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


4 pages


Camp near Mountain Creek Nov 14, 1863 My Dear Wife : I have rec'd no letter from home since Monday __ A long time I think. __ I have forgotten in my last three or four letters to say that Mrs Lay has a daugher. I saw the Capt. yesterday & was told by him that mother and child were doing well. Mrs Lay I suppose is getting better or I have heard nothing of her for some time. Capt. Lay was in command of the pickets on the day of the fight at Rapahannock Station. He is a good officer. __ We are having very pleasant weather & have had no rain since the 31st of October. It threatens a storm every few days, but so far it has always blown over. On Monday it threatened snow, and a few flakes did fall but it cleared off clear out where we were. The next morning the tops of the mountains were quite white. At that camp we were in sight of Pony Mountain which was on our left at our camp near Culpepper *CH*., now it is on the right. As we are in the woods in our present camp, the mountain is not visible__ if you have not bought the red flannel you spoke of, I think you had better not do it, as it will give you a good deal of trouble. If you have an opportunity of sending the white ones to Washington, do so, and I will get them somehow. Nobody here that I have met, appears to know what we are going to do next. I t is generally believed that we will move, in some direction as soon as the RR bridge at Rappahannoock Station is completed, which will be early next week. It cannot be long before the bad weather will set in, when it will be next to impossible to move, & then we shall probably go into winter quarters, but where no one can guess. We are all confident that we can whip the rebs if we can get a chance at them, but that they do not seem disposed to give us. If we go towards Gordonsville I suppose they will content themselves with operating on our communications so as to cut off our supplies. It is quite certain that a very considerable portion of our army would be required to guard the communications, if we get much farther away from Washington. The officers of the army whether new or old are getting some new experience in this army. We are all in a state of ignorance as to our movements which can be styled anything but blissful. The Comd officers of Brigades and Divisions and I may even say of Corps, are almost as much in the dark as we who command regiments. Nobody knows when a movement is to be made until the order comes down from General Headquarters & then where we are to go, is known no man at Brigade & Division Head Quarters than at my own. All this is very different from politics where even the rank and file are partial to a great extent as to all the operations of the party. In a city one finds among the sweltering mass that a single atom of humanity is an inconsiderable trifle, and here in the army one has the same sensation, to which is added the feeling that nothing in all the material of war is so lightly valued as human life. Among the singular sights one sees, none is more characteristic than the newsboys. If we start on a march early in the morning they are pretty certain to overtake us at a halt or to come into camp soon after we do. At Rappahannock Station a week ago today, they were riding over the battle-field, selling their papers, before the smoke had cleared away & while the dead & wounded men still scattered over the ground. The newspapers from Washington today are full of the wedding of Kate Chase. Well, I hope they'll be happy but fear they wont. We are having a quite pleasant time here—no letters have come in and the commissary has been rather bare, but Coates & Mimmack managed to get some corn & to have it ground at Kelly's Mills at Kelly's Ford. Wherefore we have had a chance to renew our acquaintance with the taste of corn bread & fried mush! Miles is off this afternoon scouting for butter. __ If you write to Mary Vanderpool give her my warm regards & apologize for my not calling upon her. I really had not time to wait when last at *JH*. I fully intended to call. How I should like to see Rob and in his new boats. Love to all. Goodbye. LBB



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