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


4 pages


Nokesville April 24. 64 My Dear Wife: The hard times are coming fast! After living all winter on soft tack and fresh beef we are about to go back to regular soldier's fare, hard tack and fat pork. Hard as it was last Fall we shall no doubt find it harder this Spring. We are now to have two *waggents* to our regiment where we have five last Fall. This is a very small allowance when the waggons must each carry ten days rations for six mules. However we have made our bed and we are compelled to lie in it, whether we like it or not. I think I shall buy another horse to pack my traps and enable me to keep myself somewhat comfortable. I had a chance to buy one to-day very cheap and though the matter was settled but my Lieut. was so much occupied with other matters that he let the opportunity slip and the beast was sold for $20. It belonged to the old woman who darned my socks; she left to-day for Washington, and by way of celebrating her departure we came very near burning the house down. My little property would all have gone I suppose if the house had burned. Poor Nokes! It would have broken his heart and he never could have been convinced that it was not intentionally done, as we have often told him that we intended to burn it down when we left. The above was written last night altho' it is dated to-day. I commenced with the intention of writing you a long letter on this sheet, but fear want of time will compel me to abandon the idea, if not want of ideas. The Military Justice Bureau bill has passed: the Assistants are to have the rank of Col. of Cavalry with $3000 and no allowances or endowments. The bill passed the Senate on Friday. I write to Robert by this mail and urge him to exert himself to get the appointment for me. I hope he saw that the bill had passed, tho it is quite as likely he did not. I have not heard a word from him since he reached Washington. The place is just such a one as I would like to have but as there will be a great struggle for it, I have but faint hopes of succeeding. I sent you $50 in a letter on the 15th and $20 in one on the 21st. I have also sent my pay account for April, or rather I sent it to Robert who if he remains in Washington till the end of the month, is to get it cashed and give the money to you. There will be $147.97, out of which he will pay Luther Brady $15 and perhaps something more if he buys me a pair of saddle-bags. This is the last money I shall be able to send you for some time. Capt. Putnam's little boy died of small-pox -- it was the eldest -- and the Capt was threatened with it himself. The whole family had it. Lieut. Putnam corresponds with the Pratt girls and as like as not will be marrying one of them some of these days. Have you ever got the grapevines or roses from Nokes? I suppose not or you certainly would have mentioned it. He is a great old blatherskite and promises an infinite deal more than he performs. If I should happen to see him I think he would send the things, particularly if I stood by and saw that he did it. He probably thinks that he can make nothing more out of one and that it is not worth his while to waste any more of his generosity upon me. In your letter of the 14th you spoke as if I had not been explicit enough about my application. I was explicit, but unfortunately nobody has paid the slightest attention to my directions. I asked my friends to get some letters from influential friends to recommending me for the place and that they might be sent to me or Mr. Chase. Instead, Robert writes a batch of begging letters to sundry persons who if they read them at all, pitched them into their wastepaper basket and thought no more of them. Mr. Odlin's letter would have been a very useful one if it could have been presented to Mr. Stanton now, but as it is he has probably never seen it or has forgotten it. I think some of my friends, had they interested themselves might have obtained some letters that would have helped me. I wrote to Sam Craighead ordering him to write to John Sherman in my behalf, but have heard nothing from him. I shall not think very kindly of him, if he has not done it, altho' I do not suppose it wd have done any good as Sherman's supporting Capt. Anderson of my regiment for the same place. I have stuck to Sam thro' thick and thin all the time, knowing him all the while to be a very selfish fellow, so full of no. 1. that there was no room for much else. I wrote to *Wib* Connor at the same time, more than a month ago, but he has not answered my letter. It is possible it miscarried. The letter to Sam was enclosed in that to *Wib.*, as I did not think of writing to him until I had commenced writing to *Wib*. He has so much to do in his office that I suppose he seldom feels like sitting down to write a friendly letter, and he too is a good deal like Sam, but has a good deal more head. Selfishness is a very comfortable worldly virtue and out to be cultivated by all who unfortunately find deficient therein. Was Ally Husman the victim of Bidwell and Co, Cinti, who opened that store in Shoop's building of which an account was contained in the Journal you sent me? Those rascals appear to have done a pretty large business and to have got away with the plunder safely. Ally is not a young man of principle, and will probably get into ugly scrapes pretty often. He is too "fast" to be honest. My letting writing is pretty near done for the present. When we move you must not expect to get anything more than notes from me and these will be short and infrequent. I have some envelopes already superscribed with a half sheet of paper in them, ready to send you a line by any opportunity. You must keep writing however as we shall receive our mails occasionally and it will be pleasant to hear from home whenever the mail arrives. A disappointment then will be much more keen than it is now, when I can console myself by hoping that to-morrow's mail may bring me one. There is some prospect that the regulars will be brigaded by themselves as one or two other regiments are coming down to join us. If this is the case a General will probably be assigned to it, but I may be in #command again until he joins. Much love to all LBB#



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