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


4 pages


Nokesville April 2. 64 I dare say, my dear wife, you will frequently be excited by newspaper paragraphs on my account, and I therefore beg of you not to put too much faith in the announcements so flippantly made by newspaper correspondents. I have heard of several in the N.Y. Herald of yesterday which will probably excite your fear should they fall under your eye. They are false and mischievous and will needlessly alarm many a poor soldier's wife. The Spring is rapidly passing away and it would be very unwise in our military chiefs to let the days pass without making preparation for the work this army is expected to do in the coming campaign. Of course orders are being issued to complete the reorganization so lately commenced but none have yet been received which indicate an early movement. I have not thought that a forward movement was likely to occur much before the first of May under any circumstances. The army is being strengthened daily, but as the Eleventh and Twelfth Corps are coming here from the west, they must arrive and be prepared for service before anything is done. It is said this army is to be very strongly re-enforced -- it will probably be much stronger than it has ever been, before it commences offensive operations. The troops may however not all come here, and I think it very probably they will not. In that case, it will be necessary to concentrate them at some point and have them fully equipped to strike a co-operating blow at the same time we move before Lee. All this will take time, and if it came to be the first of June before we had struck our tents I should not be greatly surprised. Another thing -- the state of the roads must be taken into consideration, as we can not move should the season prove very wet. I have written you my anticipations of a rainy spring -- these will certainly be realized unless we are to have nine months together of exceedingly dry pleasant weather. The roads are in a horrible condition now -- were indeed two days since, -- and it has rained constantly a part of yesterday, all night and day to-day and now as I write -- 9.30 P.M. it is still raining hard. If it continues to storm a day or so longer it will be no easy matter to get rations for my command. I have feared we should be ordered to march before the bad weather come on and be obliged to endure all the wretched messes of life in a temporary camp during a protracted season of bad weather, but I now feel as if we were to be allowed to spend some of it at least in our old camps where we have every thing as comfortable as we have a right to expect. Old settlers tell me that this and the coming month are two of the most disagreeable of the year -- if I am not mistaken -- *unth* as you know they are generally as wet as any another, in the years, with one or two exceptions, the winter months of course not being included. The nearness of the sea-coast probably makes these months more moist here than with us. Should my surmises prove true, the newspaper after having by false reports raised unfounded expectations of an early movement, will probably soon begin to denounce the Army of the Potomac for not moving. Indeed, it would not surprise me to find the journals that are now making a demi-god of Grant beginning to intimate that he is a failure and a humbug before the Fourth of July. It will certainly cost a great many lives and regain some brilliant successes to preserve the fame of our Lieut Genl untarnished until the leaves begin to fall. I think he takes command of the Army under happier auspices than any other generals except *Mr Lellan*, and I hope that under his guidance it will experience better fortunes. It has generally fought well and will do so again; its frightening qualities have always deserved more than it has achieved. Having mailed you a letter this morning you might well guess that I would have little more to write you this evening than my own thoughts. If they should save you from some moments of unnecessary pain and anxiety, I shall be very glad. #I rec'd a Journal and a Commercial from you to-night but no letter, none however was expected. You write as often as you can, dear woman, and# #I could not without extreme selfishness expect you with all your cares and labors to write as often as I who have, just now, so much less to occupy me.# #I hope you will sew as little as possible -- put out your sewing and see if you cannot get along better. It will be better to sacrifice every thing before health, that when gone will require the sacrifice of happiness besides.# #I am sorry your account of the children's health is not what I could wish -- particularly Robbie's; whose case I don't understand. Watch them close but give them plenty of exercise. I am very glad to hear that Sella is doing so well with her music. I hope she will continue to do so. Love to you all. Thine L.#



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.