February 10, 1863

Head Qrs 2n Divn
Near Falmouth, Va

My dear brother [Rodelphus Gilmore]
It is my turn to write again, almost doubly so, as Rowland sent me your last to him. It is a bright warm morning like some April day in Maine.
Otis is sitting upon a Military Commission for the trial of a Rebel citizen who was with a party of Rebel soldiers who fired upon some of our troops. It may cost him his life. Otis is the President of the Comn. It consists of several Generals and some 3 or 4 Cols. The Comn sits at the Phillips house and Otis is going round by the 3d Maine.

Weds. Feb 11th
I went with Otis yesterday but instead of staying at the Court I rode with Capt. Weir (brother of my friend John of West Point) down to view the battle-field upon the left where Franklin crossed Capt. W. was A.A.G. to Gen. Baird and was just by him when he was killed. He pointed out the spot to me from a hill which over-looked the plain upon the other side of the river. We rode five or six miles and came back just as the Comn adjourned – 3 P.M. I then rode with Otis to the 3d Me. Saw Dexter almost the first man. He is now a Sergt. John Keene seemed the same as ever. I carried a recommendation which I had written and Otis signed for Corpl. Bigelow who hopes to be an officer in a negro Regiment of which Cyrus Hamlin is to be Col. You have seen that the Grand Divns have been broken up. So Otis returned to the Divn. I had a hard weeks work as A.A.G. for the Corps. You ask about rank. Mine does not increase unless Otis commands a Corps. In that case I will become Maj. (If senior aid as I undoubtedly should be). Capt. W. will become Maj. by virtue of Otis’ promotion and if he has a Corps will be Lieut. Col. The other aids (two)
will be Captains. But now there does not seem to be any Corps for Otis to have. The 9th has just embarked to go South.
I approve of your selection of books though Abbot does not write a good style. It would not do for you as a lawyer to fall into his flourish and redundancy. That work of Dr. Smith’s must be almost invaluable. I had not heard of it.
Hope when the proper time comes you will tell Mary frankly that your best judgement after mature deliberation forbids a closer bond and therefore dictates that any which now exists should be sundered. It would never do to marry a girl whose father it was possible for you to denominate “the villainous old Captain”. I see Captain Starbird occasionally. He makes a fair Captain. Hope you will call on Mrs. W. whom I esteem very highly also Mrs. F.

Your Affectionate brother.
P.S. Mrs. Whittlesey writes that there has been some religious interest. Have you known of it? All well. It is too muddy to think of moving now.

Charles Henry Howard to Rodelphus Gilmore [Charles Henry Howard Collection]

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