2nd Battery Light Artillery
Charles Henry Dyer
Port Hudson. LA.
February 7th, 1864
This last week ended very pleasent, as we had good weather all the time, and have enjoyed it very much. I received your last letter--wednesday morning. it was only two days coming. it was very quick, don't you think so. that was the cause of my enjoying myself and feeling so pleasent all the week, and the time past very quick for I have been very busy. Tuesday I went to aride with Mrs. Chase on horse back, we went quite around the place upon the inside. I have neaver been the whole distance yet. we and a very pleasent time, made several calls. The Battey has made a frame for a shade our horses sixty yeards lend. I have been courting some this week. I do not think that the court martial will meet any more, we have for amusement ball playing and I feel the efforts of two much exercise. Our gardens are improving, but we want some seeds to sow which we cannot get up here. We intend to have lettise beets and other vegetable growing soon, then we can supply our own table, today after inspections, I went out to the Slorters House and geathered some flowers, the first of 1864, they were daffodils I believe I gave them to Mrs. Chase. I went to the place our Bettery was statuned upon the siege, the works have been levelled, but we could see just how they were, and the place call to menery many insidence that happened sooner upon a time. I saw the place that Chase was laying in when he got his mouth full of earth from the effects of a bullet stricking a sand bag. I saw a log that we had our heads against and the Rebels hit so meny times. I think sometimes that I would like to go through thoes times again, but I expect that I would be sick of it very soon, if I thought that it was to be so. since I commenced this I have been to a Nigroe wed-ding but was disappointed as well as the is to happy frar's was for the Chaplain did not come to do his dutys. There is quite a number of Ladies at this place now and they make calls as they always will do, and they form quite a Society of them selves. Mrs. Chase is enjoying good health but she does not tease me so your wish will not be fullfilled. If you feel like teasing me again, why, just do it and see what you will get, or make by it. thoes that live in glass houses must not through stones, and I will tell you if you ever want to quarrel with me you will have to do it by your self for I shall not be offended by anything that you say or write, so you can do just what you have a mine to without any fear. I have not been offended by any of your letters, but if I ever had a cause it is now, in this one, you accuse me of being very sensitive, just because you did not understand the meaning of what I said about nonsense, now I wanted to get you to write more of what you called nonsense, now I think more of you than to apply any such meaning as you pretend to think that I applied. I will not accept any pardons for what was not; and the only way that I will forgive you for this last is by your placing more confi-dence in me and not not be so carefull instead of being more so, will you agree to it; I do not know What to say about your question woman and her master. I do not think just as you do, for there is a great difference between a master and a tyrant, we all have masters or mistreses in one way or the other, some let wiskey be there master and a tyrant at that; but I suppose you want to know if a wife is to be governed by her husband; now I think that he is her master in everything that is wright but not to tyronnize over her. they, to be happy must consult each other and - adapt the best way to be happy. I do not think that woman has been ill treated by man as a General thing, for man has raised then far above them selves in Society, and if any bodys are tyrants they must be women for they have the most power and influence but I do not think that a man and woman true to them selves will ever quarrel to see which is Master or Mistress. they should each do there duty and then ther would not be any need of a tyrant, on eather side! than you think that you can be lazy If you wish. I think if a person is lazy they will find a way to indulge it. (at least I have) and I do not think that addie Fancisco would have done as She has done if she had been lazy; now you only said so just to see what I knew about you; perhaps Belle frosted me on what you have done for the years past; There is no one allowed to leave this place under any circum-stances so Mrs. and Mrs. Chase will not come down very soon, perhaps before christmas you seem to set my taking toll at naught; I will show you what I will do when I come down, you can talk as saucy as you please through your letters; but you may change your mind sometime; and now, I do not think that you would punish me if I did as the boy did, if the kiss was thrown to the Teacher instead of a scholar, dont you think so; I am not affraid to try; I received a paper that you sent, and I found it very interesting and quite full of news had I bought it here I would not haave read one half of it, but it came from you and it was more interest-ing on that account. Addie I have not had any wiskey in my tent for two months nor have I tasted any for that time and I do not intend to do so this year, wont that be doing well for a Soldier, than you would not like to live in a tent. It is very nice some times but I do not think that a woman can stand to be exposed to the weather as we can, but some of them do and appears to enjoy it very much it is quite romatic to have one's house in a shape to carry from place to place, and would be very pleasent if it was all fair weather, but I find some unpleasent spots, say take one of our cold nights and be without a stove and sleep alone with not to many blankets, when a fellow is very glad to have morning come so that he can get warm; you would not like that, would you; if you did you could not endure It it is quite cold to night and I have no stove, so I have humid this through, have you heard from Pythe or Belle. Holcomb papers are in a very bad condition and he wanted Chase an myself to straighten them out, now we can only do part - he is the only one that can do it + but he will not attend to it he wrote to Chase to send me down after papers I at Jefferson as I would want to see you, now I would like to do so, but not to get papers for I have enough of thoes up here, we are willing to do anything to fix up his accounts, but we can not get his papers be-cause no one is permitted to go after them from this place. I am wondering what you are think of at this time, perhaps your thoughts may be turned to Port Hudson. This being leap your you can exercise your liberty by letting me know some of your secrets, but it's getting very cold so I must bid you good night. Re-member me to your mother and believe me.
