United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865; Bruen, Luther Barnett--Correspondence
No 9. Fort Hamilton June 7th 1863 My Dear Wife: Your no. *7* reached me yesterday and was received by me on my return from the funeral of Lieut. Tracy. I am afraid you will not have the pleasure of reading one from me to-day - but if you don't, you will to-morrow when the mail proves false. I like my new boarding place better than I expected. Mrs. Pell has a pretty little boy about two years old. She had his picture taken some time since, and while talking about pictures, I very naturally bragged on our picture of Robbie and promised to show it to them. This morning I exhibited it at the breakfast table. Of course, it was universally admired. There are but seven boarders. Capt. Pell and wife, a Miss Ploom and Mr. Tuckerman (Englishman) who are said to be engaged and another gentleman, besides Capt. P and myself. The table is plenty good enough; the dinner I ate there was very good indeed. I suppose we shall have more boarders after awhile when the fare will probably be improved; it will do very well as it is. We pay six dollars per week, which is quite little enough. I do not know whether I told you that Maj. Smith's resignation had been accepted. Nothing has been hear from the Adj. Gen. tending in any way to change the present status. If I am not ordered to the field, I shall probably try to have my head quarters moved to Fort Richmond, if I can not get them moved any where else. However, I am very comfortable here, excepting the Comd. Off., of course, and as we don't cross each other's path very often, I do not know but that I had better remain where I am. By the way, I met Miss Bessie last evening, she inquired very kindly after you. Sally V. told me the other day that Mary had not yet come home, but that they had received a letter from you. I may possibly see her before I close this letter, as I intend to call there after tea, (we have tea or supper on Sundays.) The refrigerator has not been sold yet. Mr. Blackford spoke to me about it last night. Can you remember what it cost. I can't tell whether it was $10.50 or $12.50. I priced one in the city the other day made on a slightly different plan for which they asked $20.00 tho' it was little if any bigger than ours. I think the fence ought to be painted; get it done as cheaply as possible, but get it done. Evening. I called at the V.s to-night and made a horrible discovery. My landlady is "secesh!" She is a South Carolinian!! Now what shall I do, abandon her good dinners or patronize 'secesh'? The dinner to-day was very good. Fresh salmon, lamb, green peas, strawberries were on the bill of fare. I think I shall stay awhile, -- let what will happen. -- The V.s have rec'd your letter. Mary came home yesterday, and is going away again to-morrow. She says she will write you in a day or two. I hoped to learn something to write you, but didn't get a single item, except this, namely, that Harrison and Mary Stamper are likely to be married soon. He, I believe, insists upon a speedy union, as he may be ordered away at any time and he would like to have the thing done while there is a chance. Mr. Brinkley is over at Fort Richmond with Franklin, but neither stays there very closely. I haven't ascertained whether it is a pleasant port yet, and shall not try to get over there myself until I have made up my mind on that point. How much I should like to be with you and the children and our kin to-night! My rooms are quite as comfortable as any rooms can ever be without wife and children, but without them they are lonely enough. I hope we shall ere long be reunited without the prospect of an immediate separation, but I confess I do not see my way very clearly to that happy condition. The future of our country is so dark that no one can wildly calculate on what his future movements will be. I trust that whatever I think myself obliged to do, hereafter, will be so plainly necessary that it will be submitted to on all sides with patient resignation. -- It is now half past ten and I will stop until I have seen what the morning mail brings, that I may write you any thing that seems to affect my movements. Monday. The mail is in but nothing new was received, and I have nothing more to write. -- Yesterday afternoon we had a rather shabby dress parade, -- no music but two drummers and *pipers* none of whom played very well. The greater part of the Artillery band went up to Bay River to play at a lager bier saloon. DuPont heard of it and sent up for them. They spent the night in the Guard House and a court martial has been convened to try them. They will pay pretty dear for the *whistle*. Much love and many kisses to the little ones. Remembrance to all friends. Tell Mary her lot of love (in the box) has not arrived. Give her mine anyhow. Good bye, darling. L.B.B.
Catharine Mitchill '31 Collection of Family Letters, Wellesley College Library, Special Collections