19 September 1862

Arlington Heights
September 19, 1862

Dear Nellie,

Since I last wrote, we have marched from Camp Kearney to this place — a distance of six miles. We were about one mile to the east of Washington and now we are five southwest of the city on the road to Bull Run. We came here Wednesday. We were marched back through the city and across long bridge over the Potomac into Virginia.

Our encampment is on a small hill with a brook close by it where we can wash anytime we choose. I washed some of my clothes yesterday and think I got them quite clean. We have the same tents as we had in the other camp. I wrote you that I had the ague in my face. I have had it lanced by the M.D. and it is now well.

I was on picket duty last night and had twenty men under me. I got along finely and this morning had the honor of taking two suspicious looking men that came into our camp. I passed them over to the officer of the day & he sent a squad of men with them to the next camp where they said they belonged. I have not heard how they made out.

Troops are as plenty here as round stones are in Connecticut. I can see encampments on every side as far as I can see and that is not a beginning. All the boys from Ledyard and vicinity are well and all others as far as I know. Capt. [John E.] Wood has been appointed chaplain of the regiment. I don’t know who is to fill his place but suppose Lieutenant [James H.] Latham.

As we came through Washington, we passed very near the celebrated Washington Monument. I don’t think much of the city. Take out the public buildings and their surroundings and the place would be nothing. There is the most old barns, sheds, and hovels in the place that I ever saw in one city. I am inclined to think this a rather barren place. The only cultivated spot I have seen is a garden close by our camp and that don’t look very flourishing.

Our camp is surrounded with forest trees such as we have at home — only smaller. They are mostly oaks, however. I have not seen a chestnut tree since we passed Baltimore.

I shall expect to get a letter from you tomorrow. I don’t know how soon we may leave this place but you can direct your letters to Washington & they will [be] forwarded to our camp.

Give my love to all and tell Noyes I shall write to him soon. Perhaps I may write a short letter to Aunt & send it in this. I have written to [my brother] Bob. Write me all the news &c. I want to know how ice sells. It is retailed at $1.00 per 100 lbs here.

Your loving husband, — T. L. B.

The unfinished Washington Monument as it looked in 1862. It was used as a slaughterhouse during the Civil War. This drawing from Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper.