October 17, 1863

Camp near Centreville Va

Dear Mother

I have just heard of an opportunity to get a mail out, I have only time to write a word to let you know that we are both well. We have been knocking about for more than a week and had no mails out. I have been writing a long letter to Mary at odds and ends, I shall send it tonight and will tell her to send it to you. I will write again in a few days. We hold a very strong [illegible] and no one anticipates a fight here. So you need not feel worried. It is so dark I cannot see the lines and am writing on my knee. We have not had any mail for over a week. We expect to get one tonight. Ned and George are both well. Tell Mrs. Whittier as they are not going to write.

Charles O. Hunt to his mother [Charles O. Hunt letters and personal recollections]

October 8, 1863

Camp near Culpepper Va.

Dear Cornelia,

[…] I find a great difficulty in commencing my letter, to know what to write as you did, for everything in the Army of the Potomac is in a great state of stagnation as in the [illegible] of Gettysburg. Nothing is being done. And there is no prospect of any change at present. Our signal officers know the key to their system of signals and can read their dispatches. One of our officers told us of a dispatch he saw sent to Lee the other day stating that “the army of the Potomac was retreating and that this was confirmed by deserters that came daily with their lines” I think that if they should come over to this side of the river some fine morning they would hardly find a clear country for them to occupy. Meanwhile we are enjoying life hugely. […]

Charles O. Hunt to friend [Charles O. Hunt letters and personal recollections]

September 27, 1863

Camp near Culpepper Va

Dear Miss Lizzie,

I suppose you consider that I owe you a letter, as yours of July 4th was the last regular letter to pass between us. That letter, by the way, came to me in a very round-about way. It went first to the army, then to Gettysburg, then to [illegible], where I found it after returning from your house. I have it before me now […]

Charles O. Hunt to his mother [Charles O. Hunt letters and personal recollections]

September 22, 1863

Camp near Culpepper Va

Dear Mother,

I suppose you will be expecting a letter from me before this reaches you. I would have written you last night, but was rather tired and went to bet instead. I arrived here Sunday evening. I should have preferred to come another day, but could not very well keep it as I will explain. I had the unluckiest time in Washington I ever had. […] Continue reading

August 7, 1863

War Department, Adjutant General’s Office, Washington.

General Orders, No. 274. … Officers’ servants are expected to carry rations for their officers and themselves.  Those of mounted officers are expected to be mounted, and to be able to carry small forage for their animals.  Long forage must be sought for in the country.

By increasing the ordinary meat ration, and levying contributions of flour and meal in the country passed over, the bread and small rations carried as above by the soldier may be made to last from 20 to 25 days.  In the proper season, the bread ration may be partially dispensed with by substituting green corn, (which can be foraged in the fields).

Movable columns in the field should be furnished with hand and horse mills for grinding the grain which they procure in the country. […]

Orders [Charles O. Hunt Letters and Personal Recollections]


March 14, 1863

Camp near Fletchers Chapel Va.

Dear Mother:

[…] They all seemed very glad to see me back, especially Bundy, who said he could not sleep with anyone but me.  He tried a number while I was gone [on furlough].  I was very glad to find the box here. I suppose you have got Henry’s letter in regard to it before this.  I like the contents very much.  The boots, which you thought so clumsy, are just what I wanted, and they fit me very nicely.  I expect they will last more than a year.  And the slippers, which I expected to find perfect flat boats, from what you all said, are the admiration of all who have seen them.  They are exactly the think to wear ’round camp. […]

Charles O. Hunt to his mother [Charles O. Hunt letters and personal recollections

January 6, 1863

Jan. 6, ’63.  Hd Qrs. 5th Baty[!] Me Vols.  Camp near Fletchers Chapel.

Dear Mother:

… I do not know that I have anything to write except to let you know that we are alive and well.  I was never better in my life than I am now. … For some reasons I should not object to see some rain, for I am afraid if it continues so fine they[!] will be tempted to move us further forward, that is if they can, and then if bad weather comes men and horses will starve.  As it is we do not get hay for our horses more than one day in a week, and it is impossible for them to work on twelve pounds of grain alone.  You have no idea how many horses are used up in the army.  You can not go a quarter of a mile on any road without seeing one or more dead horses, where they have dropped down by the side of the road.  We lost twelve last month, and we have nine more that are used up and have been condemned.. Continue reading