Category Archives: District of Columbia in Civil War

1864: Aaron C. Young, Jr. to William Young

This letter was written by Aaron C. Young, Jr. (1825-1903), the son of Aaron C. Young (1778-1859) and Mary Pickett (1779-1834). Aaron was born in Hocking county, Ohio, never married, and lived within half a mile of the place of his birth all his life, according to his obituary. During the Civil War, he served in Co. G, 151st Ohio Volunteer Infantry (OVI) for 100 days. Companies C & G were posted at Fort Stevens during Gen. Early’s attack on Washington D. C. and helped blunt the Confederate offensive, saving Washington D. C. from capture.

Aaron wrote this letter from Fort DeRussy which factored into the Battle of Fort Stevens in July 1864. Fort DeRusssy was sited upon high ground on the west bank of Rock Creek to control movement along and across the valley. The fort coordinated its fire with Fort Stevens on the east and Fort Kearny on the west. It was built originally in the shape of a trapezium, armed with 7 guns, and afterwards expanded to mount 11 guns and mortars, including a massive 100-pounder Parrott rifle located at reshaped northeastern angle.

Aaron wrote the letter to his nephew, William Young (b. 1840) who served in Co. I, 159th Ohio National Guard. This regiment was organized at Zanesville and sent to garrison the forts at Baltimore during the summer of 1864. The regiment was activated for 100 days from May through August 1864.

The landscape beyond Fort Stevens from whence Gen. Jubal Early’s men approached the City in July 1864. The house in the foreground was demolished prior to the attack so as to open the field of fire for Federal guns. (War Views No. 1995 E&HT Anthony Real Photo Stereoview)

Transcription

Addressed to William Young, Co. I, 159th Regt. O. N. G., Baltimore, Md.
Care of Capt. [Elliott] Griffith

Fort DeRussy
June 15, 1864

Dear Nephew,

I have just received your favor of the 12th and am glad to hear from you. I have been on detached duty for the last two weeks at the Great Falls, fourteen miles above the city. When we first came here, our regiment was stationed at Fort Sumner, seven miles above Washington on the Potomac. Since then we have moved to Fort Reno, a little nearer the city. Here the main part of the regiment are stationed at present while our company quarters are at Fort DeRussy—still a little nearer. I suppose from what I can learn, we are about four or five miles from the city in a northwest direction perhaps.

We have no chance to go to the city to look around any. The day we got there, I was in a couple of hours. I put in the time looking at the Capitol and surroundings. It is a magnificent structure, but it is no use trying to describe it. Perhaps you will have an opportunity of seeing it for yourself. As we marched through, we passed in front of Old Abe’s house but didn’t see the occupant. We also passed the Treasury Building which is a grand affair.

I must tell you of a dinner that we got in the city. We arrived about nine in the morning and lay round in the hot sun till noon when we were marched up town for dinner. The tables were set in a magnificent hall and the bill of fare for each soldier was as follows—viz: a slice of light bread, a piece of fat middling meat that had been boiled at but not boiled—most of it stunk—and some kind of drink they called coffee but the true nature of which I know nothing at all about and never expect to. I could detect no taste of coffee in it. I considered it the longest range dinner that I had seen. It would kill a man about four hundred yards.

Our fare here consists of beef, bread, and coffee and I don’t feel disposed to complain as long as I can get plenty of that. My health has been pretty good with the exception of a very severe cold that I caught about a week ago. I was pretty poorly for two or three days but I am some better now.

If you should pass through here and have an opportunity seeing me, I should be very glad to see you and whether you do or not please write whenever convenient and I will give you whatever items of news I can. Yours truly, — Aaron Young

P. S. Change the address to Reno instead of Sumner.

1864 Letters of Charles M. Heaton

This page contains letters 50 through 95 that were written by Charles M. Heaton between 15 January 1864 and October 1864. During this time, Charles was working in the Land Office Department with its offices in the Patent Office on F. Street. Charles’ wife had returned to their residence in South Bend, Indiana, as well as his daughter Mary, now the wife of his roommate, Mr. Haynes.

For a Biographical Sketch of Charles M. Heaton and to read letters 1-30 dating from 1861 and 1862, go to 1861-64 Charles M. Heaton Letters.

To read letters 31 through 49, go to 1863 Letters of Charles M. Heaton.


Letter 50

Washington
Friday, January 15th 1864, 12 o’clock

Dear Wife,

Mr. [David] Haynes has just returned, left my office a few minutes ago. Was very sorry to hear of your detention between here and Baltimore but perhaps it was well as it afforded you time for a little sleep & rest in Baltimore. When I left you at the depot, I returned to the house and employed myself until breakfast time, picking up things and getting ready to move, and I assure you we all felt lonesome enough. And you remember the walk Mr. Haynes and myself had the evening before to find conveyance for baggage, and to procure tickets. I got very warm and took some cold. And you know how late we sat up that night and all together I felt miserable all the next day and done but little work. But after office hours, I moved our things over to our new boarding house. But oh dear, when I went to dinner and began to sit down, I seen we were sold. I certainly have not sat down to so poor a dinner since I have been in Washington and not only so, things look dirty all over the house. And besides, the woman of the house has eight small children about the house—the largest girl about the size of Mary Haynes. She has had twins twice and look as though she might be good for doublets a few more times. Well, we all regretted we were there but for awhile we must put up with it.

Every boarder left Mr. Cox the same day we did. Mr. and Mrs. Lake went to a house on the corner of 9th & I Streets, just above Mankin’s. They locked up their rooms, going to wait until the first of the month and if no others get sick, they will go back. If otherwise, they will then give up their rooms. Walter is getting better. I hear this morning he is up. Has not been very sick and will likely be out in a few days. In fact, I almost regret we left the house—or at least I am sorry we moved our things away. And it may be that we will go back there in two or three weeks—that is, if none of the others get sick, and they will take us back at fair prices. But we shall wait and see. Mr. Haynes has had no experience at our new boarding house yet but will commence at dinner today. So far as our room is concerned, it is large enough & good enough but not quite clean enough. I made arrangements to have a fire made in our room every day at 3 o’clock at $5 per month. I thought it better than to buy coal & wood ourselves—especially as we do not intend to stay over a month.

On Wednesday and Thursday I was so unwell that I did not feel able to go to the Telegraph Office. Consequently did not telegraph to Charles as I intended. You will take him and all the friends on surprise. I suppose you will about reach home this Friday evening on the mail train and will meet Charles at the depot.

This morning I feel much better and intend to go to Mr. [Schuyler] Colfax’s first levee this evening. Will write you all about it. Have not seen any of them since you left.

I want you to attend those Relief Associations at South Bend as often as you can and take such part in them as you can. Don’t neglect this. We must be identified in all such movements. See that Charles attends them also.

Be sure and send my teeth back soon as possible for I have to swallow everything whole which goes rather hard.

Write me all about your trip home. How did you get along with Daisy and Polly? Polly must have been considerable trouble to you. We will write soon again. All well. Love to all.

Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 51

Washington D. C.
Sunday, January 17, 1864

Dear Wife,

Mr. Haynes has gone to church and I am here in our room thinking and hoping that you had a speedy and safe journey home after you left Harrisburg. I shall suppose until I hear otherwise that you arrived at home [in] South Bend] on the Friday evening 7 o’clock train, that you found Charles at the depot, and took all in perfect surprise.