(Write a long letter soon) your most Devoted (To somebody that I love) Cousin Charles, H, Dyer
Port Hudson La.
February 21st 1864
I take this oppertunity to answer yours of the 7th inst. I find that there will be one letter missing from my pile as I did not recerve yours of the 14th, do you think that you could tell, or will ever forget the reason of my not receiving it; I know that I neaver shall. I received instead, what made me very happy and what gave me more pleasure that a dozen letters would, not that I think less of your letters but that I value your own Dear self more, and if I cannot have one I want the other. If you could see me here, writing very carmly you would not think that you had the power to confuse me and allmost tie one's tongue; but I was to full of gladness and joy to talk very much, but perhaps when the School is out, my little school maim will know more of me and I can find away to show my love and affections for her; but I have something upon my finger that reminds me of a pledge, given by the hearts and is stronger than words would have made It; for pledges made by words only are often broken, but thoes by the heart neaver. I hope that you will neaver have a cause to regret of the confidence and trust you have placed in me, for I have accepted the love and heart of my Addie and will do my best to please her and make her happy, do you want to know the reason of the change of Cousin to some thing else; if you do you will have to answer It your self. Your Mother is willing to share with me the love of her only child for I asked her, and I have my other picture, so I have nothing to do but to wait for time to pass. I think there is no missunderstanding between us, and I do not entend to have any if that cousin Sylvander comes to carry you up river, you can tell him that you have concluded that you like the South very well, but I think now, as you did, that it's a long time to the 1st of July. I believe that this will cover all that your letter contains so I will tell you about my coming up here we did not leave New Orleans untile thursday night, upon the Iberville and it was bitter cold. I would have liked to have come up wednesday night, but I thought that It would not have looked just wright, and Mrs. Chase thought that I was growing poor runing so much, but you know what she is. She is well to day but was very glad to get Home for she calls this her home, so quick, she say's that she wants to see this letter, but I said no. I asked if she would show her letter to me, after she had finished it for you, and of course she said no, but I told her that I should find out if she said anything about me, she says lust as if addie would tell you (me) what is wrote, this may keep her from teasing you; but it will not me, she saw the ring upon my finger and look very knowing, and hinted very close to the truth but I do not care, for I have one that will be on my side a part of the time. I have been to work enlisting veterans and have got nineteen that has surved two years, thease will go north soon, upon a furlough of sixty-days, you see that my mind Is in the army and I expect that I shall want to stay in it until this war ends, for there is something that drews me into it and I cannot resist it no more that I could from loving you, but I will try to get out when you want me to - that will be fare. I wonder if my Addie is writting to me to night I fell very confident of it; time will tell. There is a report that the 1st Brg 1st Div corps, d, a, is to march as they were inspected today, we are in the 2d Brigade 2d Division C, d, A. Mrs. Chase says that she cannont write this time as she had two many letters to answer, but will do so the next time. I like her very much; dont you, she is to make my shoulder knots. I wanted to have you make them but I could not get the cord. I should have valued them much more if you had made them. I know that you would have done so if I had asked you, would you not; these, I have been planning work for you, and I think that you work to hard now, that's just like me, but everything seems much better if made by one that we love, our weather has become very fine again, and it makes camp life very pleasent. Addle I have something to tell you, now don't laugh when I tell you that I had to walk from Jefferson to N.O. as I was to late for the last car. I have not told any body else, for they would have any sympathy for me: but I would be willing to try it over again if I could have the first part of it to perform; that is our little party that we had while the large one was takeing care of its self, I neaver was so happy before, but I am wrltting to much and will stop. Give my respects to our Mother; I wish that I couls love you as much as She loves you: but my heart is not so good as her's but I love will all that there is of it. I shall go to work drilling this week, and make up for lost time just as I did with you. I wish it would be as pleasent as that was. I will close hopeing that this will find my Dear Cousin well and happy.
I remain as ever (To My Addle) more, than your, Devoted Cousin, Charles H Dyer, not ten pages
Port Hudson La,
February 28th 1864,
My Dear Addie,
Nothing gives me more joy and happiness than receiving and answering letters from you, your number one was received yesterday. I cannot discribe the pleasure and gladness it gave me upon reading it's contents, it has been read and re-read many times and will be many more. My pen, like my tongue will not de-scribe or make knowne my love for you, but perhaps my actions may do so in time, but I am happy and contented in loving and being loved by the best, sweet-est and lovelyiest - Girl that I ever saw; you are to me what no one ever was before and all that I ask for is that I may enjoy the same pleasure that I now do. This war will have an end so must your school, then we may be to-gether and be as happy as we were the last evening I was up to Jefferson. I know of I no reason why we should not be happy. I will Promace to do everything that is wright and that will add to your happiness, even at the expense of my own. I to have a very husty temper, but I can govern It on most accations, but it would grieve me very much if I ever should through thoughtlesness wound the feuings of my dear Addle, but I know that she would for-give me, if I asked her to do so. I thank you for the confidence in me, and I promase neaver to betray it, my confidence in you is unlimited, and my love without bounds;
My Inkstand, like yours stood upon it's head, but me In felt to proud to do so on the floor - so took the bed. I expect that we shall be all black by the time we get out of this Nigroe hole, if you had been upon the river, you would have called It a big snow storm instead of a little for every thing came very near freezing. I was glad I was not in a tent that night you know that the stiffness was taked out of my neck upon the night of the 15th, if being close to you made it stiff; being more so cured it. I am no so sure but yours was In the same condition after I left - there was no one to tell about it.
