Knoxville, East Tennessee
September 28th 1863
My dear Mother,
Last night we received a mail—the first we have had for a fortnight and in it was a letter from you. I do not feel surprised to hear you are feeling a little anxious about me, but really this is the first opportunity we have had for sending letters since we left Crab Orchard on the 10th. You probably have ‘ere this received the map and diary that I sent you on the 2nd inst. Also the note stating we were about to make an advance.
Well, we have reached Knoxville and are expecting to go to Chattanooga. But some say that the rebs are near here and a battle is imminent and that we have got to stay to defend the place. I keep my diary every day and at a favorable opportunity I will send you a true copy thereof which includes the marches, towns, distances, incidents &c. &c. I would send it now but have neither space nor time.
When we first began the march, our company received the “Memorials” that we had subscribed for, and I have carried mine until last night when I sent it to you. It will make quite an ornament for your room. You and father will please accept it as a present from one far away. The spaces at the end of each name is left for remarks, deaths, desertions, promotions, transfers, &c. &c. and I will send you a list at some convenient time that you may copy then at your leisure. If I am ever fortunate enough to get home, I hope to see that “record” in a neat frame hanging on the walls of your room.
But my time is limited and I must close. Write to father immediately and let him know that I have not forgotten him and will not neglect to write to him at the first opportunity. I am entirely well and have rid myself of that diarrhea. How, you inquire? By eating apples. I almost lived on them. And although have been on the march nearly three weeks, I never felt better in my life. Never fear that I am in the hospital sick. If I ever come to that, I shall write or send immediately. Hoping this will find you and the little fellows enjoying yourselves in good health, I remain, your affectionate son, — Charley
Do send me some postage stamps. They are not to be had here and I am ashamed to send my letters without them. — Charley Henry Howe