This morning I received a letter from Lib. It was written on the 13th the same day you left here and I know she must be perfectly delighted at your return. From what she says, however, about the house, I suppose you will not be able to get possession of it for some weeks to come. And as I know that Lib has not sufficient room for you there, I think you and Mary better stay at the [St. Joseph] Hotel, or some other boarding house a week or two. Then one of you better go to Aunt Harriet’s and make a visit there and the other make some visits about town. This perhaps will be better than to commence keeping house at once. But when the time does come that you can get the house, I shall insist that you and Mary will not undertake to clean house and put it in order yourselves. You must get Lucy [Smith] and other help, if necessary, to clean house and fix things up. You must not do any part of the work yourselves.

But I promised to tell you about Mr. [Schuyler] Colfax’s reception. Of course I was there—so was Mr. Van Doren. 1 James Sample did not go; he could not get his coat all right to suit him but will be ready for the next. And Mr. [David] Haynes did not go. You remember he got home on Friday and was sleepy & tired and preferred rest. Van and I went about 9 o’clock. The company had commenced to come in and altogether was very neatly dressed in black silk and stood next to Mr. Colfax and Carrie [Matthews] next to her mother. 2 Carrie’s dress—as near as I can recollect—was a mouse color with Spanish waist with white bodice. But you know I cannot describe a lady’s dress very well. But she looked very neat. The company was received and presented to Mr. Colfax himself. Mrs. Matthews was in a fine humor and received the company with much grave & dignity. Carrie appeared more reserved as was very proper. and went through with her part very well indeed. In fat, it was a good success. Mr. Colfax was in his best mood and all felt finely.

The rooms were well-filled. Secretary [of War, Edwin] Stanton was there a short time. A number of military gentlemen with their wives were there. Among them was General Milroy. Mr. Dufrees and Julia wsa there. Julia was very neatly dressed—in fact, she was the belle of he evening in my estimation. Refreshments was served in a side room—coffee, cakes, and ice cream was all. Guests went in and called for it just as they felt disposed without any formality. All seemed to enjoy their visit first rate. Mr. Colfax, Mrs. Matthews & Carrie expressed their deep regrets that you & Mary was not there. They had heard through Mr. Stailey the day before that you had left for home and was much surprised at your sudden departure, but when I explained, thought it was best.

Walter is still getting better and so far there are no symptoms of anyone else being sick. Mrs. Cox visits on him—no one else goes to his room. If no one else gets sick there, Mr. Haynes & myself think of going back there in about three weeks. We cannot stand the cooking here. If we go back, we think of taking the back parlor room. Perhaps Mr. Van Doren & James will also go back, but of this we are not certain. But it is certain that they will not stay here long. Say to Mrs. Sample that James says he has not had a letter from home since he left and is getting quite anxious for a letter. James is well, enjoying good health. No cases of sickness among any of our acquaintances.

I said in my last that I took some cold the night before you left but I am quite over it now and feel all right again. But oh! how bad I want my teeth. I hope Mr. Howe has fixed them and that ere this reaches you, they will be on the way back. That 5.20 bond we got from James Sample, hold on to it until you hear from me again. James has been speaking about wanting it again. If he does, he will pay me here and have you give it to his father. By hte first of the month, we will let you know about it.

Mr. Haynes is back from church and we have just been to a turkey dinner, well spiced with onions. We did not relish it well, but still we had to go in & done the best we could. The bread is horrid and everything else in proportion but we will grin and bear it the best we can for a short time.

Since you left, Wm. Miller (black) from South Bend was here and called to see us. I showed him as many of the sights as I could. Had a very good visit from him. His family he left in Buffalo. They will be back home in about two weeks.

Lib wanted me to write to Jimmy. Tell her I will do so soon and will also write to her before long.

Tell Charles I want him to read my last letter to him over again and answer it fully. I cannot apply to have his salary raised until he does so.

You must write and give me all the particulars of your trip after you left Harrisburg. Want to know how you made the change at Pittsburgh [and] how long was you detained there. Had you any trouble getting your baggage rechecked at Toledo? And how long was you at Cleveland? Also, how did Daisy and Polly stand the trip?

Before you close a bargain with anyone about fixing our house, want you to write me about it. I want to know the plan and price. It seems to me I would not go to a very heavy expense. I had spoken when I was there to Mr. Sample about buying posts for the fence. He also intends to build a fence in the spring & I told him when he contracted for his posts, to also buy enough for us. He can tell just how many will be wanted both for back and front fence. He can do better to buy all together. I think it is best not to do anything for the present with the middle fence between us & Mr. Sample unless it is his desire to do so.

I want you to call on Mr. Gallagher & ask him how much he will charge to get me up a suit of black—the cloth at least as good as my last. He took my measure when I was there in July last. tell him he entered it in the back or front part of his book. But I want to know the price before I order it. He will remember the kind of vest I got before & something of the same kind will answer now.

Did you pay for any of the last washing before you left? Mr. Haynes does not know. I know it was paid for up to the time we came from New York. Now I guess by the time you answered all my questions, it will make a pretty good letter. Write often as you can. You and Mary must keep us posted of your movements. We hope you are enjoying yourselves. Love to all.

Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton

Mrs. Hannah (Stryker) Colfax Matthews (1805-1872), the mother of Schuyler Colfax.

1 Van Doren was a clerk at the Treasury Department. His address in the 1864 City Directory was 412 9th Street in the District.

2 Schuyler Colfax’s wife died in July 1863 just prior to his becoming the Speaker of the House in August. To preside over the household and host receptions on 4th Street, Schuyler asked his mother, Hannah (Stryker) Colfax Matthews (1805-1872), now the wife of George Washington. Matthews (1810-1874) along with his yet-unmarried sister Caroline (“Carrie”) V. Matthews (1838-1917). Mrs. Matthews wrote of the reception that took place on Friday, January 15th 1864: “Had you been here last Friday night you would have seen ‘Mr. Speaker,’ his mother and sister standing in the centre of the drawing-room, and in form receiving a thousand people. They come and go, generally, though some stay from half-past eight to eleven. We have refreshments, coffee, cake and ice cream, not a drop of wine or liquor.It is the talk of the city that never Speaker had such receptions. Mrs. Lincoln says she is jealous of them, for they rival hers. With all the fatigue they are pleasant, and until they are over we do not realize the fatigue. It is pleasant for us to be able to assist Schuyler, and especially to be together again as one family. We avoid all the parties we can; still, etiquette makes it necessary for us to attend some.”


Letter 52

Washington
January 29th 1864

Dear Wife,

Mr. Haynes tells me he wrote to Mary yesterday and I suppose he gave you all the news. Still I thought I would write you again this morning. We had all along intended to go back to Mr. Cox to board provided he did not charge too much. I went there on Saturday evening last to talk to him about it. The room he had rather held for our refusal was the back parlor room and asked $28 per month, board and gas. I thought he asked us too much but doubted whether we could do better & told him I would see Mr. Haynes about it but that I thought it would be alright, but determined still to continue our search and see whether we could not suit ourselves some other place before giving him a decided answer.

