Fortress Monroe Va
Nov 13th 1862
Dear Father & Mother
After reading your kind letters I take my Pen to let you know where we are and how we are getting along. We left our late Camp last Sunday when we laid through a severe Snow Storm the snow being 5 & 7 inches deep and after staying in the City over night left the next afternoon on a small Steamer for the large Steamer Baltic on which we have been and are at present. We arrived here yesterday afternoon. It seems rather strange to be here at the Fortress1 which we had heard so much about, little thinking we should be here so soon. It is a fine place that is what we can see of it & we shall probably see more for they talk of landing us tomorrow. There are quite a number of Steamers lying here with Troops on board & some have gone up the James River as they are having a fight up there and we can hear the Cannon booming off.
I thought the War would soon end. how I would jump at the chance of fighting the Rebels but when I know that it will take Battle after Battle & then nothing accomplished as it has been it is rather discouraging but wherever our Co goes if its in a dozen fights there I shall go & if I fall it will only be doing my duty. We have just received a lot of Papers & while I was writing Lute got my papers but I answered my name when they called & I thought they were all for me for I got about a dozen packages.
Oh! how good it is to hear from home & to know you are not forgotten. If you can give Louis Goulloud anything for me do it for he is my best practical friend except those at home. I wish you could give him some Apples for me. I would not care if it was a Barrell for he sends me Stamps & always asks after Lute. Luther likes him & I have a Letter from him.
Hattie wrote about your not Writing but if you don't feel like it I will excuse you for you have done enough & a great deal more for me than I ever deserved but I mean to do in such a way that when I get home you will not regret it. I am real glad Mother don't worry much about us & know you are too but I think she does some. You must both live as easy as you can that is as Mr. Twombly does or appears to when his wife scolds the children. How I should like to be at home with you Thanksgiving. Wouldn't I stuff? I think so because I am living on Hard Tack as we call it to shingle our insides & Tommy Pierce1 says he wants to eat half a dozen to give him an appetite. I am rather tired of doing nothing and it's rather hard work sitting on a Knapsack with a Board on your Knees and no more light than you can get down here between the Deck's but I have written as well as convenient so you must excuse me or do the next
I will write again soon & do the same as soon as you get this. Give my love to Johnny (I am glad he is a good Boy)3 & all the little ones & tell them to write & also my love to Mrs Nute4 who deserves to be remembered. My love & best wishes to you both & lastly the rest.
from your Affecionate Son
Geo H Moulton
1"A picture is worth a thousand words." Graphics will be inserted from time to time to flesh out Henry's letters. Fortress Monroe served as the key staging ground for the Northern campaign against Norfolk, the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and the Southern Capital of Richmond.
2'Tommy Pierce' is Corporal Thomas L. Pearce, another Milton soldier in Henry's Co. I.
3'Johnny' is Henry's next younger brother who turned sixteen 27 Sep 1862 — perhaps 'good boy' is a pun, as Johnny is just two years younger than Henry.
4'Mrs. Nute' was Hope Nute, wife of Joshua. — They and three of their children appear on the 1860 Milton Census, near neighbors of the Moultons.