Yours Affectionately – October 19, 1862

Yours Affectionately – October 19, 1862

From Yours Affectionately,

 C. D. Westbrook

Col. Cornelius D. WestbrookHarriet Brooks Bellows


Compiled by:

Gary M. Ingersoll, Ph.D.

Camp 120th Regt N.Y.S.

near Fairfax Seminary Va

Oct 19th 1862


Dear Harriet

I received your letter from Portland last night at the same time with another from Mary who desires a carte de visite[1] of me with my high topped boots on. It seem that Van Santvoord has been writing for the Argus a letter from our Camp in which he mentions the aforesaid boots. When I have it taken I will send you a copy. My uniform at present is simply that of a dragoon with the addition of the boots, shoulder straps & corded felt hat.

I have just finished letters to Mother & Mary. I have commenced making remittances for Elizabeth & two or three other little accounts including those you mention.

My last letter to you was dated from Uptons Hill to which it seems we were only temporarily ordered, as on Friday we were ordered back to our present quarters. A cavalry raid was expected there, in expectation of which we were on the alert, although it turned out to be a shabby joke in which I did not take much interest from the start. We were relieved by a New Hampshire Regt. Col. Storms & a New York Regt from Ogdensburgh. A Major of the New Hampshire Regt was a good looking young fellow of the name of Stover of Portsmouth, a cousin of the late Woodbury Stover. I took him & his men out on our picket line & he professed to be very grateful for the pains I took. The New Hampshire Colonel also was friendly. Most unexpectedly R. R. Thompson made his appearance from the Regiment as a Sergeant. He has grown so much fleshier that I did not recognize him even after he had shook hands with me. I understand that quite a number of men from Coos County were in the Regiment but it was late & I had to march the rear guard to our old quarters that night. I did not delay take them up.

Tomorrow I am detailed on a Division Court Martial, and as I know as much about the duties as one may be expected to know who has neither seen nor read about any institution of the kind, I shall be obliged to post up somewhat between now & nine oclock tomorrow morning.

The only event of interest that has occurred during the week was an Inspection of our Regiment by Genl Sickles. Everything points to our taking the field soon, but as my calculations in this respect have been several times disappointed I have pretty much given over any calculations on the future.

Camp life is getting to be rather dull and monotonous.

I see no chance for a leave of absence yet as long as there is a probability of active operations ahead. When we go into winter quarters there will be doubtless an opportunity afforded. It will need a pretty long leave though to enable me to hunt you up so far towards the North Star. I would gladly however start tonight for that purpose if it could be allowed and there was no prospect ahead of important work for the Regiment. I dont know that I ever wished to visit my wife & family more than at present.

Mother & Mary miss the children very much. Mary’s letter was filled with Corney, Charley & Kate.

I hope that now you are that your own sister Mary may be induced to write to me. It is five years since I believe that I have seen her. I hope that she will be able to visit you this winter.

And five years also must have somewhat whitened the hair of your father & mother and I presume that they will think that it has not materially added to your own good looks. As for myself I notice that a gray hair occasionally makes its appearance.

But my health never was better, or it seems to me so good for many years. The saddle agrees with me & a sleep on the ground occasionally with no other company than the moon & stars does not hurt me. The only difficulty is that I eat & smoke too much & am surrounding myself with too many Camp comforts for one who is liable at any moment to be ordered into the field without any baggage. This moving about so often & exercise in the open air keeps ones thoughts too much around the pots & kettles.

I would like very much to have the old white horse, harness & square box waggon here, that my traps might accompany everywhere on the march. Your bed, blankets cooking utensils, stove & provisions always at hand will be great conservations of ones health & comfort & as the government will at all times & placed furnish me with forage, this result can be easily brought around with the white horse & waggon aforesaid. If I had time I would start tomorrow to procure them. Give my love to your family. Kiss the children & believe me as ever

Yours afftly

C D Westbrook

[1]Carte de visite literally a calling card but during ihe period the popularity of photography led to the trading of personal photos.

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