On Tuesday, [my nephew] Frank [Heaton] came to see me and said he had rented a house large enough for us all on the northwest corner of F & 10th Street. F Street you will remember is the one that runs between the Patent Office and Post Office buildings. He pays $900 [which] I think a large price. I believe there are 12 rooms in it including the kitchen. One room is designed for an office and can be rented for about $400. He gets possession on Monday. Mr. Haynes, James Sample & myself take two rooms on the third floor with a door between. The rooms are full as large, if not a little larger than those we occupied at Mr. Strugis’. We intend to use one for a bed room—three beds—and the other for a sitting room, and we intend to cover he walls all over with pictures and make it look as cheerful as possible. We shall all of us board with Frank and we are to pay $27 each including room and gas. From this out we shall not need much fire & between all three of us it will not amount to much. Mr. Haynes and myself could have got one room to ourselves, but I was anxious to have James with us for I know Mr. & Mrs. Sample would feel better satisfied to know that James was with us. Hence I made the arrangement as above stated.

The blue star is placed at the NW corner of F and 10th Streets where Frank Heaton rented a three story, 12-room house house. [The H&M Clothing Store occupies that location today.] Charles M. Heaton subleased a room here from his nephew Frank beginning in February 1864. The Patent Office was one block due east where Charles worked (shaded in yellow).
This image of F Street looking west dates to the late 1860s. We know this because the Masonic Lodge (yellow dot)—under construction—was completed in 1870 and it stood just west of the Patent Office Building at right. The boarding house (blue dot) rented by Frank Heaton and sublet to Charles M. Heaton is at the corner of 10th & F Streets. The relatively empty grounds of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and School are between the Masonic Lodge and the boarding house. See closeup below. The Treasury Building can be seen at the end of F Street in the distance. The White House was just beyond the Treasury Building.

We shall not get moved over, however, before the last of next week as it will take Frank nearly all the week to move and get fixed up. When this is done, we expect to feel as though we were settled for the season. Now, how do you like the arrangement?

The next day after you left I was vaccinated [for small pox] and it took first rate. Had quite a sore arm, but it is getting well now. Walter has got entirely well and none of the rest has taken it. Mr. Cox has bought a fine Chickering Piano. The tone is splendid. Tell Mary the tone is much like the one at Ed Clark’s. She will remember that. I should like to hear her touch it off. After I made the arrangement with Frank, I went and told Mr. Cox. It surprised them but of course they could do nothing more than acquiesce.

I was sorry to hear that you had taken cold on the way home but was rejoiced to hear that Dr. [Lewis] Humphreys was there to prescribe for you, and hope by this time you have entirely recovered. Have you got a girl yet? I hope you have. You must not think of doing your own work. Why can you not get Lucy? Has she quit going out to work?

I shall send you some money next week but I do not know how much. I must keep enough for the coming month. I expect James will pay me $50 to redeem that bond. If so, I will send you that also & then will tell you what to do with the bond. I think the intention is for you to hand it over to Mr. Sample.

Tonight is Mr. [Schuyler] Colfax’s reception. I did not go to his last one—did not feel very well, but shall go tonight. I wish you would read my last letter over again and see if there is not some questions in it that I want answered. One thing I remember, that I wanted you to see Mr. Gallagher about a new suit. I want to know how much he will charge for a suit. The cloth must be as good, at least, as the suit he last made me. See him soon as you feel able and let me know for my old coat is out of all character and am compelled now to wear my best everyday. So you see, I must have a new suit.

Do you remember how many shirts you left me of each kind? One, if not two are missing. I mean one under shirt and one other. You left me if I remember right, 2 new under shirts, & I can only find one. The wash woman says she never had it & I cannot tell whether she had or not, but I know the other missing shirt she did have & will make her pay for it. Tell me what it is worth.

You will see by the Chronicle that [Rev.] Mr. [B.] Appleby is dead. I was not at the funeral but I hear he had a large one.

Tell me also how many pair of drawers you left me. How is Lib getting along? I must write her soon. You and Mary must be very careful about your health. Do not expose yourselves in any way. It is very important that you keep your feet always dry & warm.

Tell Charles to write me often as he can. I want him to answer my letter about the receipts of the office that I may try & get his salary increased. Have him hunt up & read my letter over on that subject. Tell me the terms you board Mr. Lowell. What is the prospect about their moving & when. Did you tell him I called to see his Father in New York? We are all well. Love to all.

Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton

A closeup of the three story boarding house at the NW Corner of F & 10th Streets. The horse-drawn omnibus streetcars ran down the middle of F Street past the boarding house.

Letter 53

Washington
[Sunday] January 31st 1864

Dear Wife,

Mr. Haynes received Mary’s letter this morning. Its date I do not remember. She says you are still getting better. From this, I fear you have been quite sick, more so, than we have been informed. I hope you will let us know just how sick you have been and what the matter is. And Mary says not a word whether you have a girl yet or not. I shall feel uneasy until I know you have a good girl and that you are entirely well again.

For over a week past the weather has been like May weather—dry and pleasant. Yesterday, however, it was cloudy with a little rain, but not enough to make the walking bad.

Frank [Heaton] will move into his house tomorrow (Monday) but it will take them all the week to move and clean house, and we will not get over there before—about a week from tomorrow. We may, however, get over by Saturday. We are very anxious for the time to roll around for we are tired of this miserable boarding house. Our rooms are good enough, but the board is horrid and the back house —– —– oh! it’s no use talking—the dirtiest place you ever seen. Have to roll up my pants to keep clear, and then the pathway is strewed with clods, freshly taken from the young brats about the house during the morning. But you know we must submit for a few days and be thankful.

Mr. Haynes is lying on the bed taking a nap and James [Sample] is sitting by the stove reading the Sunday Morning Chronicle, but my mind is running upon home and wondering how you are today And although I wrote you on Friday, yet I could not refrain from writing you again today. If I only knew you was well and had had a good girl, I would be satisfied.

I forgot to mention in my last that in due time I received my teeth in good order, and nicely mended. Mary says Mr. Howe would not have anything for mending the. You must see him and thank him for me and tell him if he has anything I can do for him here, to let me know and I will do it with great pleasure.

We all went to Mr. [Schuyler] Colfax’s levee Friday night [29 January 1864]. Oh how sorry we were that you and Mary could not be there. The house upstairs and down was crowded. Mr. Chase & daughters & other dignitaries were there and we had a grand time. Carrie told me her Mother and herself the evening before [28 January 1864] had dined with the President & Mrs. Lincoln. She said from what she had heard of Mrs. Lincoln for some time past that she was prejudiced against her. But she says her prejudices have all been removed—that Mrs. Lincoln is a very pleasant lady and has the nack of making her company feel perfectly easy and at home. Carrie also, on the invitation of Mrs. Lincoln, attended the theatre with her and was perfectly delighted.

Mr. Colfax is well and seems to enjoy those evening entertainments very much, but tells me quietly that it is all a force put–that his heart is not in it and would much prefer a quiet evening by himself or with only a friend or two than all this pomp & show. And it is only done out of a sense of duty and because his position as Speaker requires it. He requested me to come over this evening and spend an hour or two with him in his room, as he expects to be alone—of course I shall go.

I wish you would have Mr. Sample examine the peach trees and see whether he thinks the trees are killed. I am fearful that cold weather has destroyed them. If so, they must all be grubbed out. But do not have that done until you find the leaves do not come out. Wait the full time for that. Then if the leaves fail, and the trees are dead, have them grubbed up and then we must try it again.

