8 October 1862

howe8

Pleasant Valley [Maryland]
October 8, 1862

Dear Father & Mother,

Yesterday morning at three o’clock found us on a march. We ascended and descended two mountains and are now in Pleasant or Middletown Valley about twelve miles from where we started from and three or four from Harper’s Ferry. We, from the beginning, have travelled a roundabout course as you will see by the little map I have drawn. A short march over the Catoctin Mountain will carry us back to Frederick. The map may not be correct in every particular but it shows about the position of the fights and the course we came. The three mountains are only a part of a long chain of them which I think are the Blue Ridge but whether they are or not, I have been over a part of them twice and hope never to cross them again. Why the last road we came over—no, not road, and to call it a cart path would be insulting our Yankee farmers—was full of stones, rocks, and timber and so crooked that if you took the Greek alphabet and Amazon river and tie a dying snake on the end of all, it would be no more to the path than a fly to a quarter of beef. It was the hardest march we have made and I am so tired that it will take a week to rest me.

map1

map2

It is a splendid camp. Imagine a large plain surrounded by mountains and a little stream of water running through the plain and you will have a good idea. We expect to stay here for some time. I hope we shall for the boys are all tired and sore.

I have not received a letter since I last wrote. When you get this letter, tell me how many you have received for I don’t know whether this is the seventh or eighth that I have written to you. I wrote to Howard this morning.

I have no news to write except that postage stamps are not to be had out here. Therefore, I have to get my letters franked. I am well and calculate to keep so but I am tired so I will close. With much respect to you all, I remain as usual yours truly, — Charley

P. S. Send me a few stamps and some newspapers and story papers. My address in future will be.

Chas. H. Howe
Co. I, 36th Reg. Mass. Vol.
Washington D. C.
9th Army Corps

Next Letter: 10 October 1862