New Orleans Jan 29th 1863
As the Mail closes very soon and may not give me a chance to send again for a few days. I will improve the opportunity by writing a few lines to tell you we received your Letters and quite a number of Papers which we were very glad of. It makes me brighten up to see one of those large Family Letters and especially to read them. I tell you there are no other such Letters that get into this Company or more welcome ones.
I got a Letter from Louis also several Papers and he wrote about seeing you and such a good Letter. I shall never forget him for I think he has proved himself one of my best Friends and you must treat him as I should. I wonder why I dont hear from Abby for I always answer her Letters and I think she cant have much excuse. I shall write to her soon and give her a talking too. I got a real good Letter from Carrie Lowe and some Papers from Cousin John who I think I shall write to.
I tell you this is the place to find who our friends are. When I was at home I wrote to Henry Westcott1 most every week whether I got an answer or not but now I find I've got to work for a Letter. I detest those friends, have dropped a few of them and shall drop a few more but I shant care as long as I can hear often from home and when I get back I shant know them and shall probably be much better off. Mr. Badger's Son2 was up here to see us yesterday. He is Captain of a Cavalry Company quartered down at the City. he was much surprised at seeing so many Milton Boys. I shall go down and see him the next time I get out.
I dont care much about going outside the lines for I get so tired and as for the City I hate the very name of it. There is not a man there who wears Broadcloth but what is a rank Secesh (secessionist), But I must write you about Lute who has been pretty sick and as the weather came on very cold. I got the Surgeon to let him go into the Hospital where they have excellent accomodation. He went yesterday & this morning felt a great deal better after having a god nights rest. he did not sleep much for two nights and being very nervous it worried him. He has got a Remittant Fever, the same that troubled me. He will write himself the next mail which will go in a few days.
He has not been as sick as I was, but he is so nervous that he cant nor wont bear much as I can. They have good conveniences at the Hospital although they might have better. There is a great Box of Bakers Broma Cocoa & Prestons fixings3 which they have never given the patients so I took a few Papers & have got them in my Tent & we have it for Supper. it will last us while we are here.
It beats all how much the poor Soldier is cheated out of & all the Guard in other Regiments have rations of Whiskey but we dont and there is plenty in the Quartermasters Dept. They keep it for the use of the officers. We have some very poor Officers & Lute has written you about them & I could write some things about them that would make you open your Eyes. Lieut Waitt is detested, not only by our Company but by the whole Regiment. The weather is awful cold nights and we find it difficult to keep warm. We have plenty of Apples now & splendid ones too so I guess we shall get along. We live better lately owing to our new oven & you better believe I do my part of the eating. But I must close. Give my love to all and tell them to make up another Big Letter & you & Father must contribute your share. I shall write again next mail
From your dutiful Son
1Henry Westcott: Henry is listed as a musician on his enlistment record and may have worked with Henry at Ditson's Music store in Boston. See also footnote on Henry Moulton's November 15, 1862 letter.
2Mr. Badger's son: Algernon Sidney Badger was educated at Milton Academy thus he knew many of the Milton boys in Henry's company. Badger was from Boston when he first volunteered for service with the Sixth Mass Infantry as a private. He subsequently served with the 26th Mass Infantry. When he bumped into Henry he was with the First Louisiana Union Cavalry. He would advance in rank and be promoted to colonel for "faithful and meritorious service" in the battle of Mobile Bay in Mobile, Alabama. After the war he served in several important Republican carpetbagger governmental posts in New Orleans. [image credit: Wikipedia.org]
3Bakers Broma Cocoa & Prestons Fixings: Milton Companies/enterprises helped with the war effort. Donations were coordinated by the Milton Branch of the Sanitary Commission (Teele's History, pp 443-4).