Feb 2nd 1864
I will now take a few spare minutes to answer your kind Letter and I hardly know what to write as there is nothing interesting going on1 but I do love to write to you for I know you like to hear from me. It would more than pay me if I could only see you open and read it but I do not doubt the interest you have in me and I believe its the kind Letters from home that keep up my Spirits when everything else is down but we do have such times jumping playing Ball & piling on each other that it would be impossible for one to have the blues.
I had a real good Letter from Mr. Daniels2 and have answered it. There are not many who knows what a good Man he is & then he is full of his fun, If anybody enjoys good harmless fun & joking it is a Christian, no matter how good he is, & I believe it helps him along to enjoy himself as a Christian.
I was much surprised to hear of Sammy Cox death,3 how quiet he always was, but he looked good and I used to talk with him, I liked to see him so earnest in his way. He is better off now & although he never was so smart as others I think his quiet & happy way was an example that will not be forgotten.
The last Mail brought me two Books "Guide to Holiness" & I love to read them; such reading interests me now for I feel that God's blessing is upon me and I have no desire other than to live according to his word. I have been reading lately that part of the Testament you spoke of "Building on a Rock" & I think the 19th Chapter of Mathew will interest you as much as me.
Sunday A.M. I went to Church & heard a sermon from Mathew 7th & 29th it was real good and interesting. the Church is crowded every Sunday with Soldiers and we have good Singing, one of Co. C. plays on the Melodeon & Mr. Mudge leads the Singing.
I can guess how you went to work to get Father to write & fill up your Letter, & I guess you thought you should have to fill it up yourself. Did you? Well: I dont expect him to write very often but tell him I shall write to him soon.
I am very glad Hattie has got up again & I hope she will take good care of herself. How is little Cad? I suppose she dont like it because I dont write to her, any way I must send a few lines to Hat, & will remember her next time sure. Tell John I think of the time when that Donkey threw him in the dirt & scraped his face, every time I look in the Glass, for my Face (left side) is pretty well scraped from a squabble in the dirt, otherwise I feel Tip Top.
Remember me to all & give my Love to Father & all the family.
From your Aff. Son
1 The Regiment History capsulated January 1864: "For Several weeks, the brigade stood under arms from daylight until after sunrise, while the pickets deployed in skirmish line, but the guerillas never fulfilled their threat of dining in Baton Rouge. The health of the regiment was remarkably good through the winter, some companies reporting every man for duty, notwithstanding the fact that they were on picket twice a week, exposed to all the storms of the season."
2 Mr. Daniels: This reference is uncertain. There were two Daniels families living in Dorchester that Henry may have know; Charles Daniels had a jewelers business on Washington St. and John Daniels, a blacksmith shop on Commercial Street (they were both originally from Charlestown). Also living on Washington street was John D. Moulton whose wife, Anna Noyes, was from Acton, Mass where Corporal Charles Moulton, of Henry's Company, was from.
3 Sammy Cox's death: Samuel H. Cox was a soldier in the First Regiment, Mass Vol. Infantry. He was from Dorchester, a cabinet maker, age 31, when he enlisted in August 1862. On July 2, 1863, at Gettysburg, he was wounded and sent home, where he died of Bronchitis, January 9, 1864. It's possible that Henry learned of Sammy Cox's death in Mr. Daniels letter.