I am very glad that your good Mother has everything planed, and a part of It is very nice for us, for we shall go North with out any doubt, and then she will be near you and you can see her whenever you please, for you know that I live partly in Mass and partly Vermount, you talk as if you put me beside you in church, now Mrs. Chase dames to have done so, she asked me if she did not work it nice to get me beside you. I passed by the seat so that she could go in first but she would not, so I had to go, but I liked it all the better. She liked her visit to the City very much, and she likes your Mother and My Addle very much she was very glad to get back here she does not tease me very much only in her sly way, do you know that I like to be teased about you, if she only knew the truth or how near she comes to it some times. I would not get much peace. I hope that your Charley will make a good singer, but you need have no fear of your dear Mother litting him out, she thinks to much of your happiness. Captain Chase has received a letter from Pythe, I did not see it, he was very well, he offered Chase a Captain Commis-sion in 1st Texas cavalry and me a 1st Lt. Sure; perhaps a Capt, now I would sooner have my position here, than all the Captians commissions in Texas - Pythe did not receive much of a promotions by going from a Capt, of a Light Battery - to a Major of a few hundred cavalry, do you do you think so, two rows of buttons Is very well for him if he can get something upon his shouldies, say an eagle.
We received a letter form Richmond Va, from my men on belle Island they were well as could be expected four was in Hospital one had died and one had been left behind in Ala, the others were well, some that we taught were killed and wounded are all wright, this news gives me a great deal of pleasure, as they were a very good lot of men, last night the woods were on fire and it made every thing look very Pretty. I have got twenty vetarans who will go noth soon I could go with them if I wanted to but I should be so far from you I will not go. Lt Baker expects to go. I have got the Maj's Papers out but can do but little with them but will do the best, I can. I have been to ride with Mrs. Chase this week, she is very timid but good company we mustes for pay to morrow, but I have not much coming, as I was paid up to the 23rd of Nov. when I, was down. Addie if I am saveing and prudent I shall have a home of my own, I have a farm In Vermont, well stocked and ever thing that is needed - but it's not all paid for yet, but will be soon. I do not think that I ever shall want to work on a farm. I think I can get a living in Boston much easier, but I like to live in the country in summer and city in winter, how do you feel about such things. I am very glad that you are willing to be plain to me. I hope that you will say just what comes first into your mind, every thing will be as safe with me as if it had neaver been spoken. No one will ever think you unmaidenly fun from it they all say about the same that you are a very nice Girl -all but me. you know that I dont, if I was only down there this evening you would think so; would you not; if you could see me try to look your picture out of Courtenance perhaps you would think that I was - week headed, then what can be expected from a fellow that has hed his heart stolen from him, but I am not with-out one for I just Drew one the same as Soldiers do. Now if you find yours gone do not accuse me of takeing it, for you know that Soldiers will not take anything out of there reach or carry off a hot stove there is something strange about this heart, for when the name of Addie Francisco is spoken it goes thump; thump; like a pumpkin a rolling dow stairs: perhaps you can account for it, just do so if you can! Give my love or what you can spare to your Mother. I am glad that you have I made her your confident for she can advise you; and it's Is so pleasent to have one that we can open one's heart to, without any fear. Mrs. Chase intended to have written to day and sent it with this, but she Is not very well. I shall expect a good long letter in answer to this.
I neaver thought that I could be half as happy as I was with you, upon your sofa. I believe that I would be willing to go to jackson again if I could find you there and enjoy a few hours as I did, then with you, a wounded leg would be noth-ing, but I will have some more with out that trouble; shall I not. I have said noth-ing about our marriage, you would think me impatiant. I am willing to wait as long as it may please you if its does not expend after I get out of the service, you must make the first advance.
I hope that this will find you well happy and contented for I remain as ever Yours as long as life lasts.
(write a long letter:
for her's is eight pages) Believe me your own
(to my Dear little Addie) Charles H. Dyer,
Port Hudson La.
March 6th 1864
I received yours of the 28th, last Friday; Thursday there was a mail come while I was out to drill, and of course I expected a letter from you, but I found none; my face, like yours was very long for I was very much disappointed and was very sober all day, but I did not let Mrs. Chase see me so, when I did get your letter, I felt happy enough to make up for all. This weak, like all others, has been very dull, no news, no excitement and I have been very uneasy. Texas Mobile or any other place away from Port Hudson would have been very acceptable, but now I feel didderent, just in the opposite direction, that's just the way with soldiers, always unsettled, but People at the north think that this war will end by the 4th of July; if so this kind of life will end. I have been reading all of your letters over to pass away time, and I have been obliged to smile very often. I see that there has been some change since we commenced; would you not recomened of my taking a wife, down South; you did not, last December; and what do you think I have caught by going on as I commenced; and do you doubt my Boldness now, am I not capable of taking toll. I think that you can answer all of thease question; dont, you? do you think that you could forgive me if I was to tease you as Pythe has; you did not think that you could once. I shall not try in the way that he did, by not coming to see you when in the City; you will get teasing enough now as Mrs. Chase has written to you, you will get all that is agoing on up here.
