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


4 pages


Camp Near Peola Mills Nov 25th 1863 My Dear Wife: Yesterday morning when I got up I had little expectation of having an opportunity of writing to you so soon. The night before an order had come for us to march at 6.30. We had strict orders to allow no large fires to be lighted at night + to prevent the burning of the *huts* and every other combustible thing as is generally done when we leave camp. Having got all the use out of them that we can, there is almost an unanimous determination to prevent any one else from enjoying any thing we have made for our own comfort. Reveille sounded at 4. It began to rain soon afterwards and by the time we were to march 6.30 the roads were in a bad condition, the rain of Saturday having made them very muddy. We had got but a little way from our camp before we learned that the order was countermanded. But *as* the *orderly* could not find Gen. Sykes, we went on, trudging through the mud until we were about a mile from camp, when we were ordered to go back + be ready to leave at a moment's *warning*. We were glad enough *then* that we had destroyed nothing when we left, as all we had to do on our return was to pitch our tents & build a fire and we were soon comfortable enough for soldiers, and jolly + contented with the change in our *fortunes*. For we had expected to march all day thro' mud + rain, encamp without fire and go on again the next day, unless the *Rebs* met us and drove us back, and then probably somebody would have got hurt. We were all confident of accomplishing something till the rain set in when our *spirits* began to droop + *feelings* of failure were very *general*. The reason we turned back *is* said to be because our artillery stuck in the mud. Judging *pon* what I saw of the *three* batteries (light *twelves*) belonging to our Division, I could well understand how the much heavier 32 pounders stuck *hopelessly* in the mud. It is said also that our pontoon train was in the same condition. - To-day the weather is fine + if it continues so, may tempt our Generals to make another effort. It is hardly probable that the road will be in a fit condition for military operations again this winter. The people about here are well off but not intelligent. We are encamped in what is called *Kellysville*, tho there is no town, because the land belongs to the Kelly family + their relations, principally. *Mr Mimmack* has been visiting a family named Shackleford a good deal. He buys *lone* of the old man for our needs and talks to his daughter. She is 18 or 19 but apparently doesn't know beans. He asked her where Peola Mills *were*: she answered she had never seen them She knew they were over there, pointing in the direction. Now Peola mill - an old saw mill is about a mile from her *home* and can almost be seen *from* it but this hopeful specimen had never seen it! She had been at her uncle's about a quarter of a mile off; at the minister's who lives about the same distance from her house, all three houses being in plain sight of the others. She had also been at Mr Kelly's, about a mile off and had *lived* in Culpepper some. This is the *extent* to which this only daughter of a the *owner* of about a thousand acres of land has seen the world. Mimmack says he does not believe she can read or write! We got the news of Burnside's + Franklin's defeat yesterday on our return, but not being able to get any newspapers we did not learn the particulars. From the last *advisor* I had seen from Burnside, I anticipated a disaster there. - We get our mail in the evening from 7 to 8, and send ours away about 5.30 PM. - so that there is no chance of answering letters on the day they are recd. I have sent you a check for $80 on the Western Bank Philadelphia, also my November pay account. With these I hope you will have funds enough to last a while. As long as I am in the field I *intend* to keep my pay drawn as *fast* as it *becomes due* because I *learn* that it is hard to get one's accounts settled when an officer is out of service. So that if any thing should happen to me you might have trouble in *getting* what is due me.#Tell Robbie I was very much pleased with his letter and hope he will write again soon. To-morrow is Thanksgiving Day how I wish I could be home to spend it with you. I hope we shall be able to keep them together hereafter. Good bye dearest Thine L.B.B.#



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