United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865; Bruen, Luther Barnett--Correspondence
Nokesville Va Jan 27. 1864 My Dear Augusta: We are having much delightful Spring-weather here. The ground is bare of snow, and the blue birds sing in the morning as if it were really spring. I don't enjoy the charming weather as I would if I were not troubled by a severe cold, which was contracted on the night of my arrival in camp. Yesterday was equal to the worst days of my Hay-fever season. I was helped very much by greasing the upper part of my nose and the space between my eyes and that portion of my forehead immediately above. *Intriguingly* enough this remedy was recommended by an officer of the 12th and an old woman of this neighborhood who came into camp yesterday morning to ask for a safe-guard for her house. She came here from New Jersey about ten years ago. It is a week to-day, just about the hour I write that I left Dayton + yet I would right gladly be there now, altho' I suspect it is at this present moment a wretched, muddy, snowy, sloppy spot. We have a sufficient *quarantine* of the original old Virginia mud, but so much less than we have had sometimes that we are considering ourselves quite comfortable + go thro' with our routine of duties with reasonable contentedness. "Swinging" a Brigade is not a very *aionous* business, and I like it so much better than swinging a regiment that I have an idea of being made a Brigadier, if the war is not terminated soon. You need not begin to make me a star, however, as I think it very likely there will be but few additions to the present military constellation. Enclosed I sent you a piece of my Brigade flag - it was carried at its head at Chancellorsville by Gen *Ayner*, to whom I sent it to-day; first clipping off the little piece. It was mainly valuable as being the flag of the first brigade I ever commanded. It has gone before me in all my countermarchings down here + been close by whenever there was a chance for a fight. The new one I have thrown out in its stead will I trust be carried with as much credit, should it be my fortune to carry it in the coming campaign. My short visit home seems like a dream almost, already long past. I wish it could be repeated soon, if it could be somewhat more protracted, as flying visits are not to my taste. Some staff officers I find get leave for ten days longer than mine, altho' they go only to some of the cities to gamble and spend their time in other *dissipation*. Kissing goes by *facn* in the army as well as at Court. I am sorry I did not get Sella a pair of skates before I left. If you have the money and there is a prospect of having more skating buy them for her. - On my return, I found an order suspending my pay, because certain Regimental Returns have not been forwarded. This is very unjust to me as I have been in command of the regiment but a short time during which there has been very few opportunities of doing clerical work, - not enough to have kept up with the current returns, had they all been sent on when I assumed command. The order is grossly unjust to me and I hope to have it rescinded soon. - I hoped to get a letter from you last night (Wednesday) but it did not come, so I am still without advice from home since my departure. I hope I shall not be disappointed again to-night. Love + kisses for all you, girls, boys + mother from Father.
Catharine Mitchill '31 Collection of Family Letters, Wellesley College Library, Special Collections