April 11th 1864
My Darling Kate
Your welcome letter of the 6th inst reached me yesterday. I rec’d them now regularly every two days & this makes the fourth. They always welcomed with similar fashion & would be if they came every hour in the day. The evening that I expected one for hours wait upon the mail to come. I can scarecely think of anything else when it does come it is a source of regret that I must wait two more days for another one. I am sorry that mine do not reach you as promptly this must be attributed to the fact that they are first sent to Raleigh and then sent back. This is the 5th I have written since you left and all of the others.
There is so little news here to fill out a letter that necessarily in writing that so often & so long there must be a good deal of repetition. I know that you have a gift of writing long letters, and I am nearly ashamed of the short length of letters which I send you and wish that I can only make news as interesting and as welcome to you as your letters are to me. I am sure you will be satisfied as you see we are yet at Orange Court House.
It rained very hard again yesterday evening though we are drilling as I wrote you last to put ourselves in marching condition. Yet the roads are so deep in mud & the weather so inconsistent that I may yet write several other letters from the same camp.
The ladies did not all go back yesterday. All of them are ordered to the south but some are staying to attend the tournament which comes off today & the Ball which comes off tomorrow. I was invited to be one of the judges at the tournament & to give the pleasure of my company at the Ball tomorrow night. I declined for the torn. saying I was feeling unwell & then I wished to respond to other letters today. It makes me much more satisfied and pleasant to write to you, than the things I could see at a dozen such exhibitions. Shall I go to the Ball? My ticket is costing me nothing & is unsolicited. They have sent to Richmond for all the nice things that the market will offer such as cakes & ice cream came to be in the richest profession. In addition to this I am promised if I will go that not only shall I feed upon all the things I wish to my hearts content but then I will be introduced to the nicest ladies both single and married. A pleasant time is generally anticipated for all. What does my darling say, shall I go?
Remember the ice cream the cake & the wines & that we do not have them every day. Remember the Ladies I shall meet & such ladies, the finest in the land to magnificently arrayed than circumstances, to lighten up with such smiles of welcome & radiant beauty. As Anne Bullock would say “having all sorts of things, but why would you not pay a visit,” My ticket is complimentary but I express the sincere hope that I would attend. Shall I go? Can you trust my health to the night air & to all their delicacies, my soul amid so many tempting wines, my constancy among so many fine women? My best love to Effie, Ma & all. May God bless my darling wife.
Your Devoted Husband
Source: Christopher Watford, ed. The Civil War in North Carolina: Soldiers’ and Civilians’ Letters and Diaries, 1861-1865, Volume 1. Original in the AM Scales Collection, North Carolina State Archives.