St. Augustine Jan 31st 1863
Hurrah for brighter days the Steamer Boston arrived last Eve with a Mail of six letters from you, the rest I care nothing about it has been 3 weeks since I have heard from you, & if you knew the pain & pleasure I experienced from the first to the last, in this, that they informed me of the sickness of all that I love, and that you were all better & out of danger, you would know that I feel pretty good that is I feel to thank God that he has spared you all so far also your Uncle Dud, Hurrah 3 times the boat brought orders to send all persons that had Husbands Brothers or Sons in the Rebel employ, to be put on Board of the Steamer Boston to go to H. Head with the view to put them within the Rebel lines Men Women & Children Glory Hunkerism is played out in this Department I hope; the Women have been awfull bitter on us & I dont pity them, but; as I think of my own darling girls back home I pity the children that are obliged to suffer for the political sins of their Parents. this Order will take most of the Whites in the place, & joy go with them they are a D__d pack of Secesh
now Ole Gal dont work too hard I want you to last as long as I do & a little longer hire your hardest work done I expect to get out of this War as poor as Jobs Cat & who the De__l cares if I live to do it, I feel very glad that I have your approbation in the sentiments of patriotism I have written home I feel it & hope to live & prove it, most every day I have long talks with the men they are almost all homesick & care not how the war ends if it will only end, they freely avow that they are willing to have the South acknowledge independent, if they can only get home Bah! I am ashamed of them, I hope Mass men dont talk so. I was in hopes that Box would arrive in this Boat but we have to be patient in the Army, I dont know what we shall do for Money if they dont pay sooner than they did before I am afraid we shall come short all round. I am much obliged to the girls for their letters they write very well I would write to them seperately if I had some small envelopes. I think of them many times each day & night. we have rumors that yesterday was the fourth day of the Bombardment of Savannah & I hope our forces will be successfull if so I would not be surprised if we were ordered to Charleston at any time I hear that a large force is coming to this Dept & we are right for a fight if we ever shall be, the Boat leaves Monday morning I shall write more in the meantime. now I must get ready for Dress Parade. I have been gunning a little while this PM for the first time, I killed 7 birds at 2 shots
Yours as ever
Feb 1st I have just come from inspection it is very plesant. I had beans & B. Bread for breakfast made of I-Meal & hard-tack soaked & mixed it is rather peculiar bread but better than none.
You write that you expect every day to hear of my promotion there is more likelyhood of your hearing that I am struck by Lightning or anything else that is uncommon, for they have changed the Policy & promote by rank, yesterday Mason was promoted to Capt of Co. B, 2nd Lt Hooper of D to 1st Lt of A, & Orderly Bennett of B, to be 2d Lt of D. all this is by rank exactly; and as I am lowest in Rank except Bennett, you will see there will have to be a loss of 9 Capts or 1st Lieuts before I should have a chance a Mans Patriotism dont avail him anything in this case, Red-Tape tells here. now in other Regts each Co has the benifit of the Rank as vacancies occur but we are getting to be regular Army, and I really do not wish to be promoted unless I can get something worth having a 1st Lt dont pay so well as 2d now that is so; now dont be ambitious for me for you will be disapointed I fear, in fact I am quite certain of it.
I have sent you $130,00 as you have recd it I feel very glad that it went safe, keep me posted if you get short & I will do what I can till another pay-day.
There is great commotion among Secesh in this Town as they have got to leave at 7 AM tomorrow I hardly think they can be got ready so soon, it is hard to thrust the Children out in Rebeldom where it is morraly certain they will suffer for food & clothing. but the sin & blame lays at the Doors of Rebels not us; as they sow they & their Families must reap. & the crop of Misery will be extremely large while Death is knocking at every door. God knows I pity them I cant help it, although the Old Ones done deserve one bit of pity, I think many of them will be alowed to come back if they are pretty civil, if not NO.
Eve I think with you, that it is best to leave E, if ever I get out of this, but we can make no calculations for the future with any degree of certanity but I see nothing at present that will bind me to the place, I think we had better build a Log-House Shanty in that woodlot that Father has given me & live in primitive style. There is weeping wailing & gnashing of Teeth among the Secesh at the prospect of leaving in the morning I should not wonder if we had trouble with some of them but go they must in spite of prayers & tears, the Men swear & the women cry, which is far worse for us men to contend with than the swearing of the men ten times over, the men can drive on board at the point of the Bayonet without any compunction & like the fun but any thing "white" that wears a petticoat has a remarkable attraction for us that have been from home so long, did Lilly write her name on one of her letter if so she is a smart girl & I feel very proud of her write me often how your money holds out & I will do the best I can for you, in the meantime dont work to hard & be carfull of yourself keep up good courage & dont worry about Uncle Dud.
As Ever C.S.