You ask me if I read my bible; now, I do not very often and I do not think that I shall Increase while in the army, unless I could have a Pretty little woman to help hold my book, with out making my neck stiff, do you think that you could do it? I am not an own beleaver if I do not read my bible or go the church very often;. we will commence together sometime. Mrs. Chase has been out to ride this morining, she is enjoying good health and continues to try to tease me as much as ever, how well she succeeds, she will tell you sometime in her letters, no doubt; we had a bet, about her writting to you. I thought that she had not, and bet a dollar (in fun) that she had not, and of course she got it. I shall be more carefull; than you will not let me stay so late again. do you think that you could have told me to go upon the 15th of february if I if I am not misstaken you could not have done it, but if I could be as happy as I was on that night I would walk three times that distance.
I think that you have made a knot that you cannot untie very easy; if you wanted to, it is not a Shoulder knot, but a knot of the heart, and I think if nothing happened you will make on of the Pair that will last perhaps. longer than a pair of knots.
What do you think about your Mothing shareing her love for you with me, now; you thought or pretended to think that I was not sure of her being willing to part with her daughter's affections but things changes, dont they? we have just got the order for my twenty veterans to go north on furlough. I did not want to go, for some good reason; our Cavalry has had a little time at the Rebels. we lost several and took a few prisoners. we got acquainted with a Mrs. Williams when down, the one that had the room off of Mrs. Chase; she came up on the steamer to see her intended, ("her husband has been dead only three months") who is a Cap-tain in C,d,a; she found him, and they had a time. he got drunk and she she sent up for Chase to come down, be went but did not stay long.
This cold weather makes the Nigroes die off fast in time they will get the largest number outside as they burry them there. you must not let Mrs. Chase get a head of you in your letters, as I shall hear of it if you do. If your Mother Is as willing to tease you when alone as she was when we was down you have somebody that can do it very nice. Can you drink four or five cups of Coffee now. if you can or ever could you would not be so poor in flesh. Mrs. Chase may repersent that I did not eat as much as I wanted when there, by compareiflg it to what I now eat, for I have a good appetite just as a Soldier should have, she joked me about It and I told her that it was no wounder that you did not want to keep her if that was a fair sample of what it would cost to keep her. now she is not a very large eater, so she took it in good part. I have just come from her tent, she received her box by express; she showed me her new dress or cloth to make one of; a new hat and gave me some candy just like a woman always want to show every that they get new. some of our men will get drunk but I do not see where they get there liquer. we have one in confinement for making trouble, Mrs. Chase was some scared, but she would get use to thoes kind of sceans if she lived in the army. I do not think that I ever shall take my wife into camp, unless I change my mind, for I should love her to well to expose her to the hardships of this life! it's as much as we can do to live through it, but it would be very pleasent to have a kind and loving wife to sit beside and talk nonesence to or something better. Addle, just imagine your-self up here as a Mrs. Dyer, how you would make things stand around in a Batchelor tent, and perhaps the old batchelor him-self, would we not have a time; each trying to make the other happy; and we would be happy; as happy as we were when I was up there last, that would be so nice - when will that day come? You Darling beloved and ever good little woman. if I can only make you as happy as I am this moment while writting to you I shall be contented. I wish that I could come and get a kiss silly; dozen think that you would begoing to sleep as your Mother thought; my thoughts are with you all of the time not a moment passes but my dear little Cousin is before me. my endeavers will always be to make you happy. you have my heart in your keeping but I have a better one in mine and I shall take good care that I do not love it as I did mine before if Belle should see this letter, she would think that I had a valentine at Jefferson dont you - you sweet Addle? I will call you all the hard names that I can think of. I do not think that I shall be able to write ten pages, but I will write ten times a page each time.
I have your picture before me (it is, the most of the time) but I do not see that smile that I promaced to received with it; you know when I took it and thought it sober, that I would take the smile from your face, you may smile upon your dear mother until I come down. Give my love, ("all that you can spare"), to her, but I have ran all out of thoughts to write. if I should keep on it would be nothing but my Dear Addle, my love; my affectionate cousin; and perhaps my dear is to be wife so I will stop until next time
Write soon and long - Addle remember
give me what is nearest me as ever your own Love
to your good heart Charles, H, Dyer,
(To my beloved, Addle)
Port Hudson La,
March 13th 1864,
My dear Addle,
I recerved number 3, yesterday and was was very happy as I am always to receive one from you, but I am sorry that you was disappointed, if it was not quite so far, down, I would carry my letters to you, than you would not be disappointed, for I should be on time without fail, but you will receive them all in time. I am ahead of you this weak in receiving letters, for I have got four; three besides yours. two was from Brothers and one from a friend, not a cousin or a female! I will tell you what this friend said; and perhaps I could take his advise, he was married last winter, so he knows what he is talking about. Well; he said if I could find a yound Lady that is not afraid to stand to a washtub, can make good bread roast a turkey nice good mince pies and cakes and above all can make a home happy and comfortable: if I can find such a one. Marry her and do all that I can in return to make her happy, and I will enjoy a heaven on earth; now what do you think of that piece of advice? I think that I have found one that will fullfill the last part of it, in making a Home happy, dont you! I believe that I will try and see if I cannot do my part in making a somebody happy. one of my Brother's letters contained two of his photographs, this one that you have not see, and as you may want to see the whole of my Brothers. I will send one to you, one is in a sitting posture, the other standing. the other Brother is to send me one in his next; taken in costume as he has been attending some masked and fancy dress Balls, perhaps I will send you that if it comes.
