21 October 1862

Pleasant Valley
October 21, 1862

My dear father and mother,

We had a mail Sunday and one today. In the first, I received a letter, the spice bag, and papers. And today I received a letter. I am glad you write often for it affords a soldier a great deal of pleasure to hear from home. The spice bag is the greatest invention I ever saw. Before I wore it, I was troubled with the bowel complaint but now I am entirely rid of it and sleep soundly all night while before I was on the trot most of the time.

Mother, I excuse you for showing that letter but don’t show anymore. After reading your letter, I hardly dared to look a man in the face lest he should laugh at me for having my letters read in public. It seemed as if everyone knew it and were commenting upon it. All this to me was because I have been accustomed to such a style in Clinton.

You recollect that I said Frank was in hospital. Well I heard forty different stories but thought that one would sound the best to Mrs. Osgood for I expected of course you would tell her, it being perfectly right you should, but he is in prison and I guess he has an easier time of it than we.

The days are very hot here from 10 a.m. till 3 p.m. but the rest of the time it is uncomfortably cold—bad weather for fever & ague. There is every sign of staying here all winter and the boys are building log huts and houses in order to keep warm. There are as many styles of building them as you see in Duck Harbor.

We have been visited by several boys from the Fifteenth among whom were Josh Freeman, Oren Cutting, Jo. Holman, Wm. Waters, and Elisha Buss. All look well and in good trim. I intend to visit them the first chance I have. I have not heard from Jerome yet and when I trouble them with another letter, I will inform you.

As to Josephine, her excuse is the same that she gave before—she didn’t know my address, after Jorgenson told her two or three times—and I think it will be of no use to give it to her now. But I have growled about long enough for one letter. I hope you will not think me severe on my relations. My mind is like most all others—subject to loves and hates, and if I write a letter when in bad humor, don’t think me hard.

When we get into winter quarters, I will find out the nearest station in order to have a box of fruit and so forth sent me. But I must close for the Taps are beating. I hope father will get cured but the sweating process he has been lame long enough.

Hoping the rest are well, I remain with much love for you all. Yours truly, — Charley

A year ago was the massacre of Balls Bluff. “I wasn’t there.”

Next Letter: 1 November 1862