You may give that bond we got from James Sample to his father and James will pay me here. In a few days I will send you all the money I can spare. I will send you at least $100 including the fifty from James and perhaps more. I have not paid my board yet & must keep enough to take me through the month with a little margin. Don’t forget to see John Gallagher about a new suit for me, as I before wrote you. I want you to remember me very kindly to Mr. & Mrs. Lowell. Tell her I have not forgotten the nice lunch she fixed up for me when I left there last—that I ate every particle of it. The last I ate was between Baltimore & Washington and I enjoyed it very much indeed.

What about the cow? How does she look and did she know you?

You cannot do much about repairing the house until spring comes. Find out from Mr. Lowell whether lumber is coming down in price or not. I want you to have that tree standing at the back window of the Colfax room cut down close to the ground and you better have what manure there is about the stable and cow yard spread over the garden. This should be done soon as the frost is out so that it can be dug up.

I suppose you have had plenty of friends to call & see you. Has Mrs. Waterhouse returned yet? Tell Mrs. Sample that James is well and I think he looks better and feels better than he has been for some time past. Hattie [Heaton] & the baby are well. The baby grows finely. Hatty feels rejoiced that she is going to housekeeping again. Soon as you are able, you must write me yourself. Tell Charles to write. Mary of course must write Mr. Haynes and that answers for both of us. All well. Love to all.

Your affectionate husband, — C. M. Heaton

Don’t you think I better buy Brother Johnson’s interest in that land in White county. I think I can get it for about $80. Say to pay $20 every month or two until it is paid. A letter from him since you left says his health is very poor and he is much discouraged on account of it. My judgement is that if we buy it, it better be done soon and get a deed on it at once. What say you?


Letter 54

Washington
February 5, 1864

Dear Wife,

I here enclose you one hundred and twenty dollars. This is all I can spare this month. I have retained forty dollars after paying all expenses up to the first of this month but you know we had to move and then my board, room and fire since you left was at the rate of $32.50 per month. But we have left that horrid place. On Wednesday we moved our things over to Frank’s and we are eating at Mr. Cox’s, but sleep at Drank’s, and on Monday we commenced boarding there also.

We are very nicely fixed, have two good sized rooms—make a bedroom of one and sitting room of the other. Both are nice room. The bedroom has just been freshly whitewashed and the other is nicely papered and we are going to gather all our pictures together with which to decorate our sitting room.

I received Charles’ letter of 1st inst., last night. I will make the best effort I can to have his salary increased. You must encourage him to use all the economy he can. I would like to know whether he has saved anything during the past year & how much. I am aware that everything is higher than usual but you know he had no board to pay. At all events I should like to know how his business matters stand.

Would he not like to join the I. O. O. F.? I learn that our Lodge is in a good condition now. They have expelled some of the old thorns that used to be there and that everything is now progressing most harmoniously. I think he better join.

Mr. Haynes will write today which will reach you before this does.

I shall be looking for a letter from you every day now until I get it.

I want you to keep me posted about what you intend to do by way of improving the house and fences. What does Mr. Lowell say about the price of lumber now? Give me your plan about improving the house before you close a bargain. I want the plan & price if you can get at it. It is early yet & you will have time to write back & forth a few times yet before the work can begin. Still, if an opportunity offers, some of the material might be purchased. For instance, the shingles might be looked after. They must be good pine shingles. no other kind will answer. Perhaps Mr. Lowell—he being in the lumber business—could advise you about some of those things.

I was mistaken about losing some of my shorts. Mr. Haynes had put them in a bureau drawer and I did not know it until we commenced to move when we found them. I must apologize to our washwoman for telling her and insisting that she had lost my shorts. That was rather bad, was it not? But I will make it all right with her when I see her.

Love to all—to all—to all. Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 55

Washington
February 6th 1864

Dear Wife,

Yesterday being Friday, we intended to go to Mr. [Schuyler] Colfax’s reception last night but after we got seated around the stove in our cozy room, I felt more like staying there than going anywhere else and gave up going. Mr. Hayne’s however went to church which they have kept up every night since you left, or nearly so, and it was nearly 10 o’clock before he returned and found me in bed. But he brought me your good letter commenced January 31st and finished a day or two after. Of course I was soon out of bed to read it and I was rejoiced to know that you was quite well again and at last had a good girl. I was more astonished to hear that Lucy [Smith] had been spoiled that either of the other girls for I thought she could not easily be spoiled but it seems I was mistaken. I hope, however, your new Dutch [German heritage] girl will turn out all right, but if she does not, then try another, and yet another, but I want you to keep one all the time.

Mr. Haynes wrote to Mary last night and have her a full description of our room. Consequently I need not add anything hereto. I will only say that I think we are very pleasantly situated. We still eat at Mr. Cox’s however, and will do so until Monday. Then we all commence with Frank. Mr. Van Doren, however, having been offered and accepted a nice room from a relative of his free of charge, will not of course be with us. It is near the Treasury Building where his work is and he has found a good place to board near his room at $5 per week. He called to see us last evening and says he is getting along finely & is well pleased with his situation.

Since reading your letter last night I have been reflecting about that suit of clothes. The price is about the same that they charge here but I have more confidence in Mr. [John] Gallagher getting me up a good suit than I have in these Washington tailors. And then another thing, I always prefer patronizing our old South Bend friends. You will then go to Bro. Gallaghers and tell him to get up the suit soon as he can for my coat is getting rather out of date. Tell him he must put in the best cloth he can afford to for that price $53—the coat. I will give no directions about hte style, however, will of course be about the same as the last he made for me. The pants he must remember to make them with wide falls, not open fronted, and I want him to make the pockets out of a little better drilling than the last he made me. In the old ones the pockets were too thin and the lining was also too light. I want heavier lining in these. The vest I would like to have out of the same kind of material my other fine vest was made of. I can’t give the proper name of the material but he will remember it and you will remember it is a smooth heavy silk.

Now tell Bro. Gallagher he has always been more unlucky about fitting me with a vest than any other garment. He always missed it at the collar. It never fit me up close around the neck as it should. I hope he will remember this and guard against it. I guess you had better show him what I have written about the suit. As to the pay, you will pay him $25 when the suit is done, and the balance agree to pay one month after, or set the time to suit the time I get my pay—a month or so afterwards. I think that will suit him. And get him to pack them well to send by Express, or of Mr. Sample should be coming here about that tim, perhaps he can bring them. But if sent by Express, tell Charles to direct them to “Room 17, General Land Office.” “Free through.” The quicker now this can be done the better for you know I need them. I sent you yesterday by Express $120. It will reach you about the time this letter does.

I am sorry to hear of the death of Mr. [Robert Lanier] Redding. He was a kind and good neighbor, and an honest an. His loss will be severely felt by those who knew him best.

You say Mr. Sample has got a part of the posts for the fence delivered. You will of course provide him with the means to pay for them. Take a bill for them. I want you to keep an account of all expenses about fence & house. Mr. Lowell is certainly very liberal but you will make things all right with him.

In a former letter I wrote you about the peach trees should they all prove to be killed. Although you prophesy we will have no fruit this year, yet I will prophesy that the Northern Spy apple trees will be full this year.

You have of course handed over the bond we got from James Sample. He has paid me & the money is included in that I sent you by Express. All there is to do is to hand him the bond.

