Identifier

MSS.6.231

Date

9-20-1863

Subjects

United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865; Bruen, Luther Barnett--Correspondence

Notes

4 pages

Transcription

Steamer Baltic Chesapeake Bay Sunday Sept. 20th 63 My dear Wife: Here I am again at my Sunday business, but in an unwanted place. We left New York on Saturday morning about 6 o'clk, passing Fort Hamilton at seven. We fired ten guns and dipped one flag, but *heard* no reports save from Church's store, the flag being dipped three times. The trip has not been so disagreeable as I anticipated. Friday was a very stormy day and I was very glad we were not out in it. On Saturday morning the weather promised better and when we got outside we found the sea smoother than we had expected. Nevertheless several of the officers were sick and some of them very sick. To my surprise, I was not sick at all. I felt squeamish some of the time, but got along very well by laying down. Being the Comd. Off. I had the best state room in the ship. It was no particular privation to stay in it, as it rained most of the time. The boat is large and staunch and we have about 800 persons on board. So far we have got along quite comfortably, having had no trouble with the men since leaving New York, when it required a good deal of vigilance to prevent desertion. When I reach Alexandria I may perhaps be able to tell what is to be done with us. At present we are left to conjecture. All the officers who have been in the field are very *loth* to go back to the Army of the Potomac. The prospect is very fair now that they will have another campaign on the "sacred soil". Coates says he wouldn't mind if he could get any thing to eat. By the way he is not with us having got leave of absence just as we started. I wrote you about his accident, his foot has not recovered sufficiently to allow him to go into the field. There has not bee a single incident on the voyage, up to this present writing, worthy of record. We haven't seen a whale, scarcely a ship, the fish even have not been disposed to gambol in this stormy weather, so we have had nothing to do but sit on the *guards* and watch the *mad pranks* of the waves. This you know is the first time I have even been out of sight of land. I don't think the sensation is very different from that you have when the land is twenty or thirty *yards* off. The romance and beauty of the sea however is almost entirely spoiled by sea-sickness. Although I haven't had it I have been on the verge of it repeatedly, and the uneasiness at the pit of my stomach, quite stopt the operation of my *bump* of sentimentality. I must go on a longer trip before I can speak appreciatively of the beauties of the sea. I am afraid however that it would take a very long voyage to put me on my sea legs, so that I could admire what is to be seen. I won't quite give up the hope of seeing you and the little ones this fall or winter. If Meade contemplates a Fall campaign, it will not be of course till that is over. And as I hope the army will not be kept in shelter tents all this winter, as this last, I think there will be a chance to get away for twenty or thirty days. If I find on my arrival at Alexandria, that we are to go to the front, I shall send the funds to New York to get a war risk on my Life Insurance and direct them to send it to you. I should have taken it out in New York but the idea among us was then that we were to stay in Washington or Alexandria and that it would not be necessary. #We are ordered right to the front and shall leave Alex. on Tuesday morning. Love and kisses to all. L.B.B.#

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