October 7, 1863

Headquarters Eleventh Corps, Assistant Inspector General’s Office, Nashville, Tenn

My dear Mother,
I arrived here last night. Found Col. Asmussen, Balloch and some other of the staff, but the rest went through to Bridgeport (120 miles) with the General and the troops last week. Otis left here last Friday evening.
On Monday last a Rebel force of Cavalry destroyed one and perhaps more bridges just below Murfreesboro and hence cutting off Rail Road Communication between this and Bridgeport. The Telegraph is also broken and we cannot consult with or get orders from the General. He has forage & rations enough but all the artillery horses are yet here
– having reached this city from the East and North only last night.
I must wait here till the bridges & R.R. are repaired. Our Artillery horses
may perhaps be sent by marching but they must rest a few days from their terrible journey of a week upon the cars from which they are much weakened. Fortunately our own sta
ff horses went on from here before the General and are now safe and for use at Bridgeport.
This latter place, which you have probably never heard of before as none of us had, is at the point where the Nashville Rail Road first strikes the Tennessee River. It did have a R.R. bridge there and thence the Rail Road ran along on the South side of the Tennessee River to Chatanooga, a distance of only 30 miles by the River. But Gen. Rosecrans has never repaired nor used the R.R. beyond Bridgeport and since his  last great battle the Enemy have come in and taken possession of that portion of the country on the
South side of the Tennessee – from Bridgeport to Lookout Mountain. Rosecrans’ right rests upon this range of mountains which runs perpendicular to the River. He gets his supplies by going a round about way among other mountain ranges and through passes on the North of the Tennessee. I am looking for a letter from father. I think the best investment I could make would be in one of those U.S. banks and Uncle Henry [Strickland] can get me $1,000 at par although there is a great demand for the stock. It will pay 10 per cent.
How is your health, Mother? You will have to write pretty often now in order to make up for the long time letters take in coming. From Aunt Martha’s to here takes about the same time as from home to Washington.
Love to all. Your affectionate Son C. H. Howard

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