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


4 pages


Fort Hamilton Aug 6th 1863 My Dear Wife: "This is a world of vicissitude and equipoise", as Pete Lowe would say, When I wrote you last I was "Commanding Officer", now I am not. That very night there came a Vol. Reg., the *37th Mass.* with it Col. and L. Col. and the former assumed command on Monday morning. The Col. is a very clever gentleman and has behaved himself very modestly and decently. We have things our own way, pretty much, he not being disposed to interfere. His regiment is a much better one than the 11th N.Y. Heavy Artillery, a part of which is stationed here. It has been in all the battles of the Army of the Potomac beginning with Antietam and ending with Gettysburg. The Col. lives in Warsaw Ill. and is a single man, but told me yesterday that if he remained here any time, he should go to Springfield Mass. and bring back a wife. Dr. Randall's little girl has been very sick for several days but is better to-day. He has been ordered to appear before a Retiring Board at Wilmington Del., at which he is very much *gravelled*. The great event of this week however is the explosion of our boarding house. The keeper of the house proved to be a very mean unaccommodating *critter* and the ladies tell me she both lies and steals. I commenced taking my meals there on Monday. At dinner a Mr. Patterson got disgusted because he was not waited on and left the table. Sending for Miss Bigelow he told her his rooms would be to let the next day at 11 o'clock. He paid her $55 per week for his family, which consisted of seven persons and a nurse. The next day six more persons left and five more will leave to-morrow and next week. Mr. P. goes home to New York, all the rest of us go to Slater's. The principal cause of the *buck* up besides the insolence and ugliness of Miss B. was the discovery that two of the boarders were "kept women" namely Mrs. Robbins and Miss Harris. While I was at the house they behaved themselves modestly enough. Miss Harris was as I wrote you a fine looking girl but rather rude in her manners. I paid a little attention to her and when I was sick they used to come down to the fort in the evening, occasionally, and come up to where I was sitting before my quarters and inquire after my health. She came one evening when Mary *Vanderpal* and some friends were sitting with me. Towards the last Miss H. began to paint and powder a *good* giving herself a meretricious look, but we only supposed she was a silly girl trying to make herself look pretty and took no more notice of it than to laugh at it among ourselves. It is pretty well ascertained now I believe however that they are what I represented them to be above. This explosion has been very funny to me notwithstanding my own rather unpleasant connexion with the tabooed parties. Not being able to observe for myself and getting very imperfect accounts of what occurred I was very easily imposed upon. And, on account of my absence, every body comes to me to tell his story, with every shade of indignation at his or her griefs and aggrievances, while I sit and listen and laugh in my sleeve. *Bating* the bad women, I think we might have managed to get thro' the summer if Miss B. had not been a lazy novel-reading *slut*, and some of the lady boarders had not been rather waspish. -- DuPont was here last week: he came back sick and was under Dr. *Studley's* treatment at the time, looking as thin as a rail. Piper came back yesterday looking *ditto* and complaining also of a bad *dranee*. He is to be married this afternoon at 4 o'clock. DuPont was to have taken Mrs. Harrison to her husband who is now at Hagerstown Md. but she was too unwell. Her father intends to take her on Saturday I believe. #I have been so harried by Company and business this morning that I have had to wait until after lunch to write this. I am eating at Mr. Elrath's for a few days until I get well enough to walk down to Slater's. They invited me in so earnestly I could not refuse. Love to all Good bye darling. Thy Luther#



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