Feb 10th 18651
As I have nothing of importance to do this morning I will write you how I am prospering: I have not had much to do since I came back but not because I am not on duty: I am not on the Color Guard now2 so I have to take my turn on Guard and Fatigue duties which is much better for me as I need exercise if for nothing more than to keep me from being lazy. You are glad, I know on account of my being in less danger when there is any fighting to be done but there seems to be little prospect of any thing in that line at present which suits the Boys quite well. We are all enjoying ourselves first rate here though there is any amount of work to do: building Fortifications and cleaning up the Camp Ground. The weather, to Day, is delightful, just the opening of spring and in the Morning the Birds sing just as in Louisiana:
I am hardly sorry that I am here instead of being at home where I came near freezing to death and if I had my Discharge I should rather stay here untill the Sun got up near home:
Day before yesterday I washed my Clothes, quite an easy matter as I had a good chance to heat Water and a good Tub to wash in: I could not help getting a few of the Animals on me but now I am all right and nothing to do but enjoy myself.
Yesterday afternoon I went to the upper end of the City, about two Miles from here to cut down some Buildings and last night I felt pretty tired but a great deal better for it this morning:
I have been around the City considerable and like the place very much. Some parts are rather dirty which makes it appear like all the Southern Cities I have been in: One peculiarity about it is that there are more Churches than any place I have ever been.
There are several parks about the City with good Shade Trees. Fountains fitted up in good Style: There is one just opposite our Camp and last Wednesday afternoon the Bands came there and played and there was quite a lively time:
I suppose you read about the great Fire they had here just before I arrived. It came near making short work of the whole City but the "great squirtment of Water" from the Dozen Engines put a stop to it. The Arsenal and several Buildings stored with Shell were completely blown to pieces and the Dwelling Houses were considerably damaged.3
Last Sunday when I arrived here there was quite a turnout among the People but since then I have seen little of them: I mean to get acquainted if there is any such thing but the Citizens look distrustful and I dont feel the best towards them: I believe they are Rank Rebels for all their so called Union Meeting. I shall see more of them soon and find out just how they are:
I believe Esther Beals4 has a Sister here some where & if I knew her name perhaps I might find out where she is: If you know her name or if Esther wants to obtain any information please send it:
I hope this will find you all as well and as in good Spirits as it leaves me: I hope you will enjoy yourself all you can and that the next (6) Six Months will pass pleasantly to us all:
I am in Hopes to hear from you this next Mail any way I shall send a Letter every Mail if possible:
Give my Love to all the Folks Father Lute & accept the same from your Aff. Son
George H. Moulton
1 Savannah Georgia: Henry has finally joined the regiment. He just missed linking up with the regiment which left Baltimore on transports January 13 and arrived at the mouth of the Savannah River on the 19th of January. The transport waited there until the 23rd, for a pilot to guide them safely into the city harbor — the river and harbor being mined with what were then called torpedoes.
2 Henry has more to say about no longer serving in the color guard in a subsequent letter.
3 Great Fire: The city of Savannah, GA, surrendered to General Sherman and his army on the twenty-second of December without a fight. Then on the evening of January 27 a fire broke out in a Confederate arsenal which spread and destroyed many buildings, killing several people — it was never determined who or how the fire started.
4 Esther Beals (Beale) was born in Milton (1819), the daughter of William and Elizabeth (Holbroke) Beale. She had six sisters. The 1870 Milton census shows her living with her brother Jonathan Tucker Beale.