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


4 pages


Camp near New Baltimore VA Oct 21. 1863 My dear Wife: We encamped last night just east of New Baltimore on a pleasant hill side, in an old orchard. About 25 yards from my tents is an old mansion occupied by a decent family. The mother is very *erivulent* : has two sons in the rebel army, one of whom left only yesterday morning. All the people around are *sending* for guards, but do not hesitate to arm their rebel Lieutenants. Two women came to head quarters for a guard accompanied by a boy in the rebel uniform. Guards don't help them much for they are generally pretty well cleaned out before they get them. – Since my last we have *only* Marched to this place, but are made the march yesterday. The General sounded about one and we set out about two. The night was dark + the men had a hard time of it. I've reached Grovestown about sun-rise and laid then till 12 when we set out on this road. The day was fine and the roads pretty good, so that we had a pleasant march and went into camp about 4 o'clock. There was a cavalry fight in the neighborhood day before yesterday, where I do not exactly know. Gen Kilpatrick got pretty well laid up, it is said. He is considered a great blower and has a reputation much beyond his merits. We passed a good many dead horses on the way, and one new made grave by the road side. This part of Virginia is that on the Orange and Alexandria railroad. There are some fences, occasionally a cornfield + generally a garden near the house. Yesterday I saw a dozen or so pigs in a pen, the first I have seen since I left Alexandria, also a few cows + heifers, there would disappear in a night but for the guard's generous *?* their *ranch* owners. – When we arrived here yesterday there was a large *frame* church standing by the road side, all the boards had been pulled off the side as high a man could reach, the flooring was all gone and the building looked forlorn enough. We had not been in camp long before the soldiers had torn it completely down and were boiling their coffee with a fire made of the shingles. There were some larger trees standing near the church on one of which some one had cut Virtue, Liberty, Independence in large letters. Query was it done by the rebs. *Moss Hunter* the *leech* woman says it was a *liberce* Baptist church + remarked that she supposed we considered them to be good enough to go without preaching. She by the way has some very pretty roses blooming in her yard + told me they usually bloomed till December, which is pretty late, I think. However, I saw, yesterday, some lima beans in a garden that had been but very little affected by the frost, so that they cannot have had any very severe ones w this region yet. We see a great many persimmons but very few are ripe yet. I strolled over the Bull Run Battle Ground after I had finished my letter, + picked up a few bullets and a piece of sword scabbard which I will bring home the first time I come. I saw one grave with a man's hand sticking out of it. There were plenty of shells on the ground but they were both dangersome and cumbersome so I did not bring one away. I have a flower and a three leaves which I will enclose, that I gathered on the battle ground. – We received a mail to-day, but it bro't me no letter to my great disappointment. My last from you was dated the *4th*. So I have rec'd nothing from you that was written since our march commenced. There has been a rumor in *camp that* eight days mail had arrived but I do not think this is true. I wish is was, for I think it would bring me a letter or two. I sent you my picture from Culpepper and am anxious to know what you think of it. – Capt. Pease was over at my camp this morning; he is very weak – some of our officers have a hard time to get enough to eat as the wagons have not been with the Brigade since we left Culpepper. Occasionally they have *wanted* to buy something, but as they have to carry it themselves or get their *?* to do it, they can bring much with them. As I have a sumpter mule to carry my traps I get along better. For instance this morning Mimmack and I had for breakfast: coffee, beef steak, potatoes + onions, canned peaches, and hard tack. Some of the officers has to be content with beef + coffee, and most even not much better off. By the way I had my shoes blacked this morning for the first time since I left Culpepper. Give my love to *Pericilla* + the rest of the kin, a thousand kisses to the bairns from me and as many + as much love as you would like for yourself. Thine, LBB



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