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December 4, 2012

Letter from Charles Goddard of the 1st Minnesota to his mother from camp at Falmouth, Virginia – December 4, 1862

Filed under: Civil War Daybook — Lori Williamson @ 9:00 am

Dec 4th 1862
Dear Mother: I received your kind letter of the 16th of Nov informing me you had a grand entertainment for the benefit of the sick Soldiers. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to hear that the Ladies of Winona are doing so much for those who realy need the help. I am so very glad to hear that you are in such good health. There is very little going on here now and I do not think there will be much done as long as Gen Burnside is in Command. I have no confidence in him[.] New York papers dated 3d states that he is likely to be removed. I do realy hope so. General Hooker will be the next one I think. It will be little Mc’s turn before long[,] that is to say I long to see. The people of the United States will learn before long that it requires a little time to move an Army of this size. Falmouth is one of the most Godforsaken places I ever saw in my life, the inhabitants that are around in the street standing or leaning up against the corners look as if they had not a friend in the world and if you ask them how they like their visitors, “Right smart” will be ther answer and you can’t get a nother word out of them. the greater part of them do not know how to read and wright. On our last tramp through Va via Ashbies gap* and Warrenton I was sent to a farm house to gard there property[.] they wer kind hearted people but very ignorant. there was not one of his family that could read or wright and he had a host of children[.] he had never been 50 miles from home in his life, nor did they seem to have the least desire to see the Capitol. We can hardly blame such people as these for being Rebbles. they have been tought to think that the Yankees were coming to take there property away from them and the only way for them to save there property would be to join the Rebble Army. The leading traitors have put this in their heads and you cannot get it out of there heads[.]
I am very sory for Ruben Black but it cant be helped. There has been more than one fellow put his name down for Uncle Sama service thinking he would have a fine time but would awaik alas to late and find him self in a bad scrape. Ruben is in the Mounted Rangers is he not[?] Since we have been here we have not had near enough to eat I suppose it is on account of the rail road not being in repair from the mouth of Aquia Creek to the Rappahanock[.] Flour is only 25 Dollars a barl. here and tobacco$2.00 a plug[.] I tried to get a couple of pounds of flour the other day the man showed me sum flower that he said was a little sour, and that it was only worth 10 cts a pound[.] I councluded I would go without. We have had a great deal less rain so far this fall than I expected. the roads are very bad. We have heard that Sam Stebbins was going to get his discharge. I do hope he may for I dont think he can stand the fatigueing marches the Army have to undergo and besides Sam is a newly married man and I have no doubt he is very ancious to get home. Ely is in fine health but nearly as dark as an Indian[.] he is in fine spirits[.] Charly North is well and good health, and often washes for a meal atMrs Smithes[.] John Leymr has inlisted in the 1st Regular Cavalry for the remainder of his 3 years. Hiram Brink is well also[.] At one time when we wer at Bolivar nearly the whole Regt was a going to inlist in the 1st Regular Cavalry but they stoped recruiting and that was the only thing that saved our Regt. or they would have been scatterd through the different Cavalry and Artilry Regts[.] I tell you that you came very near having a son in the Cavalry for at that time there was a great deal of talk about a Winters campaign and I thought I could stand it better on hors back than on foot, but it hapend so I could not go. Lieutenant John Ball is assigned to Co [G] of this Regt and is First Lieutenant[.] he was our orderly sargent at camp Stone Md. Joseph Periam is our Captain[.] we like him much better than we did when we first came in the service. I have heard that McKenedy is in Winona[,] if so he will be [enting] a great dash around there I expect. My love to Brother Orren[.] Good by Mother. C. E. Goddard

I have no postage stamps nor can I get any here so I will have to mark it soldiers letter and you can pay the postage
Dec 5th
I have since yesterday got a postage stamp of one of my comrads[.] It is raining and hailing like evry thing. there is fair prospects of wet weather for [sourc kind]
I have this envelope directed and Soldiers letter on it but will not change it now[.]

*Ashby’s Gap: a wind gap in the Blue Ridge Mountains near the northern border of Virginia.

Citation: December 4, 1862 Letter from Charles Goddard to his mother, Correspondence 1853-1862. Smith, Orrin Fruit and Family Papers, 1829-1932. Minnesota Historical Society. [P1434 box 1]

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