May 5, 1863

West Point

Dear Father,

Your letter of 26th. was received on 29th inst. I have received two letters from William this week, in one of them $15. He said he sent you $35 which I could have when I wanted by sending to you. I shall want it by the middle of this month to pay for clothes, etc. So you had better send it in your next Sunday letter and then I will get it in time. I expect to be at home in about six weeks.

When William wrote he was on his way to Charleston. It seems they are going to make another attack. I hope it will be more successful than the last.

Charlie has not written me for nearly a year. I can not think why it is. I have written him and sent him several papers.

Your Aff. Son, Malcolm McArthur

Malcolm McArthur to his father, Arthur McArthur [McArthur Family Papers]

April 19, 1863

West Point

Dear Father,

Your letter of 12th was received on 15th inst. I received a letter from William on 16th. which was dated on 2d. inst. He had just returned from Jacksonville and was starting for Charleston. I received a paper from him last evening on which he wrote that he had just returned from to Port Royal all safe.

We have been having quite a stirring time today, Gen. McClellen is here. He was serenaded last night by the Corps. We turned out ten minutes after taps, music by the Cadet Band. Several tunes were played when he came to the door, made a short speech. He is stopping at the Hotel. Today at dinner he came into the Mess Hall, walked round to each table and was introduced to the First Classmen, afterwards he shook hands with the whole Corps as each one went out the door. I don’t know how long he will stay here.

[...] I saw a Maine man here a few days ago, Joel Marshall from Buxton. He went to school at Limington to Mr. Emory. Graduated at Brunswick last summer. He is teaching at Poughkeepsie. He is the first Maine man I have seen since I have been here. [...]

From Your Aff. Son, Malcolm McArthur

Malcolm McArthur to his father, Arthur McArthur [McArthur Family Papers]

April 12, 1863

West Point.

Dear Father,

[...] How do you get along with your business, is money scarce?

I was very glad you had heard from Charlie and that he was teaching. I like that business better than being a salesman.

I have been very anxious all this week to hear from William, we heard Monday that an attack had been made on Charleston but no particulars and did not hear any tell yesterday. The gunboats had made an attack on Fort Sumter. The land forces had not done anything then. This week we shall hear news, good or bad.

William, I know will distinguish himself if he goes in to the Battle, he is a good officer.

Mother has not written me for some time. I shall write as soon as I can get time.

Your Aff. Son, Malcolm McArthur

Malcolm McArthur to his father, Arthur McArthur [McArthur Family Papers]

April 5, 1863

West Point.

Dear Father,

I received your short letter of 29th. inst. on 2d. You spoke of my letter being short. I think we were about even on that point.

The standing for Feb. is posted. I cam out in Math. 48, in French 49, in Drawing 10. I had 15 demerits up to first of March.

I saw in yesterday’s paper the troops were ordered back from Florida. I suppose the 8th Regiment was with them. I am expecting every day to hear of the attack on Charleston. The 8th Regiment will probably be there.

Snow is all gone off and we have commenced drill.

I believe I have no questions to answer in this letter, if there is any more you meant to ask I shall always be ready to answer them.

Your Affectionate Son, Malcolm McArthur

Malcolm McArthur to father, Arthur McArthur [McArthur Family Papers]

March 22, 1863

3-22West Point

Dear Father,

Your regular Sunday letter was received as usual. I have nothing new to write. I have written quite a long letter to William today so I hope you will excuse this short note this time.

I have forgotten most of my marks for week ending March 14th.

Your Affec. Son
Malcolm McArthur

Malcolm McArthur to his father, Arthur McArthur, Sr. [McArthur Family Papers]

