Newport News [Virginia]
March 2nd 1863
My dear Parents,
A letter from Mother dated February 20th and a letter from Father dated the 26th have been received and from the content I should judge that some of my letters have been lost or not as yet taken from the Post Office for I wrote to you the day after arriving here and at least twice since. In your letters you say you can find nothing of the 9th Corps and that’s why I think you have not got my letters.
I am glad to hear that Eddie is better and hope he and father will enjoy their visit very much. I wish I could be with them If I wouldn’t put the cider and apples out of the way, then I’m a sinner. Perhaps I shall be able to in a very short time for the story has been going the rounds for a week that the 36th [Massachusetts] is to be disbanded and sent home. The reasons for this are that it is the most expensive regiment that has left the State, there being over hundred married men and there are a great many more that draw State Aid.
Now if the Conscription Bill passes, Gov. Andrew can call us home, muster us out, and then all able-bodies men between eighteen and forty-five will be subject to the draft. Drafted men will receive no State Aid and you can bet your life that none of the discharged men will volunteer again. For my part, I shall travel after I am eighteen (that is, if I am sent home) and keep clear of the cussed [army] for if I am once out of this service, I’ve no notion of ever coming into it again.
Another thing that makes the boys sure that we are going home is that all detailed and detached men are ordered to report to the regiment immediately. It does look as if there was something in it but I can not believe that it will be my good luck to get home before my three years are out. But one thing is sure—that this regiment is going to leave this brigade and go somewhere. The Ninth Corps will be broken up and put on duty in divisions at Fort Monroe, Newport News, Norfolk, and Suffolk.
I’ve no time to write more just now and so I will close. I think I write pretty often. Hope you are all enjoying health. Love all enquiring friends. — Charley