Camp of Co. G
August 27th 1863
My dear Father,
Companies G and C were awhile ago detailed for guard and provost duty at Nicholasville. We have been having a first rate time of it with one exception—sickness. The Mississippi Campaign has told on the men terribly. Our two companies together report twenty-eight men fit for duty. The rest are in hospitals.
Our brigade moved today for Crab Orchard and the 36th [Mass.] had eighty-two men that marched. This added to our companies will make one hundred ten effective men for our regiment or just one tenth of the full numbers. What do you think of that? The officers do not average two for a company. The regiment is commanded by a Captain, the Colonel and Lt. Colonel having resigned and the Major home on a furlough. It is a great wonder to me that I have stood it so well as I have had a bad diarrhea ever since we were at Cairo on our return trip. Nothing has as yet checked it and nothing but a hearty appetite has kept me up. I do not lose any flesh but I am very weak comparatively.
Our companies will probably start for Crab Orchard tomorrow. We were paid off a week or more ago. You will perhaps think strange that I have sent home no money for you or [mother] to save. Well I intended to do so but I had a chance to purchase a good watch (at a bargain)—something I am in need of—and it took the largest share of my money. No doubt you think I should save my money for a furlough. Now to tell the truth, I would hardly dare to go north just now. The sudden change of climate has had a great effect on the men and as at present I am well, I think it would hardly be policy to go further north at present.
I am in hopes that if Charleston falls, the Confederacy will soon give up, but who knows how that will be. They are a spunky set of boys and will hold out to the last ditch. It is just one year ago that our regiment were mustered into the service.
You must excuse my neglect in writing you before this. I have told Mother to send you her letters and expected her to do so, thus killing two birds with one stone.
Enclosed please find a few relics of Mississippi. The round ivory is a check used when playing at faro. Found it in Jackson. The $10 Note I got out of a safe that we broke open at Brownsville. I got considerable jewelry at Mud Town. I have a secesh belt and plate, a canteen and haversack, and a button. The button a soldier in Waul’s Texas Legion, 1st Texas Infantry gave me. The haversack came from Chickasaw Bayou. The canteen from Jackson. The belt and belt plate from Vicksburg. They are too large to send in a letter or I should do so.
Please excuse this pencil writing, My pen has give out. Give my love to friends and accept a good share for yourself. Write soon and oblige. Yours affectionately, — Charley H. Howe
Enclosed find a coin of ancient times. — Charley
Send these relics to mother to keep. — C. H. H.