Albert J. Barnard, 20 July 1863

Camp Niagara, Baton Rouge
July 20th 1863

Dear Lewie,

You will see by this that I am still off duty as is also John Dobbins. Both able to be up and around but don’t feel very lively. Our resignations were forwarded last Friday and now let me tell you how it was brought about. Last Monday the Major heard of my having received my commission and immediately started for this place with Dobbins who was sick. The Major was very angry and said he would not go back to the regiment. That if I was in command, that he would not have anything to do with it till his commission came. He said it was all a politician’s trick, the sending of my commission ahead of the rest. You see Hote [Seymour] was so delighted at my success that he sent mind ahead of the rest and so of course I was the ranking officer, Love being still Major. On some accounts I was pleased, but take it all together, it proved a mighty unlucky affair. I cannot give you all the particulars now but will say that Hutchins & Co. are very much put out and I have heard since that the Dr. said I was playing off—not sick at all.

But the Major says he told him (this was after my “commish” came through) that I would not be able to do any duty for two months at least and that if I would resign, he would give me a certificate [of disability]. Could I do anything else then? So I told John and he said he must go too—that there was no one else here he cared for, and if I went, he was going. I was glad he felt so, for I did not like the idea of leaving him behind. We have always kept together and said when one went, both must go.

Then I told the Major how we felt, and if he would approve both John’s and my resignations, and forward them together, and do all he could to have them both accepted, that we would hand them in without delay. He said he would and would go were he in John’s place. So now we are waitong patiently for General Banks to decide our fate. John has got an idea that his will be returned disapproved but I feel that ere long, you will se us both in “Old Buff.” If my resignation shall be approved and John’s not, I shall stay till he can try again.

The weather is awful hot just now and I feel that neither of us will get well here, and that it is necessary for us to go North. John says he can’t stand it and he must get home one way or another. I am better than he is and am around more but I should feel mighty bad were he to leave me here. You had better read this to John’s father as he does not feel like writing himself. Dr. Lynd also tells us we had better go.

I am very sorry to have to leave the regiment. Will give you my opinion of a soldier’s life when I see you. It will be a week or more before we know whether we are to be soldiers longer or not. In the meantime, I will write to you again. Please don’t noise this around for we may slip up.

I must close as I have some matters for our new Colonel to attend to before the boat goes down the river. I forgot to say that Love received official notice of his promotion and started for the regiment. Love to Mother and all at home. From yours in haste, — Albert