January 13, 1863

[Louisiana] Jan. 13th.  This is to be set down as one of the bright days of soldier life—the mail from the North arrived, the first we have had since we left Newport News six weeks ago.  As was natural there was intense joy in camp as the Chaplain rode in with a two bushel bag crammed with letters & papers.  It took about an hour for several officers to sort the letters for the companies, when the Capt[ain]s took their Co.’s shares & distributed them at their own tents.

Nearly all the well men of Co. H had gone out in picket in the morning with Co. C, under command of Capt. Bolton, with Lieut. Richardson as subaltern.  Lt. J. & I sorted & del[ivere]d those for the men in camp, then [illeg. word] for the pickets, & sent them off to them at once.  I then took those for our men in Hospital & gladdened the poor fellows with from one to eight letters apiece.  I found five for myself from home, from Pamelia & one from Mother.  I first opened the two latest mailed & glanced over them to see whether all was well, & finding it was so, deferred the reading till all the others had been furnished with their letters.

I hurried back from the Hosp. &  save myself up to the perusal of every line my letters contained.  I did and do thank a kind Providence that had so mercifully preserved & prospered all the dear ones at home.  The date of the latest was Dec. 18th—nearly a month ago, and many things may have happened in that time to mar the happiness of those at home; but I feel that it would be ungrateful to our Father in heaven to so distrust him as to be unhappy in absence of any knowledge.  No, may he give me grace to trust him implicitly for the time to come, for myself & all those near and dear to me.  I think every man in the company got at least one letter, & some a dozen or more, and almost all brought good news.

Diary of Isaac Winslow Case [Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection]

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