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11th New Hampshire Infantry

Item LTR-5814
May 14, 1863 Nathaniel Lowe


Original Civil War soldier's letter. 3 pages written in period ink.

Camp 11th NH Vols
Lancaster, KY
May 14th, 1863

11 O’clock A.M.

My Own Dear Jen,

I have just come in from drilling (Company L) in the manual of arms. This afternoon we have an inspection of the camp, arms, clothing and etc. so the boys are hard at work cleaning up. Last night we got a large mail. I was happy at receiving two letters from Aunt Jane mailed in Boston the 5th and 7th. Also a number of Heralds. Was glad to hear that you were well and still live. Was very much amused at the burst of patriotism in your letter of the 5th. You say if you were a man you would stay until the last gun was fired. Am I to understand Mam by that, that it is your wish that your better half should not leave the army?
I am willing to do about anything that you desire but I don’t know about you getting rid of me, old lady, so easy as all this comes too. Ha! ha! Smart gal, Jane! But you can’t shake your old husband off as easy as all that, so siree.
I am under deep obligations to your brother Hazen for looking after my wife. I am sorry though that she is so much trouble that he can’t do it any longer. I know well that she used to be a pretty wild gal but I was in hopes that I had succeeded in taming her a little. I am glad to know that it was no one but your brother George that told you about the talk between Frank Vittum and myself for had it been some outsider, I reckon I should have been a little, just a little provoked. It rained about all day yesterday but today it is quite cool and comfortable. Last night Capt Hough, Capt Hutchins and Lt master, Pitt Mose, all of the 9th Regiment, called upon me. I had the fun yesterday of making out a thundering report of the doings of the Board of Survey that I am upon.
The news looks bad from Hooker’s Army. We hear that he has not recrossed the river. I am afraid he got a bad whipping. It is lucky for us that we were not there for the 9th Army Corps having a fighting reputation would have been put to the front as we were before. I see by the Herald that the 12th NH Regt us about all cut up. The 3rd Division of this Corps was left behind at Suffolk, the 10th and 13th Regts are in that. I see they have had a good deal of fighting there and expect they have had to take Jesse. Jen, we have been very lucky to be out of these last squalls, don’t you think so?

I got a letter from mother last night who thought we were on our way to Tennessee as she saw that Burnside’s Army was in motion. Well, I believe that most of the Army here is within twenty miles of Cumberland Gap but somehow this Division don’t seem to be with them. I don’t know what they mean to do with us. I reckon though we shall rusticate during the summer months.
I think it would be a pretty easy matter for an officer to get his discharge here now as we are not in the face of the enemy. I think I had better stay until July at least, don’t you? Tell me what you think my dear because you know whenever you say the word, Home I go. Jen it is eight weeks today that you and I left Dover for Concord. It seems a long while though since I have seen you and when the time does come for me to start for Dover to meet you, reckon I shall feel a little dot gay and happy.
I am expecting Lieutenant Twombly everyday as I have not heard from him lately and his extension is out today, without he has sent another certificate. He has had quite a furlough – seventy days.
Remember me to all of our friends and with much love for yourself, I am as ever,
Your affectionate Husband.
Nate Low Jr.