December 21, 1863

Adjutant’s Office 20th Maine, Camp at Rappahannock’s Station

Dear Brother:

I am very much disappointed at not receiving a letter from you and so do as I am being done by I should not write you tonight – but will “Do good for evil,” but as my letters fail to interest you, as I am interested by yours, I shall fail to comply with the command after all. [...]

Holman Melcher to his brother, Nathaniel Melcher [Holman Melcher Papers]

December 14, 1863

Adjutant’s Office 20th Maine Vols, Camp at Rappahannock’s Station, Va.

Dear Brother:

I have enjoyed a luxury this evening in the receipt of your note “No 43) it is with the greatest satisfaction that I have read it – and not only satisfaction but I have received much benefit from it. Your letters always good this is very good – and I am thankful that I have correspondence with those who have an  interest in my spiritual wellness. [...]

Holman Melcher to his brother, Nathaniel Melcher [Holman Melcher Papers]

December 3, 1863

Army of the Potomac, [illegible] 20th Maine Vols at Rappahannock Station

My Dear Brother,

Eight days ago we started on the movement that is about ended tonight as most of the army in their old camp now, but one camp is assigned to the very unpleasant duty of guarding the rail-road from this place to Centerville and enter afar my duties tomorrow. I had the pleasure of writing of a grander result but one satisfaction is that but a very few of our noble men have fallen only one of our Regt. [...]

Holman Melcher to his brother, Nathaniel Melcher [Holman Melcher Papers]

November 24, 1863

Adjts Office 20th Maine Vols, Camp at Mountain Bear Creek

My Dear Brother:

We moved today as was expected- the “Army of the Potomac” marched but it was like movement of that French General, “who marched 10,000 men up a hill and then marched them down!” For we are back in our old camp tonight, as easily as if nothing had happened but no fault. [...]

Holman Melcher to his brother, Nathaniel Melcher [Holman Melcher Papers]

November 11, 1863

Adjutant’s Office 20th Maine Vols, Camp at Kelly’s Ford, Va

My Dear Brother:

I improve the first opportunity since the battle to write you. You have learned from this I am unhurt by the list of causalities in our Corps. I wrote home just as soon as I could snatch a moment which you shall possibly read – in which I tried to give a description of the engagement of the 7th. If you get the same account by the papers that we do, you have but a faint idea of the affair. It is considered the most brilliant feat of the war by those that witnessed it. [...]

Holman Melcher to Nathanial Melcher [Holman Melcher Papers]

November 6, 1863

Adjutant’s Office 20th Maine Vols

Camp at Three Mile Station, Va.

My Dear N.

I have had a rich feast this evening in [illegible] “No 38″ – I assume far. You thought you had “tried my patience” – why no! Not by [illegible] letter each – and certainly not in this case. I am so glad to learn of your good health and of those also at home! (Then it seems that you have found art after 3 years in College that you have got two “tremendous” obstacles to overcome viz “thickness of shall” & “natural stupidity” but it is something, you know,  to know what we have to contend with in order that we may prepare ourselves for the conflict.) Wonder if you are the only person to trouble with such? In Maine? Guess you would not think so if you could see some of our Officers (excuses for Officers) on drill even after being in the service for over a year. [...]

Holman Melcher to his brother, Nathaniel Melcher [Holman Melcher Papers]

September 21, 1863

Camp 20th Maine Vols, near Culpepper, Va.

Dear Brother:

I will improve a few moments this afternoon in writing you. We still remain in the camp that we had when we first came here but I learn that the Cavalry crossed the Rapidan today and perhaps the Infantry may have that privilege soon. This is a very pretty country when we all encamp. Although it is in almost its natural state — man has done nothing to improve it for two years — and have been burning up fences all this time. The city is large and much [illegible] than I expected to see.

Holman Melcher to brother, Nathaniel Melcher [Holman Melcher Papers]

September 13, 1863

Camp near Beverly Ford

Dear Brother,

I am going to begin a letter to you it’s snowing and perhaps will finish it today and perhaps instead of using the pen I shall leave to grasp the sword and rush into battle. We have just received orders to be ready to move at a moment’s notice: the 2nd corps crossed at Rappahannock Station yesterday and are pressing on to Culpepper and we are to support them. I hope we shall not have to right today – it is an improper way of spending the Sabbath, but the excitement – even if we do not move – will be enough to spoil the quietness of the Sabbath. [...]

Holman Melcher to brother, Nathaniel Melcher [Holman Melcher Papers]

September 6, 1863

Camp 20th Maine Vols. at Beverly Ford, Va.

My Dear Brother:

It is Sabbath evening and very quiet and peaceful for the army it does not usually seem much like the Sabbath but now that the business of the Regt. is so well kept up, that we do not have any writing to do on that day. It seems now like a, “Day of Rest.” [...]

Holman Melcher to brother, Nathaniel Melcher [Holman Melcher Papers]

 

August 19, 1863

Camp 20th Maine Vols., Beverly Ford

Dear Brother:

I am going to write just at bit even if it is late. I have been very busy today making reports, inspecting guard pickets etc. but now that the business of the day is past I will just employ the writing of the pen to transfer me to Topsham a moment. I would much rather be there in person. Without the aid of the pen, wouldn’t I appreciate it a little!! “I recall” … the social in the sitting room. Mother at her usual work – Father looking up from his paper – so pleasantly – to enter into the conversation. – and uncle in his accustomed place ready to add to the entertainment of the evening either by listening or joining in the conversation.

Holman Melcher to his brother, Nathaniel Melcher [Holman Melcher Papers]