Yours Affectionately – September 29, 1862

Yours Affectionately – September 29, 1862

From Yours Affectionately,

 C. D. Westbrook

Col. Cornelius D. WestbrookHarriet Brooks Bellows


Compiled by:

Gary M. Ingersoll, Ph.D.

Washington Monday

Sep 29th 1862


My dear wife

I came to Washington again this morning & was successful in getting my pay as adjutant, though I did not succeed in getting pay for the rest of the officers. It is very expensive to live in Washington. Board $2.75 per day. Housekeeping $1.00. You seemed so anxious to get home that I have driven the matter to the extent of my ability.

Enclosed I send to you a ten dollar treasury note & will continue sending you by mail & whatever favorable opportunity may present itself, until you have sufficient to meet your wants. Let me know how much you need.

I notice that troops are again in active motion & should not be surprised if we were moved again, although our officers & the Colonel of the 11th New Jersey who is our acting Brigadier, think that we shall remain stationary for some time.

It is impossible to say when I shall be able to get leave of absence. By clamoring the loudest, Simon G. Westbrook[1] has been detailed to return home on recruiting service. Although I think that my claims to return home were at least equal to his, I could not bring myself to ask for leave of absence while there is such imminent difficulty around us. At any moment we may receive marching orders, and in any coming 48 hours we may find ourselves engaged with the enemy. Several of the new regiments that were with us at the Chain Bridge were in the fight at Sharpsburgh & we for a time were marked off with them, until there was a change in the programme uniting us & the 11th New Jersey with Heintzelman’s Corps at Alexandria.

Until there is some change therefore, I shall not be likely to apply for, or will I be likely to obtain leave of absence.

I wish you could have procured from John B. Stute the papers relating to my pay as Capt of Engrs forwarded by me to him from Kingston to Washington last New Years. I find by a new law passed last winter that I can get some extra pay as Engineer pay instead of Infantry pay as given to me last winter.

At the next opportunity forward my metallic shoulder straps. If the postage is not too much send the cloth ones in a letter. I dress very commonly, many other clothes having purchased a Cavalry suit, costing me ten dollars.

Kiss the children. Love to Mother & Mary. I received Mothers letter.

Yours afftly





Washington Monday

Sep 29th 1862


My dear little Kate

After wandering about so much it is really a great pleasure to be able to sit down & talk a few minutes with you. I should enjoy the conversation much better if you were able to reply to me as I hope you will be able to do when you get a little older, but half a loaf is better than no bread, so for the present I shall be satisfied with the privilege of saying a few words to you.

I trust that you are a good little girl; that you take good care of your little brothers, Charlie & Cornie; that you are attentive in waiting on your mother, and that you improve all your opportunities for learning to read and to write, and for learning how to behave yourself at home and among your playmates.

Your Mother is going soon to New Hampshire to see your Grandpa & Grandma, your aunts uncles & cousins there. I hope that she will be proud to show them how well you can behave yourself there.

I do not know when I will be able to come and see you again. We are here like boys in school who cannot go out to play until their master gives them permission. War, my dear is a sad business as you will learn when you grow older, and as I believe you have sense enough to understand now. Your brother Charley no doubt thinks it a very fine affair to be dressed up in a uniform, and to be marching along with music playing and colors flying, but he thinks little perhaps of the many calamities to which these fine soldiers may be marching.

And up to this time we have gone along very pleasantly. We wake up in the morning with the drums beating and fifes & bugles playing all around us. We get a good breakfast and your father gets on his horse for a ride out to the Pickets, or to Washington or some other place, or to a drill with the Regiment. We get a good dinner at one oclock & your father perhaps rides again, or lays down in his tent reading or writing, and at 5 oclock the whole regiment turns out to parade, at the same time with many other regiments around us. The men all dressed up, with their guns cleaned & very bright, and the music plays and marches up & down the line, and the officers all nicely dressed march up to the Colonel, or field officer who conducts the parade & he generally makes them a little speech & then they all march back to their tents again. And then we have a good supper and a good place to sleep in during the night.

I trust my little girl that no sadder sting than this will ever reach your ears & that within a month or a year that we shall meet again. But whether sooner or later we may rest assured that a meeting will be provided for us in the future if we rely upon the protection of Providence. In His care I leave you with your brothers.

Your affectionate father

C D Westbrook

[1]                Capt., B Co.

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