United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865; Bruen, Luther Barnett--Correspondence
Ft. Hamilton Aug. 13. 1861 I find, dear wife, I have raised expectations which are likely to result in disappointment. In conversation with Col. Burke, I was informed that he would approve my application for leave of absence for twenty days, & supposed then that nothing further was to be done but to secure Major Clitz' approval. This I obtained without mentioning the time, so that I wrote to you as I did. It seems, however, that it is necessary for the application to pass thro' the War Department. I shall send one on by the mail tomorrow, but, if it is granted, I shall not be likely to hear from it this week again, so you will not have me with you next Sunday as I had hoped. If I have luck I will be able to leave early in the week & spend a couple of weeks at home & return with you. We are in the midst of a dreary with each storm, one of the most *disapecable* I ever saw. It has rained heavily all day and threatens to continue all night. We are cooped up in the fort, but a great deal better off than our friends who are living in camps outside, for we are dry and I have a fine coal fire. The rain has run down the back chimney of my casement until my coal bucket is full of water. That little fact will give you an idea of the quantity of rain which has fallen in the last eight or ten hours. The rain was very much needed, so it is not right to complain of it. I have got a pass over the road from Pittsburg to *Crestline* & back, and hope to get one from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh. If I can succeed in this I will be able to travel very cheaply and make several dollars by saving them. I shall call on the pastor's wife tomorrow to see about a servant who has the very highest recommendations & is considered a very desirable servant. If we can agree, I shall hire her, at perhaps six or seven dollars per month. It will cost $40 to bring Ernestine here & take her back & while here she will want as high wages as the best servant here. If the woman is as good as she is represented to be, I think we can manage to get along with her, as the household work will not occuply so much of her time as to prevent her from paying some attention to the children, and you will not wish to go about much until she and the children have become thoroughly acquainted, so that they would stay with her contentedly. I shall send on my application for leave tomorrow, but shall not expect the answer before Saturday night, so that it seems impossible for me to leave before Monday, if indeed I can then. The crisis I alluded to in my last has not yet arrived, probably on account of the weather. Tomorrow we shall have two colonels in the fort against whom attachments have been issued by a Brooklyn judge and both intend to resist an arrest by force. If they do, we shall be in a very pretty row, in which I hope "nobody will be hurt". Good night my dear good wife Thine ever, Luther.
Catharine Mitchill '31 Collection of Family Letters, Wellesley College Library, Special Collections