Baton Rouge Jan 24th 1864
Your kind New Years Letter arrived in good time and as I am fortunate enough to be off duty I have time to answer it besides numerous others. It is a beautiful day, quite warm and has been uncomfortably so for the past week. I dont know what you would think to see such weather in the middle of Winter. We have had the coldest weather here this Winter for 18 years but I would admire a good time of it at home no matter how cold it may be.
I am very sorry Hattie has been so sick but feel satisfied you have got her well before now. I hope you can take care of me the next time I need it but no knowing what is before me I am enjoying the best of health now and the Summer will not effect me as it did last. It could not have such a chance for I cant see much hard work before us.
I expected to go on Picket to day so I did not get a pass to go to Church which I would like to do. Our Capt. might let us go & I would go but he came near breaking Corp. Weston1 for going.
It done me good to hear you tell of Mr. Daniels and your Company. Oh! how much I am deprived of. I dont allow myself to think of it much and it does not trouble me for I can find enough to do. I love to read my Bible & try to be good for I feel so much happier and how easy one can controll himself. Dont you find it so the longer you are a Christian? I dont know as my trials are very great, may they never be any worse. I hope Johnny & Lute will try to be better and I have no doubt they will. I dont think to much talk would be relished by them but at the right time a few words would be everything.
I got a good Letter from Johnny the last Mail and I shall try and answer it soon. He has got a good chance and I have no doubt he will make a good steady Man and I hope a Christian. I think much different of religion from what I use to and find as you say, that we must live for it and never grow weary. I think we are apt to forget that we owe to God for all our prosperities and are apt to lean to much on ourselves. I mean to commence new every day & live nearer to him and I know there are to many Prayers for me, for him to disregard them. I know he is good to me and I owe him my services which I freely give & find for my worldly as well as eternal interest. We want religion to live by.
I am glad Daniel comes to see you & I want you to write me about him and how he and his Wife get along.2
Tell Father I shall write to him soon, also Johnny & Lute. Give my Love them all & have them all write as well as yourself.
With much Love I remain Your Aff. Son Henry
1 Henry's comment that the Captain came near breaking Corp. Weston (Alfred Weston of Needham) seems a bit quizzical as Weston had just been promoted sergeant the beginning of January. Perhaps the Captain and Weston cooked up the story to discourage others from dodging work details by attending church services.
2 'Daniel' was Daniel Moulton. Daniel and Henry's father, Luther Moulton, were cousins and resided near each other in Milton (1850 Census). Daniel's first wife was Martha Crossman, eldest surviving daughter of Nathan Crossman of Milton. She died in 1859 and Daniel married again, December 26, 1861 — thus Henry's inquiry as to how Daniel and his wife get along.