Milton Historical Society


Morehead City N.C.

March 23rd 1865

My dear Mother

No Letter from Home or anywhere else since leaving Savannah but I know it is no fault of yours and that I have a full share of your thoughts and good wishes: I hope I appreciate such a good Mother: I try to and shall try and write you a long Letter: It is rather hard not to hear from Home for so long but as for other correspondence I dont care much about it for I have no time to fool away that's sure.

Yesterday Morning I went on Police to unload the Boats lying here: There being such a large Force at Kingston and Sherman being expected at Goldsboro makes this quite a lively place at present. In my last I spoke of Sherman having formed a Junction with Schofield which was a mistake but will shortly occur: The Railroad runs direct from here to Richmond or did before it was destroyed and is being repaired as rapidly as possible the National coming on Transports: When we got here there were (3) Engines only and about 80 Cars: Three Engines have been put up, and a great many Cars and passing to and from the Front all the time: There is about 100 Vessels loaded with Supplies, unloaded by Small Steamers as there are not wharfs enough: I understand there is work enough for 3000 Men for two Months to come and still it increases:

The Men are on almost every day but I have been on only twice since I came and made a good thing of it to for I get my Knapsack full of Hard Tack and about 5 lbs of Sugar: that with the Oysters I can manage to keep my Cupboard full and do my Stomach full Justice: I must say I have enjoyed myself eating Oysters for a few Days past: Frying is my dish: Take nearly a Quart of "Solid" and a few Crumbs frying just enough to fizzle the Oysters: Those we have been getting near here are small but just over the creek a "Stones throw" there are splendid ones & need to be cut in three pieces.

We are having delightful weather now and I enjoy myself first rate sometimes going in the Pine Woods with Weston and reading what little I can find to read. I have read a great deal in my Testament lately and I love to read it and the Psalms I shall be glad when I am with you all once more: I enjoy myself very much thinking of you and especially when I read any Song or part of one which we used to sing: I hope you are having good times now and should like to hear of them.

Just one Year ago today we Started on this Campaign of Grants which will end only with the War: It seems but as Yesterday the time has flown so rapidly and yes there has been a great deal accomplished toward putting down the Rebellion: Our cause never looked so bright as it does now and the general idea is that the War will end very soon. We Soldiers, the ones who would be most benefited by it say least or pay least attention to it. We talk of when our time will be out but have a secret satisfaction at the late army movements as tending to hasten that time:1

The Wind has blown tremendously nearly all the afternoon and to night the Sand is flying against the Tent like Rain for all that some of the Boys are training in the Street and among them is John who calls Weston his "Laughing Migraine."

Dan my Tent mate2 is on Police to night so I am all alone "Hermit like" Tent fastened up at both ends to exclude Sand and Intruders from my "Sanctum" I love to be alone of an evening like this and writing seems to bring me near to you and it is encouraging to know I am not forgotten: How much I should like to look in on you and see Father in his Shirt sleeves. Johns dirty, I should say dingy Face. No insult intended to the young "Machinist". Does Hattie play any new pieces learned at Singing School and do you have much Singing at Home now: There will be enough when I am "Musical Conductor" which I should prefer to a Captains Commission.

I want Hattie to write me a long long Letter and for Carrie, the little dear to help her make up one. I dont know but I owe them one but they must not wait for me.

Remember me to Little Charlie and tell him to write if he wants a long Letter: Also to Father tell him to make the Boys give him an Oyster Supper3 so that he will have something to write me about:

We are expecting a Mail to arrive at any time: rumor has brought us several but we are still patient waiting for the "substancial": with much Love to you, to all my dear friends & hopes to hear soon. I remain as ever

Your Aff. And dutiful Son Henry

P.S. There is a great Fire in the Woods just back of here and spreading very rapidly: You know this is the Country for tar, pitch and Turpentine, hence the combustive quality of the Wood

G. Henry Moulton


1 The Regimental History (p. 196): "Good news now began to pour in fast. The fall of Charleston was soon followed by that of Wilmington, and the men began to lay plans, which they had never done before, of what they would do when the war was over."

2 'Dan my Tent Mate' was probably Daniel V. De Roehemont from Boston. He joined the Regiment December 29, 1864 and was promoted to corporal May 1, 1865 — his joining the regiment about the time Henry rejoined it and the fact he was shortly thereafter promotion to corporal may account for his sharing a tent with Corporal Moulton.

3 Henry seems to have an affinity for shell fish. Our readers may recall Henry informing his mother (August 28th 1861) that "it is time to make up a fire & Boil some Clams which we got all the way down to Squantum this morning."