Near Fredericksburg, Virginia
December 23rd 1862
My dear Mother,
Having a few leisure moments, I will improve them by writing to you. Sometimes I can find no time for over a week and when I do, depend upon it, I shall write.
The weather has been very cold lately but we have no snow although I suppose you have any quantity in Massachusetts. Today it is quite warm and one can sit very comfortable without a fire.
Yesterday I went over to the 21st [Massachusetts] Regiment and there saw Luther Stewart. He is looking quite well and is in excellent spirits. He says he has been home. Did you see him while he was there? I received the handkerchief and tea that you were so kind as to send out. The handkerchief I wanted for pocket use as my silk ones were all worn out. The tea was very acceptable for we very seldom have any and I drink scarcely any coffee believing it unhealthy. I wish you would send me a little black pepper in some of your letters. It is something I hanker after to eat on beans and boiled beef. Don’t send a great quantity but a little from time to time.
We have not yet been paid off and in all probability shall not until next payday which will be in the last of next February. My boots which I have now worn four months need tapping very much. The right one is worn so that my foot hits the bare ground and when I have to cross a mud hole, it puts my foot in a bad condition. How I dislike to send home for money for I know that you need all you can get but we can’t draw boots and I don’t want to put on shoes in this weather. And if you will lend me two dollars, you shall not go unpaid. I will send you more than double the sum when I can get it. Don’t let Father know it for I am afraid he will think it hard of me when he is earning nothing. I suppose my wants are numerous but really I can’t help it. I will ask for nothing more than I can possibly get along without.
Have you heard from Howard lately? Why in the world don’t they write to me? I wrote them a letter more than a fortnight ago and have received no answer yet. What is the trouble that Ed Osgood don’t answer my letter? Too busy? Well, I won’t trouble him with any more.
Tell Mrs. Buell that I will certainly write her this week. It’s too bad that I have not written before. I answered Josephine’s letter some time since but have not yet heard from her. Expect to soon.
Now I will enquire how you are getting along at home. Are you all well? Is little Wallie as lively as ever? Please write and inform me. As for me, I was never better in my life. Hoping to hear from you soon, I remain with much love for all, — Charlie