The Portland Mumfords - Charles Norhood Mumford Source A II - Letters - 02/01/1863.
Mrs. C. N. Mumford
Wauzeka, Crawford Co., Wis.

Leavenworth City, Sunday morning, Feb. 1, AD 1863

Dear Wife:

Yours of the 27th of last month came to hand yesterday. I need not tell you that all of your letters are very gladly received as you must know that such is the case. I think my health is improving, although I yet have a diarrhea most of the time. I have to be very careful what I eat. I was glad to hear that you are all well. I hope as much as you can that you will not be disappointed in my coming home but I fear you may be. I have had a good deal of trouble that I never intended to write to you as I could tell it to you so much better. But to begin with my troubles, when I left General Blunt's Bodyguard in Arkansas I was very sick and not expected to live and so weak that I could do nothing. When I left I did so by the order by the medical director of the army. It only wanted four days to make up ninety days. That was the length of time we were chosen to serve. I was compelled to leave my horse, saddle and bridle and all of the government arms in the Bodyguard and neglected to get a receipt for them and on the 10th of Oct. I had a Colt's navy pistol stolen from me and have been compelled to get a lawyer from Washington, D. C. to attend to my business, as it would take over a year's pay to settle this up. He has succeeded in all but the pistol I had stolen. I have no doubt he will clear me from that in a few days. All of the things were charged to me and amounted to $240. I was unable to draw my pay in consequence of this. I have been swindled enough without paying for nothing. I have no doubt my business will be settled in a week or two. My pay up to February amounts to $85. When I went into the Bodyguard I was told by General Blunt's aidede camp that we would draw 40 cents a day extra for clothes and I got from the government clothing, a dress coat that cost $10 and overdrew from my company also; it all amounts to $37. I have to pay the lawyer $10 and $5 for an India rubber coat that I lost and $6 money that I have borrowed. This will only leave me $27 if I had my discharge today. Rather small pay you will say for one who has been in the service over a year but I could not help it. If I had not been sick it would have been very different. You see that if I come home I would have but very little money. I suppose if I could get my discharge the government would pay my fare to Milwaukee where I enlisted but I would have to come home as I left unless they should see fit to give me my bounty by some future act of congress. I have always thought I would not come home unless I had some money to come with. Now I have made a statement of facts to you and if you think I had better come home under the circumstances I will try to get my discharge. I think there is a doubt whether I can get my discharge or not if I try. If I come home I shall come home without my overcoat. I have two good blankets.

It would be the greatest of all earthly pleasures to come and see you and the children once more and yet when we come to exercise reason, (something I think I am almost destitute of) it makes but little difference where we are. We have but one life to live in this world and it matters not where we die and perhaps we may not be happy in this life wherever we be, yet I trust there is a clime where all will be peace and joy and where the intentions of all will be made known, whether they are good or evil.

It is through the neglect of the captain of Company M that you have not got your State money, I shall write to him immediately. He is a very careless man I think. I have no news to write that I know of. War news is bad.

You must kiss the little one for me and give my kindest regards to all of the family.

Write often as usual. As you insist that I shall tell you who is was that told me about the ox I will do so. It was Solomon Bragg. I am very sorry I ever mentioned it as I do not believe in warring by letter and finally I am sick of war anyhow. I do not think that Mr. Bragg told it out of any ill will to anyone by the way he told it. I do not know as it would do any good to write any more on that subject. If you should think it would I can write you all of the conversation we had about the ox.

Heaven bless and protect you all in coming all coming time is my prayer. I am ever your husband and dearest friend.

Charles N. Mumford