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11th New York Cavalry

Item LTR-8539
December 25, 1864 William McGovern
Price: $185.00


Original Civil War soldier's letter. 3 pages, written in period ink.

Headquarters 2nd Battalion Camp of Distribution
New Orleans

December 25, 1864

Dear Fannie,

Your kind letter was received last evening. Thank you for the favor. Fannie, I wish you a “Merry Christmas.” May you enjoy yourself, etc..

I will pass a dry Christmas, neither money or friends. We have not been paid for four months. The regiment has not been paid for eight months. It is too bad to treat soldiers in this way. I see no remedy except in “grin and bear” it. Yet Fannie, I am afraid the grin will be rather malicious.

The day is anything but pleasant, rainy and foggy and when we do have a fog here, it is one of the kind we read about in the history of England and elsewhere, it beats the “Dutch” fog two to one.

I have not had a letter from Mrs. Master for some time. They were all well when last heard from. I think Sarah will take up room keeping. I have about persuaded her to that way of thinking. If she should conclude to do so, she will take a house or part of one in Bloomfield. I am not in favor of visiting by whole families. David was well and enjoying himself hugely. I suppose he has written to you before this time.

Well Fannie, I have just returned from dinner. We had roast pig. It was rather nice. But will not do to brag about. Thankful for small favors. For all that, would like to take dinner with you. Fannie, I hope you are not getting “Old Maidish.” Why you are not quite thirty yet and it will do to begin talking about your spending a solitary life twenty years after you will have reached 60. Do don’t don the habiliments of old age until you have reached your 40th year. I suppose you have changed some during the last two years. Yet I would be able to recognize you in a crowd of one.

Fannie, do you wish me to tell you the truth unvarnished. I will do so. But you must keep it (the secret) to yourself. It would not do to let it out. Fannie, I am very lazy and can hardly keep my eyes open, but please don’t tell on me.

Fannie, we have had a complete change of commanders and men in the camp of distribution. I am the only old man in the business that is left and I am sorry that it is so. This camp is one of the most difficult machines to run in or in any way connected with the army, and as we have all new officers and men. It is all muster. It has not tended to heal my broken temper. I am in hopes that an order will come along relieving me from duty in this camp.

I must bring this letter to a close. I will start by the morning mail, if I can find a postage stamp. Remember me kindly to your Mother and family. Accept best wishes and kind regards.

From your friend,
William McGovern