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


4 pages


Ft Hamilton July 7th 1861 My Dear Augusta: It is now nearly a week since I left home and so far I have not heard a word from you. You may imagine how I would rejoice to hear from home. I can never think of you and the dear little ones without deeply regretting the necessity which has separated us. I think the experience which I appear likely to be about get will prove beneficial and that I will return to you when the rebellion has been subdued a wiser, better & more useful man. The army officers I have met have proved to be very agreeable gentlemen, gentlemen indeed in a very high sense. To my surprise they are not addicted to drinking and do not often use profane language. I am very well pleased, too, with the officers of our regiment who have reported themselves. They are all well behaved and will, I think give a good account of themselves. The old officers have all received me with great cordiality, * more of the coolness I anticipated, having been manifested by them. They complain of the system, they say, which puts civilians over their heads, but if they show themselves to be gentlemen, they treat them as such and & render them all the assistance within their power. This makes my position far more pleasant than it otherwise would have been. As commanding officer of the Port, I have a good deal of responsibility and a good deal of business, which will increase rapidly as the men of our regiment come in. Col. Franklin is now commanding a Brigade at Washington. Lieut. Col. Butterfield a regiment at the same place, and Major Clitz is at Ft Pickens, this leaves Maj Smith & myself the only field officers with the regiment; he ranks above me & has established his headquarters in the city leaving me the ranking officer at the port. I have about ten captains & lieuts under me and eight new, sent over on Saturday; there is also a part of a company of artillary here, the one with Maj Slemmer at Ft Pickens, but they will leave for Washington tomorrow or Tuesday. Maj Slemmer was here, in command, when I arrived. He is a small man, wears glasses, modest & unassuming, a very good soldier, but not very extraordinary in any respect. He has the advantage of me in knowledge of tactics & the branches of science exclusively military & of military routine; but after all there is no such immeasurable distance between us, that *induety* and study cannot bridge over in a very few months. Capt Gilman who was also at Ft Pickens with Maj Slemmer with his wife is here, but will leave in a few days. She is a cheery little woman full of soldier life, as she well might be, having followed the army with her husband, ever since she was married. She has a splendid voice & sings excellently, he accompanying her on the flute. She has been packing a piano about with her from place to place, ever since she was married, but expects to part with it now that her husband has left the artillary & gone with the infantry. He chose the artillery when he graduated especially for the purpose of having his wife with him, but his recent promotion into the infantry has defeated all his calculations. Last night I slept in a casemate for the first time, having improvised a sleeping place & borrowed a blanket to sleep under. I slept very well, & prefer my bed to the one I occupied at the hotel, where we sat much better than we sleep. As I shall probably be here several months, four or five probably, I wish to have you come on as soon as I can complete my arrangements. You had better begin to make your arrangements accordingly. You will have to fix up the children & yourself & some bed clothing & all that sort of thing to make yourself comfortable with. The boys about here wear *jonane* uniforms & look very cute in them, it would tickle Frank & Robby immensely to have them and if I were you I would make them some. I wish you would put a wrapper on the Army Register I left behind and send it to me. You might put some single sheets & small pillow cases in the box with my uniform, if it has not been sent on when this reaches you, provided a board is put in so that they will not press upon it. I telegraphed McCanin on Wednesday last to make it; if he has not commenced when you get this, let me know at once & tell him not to make it. I suppose however that he has it done by this time, if it is not already on its way to me. I hope it will reach me soon for I need it. Maj. Smith makes all the Lieuts wear them, which they are not very *loch* to do; they are not allowed to leave their quarters without them. _ I have been obliged to get the battese pants MC made for me, the stripe not being regulation. I am wearing my cap today for the first time. _ Mr Davis was to hand John Howard a check for which I had given him another; ask John whether he has done so, if not, tell to ask D. for it & to destroy it, when received or mutilate it so that it cannot be used, & hand it to you. I wish John H. would also inquire of *Yunickel* & Strong, whether Judge Woodruff has refunded the money overpaid him by me, and if not to write me why not. I hope you will write me often. Letters do not reach here very promptly, although we are so near New York. Our letters leave here (the fort) at 5 o'clock P.M. and do not go over to the city until next morning; too late I suppose for the morning mail. This will make more than two days between Ft H and Dayton. If you want one to have a letter to answer on Sunday, you should write about Monday. _ Tell me all about every body. _ Suppose you cut out all the local paragraphs, deaths, marriages &c. from the journal and send them along with your letter. Mark the date of the paper on each slip. I will thus get a great deal of the news without putting you to the trouble of writing it. I have not had time to call upon Mrs. Burroughs; nor do I know when I shall be able to go. We shall have to be better organized than we are yet before I shall have much time to go about & shall call as soon as I can. Ever thine, Luther



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