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3rd & 15th New York Cavalry - NEW

Item LTR-8390
August 30, 1862 John M. Rulifson


Original Civil War soldier's letter. 4 pages, written in period ink.

New Bern, North Carolina
August 30, 1862

Dear Alice,

Yours of the 14th of August was duly received and read with much interest and pleasure. I knew you, with the rest of the folks, would be anxious about my health and would have written before but I knew there would be no chance to send it until we got another mail when I though I should hear from you. I was not disappointed. I am now able to be in the office part of the time. But I am not strong yet. I hope to be healthy and strong in a short time. But enough of this again from Maine to the center of Virginia. Our country is in a perfect hubbub and no one knows which way to turn. Or hardly which way they are facing. But I have hopes that all may yet be well and I think if the first three hundred thousand gets in the field in time to save our old army, we will yet be victorious. The great lack has been want of energy on the part of our leading men and generals and this lack of energy and determination seems to follow along down among all grades of officers. There is only one man in this regiment that has got bravery and energy sufficient to guarantee him the office he holds and he is a Captain.

Perhaps you think I talk all the time about war. Well, I think about that most of the time and consequently have little else to write about. I often think of old times and wish they could be realized again. But soon the thought, I am a soldier now and I will battle with the soldier’s life until I return again to my friends and loved ones or one lost to them forever.

I am glad you are going to school and hope you are learning like everything. I am pretty comfortably situated now. I have good board, a good bed, with a mosquito net over it. And by the way, these varmints are so thick here that you can hardly keep your place while reading. They fly before your eyes in such clusters and they scarcely ever all fly by. Some will stop and try to scrape acquaintance and are usually successful so far as to get a good bite and it swells on one like the bite of an adder.

I think from what you said that Fred must make a pretty good soldier. I rather hopeed he would. I wish I could have been homesteading this last recruiting service. I think I could have got up men enough to have got a pair of stripes on my shoulders. I care but little about it in this regiment. Because I generally associate with a more honorable class of men than our officers are and have as much money.

Excuse all mistakes and poor penmanship for the skeets have most eat me up.

J. M. Rulifson