Brattleboro, Vt. Dec. 8th,
Dearest wife -
I have but a little time and you will have to put up with a short letter this time. The box came safely to hand. I found that it was at the express office and asked for a pass. Capt. Brannon says “write one”. It is signed in a minute (That is the way I get them now) got a wheel barrow and trotted off, brought it up all right. That cheese will be good. It will be first rate. Our bread is nice now. I have eaten beans until I have had enough of them but still they come. There was one parcel that had not been opened, directed to you. When I opened it, Lo and behold: there was 1 pair of mittens two pair of socks and two pair of little mittens. Well, I tell you I thought of the little hands they were made to cover. The things were all right. What shall I do with the little mittens? Shall I send them by mail, or wait until I get a chance to send them up with some person coming down.
I also received a letter tonight, twice blessed. Am still in the office. The boys in the company have to go on guard every third day now. Can sleep but little. 5 men and a corporal have gone to Washington with recruits, drill but little now. I received a letter from W. H. Kingsley last night. He wrote me that John Hailey and Charles Powers had been taken. The deserters have a hard road to travel now. You have heard me speak of Major Jarvis, that was on the Island when I was there. He has been shot by guerrillas in North Carolina. Death to the murdering traitors. He was a very fine man. I hope to have a good shot at one of them, at least on his account. You ask me if I don't wish that I was at Charleston to go to the war meeting. Yes I say, I would stir them up if there is any life in them.
Yes and I would just come in and you should not be disappointed that time. Well, well I shall come sometime. Barron Moulton of St. Johnsbury has been down paying town bounties to their men. He says at their war meeting they voted to pay seven dollars a month to the substitutes out of the town treasury, and next Fall they shall try and get the Legislature to pass an act putting substitutes on the same footing with volunteers. Moses Huntley was here at the same time. He agreed to go over to Hinsdale with me, but I could not find him. Sunday morning we were running after one another. I went. Found them all well. Mary Ann likes her school very well. Susan says that she is going to keep her after her school is done. I told her what you said about a beau. I told her that I would tell her about that old widower. He is – he says – 45 years old. He smells like a minister, a baptist. Write her. She says that she is going to write you soon. There is nothing very charming about Hinsdale society.
Frederick came and brought me back; he always does. I have written more than I supposed I should, but it has been written fast I tell you. I wrote to Zopher and directed to Burlington. Tell him to write me to pay for that, write or come himself. I can write no more. Wish that I could come myself. You blow Mrs. Brainard. I wish that she and her ilk had been in the bottom of the pond before I ever saw her.
Yours in love and affection,