Letter from Codman, Charles R.

Soldier: Codman, Charles R.
Allegiance: Union
Unit/Service Branch: 45th Artillery
Home State: Massachusetts
Date Written: Thursday, February 5th, 1863
Location: Newbern (NC)
Correspondence Type: Letter
Subjects: Commanders, Comrades, Rumors, Wife/Girlfriend
 
My Dearest Lucy, I have just received three letters from you dated the 23d, 26th & 28th of January. Before you receive this you will have received my letter on the subject of your coming to Newbern. What I said then, I say now: If the children are well, I should like to have you come for a short visit, but you must come soon or not at all as we may be ordered away from Newbern. At present we seem likely to stay here for some time but war is very uncertain and it is never safe to calculate upon probabilities. If you come bring with you or if you do not come, send me some more of my flannel drawers, some while collars, and a few white shirts. Now that I am living in the city, I wish to ----- to be gayly appareled. Bring or send also a few napkins and remember if you come to bring your own sheets and pillow cases. The shoulder straps as I wrote you are very pretty. It would have been better if they had been ‘light blue’. Please let the next pair be of that color. I suppose that I had better have a few cotton drawers also now that warm weather is on the way to Newbern. General Foster has gone some where with Naglee’s and Ferry’s division and part of Wessell’s division. The part os Wessell’s division consists of two regiments of Stevenson’s brigade namely the 24th regiment and the 10th Connecticut. The other two regiments in S’s brigade are the 44th and the 5th Rhode Island. The latter is here but the 44th went day before yesterday to Plymouth by water in reconnoissance. The troops remaining here are the rest of Wessell’s division consisting of Hunt’s brigade, Palmer’s division consisting of Amory’s and Lee’s brigades (all Massachusetts troops) and Prince’s division consisting of Jordan’s and Howell’s brigades made up of New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts troops. I suppose that when General Foster wants reinforcements he will send for the rest of Wessell’s division and that Palmer and Prince will remain here. General Palmer, who is our division commander, in now in command here. He arrived a day or two ago and until then General Wessell was in command. The latter is an old army veteran, very courteous and military. General Palmer I have not yet met. My regiment, the artillery and the cavalry are quartered in Newbern. The rest of the troops are encamped outside. We received compliments upon the way in which we do Provost Guard duty. Our quartermaster division is acting as brigade quartermaster and over at Colonel Amory’s, Lieut. Emmons is acting as regimental Q.M. and lives with us at HQ in Craven St. On our first floor in front is the Adjutant’s Office. Behind that the dining room. On the second floor in front is my room. Behind the Adjutant’s and Quartermaster’s together. On the third floor the Lt Colonel has the first room and Russell the back. They are all very comfortable. The Chaplain and Surgeon dine here but live in a small cottage in another street near the hospital. The Assistant Surgeon is detailed from the regiment and assists at the general hospital which is in charge of Dr. replaces. The companies are quartered in various houses, the officers occupying separate rooms in the same buildings as their men. We have eight companies here, two at Fort Macon under Captain Rich. Besides this, Captain Murdoch is acting on Colonel Amory’s staff and Lieut’s Richardson and Blagden are in the signal corps and I believe that this is all I have to say on military matters. Two of my men are in jail awaiting their trial for sleeping on their posts as sentinels. They will not be shot. (A.L. never permit that but it will be necessary to punish them severely). I hope that my little Manie is getting better. I like to have her go to school if her health admits of it for I know that it is a great pleasure to one of her sociable and gregarious qualities. As for my eldest son, I wish that he had a greater thirst for knowledge. Can’t you make the little scamp learn to read? I am afraid that Looly will learn before him. As for little Russell, I shall hardly know him when I get back. I suppose that the little party walks and talks and is generally “cunning”. I had a letter from Mrs. Pollitg yesterday which I enclose and Russell received one from Eliga White which I send. The Lt Colonel and I went out to dine the other day with ladies! I never anticipated such a circumstance here. Captain Messenger of New York Provost Marshal has a house here and his wife and sister are staying here. Messenger is of Boston origin but has lived a long time in New York where he is well known in the fashionable world. His wife was a Miss Nelson whom I remember at Newport ten years ago. She is very pretty and lady like. Miss Messenger is a little old maid, a true blue Yankee girl - lives in Roxbury near the James Sturgis. These ladies, Mrs. Foster and Mrs. Amory are the only ‘eligible’ ladies here. Russell is very well. He is like his old self again and I have no doubt that he is happier here than he would be in Boston. He tells me sometimes that he can hardly realize his loss and for my part I do not quite feel that Suzy has gone. I suppose that I shall hardly appreciate it until I get home. Dearest Lucy, Am I to see you or not? I don’t like to urge your coming for it may be hard for you to stay with the children but if for a few days you could be here, the pleasure to me would be so great that I can’t help anticipating it is likely to happen. I am in perfect health. I do not think that officers are so much exposed to congestion fever as the soldier for they have better food. I have heard of no cases among the officers. Affectionately ever yours, CRC (Colonel C R Codman)

 

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