|Unit History Project|
The Civil War Letters Of
Editor's Note: In this letter Charles shows continued concern for his sister Laura’s health. His acceptance of a Devine plan for all that has happened is reflective of the United States Christian Commission’s work and the general revivalist movement in the 1860s. It is written about two weeks before the Battle of Gettysburg. At that point Northern States are highly embroiled among themselves in an anti-war movement lead by Democratic politicians called “Cooper Heads.” The former mayor of Utica, New York, Horatio Seymour, is a strong proponent of a negotiated settlement with the South, and now is Governor of New York State. No doubt, Charles is aware of the political climate, because he writes about Democrats, Republicans, Christians and the damage being inflicted to the war effort by “Northern Rebels.”
I hasten to answer your letter which I received in due time – I am sorry to hear that your health is so poor and I hope that you may not lose your voice, but whatever God may appoint in his providence let us try to receive as from an all wise and merciful Father and let us pray that our afflictions may (come) from our greatest blessings. We always have much to be thankful for in our greatest affliction.
- You tell me to be patient I have no cause to be impatient when I think of the promises of God, he has said that all things shall work for the good of those that love him so that our affections and disappointments if received in the right spirit may prove blessings to us – all that we may suffer here will soon be past. We cannot always see the hand that leads us but let us cast our selves into his care and he will care for us. But if we are ashamed of him before man he will be ashamed of us before his father and the holy Angels
Elise wishes me to be a Democrat. I wish she may be a Christian if she is not. Then she may be a Democrat or Republican. She may err in judgment but she will not err in principal. She will aim to be right and do right - We should not think more of party than our country - I would rather the names Democrat and Republican would link to us no more than that we should lose our free institutions. I would that we had a party without the imperfections of either but as they are made of imperfect men they will be imperfect. And, we should choose the best and will - should they think of it – You there at home never can know what men are suffering for this country. To know it must be seen and felt and the man (men) that would for money or for offer weaken the efficiency of our army by word or deed are aiding to the extent to which they go. To carry on the rebellion I am sorry that we have so many rebels north. They may prolong the war. I believe that is all that they can do. I believe that the union of these states will be established.
I have not received any pay here. I did not get here in time to muster and have a year’s pay due me the first of next month. Perhaps I may be paid in July. I sent to Lysander last fall (when I expected to come home) and got fifteen dollars and I have about ten shillings left. I think that you need part of it more than I do so I enclose a dollar to you.
Write particularly how you get a long. My health is rather improving. I have but little pain and rest well nights. And plenty of plain foods mostly bread. Meat once a day, not often butter, sometimes applesauce for supper, tea and coffee for break fast and supper.
C H Hayden
New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History