Write me just as often as you can. I received a letter from [brother] David [Heaton] last night. He says Feb. 2 at noon, “The outposts of Newbern have been attacked by the enemy. Some hard fighting took place yesterday. The rebels have come within sight. Yes, within cannon shot yesterday and today. Our force is not large but all are on hand ready for the conflict.” The rebels before Newbern are said to number about 15,000 but our forces are confident of being able to repel them. But this morning’s telegraph news says, “the rebels are withdrawing their forces from before Newbern.” So you see he is in a pretty warm place just now. I shall feel uneasy until I hear further from them. Should the Rebels take Newbern and take him prisoner & take him to Libby prison, he will not be able to last long in that doleful place.

Love to Lib & children, to Mary, and all the rest.

Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 56

Washington
February 7, 1864

Dear Wife,

I wrote you yesterday but forgot to mention how to tell Mr. Gallagher to find the last measure he took for my suit when I was there in July last. I had him take my measure, with a view of sending to him to have it made. Tell him he entered it down in the back part of his measure book that he was using at the time I don’t want him to go back and use the measure he took two years ago but the one he took last.

This is Sunday morning. Mr. Haynes has gone to Sunday School & James [Sample] is over to Mr. Cox’s. We expect to commence boarding with Frank tomorrow at dinner.

Mr. and Mrs. Cook occupied the two rooms immediately under ours. That is all that is in the house at present but Franks to rent a room or two more & also to take some boarders. It will require some careful management for him to make much, for the reason that he pays such a high rent. I was frank with hi, and told him that I doubted whether he would find it a very profitable investment, the rent being so high, but he & Hatty both thought they could make it work and determined to try it for one year at least. But now they are in for it and must make the best of it they can.

The news from Newbern [N. Carolina] this morning does not vary much from yesterday. The rebels seem to be close around the city within cannon shot & even in sight. I guess David and his family think they are in pretty good quarters, which is true. The latest news, however, is that the rebels are retiring. But I doubt whether that is true. My believe is they will have a terrible fight right at the city, but a day or two more will determine the matter and shall feel very anxious until we hear again. Our forces however can & will hold egress and ingress on the water side of the city and should it become necessary, David and family might leave.

The small pox still continues to flourish all over he city but the cases are all light—but few deaths—and none that I am acquainted with. I believe I told you I was vaccinated the next day after you left. My arm was quite sore. The scab came off last night. It is not very large but I here send it to you. It came off my own arm and will be safe to use if needed.

Hattie’s bay grows finely & keeps well. They have not named it yet.

I do not know that I have anything more to say just now but should I think of anything, will write again. I hope, however, you have entirely recovered from your cold. When you see Mary Jane Roberts, tell her I have not forgotten her and that I will answer her kind and good letter before long.

Tell Charles I want him to let me know the total amount of his Express receipts for the last year, before deducting salary and other expenses. He can easy get them from his settlement book. I also want him to look at my old account book & tell me whether my account with Colfax and Wheeler, before I left has been settled since I left & whether it stands open yet. And the same with Mr. Colfax Telegraph Account, & how the balance stands in each. I want this done now. Mr. Wheeler has sent me his newspaper account but I think they owe me on the old account. Charles, have you settled with Wheeler at any time since I left?

All well. Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 57

Washington
February 17th 1864

Dear Wife,

Mary’s last letter to Mr. Haynes says the money $120 I sent you arrived safely and that my new suit of clothes will be started from South Bend Monday morning next. I am glad of this for my best coat is failing fast. You remember the old one was about used up when you left and having to wear the best one I have everyday has become unfit to wear—only at home & in the office. Should this reach you in season for you to get me a neck tie to send with it, I would be glad. You can select one better than I can. But do not for anything detain the clothes in order to get the neck tie. The neck tie can be sent by mail or by someone coming here.

I understand Mr. & Mrs. Dayton are coming here about the first of March and that Mr. Sample will probably be here in March. Go and see the Dr. before they start.

We are getting along at Frank’s [boarding house] pretty well, but Hattie cannot cook with Mrs. Cox—that is certain. But still she does pretty well and tries to do all she can to make things pleasant. James, I guess, is satisfied. He thinks he is gaining in flesh more than at any other time since he has been in Washington and I think so too. He is certainly more rugged than I have seen him before.

The baby grows finely but I do not think they have named it yet, though they talk of calling it Clary after Clary Gallagher of Cincinnati. Mira makes herself useful, generally. They have a yellow girl to help them but she is of but little use unless everything is told her. They will turn her off soon as they can do better.

I have been looking for a letter from you or Charles for some days but it don’t come. Suppose you have been so busy you have not had time to write. But I shall look daily until it comes. Mr. Haynes always shows me Mary’s letters and they are very interesting but I want one from you as often as you can find time to write. I want to know about the particulars about the house—whether Mr. Lowell is still with you, whether you have found all your thins which were scattered among the neighbors and at Aunt Harriet’s, and did the things ew sent back from here come safely, or have you opened them yet? And I want Charles to write me fully as to his financial affairs—whether he has saved anything during the past year, and how much. All these things would be interesting to me and everything else of the same sort you can think of. If you cannot find time to write a full letter at one time, commence it, and write a few lines from day to day until it gets to a sufficient length to mail. I confess, notwithstanding my good roommates, that I am lonesome. Mr. Haynes generally goes to church every evening and James goes to Mr. Defree’s or some other place and I stay at home either reading or writing. But continually my mind is on home, wondering how you are getting along, whether you have entirely recovered your health or not, and wether your girl is good for anything or not. I hope she is a good girl so that you will not be troubled about your work.

How is Lib getting along? Do they all keep well? A week or two ago I wrote [her son] James a long letter and took occasion to give him a little advise. Have you heard anything about it? And what does he think of it? He may not relish advise from me but I hope he will. I tried to impress on him the necessity of being kind and obedient to his mother.

Congressman John B. Alley of Massachusetts as he appeared in 1864

On Saturday night, Mr. Hayes and myself attended a reception at Mr. [John Bassett] Alley’s, Member of Congress from Massachusetts. It was a very nice affair. Mrs. Matthews & Carrie was there looking finely. When the refreshment room was open, Mr. Haynes escorted Carrie and I escorted Mrs. Matthews to the refreshment room. Mr. Matthews escorted some other lady—I do not know who. Mr. [Schuyler] Colfax was not there. He was attending a reception somewhere else. I think I shall not attend any more receptions until my new clothes arrive. My old ones are rather nasty and you know they always have their parlors so brilliantly lighted up that a threadbare coat is easily seen.

When I commenced this letter I did not think that I could find enough to write about to half fill this sheet but here I am near to the end of it. And I know I had something in my mind to write about when I commenced but it has slipped my mind and I cannot call it up. I will very probably write you again tomorrow if it is of anything of importance.

If my clothes starts on Monday, I think I will get them in time for Schuyler’s reception on Friday. I hope to have them then, and that when they do come that they will fit me.

Yesterday there was quite a change in the weather from warm and pleasant to cold and windy. Night before last and yesterday morning a little snow. But the wind has blown it all away. What is the prospect about lumber? Tell me the prices as near as you can. Also the price of provisions. How do they compare with Washington. After you get all right and the weather cold, I will then remind you about sending us some mince pies made A No. 1. Mrs. Sample may want to send something—some nice doughnuts would go well, or anything you wish to send.

