Pleasant Valley, Maryland
Wednesday, October 22, 1862
According to the promise which I made in my last (of Sunday) that I would write you about middle of the week, I now commence to scribble a few lines which I hope will be considered as a fulfillment of the same. It is blowing a gale of wind today and has blown all night. The air is so filled with dust that at times it is impossible to face it, and it sifts through the openings in my tent and settles on my paper so that I have to stop and blow it off every few minutes.
But by the way, we have got just the nicest little tent that could be got up out of two rubber blankets and such other material as we could pick up. Charlie [Gallup] & I are together and so fix up things as we think best.
The regiment was excused from drill Monday afternoon so that they could fix up tents so I got a pass for C[harlie Gallup] and myself, and we went off on a foraging expedition. We found part of an old tent and an old sack and got a bundle of straw. With the piece of tent and sack, we fastened up the ends of our blankets and have got boards running all round the sides to keep the wind out and I have made a lamp out of a sardine box and made a shelf to keep it on. And to make a long story short, we have got the most comfortable tent that we have ever had and Charlie thinks more of it that he does of his house in Mystic.
We get newspapers everyday and as far as I have read, the news seems to be favorable. This morning the paper says that 10,000 rebels have taken the oath of allegiance. I saw the New York Herald of the 17th which speaks of the gunboats at New Orleans and their being fired into by the rebels. The ____ was not hit by them. The rebel ship Alabama has been doing considerable damage if reports are correct. I saw among the list of ships taken by her the name of a bark Alert. I would like to know if it is the one owned in New London.
The hours for drill have been changed and now run as follows. From 9 to 11 a.m. and from 1½ to 3 p.m. — making all together 3½ hours per day — and Saturdays we are to have no drill whatever so that we can have time to wash our clothes, clean our guns, &c. I don’t know but we are going into winter quarters and don’t know as we are. In fact, don’t know anything about it.
I shall answer Noyes’ and Jimmies letters soon.
So Perry Stoddard is dead? Well what won’t come next. I begin to think that Ledyard is losing her full quota of young men, [even] if she was so slow in enlisting them. I shall expect a letter in the next mail which I suppose will come tonight.
Wednesday evening, 8 o’clock. I did not get a letter this time but got those papers. Was very glad to get them but was disappointed at not finding that braid enclosed. Did you send it? I thought perhaps it had been taken out.
I had not heard of the death of young Adams. I shall inquire of Rogers about him.
It has been quite cool for several days and we have had some frost. There, writing the word frost puts me in mind of Lucy. Do you hear from her now? Of course you will get that salt cellar when you go to Williamsburg. There is any quantity of butternuts and some chestnuts here. I have got about two packs of envelopes so you won’t have to send me anymore at present but you may send a sheet of paper once in a while. I write so often that I don’t seem to have much of interest this time.
I am well and so are all the others from our way. Give my love to all and remember me as ever. Your loving husband, — T. L. B.