of society. the balance is rather mixed particularly the female portion of it. There are a great many refugee women here that have come here from the south who rely mostly on their personal charms for a living. Army officers tell that this is the case in all places along the border occupied by our troops. And all officers are unanimous in their opinion that northern women are a thousand times more chaste than southern women.
What a condition the south will be in when the war is over. Their property and home destroyed, their niggers free, thousands upon thousands of their people killed and worse than all the terrible prostitution among their wives and daughters. Well they deserve it all and more too for getting up this rebellion. The bogus confederacy is about played out at last. How proud we shall all be of our Government and our country and our flag when the last rebel is whipped and we know and feel that the jurisdiction and authority of the United States Government extends over all - every foot of the territory of the United States. It has cost an immense sacrifice of life and treasure to put down this rebellion but it is worth all it has cost. Don't you think so Sis? I wonder what such old copperheads as Cleaves and Pete Schafer think now about putting down the rebellion. What a terrible thing the assassination of President Lincoln was. You know he never was a great favorite with me yet I always regarded [him] as one of the most honest and kind hearted of men whose greatest fault in administering the government during the war was his too kind treatment of rebels. How terribly his poor wife must feel for although he was the President yet to her he was a husband. The husband of her girlhood. I hope President Johnson will stretch plenty of secesh necks to pay for it.
What is the news in Omro. Do things seem about as they used to. How does William get along and Sauger how is his health. Give my respects to him. What is Alf doing and how is Hattie. I suppose Hattie hasn't got a baby yet. How are William's folks & Murphy's. And finally darling how do you get along and how is your health. Have you got entirely well. Tell me all about yourself and Lill. What your are doing and what you read & whether you play the guitar any. Have you got your black silk dress made up yet. Do you get the Sentinel regularly. Are goods any cheaper than they used to be. Everything is very high here.
Please Darling write me as often as you
can. I prize your letters more than
everything else and I should be so happy to get a letter from you every week. My own health is pretty good now although since I
wrote you I have had an attack of Chill fever. But
I took quinine and have not felt it for several days.
Cady and the boys are all well. Henry's
health is good and now my dear wife I must close and bid you good night. Next Sunday night I will write you another letter
and in the mean time I do hope to get one from you. Good
Bye darling I put twenty kisses for your forehead ten for each eye ten for each cheek and
forty for each lip and if they get out of this letter before it reaches you I will give
them myself when I get home. Kiss Lill for
Papa and kiss me darling when you get this letter from
Direct as before to "Fort Scott Kansas"