Love to all. Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 58

Washington
February 28th 1864

Dear Wife,

Yours of 21st inst. was duly received. Sorry to hear Mary had been so unwell. Hope she has entirely recovered and that your cold has entirely left you. Last evening, Mr. [William Theodore] Van Doren 1 was over to see us. He had just received a letter from Mrs. Van dated on the 22d. She says Mr. Lowell & family had gone to the hotel to board. If this is so, they must have left the same day you wrote your letter or the day after. I was not surprised that you found it difficult to get along with her for when I was there, I discovered she had a peculiar disposition. The only way for her to succeed in getting along is to have her keep house alone where she can have perfect control and slash and order things around her own way, and somebody with plenty of money to pay the bills. Mr. Lowell, however, I found to be a very pleasant man—always making an effort to please and liberal to a fault. I hope, however, they are gone and that you are released from the perplexities of boarding anyone so full of eccentricities.

This is Sunday afternoon and the weather has been for weeks past, and is now, very mild, dry, and pleasant. Mr. Haynes has been out to church, of course, but James [Sample] and myself have remained in our room reading. Perhaps we also should have went to church but we did not do so, but I think we shall go this evening.

I received James Davis’s letter and he seems to be highly pleased with going into the office with Charles and hope Charles can make good use of him there. I shall write James again soon with reference to his duty. Charles should be very prompt with him and when he requires a duty to be performed, to see that it is performed fully and to the letter. 2

I think also that it is best to let the improvements on the house rest, at least until warm weather—until May or June. But in the meantime you should be planning how you intend to have it done. Have you conversed with any mechanic about it, & with whom? But one thing must be observed—that the expenses must not reach over what can be paid for in the fall. When you talk with a mechanic, ask him what he thinks about raising the roof higher in the center & make the roof quite steep. Cannot sufficient bedrooms be made under such a roof and with sufficient lights? You remember we looked at some roofs here in this city that you liked and we thought would do to pattern after. And then ask the mechanic what the difference would be between a roof of that kind and raising another store square up. I want to get an idea of what the expense is going to be.

Has Mr. [Russ] Sample procured all the posts for the fence yet? How many are they and what did they cost? And have they been properly piled up? When dies Mr. Sample leave for New York and is he coming this way? I would be very glad to have him come this way. Tell him to come right here—corner of 10th & F Streets. We can take care of him if he can sleep with James. I think Mr. and Mrs. Sample 3 done exactly right when they decided to let James go to Idaho. He is much better off where he is. His health is now first rate. My clothes have not arrived yet but I shall look for them tomorrow.

I wish you would see Dr. [Daniel D.] Dayton 4 & find out when they start for Washington. Mr. Colfax has made arrangements with the War Department and had a rebel prisoner sent to Richmond to have him exchanged for Alfred Wade—Mr. Dayton’s brother. If this succeeds as we think it will, Alfred will be expected here some time this month & we hope in time to meet the Dr. and his wife while they are here. You remember he has been in Libby Prison for several months.

I am not surprised that you find provisions so much higher than they used to be, It is so all over the country & will be a long time before they are lower. I think when Mr. Brownfield or some other of our merchants goes East to buy groceries, that you had better give him money enough to buy you a barrel of sugar and perhaps some other things. If will be a saving in the end to do so. Economy should be studied in all things for the time is not far distant when the greatest crash ever felt in the country must take place, and all real estate, at least, will fall in value. And woe be unto him who is found in debt. We should therefore avoid living in debt all that it is possible. I hope Charles will not lose sight of that idea.

We did not go to Mr. Colfax’s reception last Friday. I thought I would wait for my [new] clothes.

The fair at the Patent Office Building is going off finely. 5 The large and spacious room is crowded every afternoon and night. I have been in two or three times. I bought me a season ticket $1 & can go in when I please. I found a stand there where they sell mush and milk 15 cents for a quart bowl full & a nice article and that is all the place I patronize.

Tomorrow evening Mr. Haynes and myself intend calling on Mrs. Sturgis & to take her and Mr. [Thaddeus S.] Sturgis’s sister that is there now on a visit & call on the other Mrs. Sturgis who is now back in the city. They live between the City Hall and the depot [312 9th Street].

I shall look for a letter from Charles soon & I want you to write as often as you can. I am very lonesome and you letters always revives me up. Did your big glass jar get back safe? My love to all.

Your affectionate husband, — C. M. Heaton

1 William Theodore Van Doren (1819-1885) was married to Matilda Woodruff (1828-1903) in 1847. In the 1850 US Census, he was a carpenter in Ovid, Seneca county, New York. In 1860 he was enumerated in South Bend, Indiana, working as a merchant. In the 1860’s he took a job as clerk in the Treasury Department in Washington D. C. He was still there in 1880.

2 James Richard Davis (1852-1886) was Charles’ grandson—the oldest child of Judge James and Elizabeth (Heaton) Davis. The youngster would have been about eleven years old when this letter was written. He was apparently being offered the opportunity to work for his Uncle in the Express/Telegraph office in South Bend.

3 Andrew Russell (“Russ”) Sample (1818-1885) and his wife, Mary Hannah McKnight DeFrees (1821-1867) lived on the adjoining property with the Charles M. Heaton home in South Bend, Indiana. Russ was a merchant in South Bend. Their eldest son James Anthony Sample (1844-1916) was a clerk in the Treasury Department. His boarding house address in the 1864 Directory was given as 412 9th West.

4 Dr. Daniel D. Dayton (1806-1889) of South Bend, Indiana, was married to Anna Maria Wade (1825-1908) in 1844. Anna’s brother, Alfred (“Alf”) Wade, was the youngest son of Judge Robert Wade of South Bend. He was the Adjutant and later Lt. Colonel of the 73rd Indiana Infantry when he was taken prisoner in May 1863. After he was exchanged and released from Libby Prison in February 1864, he went to Washington and met President and Mrs. Lincoln, Generals Grant and Halifax and Secretaries Stanton and Chase. While in Washington he stayed at the home of Schuyler Colfax. This and other experiences are vividly described in his “Hoosier Journal: the Civil War Diary of Alfred B. Wade.” He returned to South Bend after the war, married Jennie W. Bond of Niles and entered law school at Michigan State University. After becoming a lawyer he once again returned to South Bend and opened a law office. He was made Postmaster of South Bend by Schuyler Colfax. He died of a heart attack in 1877 at the age of 38 and is buried in City Cemetery.

5 The Patent Office Fair was conducted under the auspices of the Ladies’ Relief Fund Association of the District of Columbia. It began on 22 February 1864. Proceeds were targeted for the benefit of the Christian commission. The fair was held in a large hall on the third floor of the Patent Office in the partially finished and unoccupied north side. The hall was 300 feet long and 75 feet wide. Down the center and along each side, “stands, booths, bowers, and fairy-like arbors” were arranged. Near the center of the hall was a miniature representation of Gen. Grant’s headquarters at Chattanooga.” The President, his wife and son Robert attended the opening day’s events when Lincoln was asked to give a speech, “which he attempted not to do, concluding, ‘If I make any mistakes it may do both myself and the nation harm. It is difficult to always say sensible things. I therefore hope that you accept my sincere thanks for this charitable enterprise in which you are engaged. With the expression of the gratitude of mine, I hope that you will excuse me.’ Mary Lincoln was said to have told Mr. Lincoln after his speech: ‘That was the worst speech I ever listened to in my life. How any man could get up and deliver such remarks to an audience is more than I can understand. I wanted the earth to sink and let me go through.’ ” Source: John Y. Simon, Harold Holzer and William D. Pederson, editors, Lincoln, Gettysburg and the Civil War, Frank J. Williams p. 68.]


