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Vermont Artillery

Third Battery Light Artillery Vermont Volunteers

Civil War Diaries and Letters of
Eugene William Rolfe, Tunbridge

Lincoln U. S. Gen. Hospital, January 31, 1865

Hon. H. P. Rolfe

Well Herbert. I have got back to the hospital once more, and as well as I can in a hospital, I wrote to mother last Sunday evening. I was pretty well played out then bur I am all right now. Capt. Gates told me that I could have got another extension if I had applied for it. You tell Doctor Terry that it was just as I told him about the meaning of that clause (unable to travel) in the certificate he gave me. The Ward Master says he thinks they will put me into the invalid Corps.

I went to a temperance meeting last night. The Hon. H. Price of Lowe was the lecturer. He made a splendid speech. We do not live as well as they did before I went home but never mind, I shall not be here always. We are expecting to be passed off before long. They are a going to send down for the Paymaster tomorrow morning.

We had one good meal last night. They gave us some bread and cheese. I tell you that tasted good. The artillery boys over in Camp Barre are drilling at the piece today. It sounds natural to hear artillery firing once more. It seems like spring here, the ground is covered with ice. It is cold nights but it is very pleasant daytimes. The boys have run water from the tank out into a hollow west of the hospital and have got a good skating pond of about a half-mile in diameter. The surgeon has taken the guard away and they go out and skate as much as they please and they please the most of the time. I wish that I had taken a pair of skates with me. If I should get detailed or put into the invalid corps, I should get me a pair.

It would be fun for you to see them break mules out here. There is a camp near the hospital where they break them. They have got about 300 teams there now or about 3000 mules. Then there is Camp Barre, where there is 5 companies of artillery, a Camp Stoneman where is two Regts. of Cavalry and they all use this plain to drill upon so it makes a lively place of it but not as lively as it is in front of Petersburg. I would like to know what kind of a day it is at home today. When you write, please state the events in regard to the weather in Tunbridge on the 31st. day of January, Anno Domini 1865.

I have just got back from dinner and eat more of the one mean than at all the rest since I came back. We had a pretty good soup, potatoes and beef in plenty. We have a splendid violinist in our ward. Fe makes the old shanty ring. But enough of this. How did you and Wilbur make it going home that night that you carried me down to Royalton? Did you freeze up agoing home or not. If you did, please make it manifest by saying AYE. (no) it is a vote. How much did Renolds charge for the team. Has Uncle jerry enlisted yet ofr not. What is the price of gold? How is the diphtheria case over in Canada? Is it true that Mart Tucker and Will Farnam have got married. Will Charlotte please inquire and inform me. Please ask Hib Farnam if he ever did and tell hem that I see him looking down to the lower school one day. Ask Will how it is. Tell him that I believe it. Has Katy Lee been down since I went away. Have any of the boys joined the band of hope. Tell Charlotte that if they gave a prize to all that signed their paper and Deb Baker and Mary Jane carried the papers, I would fill a dozen sheets of foolscap with signatures. I think it would be a good plan for you to join the band but I suppose that you will have your own way about it. We are having a crowd of visitors today. One of the men that are breaking mules had his head stove in by a mule's hoof just now but that is nothing to what they have down south. They have things down there that they call Negroes, a queer kind of an animal with heels, lips, and a laugh. Bully for them. But I must close. Give my best respects all the boys and girls and to Mr. and Mrs. Alden in particular. Please write soon and accept this from you brother. Eugene W. Rolfe

PS Tell mother that I forgot to take any knife and fork or any of those medallion pens. When you write, I want you to look on the shelf back of the stove and you will find some (paper) invitation. Red on one side and mucilage (?) on the other and send me a dozen. Tell father that if he thinks best he may write to Mr. Baxter to see about me getting detailed in Washington

Yours….. Gene

Contributed by Eugene L. Rolfe, Las Vegas, Nevada, great-grandson of Eugene William Rolfe.