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11th Maine Infantry

Item LTR-6309
February 12, 1862 Henry C. Long
Price: $185.00


Original Civil War soldier's letter. 8 pages written in period ink.

Carver Barracks
Washington, D.C.
February 12th 1862

Dear Wife,

I received yours of the 5th last Monday noon and should have answered it right away but I have always wrote you Wednesdays and Sundays ever since I came here with the exceptions of two or three times and it has become a sort of habit with me, whether I have anything particular to write or not, which is very seldom that I do. I have got so sick of the “Old Barracks” that anywhere is preferable to them. I had rather go south by all means than to stay here a month longer. If we were only moving, I should enjoy better health. It is impossible to live here without having a cold the whole time and I must say that I never got so sick of anything in my life. And if ever a set of men will be happy, it will be when they get out of these dirty coops. I do not know how it is, but I feel that our stay here is short. Something tells me that we shall be discharged by the first of March. I have seen nothing of it in the papers since I wrote you last. But perhaps before I write you again, the Bill will have passed. It takes a good while to fix up all of these things. There is a great many things for them to do.

I see that they have not got all of the traitors out of Congress yet. But I expect they will if they have time enough to do it in. We are all getting impatient about the Bill and some of the boys say that it will not pass. But they have no grounds for saying so and are only discouraged, but I am not by any means. I think when a Bill comes up in Congress and there is no objections to it on either side, that it stands a very good sight to pass. I can see it in no other way and it appears that everyone is in favor of dispensing with such unnecessary expense. I see pieces in the papers every day about it. It costs five and a half millions of dollars to pay for the music in one year besides, their subsistence which makes a very large bill in the course of two or three years. When I come to look at these things, I feel perfectly safe in telling you that I shall be at home in the spring. I should not be surprised if the Bill passed this week. It is in the mill and has got to go through all the machinery to make it a law and when it comes out, it will be all right. So we keep up good courage and wait a while longer.

I have wrote nothing all over the other sheet and I don’t doubt but I shall do the same with this for nothing is all I can think or find to write about.

I should kinder like to know what Joe Shaw has been doing that you love him so well. I always knew that he was a regular woman’s man. But I did not think that you would set your caps for him. I wrote him the first day of last month and have received no answer – and to tell the truth, I don’t care whether he writes or not. There can no one tell me anything [about] Joe Shaw for I am acquainted with him. But to be earnest, what has he been up to? Has he been meddling with your affairs in any way? If he has, I will write him another letter that perhaps will not be quite so friendly. I should not mistrust such a thing of him if I did not know that he was always sticking his nose where it was not wanted. But I expect that I am a little hasty for I recollect that you never liked him very well and know of no one that can blame you.

You have not wrote a word about Elijah – whether he was dead or living. I should like to see his old physique if he was out here, he could get any quantity of Bible men to talk with. I have a quarrel with them sometimes. There is only one in the house that will agree with me that is Buck. We have to stand the whole of them, which we can do without any trouble.

It is muddy here, as usual. But not so much rain. It snows occasionally but not much at a time. The rainy season is about drawing to a close. It is over in March.

I presume that you have got your money by this time. If not, you will get it when Loring goes to Buckfield. I requested him to carry it to you and he will probably do so. As you are in no hurry for it, I thought that a good way. But I suppose that he could not get it without your receipt or order or something. I supposed that my order was just as good, but I guess that it is not.

I think of no more this time, so please excuse the many blunders I have made and write soon. Also accept this poor letter. Your affectionate husband, - Henry C. Long

Mrs. H. C. Long