Letter 59

Washington
Sunday evening, March 6th 1864

Dear Wife,

Your letter of the 27th ult. was duly received and I assure you it was very welcome. I know it is a task for you to write, especially as you have so many things to look after since you returned home, but I hope you will so manage affairs that you can find time to write me at least once a week and oftener if you can. I believe I have not written you since last Sunday and I have no special reason for it only that I have been out several evenings during the week.

The Sanitary Fair now going off in the Patent Office building attracts large crowds every evening and one evening I took Mrs. Cox there, and another I took Hattie, and on Friday evening was at Mr. [Schuyler] Colfax’s reception. But I know had you been here to have went with me at all those places, I should have enjoyed myself much better. My clothes came in good order on Thursday last. Charges from Elmira $1. I don’t know why Charles did not mark them “Free Through” as was done before nless new instructions have been given by the company he should have done so. They fit me first rate with one exception—the legs of the pants are a little too long. Otherwise I am well pleased. I wore them to the reception and felt not ashamed. The crowd was not as large as usual, still the rooms were comfortably filled.

The centre of attraction that evening was Col. [Abel] Streight 1 and Maj. Alfred Wade, just from Libby Prison. They both looked better than I expected but they had both provided themselves with new military suits and cast away their prison suits. This of course added to their appearance and of course felt happy with the great change in their condition which a few days had wrought. It is just ten months since they were taken prisoners and during all that time had not been permitted to step their foot outside of Libby Prison.

Alfred was exchanged through the efforts of Mr. Colfax. He applied at the War Department and sent a Rebel Major who was a prisoner in our hands to Richmond who agreed to procure an exchange for Mr. Wade or return himself. Mr. Wade knew nothing of it until the thing was done and he was ordered to the flag of truce boat that brought him to Fortress Monroe where he met a letter from Mr. Colfax inviting him to come to his house where he is now stopping. Mr. Wade telegraphed when he would arrive and Mr. Colfax notified all the South Benders [here in Washington] and we all got there a few minutes before he came in. And you may well imagine how he felt to meet so many of his friends & acquaintances so unexpectedly. Mr. Van Doren was there and as I presume he is at home today & will see you, can tell you all about it.

Col. Abel Streight (seated) and three others who escaped Libby Prison with him. Streight appears to be wearing slippers in this CDV which was probably taken in February 1864. Streight was 6’2″ tall and weighed 225 pounds; he barely made it through the tunnel.

Col. Streight, however, had a harder time to get away from Libby. He is one of those that got out through the tunnel you have heard so much about. They dug a hole just large enough for a man to crawl through under a narrow street and come out in a back lot. When Col. Streight made the first attempt to crawl through, he had on an overcoat but that made him too large for the hole an he had to back out & take off his overcoat and made it fast to his feet and dragged it through after him. This hole or tunnel was just 60 feet long. I had quite a long talk with him about it. He told me that after he got through, he stayed in Richmond near Jeff Davis’ house for seven days, at the house of a friend. I asked him how he found his way to that friend’s house and how did he know he had such a friend?

Said he, we knew we had friends in Richmond while we were in prison, that for a long time they kept up a correspondence with a lady in Richmond 2 who gave them every information about what was going on in the city. Well, said I, how did you get your letters back and forth? Who was your mail carrier? Well, said he, I will tell you, but this must not get into print. As for the lady, she is safe for she is now in this city, but our mail carriers are not. Said he, there were two negroes whose duty it was among other things to fill our spit boxes with sawdust. But these two negroes was not allowed to go outside the guards around the prison. But there was another negro whose duty it was to take care of a horse belonging to one of the prison keepers and also to supply those other negroes with sawdust. and the letters were carried in this sawdust by the negroes.

Now you must request all who may see this not to let this negro matter get into print. The Richmond authorities began to suspicion this lady for not being loyal and among the detectives in Richmond are some good Union men and through them she was informed that she was about to be arrested, and a pass was procured for her to come through the lines in a fictitious name & she left & is now here. I did not ask her name—but I forgot, I was going to tell you that these letters informed them that when they got out, a certain number of them was to go to certain negro quarters which was particularly described & there send for her which was done. And about one o’clock at night she came and conducted them to the different houses where they were to stay. There they could hear all that was going on. There were 109 that got out—all that could get out before daylight. Most of them left the city that night but it was known if Col. Streight should be retaken, he would be shot on the spot. Hence it was arranged for him to remain in the city & soon as any of them got through to our lines, to publish that Streight was one of them which was done, and this put the rebels off their guard.

After remaining in Richmond seven days, the man where he stayed took his gun as though he went out hunting, but for the purpose of finding just how many of the guards & pickets were posted around the city and then in the night he piloted them out ten or twelve miles in the country. He would travel in the night and lay in the brush all day, but in twelve days he got through. His feet and ankles got very sore and are sore yet, but he says he will soon be ready for duty. He is from Indianapolis. About 45 or 48 of the 109 was retaken.

I hope when Major Wade gets home our South Bend folks will give him a good warm reception. He starts for home Tuesday or Wednesday. You and Mary must call and see him at Mr. Chapin’s soon as he arrives. It is expected that Dr. Dayton and wife & daughter will be here tomorrow. Alfred is anxious to see them before he leaves for South Bend.

Capt. Saunders’ wife is here on a visit to her husband. I seen them at the reception and of course gave her some attention. I told her she must see you, or you her when she got home. She said on Monday after you got home she went to the office and enquired of Charles where you was that she might call and see you but somehow Charles did not tell her where you was and she went home again and felt very bad about it. I suppose Charles must have been very busy at the time or did not understand what she wanted. I hope you will see her when she gets home about the last of this month. She can describe these receptions to you as she has attended them.

But here I am at the end of this sheet and several things in your letter not answered. I will write again in a day or two and answer. But as to selling part of our lot, we must decline. But if we ever do sell, Mr. Sample shall have the first chance. I sent yesterday a package of garden seeds each to you and Mr. Davis, & one to Uncle Tim & Mrs. Mary J. Roberts. Mr. Hayes is at church tonight and well. He will finish a letter to Mary tonight or in the morning. Love to all.

Your affectionate husband, – Charles M. Heaton

1 Abel Delos Streight (1828-1892) commanded the 51st Indiana Infantry on a raid in 1863 (Streight’s Raid) in which he was taken prisoner and held at Libby Prison for ten months.

2 The lady might have Miss Elizabeth Van Lew. Her story was posted on Civil War Talk in July 2015. Or perhaps it was Aunt Rhoda, a “colored mammy” who was credited in the following article entitled “Col. Streight’s Escape” by Thomas C. Mays, of the 65th Ohio.

Sketch from “Libby Prison Tunnel Escape”

Letter 60

Washington
March 11th 1864

Dear Wife,

When I wrote you last evening I fully intended to have written you again before this Friday evening but every evening something was in the way. Tuesday evening I went to the President’s Levee—the first I have attended this winter. The evening was pleasant and the walking good. James Sample and myself went together, but notwithstanding we went early, we found the East Room & halls pretty well filled. It had been announced during the day that Gen. Grant was to be there. This called out an immense crowd. There were a good many Ladies there, yet the Gents outnumbered them five to one.

