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


4 pages


Nokesville April 6th 64 My Dear Wife: Yours of the 31st of March came last night, but having dispatched an epistle to you yesterday morning, I couldn't think of answering it immediately, even to tell you the name of the "she" who is a more prompt correspondent than yourself. And upon second thought I don't think I shall tell you now just to see whether you will try any harder to beat her! Now that I have "taken my pen in hand" I don't want you to expect any thing but words, for I do not believe I ever felt more empty-headed that I do this evening. We have nothing to do, nothing has happened within the range of our observation and beyond the circle of your knowledge. The newspapers give us all the items we get and and for the past week they have been as dull as ditch-water. The Gothamites have got a new "excitement" now and it is to be earnestly hoped that these restless souls will have some peace until it is over. It is a pity that so much effort is made to raise money, a great part of which is wasted. In my short experience in campaigning I have not seen a dollar's worth of good done by the funds of the Sanitary Commission. It would be very unjust and untrue to say that they have not accomplished much good, but nothing to be compared to what the outlay should have secured. It grinds me to the soul to see what has cost the patriotic and the benevolent so much money should be so divested from its proper uses. If they could only make all their contributions through their own agents there would be much less wasted and much more good done, tho even then, no doubt, much would be stolen and wasted. Unhappily they truck these stores to some who treat the soldier with brutality while filling their bellies with the eatables and making themselves snug with the comfortables provided for them. Perhaps there is not so much of this as I think, but I am afraid there is rather more that less. I would like to expose some of these fellows and I will if I get a good chance and it does not require too much trouble. It is a thankless business to expose such meanness, and it generally is to expose any meanness for the mean streets in human nature is so universal that the average of mankind would take sides against one. In fact it seldom pays to take up arms against any individual transgression, tho' very popular sometimes to talk loudly against the transgression itself. I was terrified at first by your announcement of Kate F's arrangements, but I was pleased to find upon a closer scrutiny of your writing that it was the son not the father who had succumbed to her charms. The original Mrs. B. was a thorough bad parvenu of whom I have heard some silly stories. What has become of her daughter whom, it was once, said Mr. Chan intended to marry? I suppose she has gone the way of all woman flesh but I have not heard from her for a long time. She used to be a great friend to Kate Chase I believe. Poor Kate! her reputation is no fairer at Washington than it was at home. I always pretend ignorance when anything is said to her disparagement, out of regard to her father. Well, here I am at the bottom of the page and ready to say Good night, dearest. If any bright ideas come into my head I'll write them in the morning. #The night has brought forth nothing so I'll e'en say good bye again and close my letter. Thine L.B.B.#



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