Headquarters Eleventh Corps, Army of the Potomac
My dear Mother,
One of our Divn. reached Middletown – back again night before last. And we returned to our old Hd. qrs. at a house <[torn]> this side of the town where we <[torn]> were treated very well when on our <[torn]> up. We came over the mountain at High Knob. The 5th Corps also under Otis’ command for the time came the same way. The Divn. which got to town that night had marched about 30 miles in one day. Some of our artillery got stuck in attempting to get up the mountain & as our troops could not get past, the rest remained there. At half past 3 next morning I went back to get up the artillery & trains & clear the way for the 5th Corps. Had to work very hard & finally found another road for the 5th – at same time got the artillery & all the trains in motion. This took me till 12 ½ m. I tell you this to show something of my occupation. I got not a <morsel> break till that time. Yesterday P.M. we marched to Boonesboro Gap where we now are on the west side of the mountain in sight of the Antietam battlefield. One Divn. at Boonsboro which went forward to support Buford’s Cavalry which had been fighting all day. After us the 1st Corps came up on our right and this morning the 6th which saw less fighting of lately strong has passed on to Boonsboro.
The enemy are all on this side of the Potomac and before this reaches you we shall have seen another terrific battle. But we have been gaining such decided successes of late I feel in hopes the time of the Lord has assured when he is to deliver the enemy into our hands and bring this great war to an end. I pray this may be <soon> and that your sons may not flinch from any duty which may tend to bring this about.
Nearly half of the Corps were rather barefooted or suffering from poor shoes yesterday but in the night one of the staff went to Frederick & procured the needed shoes – also food for these days – tho’ many had fasted one day.
We are now making war in right good earnest I assure you & I trust this <hour> that the Lord will bless. Otis seems remarkably well. Rowland will soon be on his way home and you must go right up to Farmington & seem him if he cannot stop as I suppose he cannot well do, he has been absent so long. Hope father will see him too, he can tell for all <[torn]> about us, about the army and how we live & march & fight & all about our daily matters. We are now in a brick house right in the mountains near the broad national road which runs from Frederic to Indianapolis in the far West & is called a Pike. We miss poor Griffiths who was wounded & is at Gettysburg. His wife is with him by this time. My love to father, to Roland & Cynthia, Warren & Louise & family. I saw the other day the young Mr. <Thorver> who came to see me at Leeds & enlisted in 16th Me. He was well. [...]
Forever yr. loving Son, C. H. Howard
P.S. Otis said give Mother my love and tell her I am very well – little tired. He is lying upon his cot near me taking rest. Cavalry is passing & has been for an hour. Love to Dellie. I have had a letter from Maj. Whittlesey. He would like to come back. It is reported that Joseph <Locust> was killed – he is at least missing. I saw the Adjutant of 16th Maine.