Baton Rouge Feb 9th 1864
Your last Letter is recieved and I will try to answer it although I know of nothing interesting to write! the fact is I am played out for the present and when the last two Mails (but one) brought me no Letters I was glad of it, but no Letter from home has ever been unwelcome.
I think I shall limit my correspondence again as I do not have much time to spare. I was very glad to hear of your going to Mr Teeles and seeing so many of my old Friends: I know they do not forget me by what I hear in more than one way. I used to play with Stilly Tuckur and many others round the old School House. they were the happiest days of my life and I love to think of them, although it makes me feel Sad. I hope to live some time yet in the old Town of Milton & always near there.1
I am very sorry you worry so much about John but I know he does give you cause; he is now to old to force him, if you ever could, & I would talk with him kindly & leave it with God. I shall write to him very soon & if I can I will touch him in the right spot. I am glad to see such force in him. I always noticed it & if applied the right way he will make a good mark. Now don't talk to him in such a way as to make him mad, but talk kindly & try & tell him how much better it is to be trying to be good & he will take more notice of it.2
I am glad Hattie is well again & think she was very lucky to get well at all: she must be considerable help for you. How I should like to see little Charlie for he must be a smart one by what you all write about him. I think if I had been there when he laid down the Boards I should have done the hanging out. I hope you don't do your own washing: do you? I wash out all my things but my Shirt and Draws & them I never shall make a practice of washing again.
It is trying to be hot to day but a good cool breeze prevents it. I wonder if we shall have much to do this Summer. I hope not & I think there is a Fair prospect of our staying here. I like the place very much which is more than I can say of any other part of the State except Plaquemine.
Last Sunday was a beautiful Day & I went to Church in the forenoon. There are 3 Churches & they are most always full. The Boys of our Co go since we can go without a pass. I often think of dear Luther & I miss him. Oh! how much I do think of him now we are separated, but I think it will not always be so & when I am with you all then I will prove how much I think of you.
There is one thing I will say & close, Your love for showing my Letters dont work well for me, & if you show any more I must be careful what I write.3 I will explain when I write to Lute
Write soon — Your Aff. Son Henry
1 This paragraph has several interesting references: Mr. Teele was Rev. Albert K. Teele, pastor of Milton's First Evangelical Church (1850-1875). 'Stilly Tucker' (Stillman Tucker) was the son of Stillman L. and Sarah T. Tucker. The Teeles and Tuckers were close neighbors and lived near the 'old School House'. In 1859 a new school house was built and the old school house was converted into a dwelling house that stood on the east side of Clapp street, near Central avenue (1887).
2 John, Henry's brother, was seventeen, two years younger than Henry. He married Susan Walker from Dorchester. One of their daughters, Etta Francis, married Richard H Schmidt, a Boston physician, and their son Richard Henry Schmidt, became the treasurer of the Milton Savings bank at 62 Adams Street, Milton — he died in 1973.
3 Henry had a paranoia about having his letters and pictures passed around, see his July 2, 1863, letter.