[p5] all chances of a Brigadiership is gone, as I see that Congress will not make but Fifty new ones and the President has already nominated over one hundred, so that a good many that thought they had it sure will be disappointed. I do not care a great deal, although I am like every one else, I like to rise, but it will not Kill me if I do never get it. I am sick + tired of Military and if I get through this war, they will never get me into another one even if I could get the best position in the Army. You seem to think that Col Webb is very egotistical, now I never thought so, for while he was here he never showed it. I am sorry he went so far in the praise of David + myself, he certainly must have [p6] put it on very heavy. I am afraid you folks will begin to think that we sent him up there on purpose to puff us up. We certainly have not as yet started a puffing society in our mess, although I must say, the balance of my mess are rather a good set of chaps, and like good living exceedingly. I am sorry that you felt insulted because I said that Ladies did not take much interest in the Political Questions of the day. I did not mean anything of the Kind, but I thought probably you would prefer reading about something else. I Know that you take the greatest interest in any + every thing that pertains to our Country and that there is not a more loyal heart in the country than yours. Would that all the north were like you and this war would have been over long ago. Of course there is different opinions about the way [p7] the War should be carried on. you think that the proclamation was wrong. I think it was right and if carried out will crush this Rebellion. now both of us are undoubtedly loyal and both want to see the Rebellion crushed, but we differ in the way of doing it. Now I do not care what means are resorted to, too put down the Rebels only so that it can be done if Keeping the Negroes where they are will do it the soonest, why then I am in favor of doing it in that way, if freeing them is the quickest why of course I am in favor of it. Now I have been in the South nearly two years during the War and I have had means of seeing a great deal more how the Rebels are carrying on this war, than you and the balance that are at home, and I feel in my inmost heart, that the negroes if left on the Plantations will raise [p8] provisions for the Whites to live on while they are fighting us. Now if these Negroes are taken away, why half of the Rebel Army would have to be sent home to raise provisions for the other half to eat. We could then easily subdue them. Now I Know this to be a fact and Knowing it, I can not help but believe it.
All the Army look on it in the same light, Democrats and all. I never professed to be an Abolition-ist, neither am I one now, I am for the Union any how Nigger or no Nigger. I think however that if the Negroes were freed and all shipped out of the Country we could never have another War on that question if the Union ever is restored. For as long as slavery exists in this country so long will the [p9] question be agitated, and hard feelings are bound to exist.
There are plenty of other arguments that I could bring up on this question but I did not contemplate writing you an essay on Politics
You seem to think that I believe that all the Democrats are secessionists now I believe very far from this I think a great Majority are true lovers of the Union, but I must say that there are some who call themselves Democrats who are really Secesh and would deserve hanging if they were worthy of notice, but I am now in favor of treating them with silent contempt. I see that you still hold up Gen McClellan as your idea what a General should be. I am under the impression that you will be [p10] disappointed in ever seeing him with a command of much importance. He is not the man for the times.
I am surprised that you do not feel guilty in reading those Letters of Smiths. I certainly shall have to caution him where he leaves his letters. I should think you would get tired enough of seeing Letters written by me, as you certainly get enough of your own.
I am surprised that Mrs Rugg should retail such slander about David. There is not a word of truth in it and there never was a man in this Regiment that for one instant supposed that David was in any way concerned in their rations being short, for all suspected that it was the Commissary Sergeant that was appropriating them and it was afterwards discovered to be so and he was reduced to the Ranks on account of [p11] it. David is now very well and he has gone up the River to day with a Party forageing. he has to take charge of the property captured. They started on a steamer to day and will probably go as far up the River
as far as Lake Providence. he will be back in four or five days.
I am going to try to get home in April, wedding or no wedding I will leave that entirely to you whenever you say then I am ready the sooner the better. I love you more + more every day and want to see the day when you will be mine always. You promised me a long letter for the next one, I am looking for it anxiously. I write you about three to your one, and generally they are pretty long, but I believe you like to hear from me, and that you prefer them to be long. it is the way I feel [p12] about your letters, and I think you are the same. Write me very soon and believe me as ever