September 23, 1863

Hd qrs. 11th Corps

My dear sister Lizzie,

Otis just came in and said as he had now Officers Gen. Schurg and Col Burchbeck in his tent he feared he would not be able to write you and wished I could do so – said that he was very anxious still about Jamie that he had rec’d nothing later than the telegram and your note in pencil of the same date. Mrs. Stinson’s was of the same date. Says that he is well – I never knew him to have so much anxiety as he has about dear little Jamie and I do trust we will get more cheering news from you soon. [...]

Charles Henry Howard to his sister-in-law, Elizabeth Anne Waite [Oliver Otis Howard Papers]

September 20, 1863

Headquarters Eleventh Corps, Catlett’s Station

Dearest,

I received Mrs. Stinson’s letter yesterday and began to realize how sick our poor little Jamie is. In dispatch of the 18th…was two days later. The at present makes me fear he is yet not better, but I cannot yet realize we shall lose him. I say and try to feel as you do, “My will be done.” God has been truly gracious, long-suffering and offers tender kindness to us. Mrs. Stinson says you look pale and worry. I hope you will not over-work but I know you cannot spare yourself, she said mother had com, but did not say whether Gracie had come home. Jamie said in his little room room: “God loves Jamie” and I feel sure, Papa loves Jamie. When he is delirious he does not realize his suffering.

I write very slowly because I keep stopping. It is Sabbath morning about 10 AM. The weather has become very cold. I am left 25 miles in the rear of the rest of the army to grant the communications: this is a nicely how for I can hear from home with more regularity then if I was on the front line. John says I have but ten minutes more. I can think only of home. [...]

Oliver Otis Howard to his wife, Elizabeth Anne Waite [Oliver Otis Howard Papers]

September 14, 1863

Headquarters Eleventh Corps

Dearest,

I received your bundle of letters with two most welcome ones from yourself. I had already began one to Grace and intended to send it to Leeds as you said in the letter from July that you would probably have been there for a whole. I sorry to hear that our little Jamie is so small, but are in hopes that you and Dr. Briggs by the divine blessing will soon cure him.

Oliver Otis Howard to his wife, Elizabeth Anne Waite [Oliver Otis Howard Papers]

September 8, 1863

Headquarters Eleventh Corps,

Dearest,

I get more and more frightened everyday. I think you must be still visiting and cannot write, I think you must be sick and cannot. I remember that roughly cough and am afraid it is holding on. I did not write you at Farmington for you intended to go to Leeds so shortly I sent my first letter there – one from Washington with a check and two or three since I returned. Day before yesterday I wrote Guy a letter and directed it to Augusta. The days are now quite warm and considerably monstrous. [...]

Oliver Otis Howard to his wife, Elizabeth Anne Waite [Oliver Otis Howard Papers]

September 7, 1863

Headquarters Eleventh Corps, Va.

My dear Guy,

Papa begins to wonder why he does not get a letter from Mamma. Is Mamma sick so that she cannot write? Is her cough bad? Are any of the children ill? How is that sweet little baby who talked in his own way and pulled his father’s whiskers? How is Jamie with his keen black eyes and his quiet form? How is sister Gracie, with her loving heart? And how is our manly boy Guy? Did you have a happy time at uncle Rowland’s? And how is papa’s mother, who used to have him, not many years ago as her little boy? Has Grandpa’s finger got well? I want to know all these things and whatever else you can tell me about your visit. [...]

Oliver Otis Howard to his son, Guy [Oliver Otis Howard Papers]

September 2, 1863

Headquarters Eleventh Corps, Army of the Potomac.

My dear mother:

The day I wrote you from Washington (last Saturday) at half past seven in the evening we reached Catlett’s Station …I found my horses all looking well after their long rest.  Yesterday Otis reviewed one of the  Brigades and today another.  He has just returned from the Review.  I have been at home as my presence was not required and have been listening to music both from Piano and melodeon by a Capt of General Schurz’s staff.  Monday Otis with manual assistance from me and an occasional help of memory or other suggestion, made out his report of the battle of Gettysburg.  I was writing from early in the morning until late in the evening, but finished it all up in one day, 37 pages on paper like this.  I am writing in my tent which is shared by Capt. Stinson who is now sitting upon my Cot.  Our tent is just in [illeg. word] of the house, north, under the shade of locust trees.  Little Lottie Catlett is just in here, a little girl of 5 or 6, prattling and playing.  She is quite a roguish little piece. …

Charles Henry Howard to his mother, Eliza Otis Howard [Charles Henry Howard Collection]

July 29, 1863

Hd. qrs. 11th Corps, Warrenton Junction, Va.

My dear Mother,

If we could have known that the Army would lie still so long we might have been home by this time. Yet we may move before another four days or even another two days expire. I got letters from Dellie & Rowland each telling about the Draft. Hope you will find it convenient to go up and visit Rowland. He can tell you a great deal about our daily life which was striking to him and he would remember but which does not come to my mind in writing. It has continued very warm but last night we had a shower which cooled off the air a little.

I am going to ride to Hd. qrs. with Otis this morning to Warrenton 9 miles or more.

I answer to a letter he had written Otis received one from the President in which he expressed great regret that Lee was allowed to escape but on the whole said he had determined to be grateful for what had been done & not complain about what had not been accomplished. Continue reading

July 20, 1863

Headquarters Eleventh Corps, Army of the Potomac. Mountville, Loudon Co. Va. July 20th 1863

My dear Mother,

I had hoped to have time to write you a good long letter today as we were not to march. We arrived at this beautiful place in Loudon Valley yesterday P.M. Some roving Rebel Cavalry had been here in the morning and two officers of the 11st Corps staff were captured while ahead of their Command selecting camping ground. Hd. qrs. are at Union. Our orders last evening were that we remain at rest today. This is very refreshing.

We are at a pleasant house Mr Mounts’. They are all Rebels in sentiment but treat us kindly enough.The young lady, who is quite pretty, is as decided and outspoken a Rebel as I have ever seen. They claim Gettysburg as a Rebel victory! We don’t see it in that light. A few more such Rebel victories is all that we need to end the war. Continue reading

July 7, 1863

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. Continue reading

June 27, 1863

Headquarters Eleventh Corps, Near Middleton, Ma

Dearest,

I have received another good long letter from you written just after Maj Whittlesey and Mrs. W’s visit. I am glad they came to see you. I got a letter from Major Whittlesey at the same time. [...] I am afraid you are working too hard or doing too much. Shopping you know is very dangerous.

We are working along up towards  you. The rebels are again bothering us and home. [...]

Oliver Otis Howard to his wife, Elizabeth Ann Waite [Oliver Otis Howard Papers]