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 14, 1863

Farmington

My dear Lizzie,

I was very glad indeed to hear from you again. I wish I could see you, which would be far better. Rowland has not yet come home and I don;t know when he will come – though I shall look for him now everyday a little. I think he will go to Augusta if he can. But he has been away so much more yet than he anticipated, that I suppose he’ll feel as if he must hurry home as soon as possible. I hope he can go to Augusta – It would be so pleasant to see some one right from Otis. He was with Perry when he wrote last. Perry has lost an arm close up to the shoulder. I don’t know which one. Rowland said he was very much frustrated by it. The shock to his system was very great. [...]

Mary Ellen “Ella” Howard to her sister-in-law, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Ann Waite [Oliver Otis Howard Papers]

July 9, 1863

Hd. qrs. 11th Corps, Boonesboro Gap Md

My dear Major

I received your letter while we were at Gettysburg and feel grateful for it. You know very well how difficult it is to write upon an active Campaign and I have never written so few letters as since we reached Md. and Penna. In fact we never drove business quite so hard before. Day before yesterday we marched about 30 miles. Our Corps is in advance of all. Schurtz Divn. went forward beyond Boonesboro last night to support Buford’s Cavalry which had been fighting all day – The other two Divns. took up position on the sides (west) of the mountain to hold the Gap at all hazards until the other Corps get up [...]

Charles Henry Howard and Oliver Otis Howard to Major Eliphalet Whittlesey [Oliver Otis Howard Papers]

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]

June 10, 1863

Headquarters Eleventh Corps, Near Brooke’s Sta., Va

Dearest,

I received a good letter from you in which you compare the unsettled condition of your house to my reputation. I hope you have not worked out that business by yourself. [...]

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

May 26, 1863

Headquarters Eleventh Corps, near Brooke’s Station.

Dearest: I received a letter from you Sunday afternoon, and felt sorry indeed that seeing your friends had proved so bad for you, but I hope after a little quiet you and yourself again.  I am not so sure that my coming might not excite you even though I belong there.  I do not think I can go home now.  I will tell you my reasons.  My Corps did not do very well at Chancellorsville.  Now everybody who is to blame tries to shift the responsibility upon somebody’s elses shoulders.  The Germans and the Americans are many of them against me.  It was my first trial with them.  Now I must drill & discipline my command & get it in hand.  I must work to get good officers in the command of Brigade and regiments.  I must be here to head off wire-pullers.  I want the command to learn me and I wish to learn it.  Again I rather apprehend an attack here, after the affair at Vicksburg which is so disastrous to the rebels.  They will try some game to retrieve their hopes.  Most probably will accumulate a very large force against Rosencrantz.  In that case we should not be attacked, but perhaps now something desperate will be attempted and Lee will cross above us & attack us hoping to crush this army now that we have lost so many two years & nine month regiments. … I am under a little cloud, tenderly excused but yet unsuccessful, and I have not been accustomed to succumb under difficulties. …

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

May 23, 1863

Headquarter’s Eleventh Corps. Near Brooke’s Station, Va.

Dearest,

I told you in yesterday’s letter that Miss Lizzie came from Washington with us. Yesterday Charles took her to Falmouth to see Fredericksburg and the troops on the way thither. She thinks she had a fine time notwithstanding the roughness of the roads and of the carriage. Last night we gave her a tea party, inviting all the ladies and a few gentlemen. [...]

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

May 17, 1863

Headquarters Eleventh Corps

My dear Mother,

It has been a warm pleasant day. We have had services at out Hd. qrs., as usual. The Band of the 33d Mass which plays so beautifully was in attendance. Rev. Mr. Warren of the Christian Commission officiated who has been laboring in the hospitals many of which – in fact all the General Hospitals of the Army – are located in this vicinity. The General Hospitals have all the worst cases of sick and all the wounded except such as have been conveyed to Washington – farther North. They consist of a large encampment (like a brigade) for a Corps. The Hospital tents are some 20 by 12 feet or perhaps larger.
These in this vicinity look very neat & comfortable. Otis intends visiting our Corps hospital this P.M.

We had the great rarity of two ladies at services and at dinner today. Mrs. Genl. Barlow and Mrs Parker wife of Lieut. Parker of the Regular Army. Mrs. Parker was an acquaintance of Mrs. Barlow – and stays with Mrs B in a house not far from here although Lt. Parker belongs to another Divn. & another Corps. He gets Leave to visit his wife often now that we are doing but little. I think you will remember Gen. Barlow who now commands one of our Brigades and was formerly Colonel of my Regiment, 61st N.Y. -
was with us at Fair Oaks. He is a brave & good officer. Mrs. B. is a very smart woman. She reached the Antietam battle field, the next day after the fight and was in time to take care of her husband who was wounded very severely. [...]

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

 

May 14, 1863

New York

Maj. Gen. O.O. Howard

Dear Sir,

Your letter of the 10th, in answer to my inquiry after the late Capt. Dessauer, is received, for which you will please accept my thanks. I have already written to Lt. Col. Asmussen in relation to his effects. If you wish to keep his horse you will please send the value of it to my daughter, Mrs. Dessauer [...] or to me.

Very respectfully yours, G.L. Kraft

[Oliver Otis Howard Papers]

May 8, 1863

Headquarters Eleventh Corps
Near Brook’s Station, Va.,

My dear brother,

You must be aware that for the past week I have had no opportunity to write. Since the furious attack upon our Corps which began about 5 o’clock on Saturday neither my outward circumstances nor my feelings were favorable to letter writing. Sunday, Monday, & Tuesday we were more or less under fire. On Tuesday the Rebels showed a special design upon Otis. Finally shot Col Meysenburg’s horse under him as he was by the General’s side. After that Otis consented to go on foot when on the front and in certain range of the enemy’s rifles.

Sunday, Monday & Tuesday until 3 o’clock Wed. morning we held the left with Gen. Slocum who was upon the extreme left. We were behind rifle pits but all the time expecting an attack and several times during night & day our Pickets were driven in. Continue reading