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. […]

I got into Washington about ten Thursday night. I went to Kirkwood House. As I suppered there would be no doubt about my getting my pay in W. I spent my money rather quickly on the way, so when I got there I only had about a dollar left. Under these circumstances I sallied out the next morning to find the Paymaster. To my great disappointment I found he had left for the army that morning. I then went to the Paymaster General’s office and found again to my surprise that I could not get anything there. This was a pretty state of affairs… you can judge of my feelings with hardly a dollar in my pocket, remembering the hotel bill at the rate of $2.50 per day, and not knowing how I was I to pay it. I did the only thing I could think of –  telegraphed to [illegible] to send me fifty dollars, which I calculated would get me to me late Saturday night. I then went and got my pass to the army for Sunday. As I wanted to make some purchases in Washington, I found Maj. Hall, who was in town and borrowed twenty dollars of him, to be paid the next-day. When evening came and I went to the Express Office, I found that some bridge had washed away and that nothing would come through. As I had my pass, I was obliged to start the next morning, all I could do was to write to the Express agent and tell him to return the money to [illegible] and to Maj. Hall and tell him I could not pay him. As it was I only bought some shoulder straps and a rubber coat and cap cover, which I thought I needed most. There were many other things that I wanted but could not get. […] I never had the blues so in my life as I did there two days in Washington, and it all came about from my staying in Gettysburg a day longer that I intended. Everything secured to be wrong that I attempted.

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

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