Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Bates Letters - June 13, 1862

Note: In which we find out that Charlie's managed to get in trouble again, although not exactly why yet.

Camp near Richmond
June 13th 1862
Dear Parents,

Two Sundays have passed and the third has arrived since I last wrote to you. I have received two from Johnson within that time, one of them I got yesterday, the other over a week ago, but I have been in durance vile (underlined) since the first of the month until last Friday so I had no chance to write before. I suppose you were anxiously looking for letters every day, and thought I had been put out of the way by some evil minded rebel, or else had forgotten you, but accidents will happen, and I was the victim to the extent of fourteen days confinement. I was consoled in my captivity by a visit from Ammi Hull. What ever change may have come over the rest of creation, he is the same old-fashioned Ammi. We had a long talk about old times and new times.

One remarkable effect of my confinement was a change of mind. I have determined not to reenlist until I try citizens life for a while. I have been trying to imagine how I could go home next September but have not hit on a plan yet. Perhaps I might get a furlough, but it is only perhaps, yet.

You need not keep that money for me. I sent it home for you to use and I want you to do it. I shall have as much as I want to when I am discharged, all I want to do is just to send enough money home to pay my board and lodging for a few weeks when I come home and a little to spare if I have it.

I wonder if the weather is as hot down your way now as it is here now. I feel like taking off my flesh and sitting in my bones in the shade to keep cool, I don’t see how the soldiers manage to work on the fortifications this day for it is just about boiling hot.

The Officers are getting better now. Instead of putting a guard on the secesh cherry trees and strawberries, they let us eat all we want, bully for them. The rebels are sure of whipping us here but our boys are just as sure they won’t, and I think the same. It will be some time before the trial comes if the secesh don’t attack us first.

I have been having a sort of day-dream about home, trying to think how everything will appear when I see it, but can’t form any idea. I can remember how it was the last time I was at home but there has been changes since. It is nearly seven years, one third of my life almost. I think if I could go up to Herds Hill after berries, and through the fields by spruce bank and down there awhile, it would do me a thousand dollars worth of good. If I don’t come home till January, Mother must have lots of apple sauce made for me.

I have to stop writing now but shall write again in two or three days so
Charles E. Bates

I received the postage stamps. I also send you home more money, use it.
Charles E. Bates

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