Camp 140th Regt. N. Y. V.
Near Petersburg, Va.
July 9, 1864
Your communication came safe to camp this morning after having been waiting a long time to receive a letter from some of you. It at last arrived & was received with great pleasure by its perusal. I find you are still blessed with good health which I sincerely hope will continue. There is nothing that will cheer a soldier’s heart more than receiving a letter from his parents or an esteemed friend. At least I find it so. I know I am not the only one. There has been many a time when I felt rather downhearted & the moment I received a letter, it seemed as though one was in paradise.
This leaves me in good health & spirits. The weather remains the same as heretofore with the exceptions of today which is somewhat cooler owing to the clues which cover the sun at times. we are all very anxious for a shower of rain to cool the air. Also to lay the dust which rolls up in large clouds on the main roads almost suffocating.
Our division has not gone to the front as I predicted but there is not knowing what moment we may receive orders to move to the front in line of battle. There is inspection of arms every evening at sunset.
Yesterday the artillery kept up a continual fire along our part of the line only at intervals when all would be silent. Between the hours of 4 and five last evening the artillery opened with a rapid fire on both sides. Also there was heavy musketry at the right. As far as I can learn, the Rebels tried to stop some of our forces that were detailed to work throwing up a fort which when finished has a good range of the country for some miles around. They did not succeed in capturing the fort for they were driven back in rather double quick time.
Our line of works are impregnable—also that of the enemy’s. We have a palisade nearly the whole line as well as telegraph wire. The artillery continued their fire at intervals today up to now. Our line advances at some points. The other night was to straighten it a little. The night of the 7th they kept up a continual fire all the night through making it impossible to sleep much. I have nothing more to mention on war matters this time.
I suppose father has nearly finished haying as I hear the grass crop is very poor this season as well as all other crops. Wages are very high, are they not. Has father purchased another mowing machine this summer?
We all anticipated a fight the fourth of July but it did not come off. Everybody was surprised.
There is to be a draft this month, is there not? I hope it will not include Milton for one away from home at a time is enough. Should he have to go, my advice would [be to] get into the Navy or some other branch of the service for all the infantry.
Our [ ] that lives opposite us has arrived at the Regiment & in his company. Whether he will get his old position or not I do not know. I borrowed $1 of him. You can send me the money or pay his wife. We will probably be paid in a few days. Thinking you might want to see some of the confederate money, having one dollar which I have a lone time in my pocket, I herewith inclose it in this. I think I have written quite enough for this time. Remember me to all inquiring friends [and] accept this from your loving son, — C. C. Miller
P. S. The clothing has arrived. Please send me some steel pens in a newspaper and oblige.