March 8, 1863

West Point

Dear Father,

I will answer your questions as best as I can. As to the shirts, I shall not want them till I get home, I think I can get along tell then. So you need not send them to me hear. 1st.- My checkbook is turned in to the Commissary for settlement, so I don’t know exactly how my account stands. I think I shall be about $50 in debt. I can tell you next letter. 2d. – I cannot get any money to go home with if in debt. 3d. – Our pay goes on while we are on Furlough and amounts to $60, of which $40 we are allowed to have providing we lay it out in clothes, and $16 to go home with if we are out of debt, if we are in debt we can not get the clothes or the money, unless we deposit enough to put us out of debt. 4th. – In case of emergency we could not get one cent paid to us in advance. If we have not the same means to go on Furlough we can’t go at all and will have to stay here all summer. 5th. – Neither goods nor clothes could be sent me without a permit, but you can send all the money you want to., it would be breaking an old rule, but nobody thinks or cares anything about it. The Officers know very well the Cadets get all the money they want from home, they don’t care. I guess the Superintendent likes to have them get all the money they can from home. I shall be happy to receive all you will send. [...]

Malcolm McArthur to his father, Arthur McArthur, Sr. [McArthur Family Papers]

March 1, 1863

3-1West Point

Dear Father,

Your letter of the 22d. was received on the 25th., bringing me the sad news of Aunt Mary’s death. It was not unexpected. You wrote me she was sick in your last letter.

I received a letter from William last evening, I have not had a letter from Charlie since last fall. I have written to him several times. I guess he has forgotten me.

You will find my marks for the week ending Feb. 21st. enclosed.

From your Affectionate Son, Malcolm McArthur

Malcolm McArthur to his father, Arthur McArthur, Sr. [McArthur Family Papers]

February 12, 1863

Hd Qtrs 8th Regt Maine Vols Hilton Head S.C.

Dear Mother:

Sometimes I come across a piece of poetry that I wish to save, same as is your habit. Cut it out and lay aside. Enclosed i send you several such. The African’s song in Whittier’s “At Port Royal” does really make us turn away. “With a secret pain, and smiles that seem akin to tears, to hear the wild refrain.”

And the last verse in “Jonathan and John” quite comes up to my standard.

God’s price is high. We have held our blessed government too cheaply. Strange, we never could realize it’s value!

I should not have a peaceful moment if I did not think that after passing through an awful trial we should have the good old government and we never can except by the entire suppression of the Rebellion and ‘As’ every element and cause. Even then I fear there will be a mistaken party at the North who shall have been converted to this idea that a stranger government is necessary, forgetting that while the lack of executive power invited the rebellion the attachment of the people to it and their patriotism was a sufficient shield against all attacks and forgetting for that this suppression, and then Rebellion is not worth a possibility. [...]

Affectionately your son, William

William McArthur to his mother, Sarah (Miltimore) McArthur [McArthur Family Papers]

February 8, 1863

West Point Feb 8th., ’63

Dear Father,

Sunday has come again and I must finish that letter which you will receive day before this. I have nothing new to write. We are having very warm weather again, it seems very much like Spring and I feel very near to Furlough. Yesterday a tailor came up from New York to see the First Class about making their uniforms and also to see the Furlough Class. A few men got measured for their Furlough clothes. I shall get mine here at the Commissary. I shall hardly have money enough to get home with and there is some doubt about that. I shall be very poor and have only one suit of clothes. I should have got a suit from the New York tailor if I had the money. I guess I can make up some before Furlough. It is only four months. Some of the men begin to count the days. [...]

I should like to get a letter from Mother and Catharine. I want to know the state of affairs in Limington.

Your Affectionate Son, Malcolm McArthur

Malcolm McArthur to Arthur McArthur, Sr. [McArthur Family Papers]

January 25, 1863

West Point Jan. 25th., 1863

Dear Father,

Your short letter of the 18th was received on 22d inst. I suppose William started for Port Royal on the 20th. I have been expecting him here all week. I was very much disappointed at not seeing him.

I am getting along very well with my studies. I think Calculus is the easiest Math we have studied yet.

We are having very warm weather, it looks more like April than January.

How are the Limington soldiers getting along? Were any of them in this last battle?

I have no news to write. Sunday comes round so quick that it seems as though I was writing the same letter all the time. You know how it is. Your letters, I believe are not much longer than mine.

Your Affectionate Son, Malcolm McArthur

P.S. – I don’t suppose you have got a couple dollars you would like to send me?

Malcolm McArthur to Arthur McArthur, Sr. [McArthur Family Papers]