|November 8, 1861, Poolesville
My dear Wife.
I have turned you off so long with a small sheet I will try to find time oy(?) commencing early, to fill a large one this time. It is cold & fall like today & a hard place to get rid of a cold. We are going to have a fire if possible before night which will make us quite comfortable.
Thomas is still here & I donít know when he will leave. I told him I wanted him to remain as long as he could - seemed to enjoy camp life very well. My cold does not seem to gain much - am out of all patience with it. I received your letter of last Sunday last evening and am sorry to hear you were sick that day. Libbie I donít like to have you dwell so much and mourn over the result of the fight on the 21st-it will do no one any good and makes us both very unhappy. I want you to cheer up and take courage. I have always felt proud of you, for your patriotism in this matter and also in speaking of your sentiments to others.
I have by no means lost faith in the ability of the government to carry this war through successfully, but I must admit that some of our generals are decidedly below par. It may take longer than I at first supposed, but no the whole of the three years. The success or failure of the naval expedition will have a great influence at both sections.
You say Libbie you wish I would come home and that you are sorry I ever went into it. I donít think you mean so bad as that do you? How should I feel to resign and come home for fear of getting into another fight? Should feel as though my room was far preferable to my company. No Libbie I could not think of it for a moment and I know after a second thought you would not like to have me. You know I am in for the war and I should feel sorry to leave as long as there is anything left of the 15th Mass. That was a terrible day and I wish we may never have to witness the like again. You may bet your life we shall not get into another place where we cannot retreat, but I will leave the subject and answer some of the many questions you have been asking me of late & which I can never think to answer when I am writing.
In regard to the time that we shall receive our next pay is a hard question to decide - it is due the 12th of Nov. We may get it in one week from that time, & it may be three. Our last was due the 12th of Sept & it came the 10th of Oct. At that time I received pay for the month of August as Lieut. & 20 days July as Sergt. Next pay day I shall receive for Sept & Oct. at the rate of $105.50 per month. When Tom goes home I shall ask him to stop in Balt. & collect the bal due me of So___. I seem to have lost all ___ of how much there is due - he let me have $15.00 when there you know. That I hope will keep you along till I can send some more. I did not expect you would salt down the whole of what I sent you.
Saturday Afternoon. This is a very rainy day and I am in one of the tents of the men where they have a fire, some three or four of the men with Thomas are putting in a furnace (as we call them) into my tent. It is arranged thus. A trench is dug through the center of the tent and out some three feet to the rear, which is covered with flat stones, for a chimney they use three barrells lined with clay mud - the fireplace or firebox is down on a level with the bottom of the trench & nearly out of sight. It is truly a great contrivance & keeps the ground warm & dry. The men lay with their feet over the trench which of course keeps them warm. I have heard they were invented by some of the Rhode Island troops but donít know about the truth of it - about half of our men have got them, and they have two or three at head quarters.
Has Col Devens been in Fitchburg yet? I think he will have a house full to hear him & think he will prove interesting. He can make as good a speech as the next man. Do you hear anything about Port Kimball enlisting men for our company? One of our Winchendon men has received a letter stating that there are four men there all ready to come and take the places of the 4 missing from that place.
You have doubtless seen by the papers that Capt Simonds with the other, Bowman, Studley & Rockwood & Lieuts Greene Vasall & Hooper are prisoners in Richmond. It must be a great relief to his wife. He will in all probability some time be home again, & if it is possible to exchange another Capt for him, he would be able to join the company again, otherwise he would have to give his parole not to enter the service of the U.S. again. There are doubtless from 150 to 200 men of the 15th there with them which will make the no. killed and missing quite small comparatively. Well Libbie I as set back completely, when I read that note you copied from uncle Kelsey. Where did he get his information I wonder? Of course it is a consolation to me to know that I done my duty satisfactorily to those immediately concerned. I did not come out here to do anything short of it and hope I have
Not - however I suppose I am much obliged to Kelsey for the compliment. He has not found a place to suit him yet I expect. I wish they would make a General of him and put the 15th under him - we would have no more Balls Bluffs scrape. I think from what little I heard him say at Camp Scott that day he would make a shrewd one - should be willing trust him any way. I have got to go over and do some writing for Lieut Goddard. He is at a house over in town. He is quite sick but comfortable. Is terrible uneasy which makes it bad for him. Give my love to all the folks. Good bye with many kisses.
Ever yours Charles.
P.S. Charles Farmer has written to John E. Morseís lady & given all the particulars, which are few indeed of where he was seen last. I have little doubt but what he is a prisoner with the rest.