Camp of the 140th Regt. N. Y. Vols.
Near Petersburg, Va.
October 30th 1864
Your kind note of the 23rd has been received & perused with great pleasure. I was glad to learn by its contents you were well & in good spirits hoping this may find you in the same situation as this leaves me at present.
It is on this Sabbath eve that I now sit to reply to yours of the 23rd inst. Perhaps while I am sitting at this humble table, you are attending Divine Service at the Old Church in the town of Gates or perhaps in some other [ ] of the country.
I have just been perusing a paper called the New York Observer which I received this a.m. from a young lady in Columbia, Conn. There is a good deal of good that can be obtained from its columns, it being a religious paper. I may, or rather am a going to send it home as soon as its contents have been read. You may have a look at it but please do not soil it anymore than you can possibly help & when you have read its columns, lay it aside with those letters which I have sent home to have preserved. I think a great deal of the papers & if I ever return home I am in hopes to find all well taken care of.
This has been a most beautiful day to us soldiers but some very heavy cannonading has been going on at our right in the direction of Gen. Butler’s line. Everything has been quiet in our front today. Occasionally a “hallo” can be heard from the enemy’s pickets & which our pickets answer by, “Hallo Johnny, what are you a doing & what is your opinion of the war and the election of Little Mac & Co.?”
You wanted to know what I meant by Father’s putting in my vote. Has he not received my vote which I sent home some time ago and which fully explains on the outside of the envelope what to be done with it? I suppose Father is a going to vote for Little Mac, is he not? Or is he for honest Old Abe Lincoln & not the Copperhead McClellan or in other words, “Gunboat McClellan.” He thought he had a firm platform but how sadly mistaken he was when one of Grant’s shells burst underneath it & blew it into atoms. If I vote for McClellan, I vote for [his running mate, George H.] Pendleton & before I cast a vote for either I would cut my right arm off. I might just as well vote for Jefferson Davis as them “Peace Men.” I am for peace just as much as any man living, but I want it on honorable terms (unconditional surrender) & their Rebel leader dealt with according to the laws of the U. S.
It is getting late & I must close for the present, hoping to hear from you soon.
I remain your loving brother, — Charles
Write often & I will return the compliment.
October 31, 1864
Today we muster for two months pay. This is a very beautiful morning & everything is quiet. I thought about 11 o’clock some of the most terrible cannonading and musketry took place but haven’t heard since laying before the line. [illegible]
Please send me a good shirt or two. I care not what it is just so that it is [illegible.]