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


4 pages


Fort Hamilton August 2, 1861 I took a long letter to you, dear Augusta, to the city & mailed it yesterday morning. You will probably, therefore, have a letter to solace yourself with on Sunday, if not, you will not be expecting any. I called upon Uncle Samuel's assistant treasurer yesterday and drew from him two hundred & six 61/100 dollars in good honest, broad gold pieces, for my first months service in the U.S.A. I think we can manage to live very comfortably upon that sum monthly. The officers generally take their families with them while on service, except of course when in the field. One of your main objections to my being in the army, will therefore fail, if not now, at any rate, when the war is over. The officers wives appear to like the life they lead very well, and most of them profess to enjoy it. You seem my dear to have a strong inclination to live in the fort, because no doubt you think it cheaper. It is not, however. There are no facilities for cooking in the casemates; there are kitchens but no cooking stoves. We should therefore have to buy all them, together with plates, dishes, cups, *juices*, &c, & throw them away when we leave. If we board, as we probably should, we should have to pay $7 each for ourselves & something less for the children, per week. I dont see how it can cost us as much to live in the house I have rented as it will to live in the casemates & board, or to go to a boarding house, where we should be cramped & uncomfortable all the time. I have looked the matter over carefully & decidedly prefer keeping house, even if you only bring Frank. In the latter case, I would be willing to board if you preferred it, tho' it would cost upwards of $75 per month to or so. Our house rent would less than $20 per month & with fuel *grates* & necessaries of cost you can easily determine which plan is the more economical, and comfortable. The casemates are very damp, the sheets at night feel damp & clammy & in the morning your clothing feels the same way. The other morning the cover of my cap was covered with drops of dew. Our shirts lose all their starch & become perfectly limp & the gentlemen complain that they have great trouble in getting their boots on in the morning. Mrs Gilman had a fire in her casemate every day, nothwithstanding her little boy was sick all the time she was here. I am afraid Frank would soon sicken too & that you would lose all the benefit of your trip, & sojourner here. There are some other inconveniences and unpleasantnesses, connected with life here, which I can not explain very well, but which would annoy you very much & me on your account. If there were other ladies here, these would not be felt so severely & might perhaps be altogether avoided. Besides you in a fair way of getting enough of that kind of life. _ I hoped to receive a letter this evening, but did not, so I shall finish this page & send it along, for if it is not put in the office tonight it will not start on its journey until Monday. _ You may bring with you, in addition to the books I have already named, Napier's Peninsular War. It will not be worth while to bring Burns no Ben Johnson, as I shall have no time to read them while here & will not take them with me into the field, as I am only allowed one hundred pounds of baggage. _ You must get your homeopathic medicines ready to bring along with you, when you come, as there is no physician of that persuasion in this village, that I have yet heard of. _ I heard of Simon Gebhart yesterday, but did not see him, tho' I understand he talked of coming down to see me, which I did not expect him to do. however. _ I can't tell anything about your father's accounts without my ledger, a red book in my desk at the office, which I wish you to bring along. I would be glad if Mr. F. would write his recollection of the way our account stood when he gave me the last note, for mind is not clear. _ Has the office been removed yet? Good bye dearest Luther



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