5 May 1863

how

Camp near Middleburgh, Kentucky
Tuesday, May 5th 1863

My dear Father and Mother,

There has nothing of any particular consequence happened since I last wrote (May 3) except that yesterday afternoon we changed our camping ground for a better one. Soon after we started, a violent storm—or rather shower—came up and we got thoroughly soaked before we got the camp pitched. These showers come up very suddenly and we very often get caught before we are aware that one is brewing.

In my last letter I believe I called the town nearby by the wrong name. It is Middleburgh—not Milledgeville. We are waiting for “further orders.” May stay here a week and may have to start in an hour. Now how would you like to be in a place where you cold not tell whether you were to stay for a week or start off in the middle of the night with fifty or more pounds of luggage strapped about you? and have it raining like furry about the time that all the tents were struck down? But such is a soldier’s life and I have got so used to it that I am not particular whether it rains or shines. If it shines, we sat, “Well, this is better than a ducking.” If it rains, we say, “This is better than to be melted by the sun.” It is for us to obey orders. Weather is no account.

Gen. Hooker is doing a big thing [at Chancellorsville] so I hear by the papers. Sincerely hope he will succeed in his undertaking for it will be a grand step in the closing of the war.

Gen. Banks is a bully man and equal to any emergency if the papers tell the truth. He has been thrashing them for a few days past in right good earnest. Now I want to see Rosecrans, Burnsides, Foster and Peck make a strike for the better and I really believe that this infernal rebellion will be among the “things that were.” You know I have said that August or September would see the last of it. Now watch and see if it is not so.

I am willing to do my part in this closing struggle. Hope I shall be true blue and not show the white feather and if I get through all safe, I will come home and be all over my fight and be a kind of a steady fellow.

I wish you would tell me the address of she that was Hattie Hoadly for I may possibly have to go to those parts sometime and would like to see her. At any rate, I would like to write to her. It may be for my interest to do so. Perhaps I might get wounded and sent to a hospital near there and then the sight of a familiar face would be highly consoling. We don’t know what may happen.

I have not received a letter from anyone since I received that of Mother’s. What is the reason? Why do not Jerome or Calvin write? I answered their letters a long time before we left Newport News and not the first word have I heard from them since. It’s rather tough, isn’t it?

But my letter is growing long and I will cease writing. I fear you will have to spend most of your money for my unpaid letters. I would certainly prepay them if I had the stamps. Some of the boys but this appropriate inscription on their letters.

Soldier’s letter.
Push it ahead.
Hard tack scarce
but no soft bread.
Five month’s pay due,
But “nary red.”

Wishing for the best, I subscribe myself yours affectionately, — Charley

Next Letter: 9 May 1863