I expect nothing about your receiving letters, eather from cousin or anybody else; if they can give you any pleasure. I wish that you could get them more often, or any thing else that would add happiness to my Addie life. I could have told that you was disappointed about something by your letter, dont you think so. I would have liked to have seen you and your little flock, you must have had a hard time of it before you got back home- perhaps you could have imagin how I felt after my night walk. I recerved your papers before I did the letter, also one last weak that I did not acknowledge. I am very thankfull for them for they were very interesting besides comeing from my beloved addie! as to the weather, why we have had a great variety. Tuesday night and wednesday morning we had the most Terrific thunder storm that I ever saw. it was continous flash of lighting, enough to make one's hair stand on end, and as near as could be without hurting any body. our commissary tent was struck, it pussed down one of the poles. very fortuately it did no other damage than to upset some barrels and frightning the man that was sleeping there. I expect that Mrs. Chase was some scared; for the last two days It has been very pleasent, but very windy, allmost take a tent over.
I have been to work on Pythe Papers with but little success, but I think with some swareing and a great deal of lying we may get them straight, as a great many of them are lost. I would work for no other one as I have and will for Pythe Holeomb. he may return it some day Chase has not don anything about them yet. I do not expect that he will. I would not have him know that I am to work on his papers for he ask Chase to do it, but he thought that I could be sent down after them.
My Friend are all well North, and they are having good weather, there has been but very little sleighing in Boston, but there has been a plenty in Vermont. I like sleighing very much. To day I have been down to Mount Pleasent, a place about four miles down river. I geathered a bunch of flowers for Mrs. Chase. I did not know the names of any of them. I wished that I could have given them to you. Spring time is come gentle Addie (not any) and the wild flowers are begining to be scattered over the plains. I wish that we could geather some to geather, how happy we would be, would we not? do you remember of Mrs. Chase trying to tease me abut my bill on a court-martial as Judge Advocate; if not, I will tell you; after we adjourned in december I sent in my account for the Gent approval, and recerved an Order to reassemble, but did not see any thing of my papers. so Mrs. Chase teased me a long time about it, but I am a head of her now, as last weak I sent in my bill again for twenty day's services which was approved and I recerved my money "twenty five dollars" and I found my old papers at the Quarter Masters -approved and he was waiting for me to come for the money. Chase does not get any fees, so I have turned the table on her this time; she has been very sick last weak, but is some better now, quite will, so I have not been teased much this weak, the 6th Michigan Regt or that part of it that has reenlisted has gone home on a furlough up river, perhaps there is somebody down there that is interested in that regt Nigroes took there place.
Yesterday ther was some Rebels out at the plain store, which is about four miles and where we fought then on the 21st of June. some of our Cavalery, and one piece of artillery went out, but I have not heard from them yet. I expect that they are the one's that was so polite to me and revieved me of my pistols and sabre when on a visit to Jackson,
Addie I have wrote home that I had been caught, and that I expected to be married this fall, they being so far away that they cannot tease me and perhaps it's but just that my mother should know about such things. Addie may I send your photograph, "the one that you gave me" to her, perhaps she would like to see who her is to be daughter, inlaw; if you do not It proper, say no.
Here I am sitting, writting what some call love letters. a year ago I neaver thought of such a thing, but I find that there is a vast difference between friend-ship and love. I never loved before so I did not know what the feeling was and having never been in love, I have never been deceived so I place full confidence in you and go on without fear; placing my heart and happiness in your keeping. I feel very happy in loving and being loved by a girl as good and true as my dear Addie. my life shall be such that you will regret your choice. I know that I never shall for it was the heart that made it. I do not think that we shall leave this place this summer so we shall not be any further apart, but I hope that before next year by this time we may be so situated that nothing can seperate us. why cannot we be as happy as many others have been before us, and that is all that we can enjoy on this earth. our gardens are doing very well, but it has been to cold for things to grow. just remember me to your Mother while I go to Supper. I have finished tht pleasent job, for I have a good appetite now. you may give what love to your Mother that you can spare. I am quite pleased to know that she thinks well of me, for I think much of her. Mrs. Chase has got some flowers sat-out today, they have got quite a pretty place, but mine is good enough for a batcheler, but my tent does not look as if one lived in it of that kind, not if the letters could be seen that go out of some times. our living is very good since we come from New Orleans, but our Nigroes are enough to kill the most, of folks. We spend our time just like Soldiers, I suppose. Sleep, eat, drill, camp duties, eate, and afternoon nap, drill, eat, sleep again, so from on weak to another. I get very tired of Camp life and would gladley change it for the field sometime, but I think of you and then I am contented for then I can hear from you, which is enough to pay me for all my waiting. do you not get tired of teaching school sometimes; I should think that you would; but sometime I want you to teach me how to be good perhaps that will be more of a job than takeing care of your tribe, but it will be all pleasure to me. I wish that It was July now so that I could be going down to N.O. for I expect to come down then, you will not be teaching school then. it is strange that a little school-marm can have so much influence over one of Uncle Sams Soldiers, and to make him fear her (fear of displeasing) more than he does the Rebels; but I, can stand it;' but you had better lookout how you tyrannize in your queenly state. for I will make a charge and if I cannot do anything bad I will marry so I will be revenged.
