Newport News, Va.
March 30, 1863
My dear Parents,
Just after I wrote my last letter yesterday, it commenced snowing and has kept up ever since. The snow is eight inches deep on a level. Troops above us were moving all day yesterday although it snowed violently and we expect to move at any moment. I hope not until the storm is over.
There are two reports going the rounds. One is that we go at first back to Baltimore and then take the B&O Railroad for Tennessee to reinforce Rosecrans. The other one—I believe in it—is that Burnsides has taken command of all the northern forts and is going to take his old corps to garrison them. Officers have told us that this is a fact. The Adjutant General told some officers in my hearing that the boys would be agreeably surprised when we reached our place of destination.
One of Col. [Thomas] Welsh’s men told me that he heard the Colonel tell a captain that he had received orders to report his regiment at Baltimore as soon as possible & Gen. Burnsides would be found at the Eutaw House. Col. Welsh’s regiment [48th Pennsylvania] is in our brigade. So you see that one thing is certain, we ain’t going to Suffolk or Port Royal but are going to Baltimore and I feel confident we are going further north than that. By gracious, only let me get North and then I will apply for a furlough—although I have said that I did not want to go home until I could stay. But it’s almighty cold and the only way I can keep warm is to lay still under my blanket.
Hoping we shall have the luck to go north, I remain yours affectionately, — Charles H. Howe, Co. I, 36th Reg. Mass, Vols.
Next Letter: 2 April 1863