[Note: This letter was written by William H. Hodgkins of Co. B, 36th Massachusetts Vols. He served as the Acting Adjutant from January 19, 1863 to May 31, 1863; Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, First Brigade, First Division, 9th Army Corps from June 1 to July 30, 1863; He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant on 17 October 1863 and breveted a Major when he mustered out of the service in 1865. He wears Captain’s bars in this image.]
Headquarters 36th Mass. Vols.
Erin Station, Tenn.
February 10th 1864
Your letter asking for information in regard to your son Charles H. Howe of this regiment has been received. In the absence of Col. Bowman, I have opened the letter and proceed to give your letter my earliest attention. During the siege of Knoxville, the service of every able bodied man was required to repel the attack of the enemy. All the clerks in the A. A. A. G.’s Office were relieved. After the enemy had left the vicinity of Knoxville, our army was sent in pursuit and while encamped near Rutledge, your son with five others of his company was detailed as a guard to a mill where wheat was ground for the use of the troops. The rebel cavalry made a dash on this mill and the guard, your son with the rest, was captured, and I presume he has been sent to Richmond or to the Eastern portion of Tennessee. Nothing has been heard from him since. He was in good health at the time he was captured. This occurred on the 16th of December near the town of Rutledge.
He was a good soldier and a fine young man. He was much liked at Brigade headquarters and was relieved not from any fault of his, but because the services of a clerk were not required. Hoping you will soon hear from him, I remain respectfully your obedient servant, — Wm. H. Hodgkins, 1st Lieut., Acting Adj.
To E. W. Howe, Esq., No 152 West 29th Street, New York