I wonder what my Dear is think of now it is about eight Oclock, perhaps she is thinking of me, time will tell, you see that you will get your ten pages this time, but I must close for this time. I do not know what to say good to you; you have my love, my heart, my friendship, my good wishes, my all, but remember me as your own True and falthfull Lover and be happy
(To his own true love Addie Francisco)
Write all you can think
of if not ten pages, good night
Charles, H, Dyer,
Port Hudson L.a.
March 20th 1864
My Darling Addie,
I take pleasure to let you know that I received number 4 last tuesday night; only two days from your hands, that was Indeed a pleasure, for you do not seem so far away, when I can hear from you so quick, and such a good letter to. I will not call it a long one, for you said not, and it's a soldiers duty to obey Orders. I wish that my letters could only give you one half the happiness that yours does me, you would be very happy. I have been very patient for Sunday to come, that I could talk to you with my pen, it has come at last but I have but little to write. our weather has been very windy and at times cold; but to day it has rained, but has cleared up again. sometimes Soldiers are very sick with what is called, Pay day on the Brain; our men have been sick for some time, but the Dr. give out his Medicine Friday that has expected a relief, this wonderful medicine is nothing more that Grean Backs in large doses, for we was paid six months Pay; I did not have that much, for I drew a part of mine down to N.O. as a General thing we have more or less of trouble after Pay, whenever our men can get Liquor, but as yet, we have has but little. I have had a very quiet time as Mrs. Chase has had but little to say. she has got a new riding dress that she is making and a hat. she expects to come out very fine. I told her thqat after she got rigged, she would not want to ride with a Sub., she said that I had got to ride with her any how. I have made a sketch of her quarters and she seems to be pleased with it. she Is enjoy-ing good heath now, she said that her head was clear this morning.
Than you think that Pythe warning come to late to you? I did not know at the time that a Soldier could make an empression upon the heart of a School Marm. I do not see what could have attracted you attention to me or what points was in my favor, tell me; will you? You ask me if I am agoin to leave the army when my time is out, now, I could evade your questions, but I will not. my time, by my last Muster will be out November 23d 1866, now that will be a long time, dont you think so. I would not deceive you about any thing so I will tell you just wat I.think. I have calculated all along to go out next December at which time the Battery time will be out under it's first muster. now if Capt. Chase goes out at that time and he saigs that he will, I shall stay longer as I shall be captain, and it would be for my interest to stay, but shall be governed wholey by sircumstanceS. I cannot deny but that I have acquired a liking for the army, but I can, if I wish to, content my self most any where with my darling little addie by my side, to encour-age me in every thing and to take the stifness out of my neck, and make every thing pleasent and Happy around me. but perhaps you are waiting to know what I am agoing to do - so as to laz your plans for the future - you may make your own plans and I will conform as much as posable to them; for you know that you will be a great attraction for me to get out of the army so that I may be with you. and as to a somebody forgetng you, why you need not have any fears, for he would have to for-get himself first and he thinks agreat deal of that one's self, but I love you better than self.
I do not know about you kissing my Picture every morning, perhaps you will get tired of doing so an when I come down you will not have any left for me; than what would I do. I should not call you weak or foolish if I was getting thoese kisses and how can I when they are Intended for me. No Addle I do not think any body who expresses there true feelings is foolish or weak all though I would not let a third person see or hear for any thing for they mint as you did when I tried to get a letter from your pocket. I was not very thoughtfull if I had been I would have got a Picture case that you could have carried with you. but I will get you an other some time and give you the original besides. Yes you may write what comes last and first or all if you will only do so, for I love to know what lies nearest to your good heart. You say that perhaps you will show me what you will do - after I leave the service, now wont you do so before that time, if it was to a great dis-tance, do you think that you will take another term of school after this, if you keep to work there will be nothing left but a shadow and a heart. so you had better stop, you dear little Loving creature, you know that I said that I could take a wife, if not into camp, we shall see each other before that time; and then what then; why we will be happy, that's all, you see that I try to please you by writing long letters and I hope that you may enjoy them and not be disappointed when you go to the Post Office, your corrisspondence with me must cause you a great deal of truble and expense; if I could, I would relieve you of both, but I will try to pay you in kindness, will that do? I asked Mrs. Chase to write but she is agoing to wait untie she hears from you; so if you want to write to her you had -better do so if you do not-get-her letters, it was directed to Jefferson City New Orleans. I laughed at her for doing so, she will do better next time.
