Feb 16th 1865
Your kind Letter arrived last night and very glad I am to hear from you: I thought some of writing last Monday but put it off in hopes of getting one to answer: I am very glad you are all well and have no doubt you are enjoying yourselves as well as possible: I love to think of the good times we had "all to ourselves" either in Singing or joking and I almost wish myself Home again: However, as you say, I have plenty to occupy my mind and the time passes very pleasantly:
Last Saturday afternoon we had quite a "Promenade Concert" in the Park and it seemed very much like a Holliday: The music was very good and the Citizens made us feel as if the Yanks were somewhere else:
I believe I mentioned the Fact of their being a great many Churches here: well Sunday I went all day and liked very much: In the forenoon to the Unitarian with John, Weston & Wigly1 and in the afternoon to the Methodist: I like the Methodist best every where I have been so far and I think I always shall: They have splendid Organs and as good singing as I ever heard. I wish I could be off duty every Sabbath but that is not very likely.
I have been on Duty only Twice since I came back but the Privates have a pretty hard time of it and will have untill the City is cleaned thoroughly, which it needs very much.
I went on Picket last Tuesday and had a very good time though it was unpleasant: It was quite a novelty to me as I had done nothing of the kind since last March when I went on the Colors:
It rained some through the Night but I had a good Shelter and did not get wet: I had much rather be on Duty with the company for I stand a better chance of being detailed. I have seen the time when I would not thought of such a thing but the Service has lost that Glory and Honor which it once had to me before they jumped me2 and which which was undoubtedly for the best: I used to love Military and if I had prospered in it I should have staid, so when I think of the good Home I have got and the chances for me there, I am not so sorry as to worry a great deal.
We are having beautiful spring Weather now which I enjoy very much and as my Health is excellent I begin to think it absurd to wish the time away: I shall be out of it and settled down at my old Biz full soon enough: All I complain about is Grub which runs rather short sometimes but you need not worry, for I have got my Eyes open now and before I get very hungry again there will be some raiding going on:
Hymam was in here yesterday and we had quite a good time: He looks first rate now and is having an easy time: I am glad of it for him for he never did like being in the Ranks: When I got back he was "all Ears" to hear about his Henry3 and he is anxious to get Home. He says; When my time is up I wont take a Brigadier Generals Commission: By Gorry! and I guess he wouldn't:
Last Night I had quite a nice time over in the Park Singing: One of the Boys "Prescott, has a Brother in with Lute: he is a first rate Singer and we intend to have some good times together: I wish we had some good Singers in our company but all they are fit for is to play Cards: so I go out of the Company for my enjoyments just as I used to4
1 John (Crossman), (Alfred) Weston, & (James) Wigley were all sergeants, Weston and Wigley were from Milton - all survived the war.
2 Members of the Color Guard held the rank of corporal and being in the color guard was often a stepping stone to becoming a sergeant — in a sense, Henry was passed over, but he recognizes it "was undoubtedly for the best:"
3 'Henry' was Hyman (Nye's) only surviving child, born 1860. His mother, Augusta (Hunt) Nye had died February 28, 1864. Hyman Nye listed his occupation on his enlistment as 'butcher' — perhaps his skills were better suited for the mess than the ranks. Hyman Nye's & his family members' headstones are in Milton Cemetery.
4 This letter ends here and contains no closing.