Pleasant Valley [Maryland]
October 10, 1862
My dear Mother,
Yours of the 27th came to hand yesterday and I was very glad to hear from home and that you were all well except in slight trouble about me. I have figured myself along so far and calculate to take care of No. 1 as long as I live. And as for putting me into the ranks, that cannot be done as long as my friend, the Captain, chooses to keep me.
Here is a copy of the 124th paragraph of the revised Army Regulations of 1862. It is found in the 13th Article. “Each company officer serving with his company may take from it one soldier as a waiter, with his (the soldier’s) consent and the consent of his captain. No other officer shall take a soldier as a waiter. Every soldier so employed shall be so reported and mustered.”
This is word for word and I write it at the Captain’s request. I think every captain on the field has taken a soldier from the ranks for some purpose and whether my name is enrolled or not, I signed the muster roll and shall draw pay the same as any other private. So you can see with half an eye open that no trouble need be borrowed on that score. Mr. Maynard need not write to Col. Bowman as that will not help the matter. I want none of his sympathy. He was “your humble servant” before we got on our Blues but after that, he did not know us. No such man as that for me.
Now between you and I, remember no one else shall hear it. You must tell no body. I don’t think there is the least chance for me to get a shot at the rebels for if the regiment should be called out to fight, I in all human probability should be left in camp. The Capt. so far has remembered your wishes and treated me as he would a clerk or hired man. Anything that I want I have and I have done the best I know how to serve him faithfully.
I want to ask a single favor of you and hope you will grant it. I don’t want my letters ready before people. I write them for your benefit and if I choose to acquaint other persons with what is going on, I will do so by writing to them. I may say a great number of things in my letters home that will at some time sound foolish and the idea of everyone’s commenting upon what I say, I dislike. You know what woman’s tongue will do, and I do not choose to be the subject of all their conversation. Grant me this favor and I ask no more. I have written to nobody (with the exception of Jerome) except you and father and you would not have got so many letters had I written to this, that, and the other.
This is a beautiful camp ground. We have terrible hot days but rather cold nights. But I take care to keep clean and warm and have been free from sickness. The story now is that we are going with Burnside to North Carolina this winter. I give it for what it’s worth.
Hoping you are blessed with good health, I remain, dear Mother, — Charley
Write at least twice a week.