One Brigade of our colard Brothering have gone up red river I believe where we had quite a victory in taking a fort and some hundred (thousand) Prisoners; the papers know more about it than we do up here and can tell a biger lie about it. I have some papers that I will send you after Mrs. Chase reads them, not think as I do, but I do not see any need of caution between us, as we expect to be made one, sometime and than everything will be known sooner or later. Addie did you ever think what the my feelings ould have been if loving you, as I do; and you had not returned that love, it is not very pleasant to think of, is it, but many have been in that state, but they must be very unhappy. I should be very thankfull that it's not so, for I am happy in loving you and knowing that it is returned, and if I was down there we would enjoy many of those evening like the last one that I was to. I dont think your mother would have accused you of going to sleep if she had seen us about that time; do you. Addie what was you thinking of when you stoped so sudden when you first saw me the time I was up with Mrs. Chase? dont you think that you would have run just a little if you had known that I was there waiting, if no one had been looking? you know that you said that you would not run a step if I had to wait a half hour, if I am not misstakened in a woman nature, you would. I know that I should have wanted to under the same sircumstances you think that you will have to scold some if I go to wishing my-self way off. now a kind word would do more to keep me than all the scolding that you could do In a day, what do you think of that. I am not affraid but I shall always get kind works from my Darling, all that I am affraid of is that I may in a thoughtless moment speak some cross ones and wound the feelings of my Love, do you think that you could ever forgive me if I should do so? I stoped writing to go and help Mrs. Chase get some Green's. you may think that we have no wright to do so on sunday we are quarreling (in fun) most of the time, but she does not give up to me as.Give some of my love to your Mother and be be advised by her as she Is your best friend. do you suppose that she does not know why her dear Addie look unhappy. I guess that she could tell if she wanted to, dont you? I hope that I may get your no 4 next tuesday night, then I shall be so happy. here I am am up here and my heart down in Jefferson. so you are satisfide that I love you better than any one else. I will prove to you in more way's than one that I love you with all my heart and I am very happy in being loved by so good a little woman as my Dear Addie is, but I must close untill I pass another week In camp. there is a thunder storm coming up and that is not half so pleasent as a seat would be on you sopha beside of you.
(write a long letter) I remain your own adoring cousin (to my heart in J.C.) Charles, H, Dyer,
Port Hudson La. March 27th 1864
My Darling Addle,
Do you want a letter written by a disappointed fellow like me; If so you can have it. I would not tell you that I was disappointed if I could conseal it, but my letters always tells just how I feel, so you would know if I did not tell you in so may wourds. I have not received your letter this weak and I feel bad enough. I can tell you; but never mind I shall get it some time. I hope that you will not be disappointed for I should feel very unhapy to know that my Dear little Addle was wearing a long face. I am very glad that you have some body that will sympathize with you. there has been several mails but none for me - two boats have just come from down river, but it's to late to expect letters to night. If I should get your letter before mail this I will answer it., I will mail some papers with this so you can use up what spare time you get.
I have nothing to write of importance. perhaps you would like to know how I have, passed this week? well here uou have it. Monday quite rainy, went to see a Major of the 18th Regi Reduced by having his strps and two rows of buttons cut off. this whole Corps was formed into a square to witness it; his crime I cannot write without writing obscenely. Tuesday rainy In morning, fair In afternoon, nothing done, one of our men got drunk and shot a Nigroe accidental. Wednes-day fair, nothing came by mail. I was not so fortunate as last week, drilled twice. Thursday very windy, rainy In afternoon disappointed about a mail, made a bet with Mrs. Chase that there would be one, lost; did not feel very well expect that, not getting a letter made it at least Mrs. Chase said so. Friday, a mail but none for me weather fine. Saterday, a mail but none for poor me. Sunday, a mail but none for your humble servant. Mrs. Chase has enjoyed good health, yesterday she was riding and gallop her horse for the first time. Chase got a letter from Pythe. I did not see it. Mrs. Chase said that his Brother was sick, and he had to act as House keeper and do his duty. I heard another way that he was well, as one of our Lieut has a cousin that was on guard when he was officer of the day. Chase does not appear to want me to see his letters form Texas. I have worked some on Pythe, Pappers, he does not take much interest in them, there was a letter come from washington asking for his Quarterly returns of ordnance for the 2d 3d & 4th Quarters 1862, and there is three quarters due on 1863 pertaining to Quartermant department.
I am waiting very patent for the time to go by so that I can be with you again and so that I can get out of this army. there is only three months before July, and I shall be down at that time if I could have my way about things feeling as I do now. I would have my wife in camp, then it would not be lonesome. I said in one of my letters that It was not a very good place for a woman, but I think that if I had one to bring I would have her with me for I feel very selfish to night. per-haps I will do better after I get you as you can train me how to go. I have your pretty picture before me. I will not tell you how often I kiss It, but you can judge how often I would the origernal by what I did when down. I send you may by this letter, and I will take them on my picture, as I give on yours. there are a great many Ladies here now. Several called on Mrs. Chase yesterday. she seems very anxious to have me get married so she can have company in camp. do you think she will get it very soon - you will not get ten pages this time. Addie my love for you, groes stronger every day. you are not out of my mind a moment. what would I not give to have your little head whare it was upon a certain night that I, name, perhaps you would like to have it there to. but never mind we will make up for lost time when we get up north in our new home, then it will be Love in a cottage. We will be the happiest among the happy, the Gayest among the gay. I expect that they, are making maple sugar there by this time, and if so, they have some happy times, at what they call sugaring off.
Remember me to your Dear mother and accept the Love of a true Soldier with every thing else that you may wish for. I have no more to write unless your letter comes, three boats have come since I have been writting this.
I remain as ever
Your Own True Love (To my is to be Wife) Charles, H, Dyer,
Port Hudson La.
April 3d 1864,
Sunday has come at last, this has been a long week to me, for I expected two dear letters from you, but none has come so I am just as much disappointed as I was last week, but never mind, they will come sometime.
