May 7th '65
Undoubtedly you will be surprised, after my delay in writing, to hear from me once more at this place but you have heard by Mrs. Crossman for I remember John wrote from Morehead City: One week ago today at Goldsboro I rec'd your last Letter: intended to write the next day but had to make out the Pay Rolls & Tuesday there was so much excitement I put off writing untill we got to Morehead City:
I wrote to Nelli then that we were coming here but there was so many Rumor's that we quite as much expected to be in Washington at this time as here & John thought so too;: If I had written then I should have told you not to write in answer for we shall sub if we miss tramping some 150 Miles to Macon.
We got here this morning after 2½ Day's on the Water and found it dreadful Hot: I thought of our hard Marches in Louisiana as the sweat dropped down from my Face but I felt tip top spite of the Sun and Dust: We formed line & Stacked Arms in an open Field just back of the Jail, where so many of our poor Boy's were starved to death, and near the Park which looks splendid.1 The grass rank & Green & good Shade Trees: as soon as I had got something to eat & washed I started for the Park & at full length in the shade I felt thankful the war was over & that it wasn't necessary for me to move if the Reg't. did & I thought how fast I should march towards Augusta or Macon:
Well, I heard the Reg't. moving so I started, packed myself & followed them to the old Camp of the 131st N. Y. (of the 1st Brigade which is in Macon by this time.) here we found Houses built already to be occupied & here we may stay untill we leave Dixie forever while the 2nd Brigade goes after the 1st: I'm only speculating for we may go ourselves but I dont hardly believe it any-way I'm not going to lose a night's sleep over it:
Coming up the River the Shrub's, Grass & bushes were a splendid Green & showed Spring far advanced: in the City the Trees which line the street on either side met over head forming quite a Forest: you know this is the "Forest City" so called through-out the Country.
This afternoon I went down Town stopped in the Park awhile and then went to the Prespeterian or Episcopal Church where there was a good Service & Singing also a fine Organ: I enjoyed it very much but it was dreadful warm.
I saw a Gentleman there whose face looked very familiar & I thought of speaking to him: as we passed out of Church he recognized me as a Boston Boy & I him as Mr Lowe2 of Somerville I was very glad to see him & as he is coming to see me tomorrow, will write about him in my next:
I hope we shall stay here for it is a delightful place & good opportunity for keeping Cool: but for that I should like to go to Macon, even march up through the Country, any way I should take my own time & enjoy myself too.
We expect a Mail right along after us & I hope we shall get it on time but for my part, if we move, I shant write much:3
I see by Papers that all Volunteers are to be mustered by the 1st of June & I think you will see the old 38th Home about that time: It will be such a joyous time that I feel like putting it off as long as I can:
I am sorry I did not get all of Lutes Stamp's & hope you will send a few occasionally: With much Love to Father & all & hope's to hear soon I am, as ever.
Your Aff. Son
1 See Henry's diagram below of the prison compound: this prison facility (stockade encampment) was named Camp Davidson. Union prisoners began arriving in late July 1864 from Camp Oglethorep in Macon, GA. By September the facility was severely overcrowded with prisoners transferred from Andersonville Prison. The Savanna facility was closed by the end of October when Union forces began threatening the city. It is believed more than 10,000 Union soldiers were imprisoned here in its four months of operation. The number of deaths were estimated at two to several hundred.
2 Mr. Lowe may have been Carrie Lowe's father or her relative. Henry mentions receiving Carrie's letters in his correspondence: (9/18/62, 1/29/63, 12/8/63).
3 Although this is the last of Henry's surviving letters written during his enlistment, the Society obtained Corporal Moulton's pension file from the National Archives. Documents within — from Henry, his friends, and family — flesh out much of his life after the Army. We'll send out one more email, a special Memorial Day edition, showing the importance of such records to understanding not just Henry's full story, but that of all wartime soldiers.[click image to rotate]