PS Always think of me as being in the best Spirits and perfectly happy & contented
Oh how I wish you could look in on me NOW I guess you'd smile "some"
New Orleans Feb 24th 1863
We recieved your kind Letter dated the 10th, and directed to Luther, yesterday & I can assure you it was welcome. It has been reported that we have lost a large Mail off the Flordia Coast, and we have probably lost several Letters from you, and no doubt we have lost some before. it would be strange if we had not.
Some of the Letters which came to the Boys dated the 4th said the Money last sent had been rec'd, but we have heard nothing from it so I suppose the Letters must have been lost. Luther has just told me about his writing for a Box which he will get without any trouble, I hope I shall be here to enjoy it with him, but I should not be surprised if we left before a great while for the Expedition we have just returned from has not been given up.
Luther is getting along nicely and looks better every day. he has a lame Leg (the result of the Fever) which is a good thing for him for it will keep him from rushing round too much He has real good quarters, the best of care (rather too much he thinks) and goes out most every day. I suppose he has written you a pretty good Acct. of his sickness so I shall only be throwing away time and Paper by dwelling on it.
We are having some beautiful weather and I dont think I ever felt better in my life. I will tell you something which you did not know & perhaps I'd ought to told you before but it dont, & has not troubled my conscience any. When Lute first wrote of my being sick, I wrote that I was better, which I was but not well, and as Lute was taken Sick I wrote that I was getting along, or did not mention my health at all, for I thought one was enough for you to worry about.
Well! I did not do a mite of duty from the 1st of Jan. until the 8th of Feb.1 going up the River built me up and I am now fatting up like a Pig and weigh 135 lbs having gained 10 lbs within a fortnight, and I shall soon pull down 150, but I suppose I must give in to Johnny for the Present. You asked if I read my Bible and was trying to be good. Well! I am better than when I left, home and have read my Testament most through and can say that I love to read it very much The Boys read their Bibles a great deal even those who practice them least.
I am well aquainted with the Hospital Steward, and get anything I may want Like extract of Ginger to warm me and yesterday I took a dose of Salts, I can take care of myself pretty well now.
We have Battallion Drills most every day and yesterday a Brigade drill under Gen Goodin. Our Second Lieut Mitchell is promoted (Through influencial Friends) and is on Banks Staff. Lieut Waitt is Sick. I dont know the cause & Capt Wade being Officer of the Day it left us without a Commissioned Officer today & Lieut Nash of the Abington Co (Co. C) took command.2
Our Lieut Coll.3 is a thick Headed Man and dont know as much as half the Men in the Ranks. We call him the Jack of Clubs and other names that are characteristic of him. We all like Col Ingraham4 very much and he is a very smart and Military Man, but the smart ones are not in the right place.
Mr Nute was dsidedly wrong when he said we know not the reason of our ill success, It is useless to talk, but any Man of common sense, who can read the Papers can see for himself. perhaps you say we cant depend on them. I say we can to a certain extent, if we did not we would be fools to read them. tell Mr Nute so & tell me what he say's to that.
I am glad to hear Hattie gets along so well. how is little Car? Oh! how I should like to see her. I will write to her a few lines. Write me how Father and John gets along. do they Box any now? I am sorry about Fathers knee. Make him take good care of himself & do so yourself. Id like to see you walking after I get home. Give my love to them all —Hen
1 Henry is listed present on his Company's muster roll for January and February.
2 This paragraph requires explanation. There appears to have been problems in Henry's regiment with its officers (Regimental History). Henry wrote 1/29/63 that Lt Waitt is detested by the whole regiment; and 11/15/62 that our captain (Wade) "is a real baby and not fit for a captain." James H Wade (at right) enlisted as a captain 18 days after Henry enlisted. He was 22 and his occupation was given as "clerk." Lt. Waitt and Captain Wade resigned March 7, 1863. Captain Wade would join the Massachusetts 4th Heavy Artillery regiment in August 1864 and serve out the war (occupation this time listed as "salesman"). Lt. Mitchell resigned March 23, 1863 and died onboard ship on way home.
3 Our Lieut Coll. refers to Lt. Col. William L. Rodman — more on him later.
4 A good officer, he would leave the Regiment in September to assume the post of Provost Marshall, Wash. D.C. and later be Brevetted Brigadier General.