This morning I went out at day break to catch some birds and got sixteen before breakfast, they were most all bluejay's and Red Birds we expect to keep some of the Red birds. what do you think of redbirds to keep. I enjoyed my ramble this morning very much, not so much as I should if my little Addle" had been with me. everything was very lovely and happy the trees have just leaved out and look very pretty. the birds roaming about singing so beautifull. I could not help likeing it. it only wanted my little bird Addie to have made me happy, if you was not caught already. I think that our traps would do so, by haveing a different bate, say, a Soldiers heart and affections, but what would be the use, as we have no cage to keep you in. we would have to keep you tied with a love knot and guard you with affection, that would keep you by feeding you kind words; dont you think so. Mrs. Chase teases me as much as ever, but I dont care as long as I have the love and sympathy of my Dear Addle. we was out to ride last wednesday and had a very pleasent time she has been sick since, until yesterday - she Is up again.
I hope that you are well, if I do not get a letter soon I shall think thatyou are sick; and not the mails. Mrs. Chase got a letter from Mrs. Laws last night; do you ever go there? how does my namesake get along. I think that I will try to raise some this summer, as I shall have but little to do as things look now. Mrs. Chase has got over being troble about the nigroes as she has got a wench that suits her now. CapI Chase had a silk sash given to him, and he feel quite proud of it. the men gave it to him. I do not want any thing that way, for I do not want to be under any obligation to any body if I can help it. for we have to make thease men do there duty and at times we have to punnish them and they would throw this up in there favor, and we do not feel as if we could use them very hard at that time, it has been very windy and we cannot see for dust every thing is covered with it - it look, like rain now, and I hope that there will be a change after. I have Pythe papers most straighten out, and shall forward them to him. I would like to go with them, but cannot as there is only two Sub's left, here our Corps, d, Mrigru is preparing for the field, one Brigade has gem and one is ready to go. I wish that they would all go. all the Trees have been cut down here Inside of the works and this Is a ruff hole to look at. Mrs. Chase just called me to know what I wanted to say to Mrs. Laws, as she is writting to her. I told her to say what she wanted to. I expect that I shall get something when I come down from her as Mrs. Chase will keep her posted.
0; Addie, I am so happy having received your two last letters, one the 20th and the other the 27th. I cannot express my joy and they are such good long ones. I will try to pay you by writting a good long one in return. Mrs. Chase said that she knew that I had got a letter from you by my looks. I expect that I show just how I feel, and if so, I must look very happy. you see what a little School Marm can do. Addie I think that a school marm can do most anything if she is a mind to try and if she can make a home happy. I am willing to take what ever the rest may be for you know that Soldiers have to cook and wash in the army and with a little loving-body to help why cannot he do It out of the army. I thank you for granting my request and will send your picture in my first letter. Addie my folks (in my estermation) are very good and sensable. we all Love each other and have always lived to geather as a family should helping each other, therefore we lived happy. my two elder Brothers have had there wives with them the most of the time and they always were treated like my sisters and you will be treated as well, if not we will not have anything to do with them. if we live in the country, my Brother John and wife will be with us, and they are very pleasent; and every body likes my mother and you will and she will like you because I love you. if nothing more in 1860 our family all sat down to one table to a Thanskgiving Din-ner and we had a Glorious time, that is the reason why I like home so well is be-cause we had such good times togeather. I know that you will like them if you like to be teased or have a General good time, just wait and see. I would not have you perfect for anything. I having so many falts It would not be so well to have all on one side, dont you think so. I am willing to take my dear Addie just as she Is; falts and all, and our happiness lies in our own hands. I think that we have sence enough to keep all that we have and try to add to it; dont you? I have all the confidence in you that man ever had in his True Love, and any thing that will add to your happiness, will add to mine. I do not think that you can teach me to love you any more than I do now, for I love you better than I can tell, now you say that you think of me when it rains because I live in tents. now I have lived in them most three years and I do not look back with regret, for I have had many pleasent times in camp, and at present. I have a very nice tent, not a drop of rain comes through and the wind does not move it much only to shake my table when writting to you and you are the sufferer then; not me. so do not feel uneasy about me. how I wish that I could have that dear self of yours up here and have a some-body head resting so nicely upon my arm. I would give most anything to have it so, but I will wiait - patiently I shall not make any plans at present. as to your go to Cincinetic, why if you think that you want to go and can enjoy the trip I should say to go by all means, but I do not think much of your teaching another turn of School, but never mind it is some time before that comes. what do you think about the General health of this Summer. every body thinks that it will be very sickly, do you. I hope that it will be as healthy as it has been for the last two years.
I was so joyfull at receiving your letters -- that I did not state when they come, they come this afternoon, after I wrote apart of this letter. I can tell you how to remember what to write when it comes sunday - just commence your letter monday and finish it sunday then you will give me some of your little troubles and trials and I will sympathize with you. I am sony Jip got into bad company and I hope that he will get well again because you think much of him. Give some of my love to your mother, I hope that this will find you all well.
Addie I have not tasted any Liquor since Christmas and I feel just as well if not better. I hope that my staying in the army will not make you unhappy and I hope that you will not put that happy day when we shall be made one off to long. a term of school and a trip up north will be a long time to wait dont you think, but perhaps you say that my term of survice is long to. well we will see what we will do when the time comes.
Mrs. Chase has got your letter, she wanted to exchange letters with me: I did not see it in that light, would you. I guess that she did not make much, or she would have commensed to tease me before now.
My Darling Addie I must close for I cannot think of anything more to write. your picture here gets kissed every night. what do you think of tha. If you was here you would get more than one I am thinking. I remain as ever
what is to be your loving
(to My Dearest.)