United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865; Bruen, Luther Barnett--Correspondence
Fort Hamilton Jan. 1. 1863 My dear Wife: It isn't exactly Jan 1st, for I have just looked at my watch, and it says 1 o'clock, notwithstanding I mean to write you a letter, or so much thereof as I may be able to do before I become sleepy. Last night I retired at midnight or a little before, but after sleeping two or three hours I got awake & didn't sleep much the rest of the night. Why, I have no more idea than you have. Consequently, I suppose, I fell asleep in my chair after dinner and slept till nearly a *qinte* nine o'clock. Consequently, again, I have not been very sleepy this evening, so far: how soon the drowsy God may attack me and send me to bed I do not know. But you made such a dreadful row over my not writing to you on Xmas that I feel bound to scribble to you to-night, altho' you have no right to expect a letter from me at this hour on the New Year. If I had gone to bed three or four hours since tolerably sober, you ought to have been very well satisfied. As I did not make any calls outside of the garrison, and received only two, I have remained duly sober, & therefore am in a condition to write you this letter. How far New Years' has been observed I do not know. Mrs Lay seemed to think I would not be generally observed; this was probably because she did not intend to keep open *be a be*. The Capt tried to get me to go over to *Flatlanda* with them - whether it was because he expected me to *pay off* the expense of *carting* Mrs L. over there or most, I can't say. But although I was anxious enough to call upon Mrs. K. I felt too badly *ocoin* to my loss of sleep last night to concert to go. Mrs. L. expects to go to Washington on Saturday with *Mary Pratt* and I have an engagement to go over to Flatlands on Sunday. Should I go, you will know why I don't write to you on Sunday. - *Mimmack* has been ordered by Gen B. to muster the men in the *Hospitals* in New York. Coming *down in the camp* to-night he got into a fight and came in with his eye tied up. I administered some ** and hope he will be sound as a dollar to-morrow. He will have a black eye very probably. - There is nothing new here + nothing to write about. Smith will probably order the Staff & Band into the field. In which case *Mimmack* says he will resign the Regimental Adjutancy & ask to be made Ad. of my Battl., which I shall be very glad to do, as he is better acquainted with the papers than any of my officers. Now I am going to bed; if I think of anything in the morning I will write it. Good night. Morning. - I hoped to be able to send you a dandelion flower, plucked on the last day of the year. But when the day came, it proved to be snowy and the ground was covered, and if there were any they were not to be found. I don't know whether this plant blooms so late at home, but I found a dozen flower here one day late in December, and sometime after we had had some severe weather - all the pumps having been frozen three or four mornings in succession A Happy New Year to you and your chicks; how I should like to have commenced it with you; it would be better still to live together thro it. But that may not be I fear. Good by Dearest L.B.B.
Catharine Mitchill '31 Collection of Family Letters, Wellesley College Library, Special Collections