Baton Rouge Jan 18641
Your kind Letter arrived last Monday and I thought I would not answer untill today as I have it to myself. It really does me good to recieve those Home Letters for it carries me back to days that have past when we were together but I feel encouraged to hear you are all happy and enjoying the blessings of a good Home. I think of you all very often and it is my wish to live for you and do all I can to make you happy.
Oliver arrived last Tuesday looking tip, top, and in good Spirits. He is in my Tent and we sleep together under the same Blankets. I was much pleased to hear him tell of your looking so well but sorry he did not stop at the house.2
Charlie was lucky to get his discharge on acct. of his health3 but his saying he would rather be carried over oposite than come back would not apply to me for I like Military, and nothing suits me better than a good Thunder shower on Picket or any duty but in the Field as we were last Summer. That we shall have much more fighting is improbable but if we do, I am in the front Rank every time.
We do not hear any news from the Armies & I believe Banks is the only one pushing the Rebs. What do you think of him? I am in hopes to help him into the White House before many years.
How does the patriotic of Milton feel about the draft, and do you think they will have to enforce it? I am glad John is not old enough for the way the war is carried on. if known would discourage any one, He has got a good chance, no mistake & I know he will make the most of it, as for his wrestling abilities I shant be afraid to test them.
I am sorry for Luther, that is health is no better, & I hope you will have him go off and get well before he tries to do much. I think he went to work to soon, dont you? I shall write to him about it but I suppose it wont do much good.
What do you think of their raising our Pay? We are all satisfied I can assure you. Mother says she wont use any more of my Money, & if she dont I shall, anyway I shall make the most of the next 2 mos. pay when it does come. We have not been paid for the last 2 mos. yet, but expect to at any time.
Tomorrow I shall be on Picket, & you at the old place. How I should like to change for a few weeks & be with you. I dont think I am quite so green using an Ax or building a Pig Pen as I used to be. Take things easy & help Mother to enjoy herself all you can, dont be afraid of the old Cabot, but make him do his share.
Remember me to all and accept the love of your
Aff. Son Henry
1 This is the fifth of eight letters Henry addressed directly to his father. The day of the month is not specified.
2 The "Oliver" mentioned in this paragraph may be Oliver Moulton, Superintendent of Forest Hills Cemetery, Jamaica Plain (Henry's uncle). Although no record has been found for an Oliver Moulton from MA serving in the Civil War, a record for him as a class II eligible draftee is on a list dated July 1863. Perhaps Oliver's arrival prompted Henry's question: "How does the patriotic of Milton feel about the draft?"
3 Charlie would be Charles H. Moulton from Acton. He received a Milton bounty upon enlistment but was not counted on the town's quota. Henry mentioned him in earlier letters, and as previously footnoted, he was discharged for disability 27 March 1863, from New Orleans.
4 "The Old Cabot" reference is uncertain. An E. C Cabot appears on the 'Map of Milton 1885' at the east end of Adams Street. Cabot was among the traditional upper class Boston families, coined 'Boston Brahmins' by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., in 1860. The Forbes were of this status. The Milton 1860 Census lists Luther Moulton's (Henry's father) occupation as 'farmer', owning no real estate and with a personal estate valued at $25.00. It's likely Luther worked odd jobs as a laborer/handy man during winters.