The New York Branch of
The U.S. Christian Commission
30 Bible House, New York
Send this as the Soldier's Messenger to his home,
Let it haste to those who wait for tidings.
I Co 38th Regt 2nd Div 19 Army Corps
Savannah Ga 1865
As I have nothing to do this morning I will answer your kind Letter which arrived last night: I had almost began to think I should never hear but I've had so much to take up my mind that I hardly know where the time goes between the Mails:
We had a great time here, the 22nd a Salute of 26 Guns being fired in the Park and the Bands playing nearby the whole of the Afternoon: There was a great turnout of the Citizens but I think it was more for the name of it than anything else:2
I enjoy myself first rate for I am on the move all the time, having something whether on duty or not on my mind all the time: I am afraid the time I have to serve will pass away to soon, altogether that is if we have to stay in this place: The general opinion is that we shall stay here there being enough to do for our Division which is rather depleted I was on Guard last Sunday which is the third time only, that I have done any Duty:
Hyram is back to the Company now a great many of the detailed Men having been sent back to make the duty lighter for the rest of the Men who have been on every other Day: It makes quite a difference already: It is going to be a warm muggy day quite a contrast to the cold weather which you spoke about in your Letter: I wish you could be here for a short time: I know you would enjoy it: Although the Trees are Leafless the Shrubbery is quite green and there are some Flowers in blossom. and which I will send you: It grows on a small Tree and looks splendid: you can hardly form an idea by the flower, all jammed & broken as it will probably reach you:
So Martha Maria is or has been with you: I hope she will stay and help you untill you get a good rest for I know you need one: I am thankful for the one I had at Home & feel ever so much better for it: I dont think my health was ever so good as it is now. I wrote to Martha this week, directing to Waltham but I guess she will be there to get it: I intend to write all I can this time out for there is great pleasure in getting Letters every Mail, if possible: About your Letters, I love to read them very much and your good advice I have followed ever since & before I left home: I could not enjoy myself so much if I did not: I trust I am not entirely dead to my own interest and I believe it our interest even in this Life to be good & do all the good in our power:
I'm glad Lute has taken an interest in our Sunday School: I despise anyone who does not for it's as necessary for our Government to have religious principles as an Army: I wish you would take the time to read Washington's "Farewell address" Lute can get it for you somewhere and it will more than pay you & him for the trouble:
Although everything is quiet among us we have plenty of Rumors about Grant & Sherman: Richmond being evacuated & great fighting at Branchville. Anyway this state of affairs cannot last much longer: this cruel war will soon be over & Johnny'll come marching Home My time may not see it but now, I believe it will.
Hoping to hear from you again soon I will close with much Love to you, Father and all.
Ever your Aff. Son
1 This post script appears next to the header of the preprinted stationery — Henry's regiment's location is written below. The 'animals' were mentioned in Henry's Feb 10 letter — no explanation, if provided, survives.
2 The Regimental History records the event: "The birthday of Washington was celebrated by the firing of salutes, ringing of bells, and a cessation from all unnecessary labor."