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4th Massachusetts Heavy Artillery

Item LTR-9851
March 27, 1865 John W. Piper
Price: $225.00


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

Fort Worth, Va.
March 27th 1865

Dear Wife,

I got no letter from you last night. We have just been to dinner today. It is a very pleasant day. It was a very cold night last night. I think I had as many clothes on the bed as anytime last winter & suffered as much. There has been 2 carpenters more detailed out of our company to work on the barracks and 8 men to work digging about the fort at Ft. Ward. This looks a little more as though we [are] about [to] stay here this summer, I think. The war news in the Chronicle this morning looks rather more favorable to our cause. The Rebs begin to think very seriously of giving up their cause as a hopeless case. They think that they cannot hold out longer than midsummer unless they put the Blacks into the field. Then they think there is not much of a sight for them to gain their independence. It seems by the paper this morning that there was a whole Division tried to break through the lines up towards Goldsboro & came into our lines. This don’t look very flattering for Gen. Lee and company. We may soon expect that Mobile will be ours very soon. We shall just as sure take it as we attack it.

I shall have to hurry up or I shall not get this letter ready to go out in this mail. I wish that I had not sent that letter in which I mentioned Mr. White’s name. I wrote it in haste from what I heard & I at the time considered it came from a reliable source. When I sent it, I thought that I had better have burnt it. I have been talking with Mr. [De Witt] White today & he denies the charge – that he had any reference to me, at any rate. We talked the matter all over & came to an agreement on it. And I am satisfied that he did not mean any harm and have overlooked it all & shall treat him as a friend. We had a long talk & I showed him the difficulty which I had labored under in regard to the company fund. He did not understand that we had any company fund in hand and he thought that there were many more that thought in the same way. Now I think that there are saved up about 800 dollars which I have not got pay for. The Captain has repeatedly told me that he has explained this to the men as the cause that they sometimes come short of rations. But somehow they did not seem to understand it. If the Captain don’t, I shall make them understand it. I have now today put our 350 dollars for the company depending on the company fund. I have paid up the Captain every cent I borrowed of him & now I have got to stand the blunt of it whether we get the company fund or not. I shall get in my bills as soon as possible & send the money home and I guess that when I put any more money for a company, it will be when we have it in hand.

It is getting towards 3 P.M. & I shall have to close or I shall [not] send this in this mail. I hope you have not said any word that I have said about Mr. White. I think that I shall be a little careful about blaming anyone till I am sure. I believe I have said but very little. And I hope I shall say less the next 4 months. I think that I shall have to forget a great deal that is now fresh in my mind before I should ever consent to let one of my boys go to war if money would keep them out. I think that if I have learned this part of the lesson well, I think it may be worth this year’s campaign.

It is now coming warm weather & I shall be rambling round some & time will soon wear away. It is rather sad to be placed in a place where we wish the moments to fly faster. But I think that I has got to that in this year. But I am well & shall come out all right. The right side up & then no thanks to anyone. My independence is a little much to have any love to the military men.

Yours in much love – J. W. Piper