Ulysses S. Grant, Photograph taken on the day of his arrival in Washington & the same day as the White House Lee, March 8, 1864 (Mathew Brady)

I met Mrs. Green there, the lady who keeps the boarding house on 9th Street—not the one that boarded at Mr. Finney’s. She introduced me to a Mrs. Wait from New York State. I offered her my arm and we, with many others promenaded once around the East Room, and just as we got to one of those large sofas right opposite the Green Room entrance, a loud clapping of hands commenced and it was soon discovered that Gen. Grant was about entering the East Room. We saw that he was just entering along with Secretary Seward. The crowd pressed toward him very heavy but he pressed his way through and crossed the room directly where we were. They came right up to where we stood. We shook hands with him but the crowd pressed stronger and stronger to shake him by the hand. I spoke to him & Mr. Seward & told them to mount upon the sofa or they would be overwhelmed. Mr. Seward thanked me for the suggestion and up they mounted with their boots on the elegant sofa.

The rush in that direction was terrible and was impossible to get away from it and I told Mrs. Wait to get on the sofa. She done so and I put my hand against the wall but the pressure on me was so great, I could not stand under it, and I also mounted the sofa. By this time, Secretary Stanton got there and he also mounted the sofa. There was no controlling the crowd. They rushed from every direction & those that had shaken hands with the General could not get away. I took it on myself to speak to the crowd and urged them to open the way on one side so that those who had shaken hands could pass off. Some was pressed to the floor & they placed their feet against the sofa and pushed the crowd back and in this way run their feet through the silk covering of the sofa & about ruined it—tore it full of holes large enough to run my head through. But we finally succeeded in opening a way for them to pass off.

Mr. Seward spoke several times and so did Mr. Stanton of how fortunate it was that they accidentally came to that sofa or the crowd would have overwhelmed them. Their position was fine for the crowd to see them. I was [mist] taken by hundreds for Secretary Wells and it was generally remarked that Gen. Grant was accompanied with three of the cabinet. Now don’t you think I felt very much flattered over that? General Grant stood there near one hour with both hands extended, shaking hands with everyone he could reach. At first the Ladies could not get near but after a half hour or more they began to come forward and at the end of near an hour, the most of the crowd had succeeded in taking the General by the hand and the press slacked off. 1

When Secretary Seward and General Grant left the room arm in arm. I then had a promenade with Mrs. Sturgis and a sister of Mrs. Sturgis who is now there on a visit, and then I retired and went home somewhat fatigued with my evening excursion. Mr. Haynes did not go to the levee and instead, I believe, he went to the office or to church, I forget which.

It has been raining some this afternoon but Hattie and Frank & Mira and myself are going to Mr. Colfax’s levee. It is rather muddy but as they have fixed themselves up to go, they are inclined not to give it up.

I applied at the seed room for some pansy seed but they say their flower seeds will not be ready for a week yet, But I will watch for it & get you some if possible. You must let me know whether you receive the garden seeds I sent you. You must see that Charles looks out for our taxes and not let them run over. I have not heard from Brother Johnson yet, whether he will take my offer about buying his interest in the White County land.

Evening before last I made a call at Mr. Defrees. Julia is now at home but Mr. Defrees starts for Indianapolis on a visit Monday morning to be gone two weeks. From Mary’s letter we learn that you are now alone, that Mr. Lowell has gone to keeping house. I am very glad of this as it will make it much easier for you and Mary to get along and you will not be under the necessity of keeping up so many fires. But Mary did not say what house they moved into.

Dr. Dayton & wife has not arrived yet but are expected tomorrow evening. Major Wade could not wait for them and suppose by this time he is in South Bend. You and Mary must all and see him sure. Mr. Wade has leave of absence for 30 days from the time he left here last Tuesday & the Dr. will be home in time to see him.

Could you not get me a couple pair homemade flannel drawers and send by Mr. Van Doren. Get Mr. Gallagher to make them but don’t have strings at the bottom.

I had a line yesterday from Mr. Sample. He is very anxious to buy one half of one of our lots. I would be very glad to accommodate Mr. Sample if I thought we could spare it. It would take off some of our best apple trees and leave the balance of our lot too small. You know those oak trees takes up considerable room for trees and shrubbery entirely too small. Of course, if at any time we should make up our minds to spare it to anyone outside our own family, Mr. Sample should have the first opportunity to buy it. Will you ask Mr. Sample whether he has made a contract with anyone to build his front fence that we can extend ours on the same level—that is, the top of the fence should be on a level from end to end. But I think we better not have ours built until the house is repaired as it might get injured with timbers. He says the posts had not all been delivered but would be soon. You must pay him for our share. Let me know what they cost.

It has just begun to rain again & I rather guess it will break up our going to the levee tonight. Well, if we don’t go tonight, we will go next Friday night. I here send you Carrie Matthews’ photograph. It was taken before she came here. She says if she gets any taken here, she will give me one.

We have not finished up the presentation to Mr. Colfax yet. Expect to by the last of the month. I want you to ask Mr. Van Doren to write me and tell me how much to put down for him, should it be necessary to close it up before he returns. Tell him not to fail to write and that he must do the best he can as it will crowd us hard to do as well as we wish to.

Love to all. Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton

1 There are various accounts of Grant’s reception in the East Room on 8 March 1864 but I will quote portions of Ron Chernow’s “Grant” which was published in 2017. Chernow wrote that Grant arrived at the President’s weekly levee wearing the same grubby outfit in which he had travelled in all day because he had misplaced the key to his trunk. The White House was already “packed with spectators” when Grant arrived at 9:30 p.m. because the newspapers had announced he would attend the reception. After meeting briefly with Lincoln in the Blue Room, Secretary of State William Sward took Grant by the arm and walked him into the East Room “which broke into brisk applause and wave after waves of cheers. So boisterous did the gathering grow that [Journalist] Noah Brooks labeled it ‘the only real mob I ever saw in the White House.’ The room shook in the throes of Grant mania. Because the crowd swallowed up the diminutive Grant, people twisted their necks to spot the bashful hero, chanting ‘Grant! Grant! Grant!’ Finally at Seward’s behest, Grant stood on a couch, enabling everybody to ogle the hero…. Brook’s noted…’The little, scared-looking man who stood on a crimson-covered sofa was the idol of the hour.’ Never cut out for such social duties, a prisoner of this pandemonium, and embarrassed Grant admitted that the time he stood on the couch was the hottest campaign he ever fought…One reporter captured vividly the flustered Grant standing amid the hubbub: ‘He blushed like a girl. The handshaking brought steams of perspiration down his forehead and over his face…’ For an hour, Grant remained a captive of the adoring crowd before extricating himself ot confer with Lincoln and Seward in a small dining room.” [Grant, by Ron Chernow, pp. 341-342]

An eye-witness for the New York Tribune described the reception for General Grant in the White House on 8 March 1864 as “more furious than any scene that ever transpired in the East Room. Grant was literally lifted up for awhile and in obedience to a demand and to a necessity, so great was the desire to have a fair look at him, he was obliged to mount a sofa under the auspices of Secretary Seward who preceded him to that elevation. There was never such a coat-tearing, button-bursting jam in the White House as this soldier has occasioned.” [Providence Evening Press, 10 March 1864]


Letter 61

Washington
March 19th 1864

Dear Wife,

Mr. Ames starts for South Bend tomorrow Sunday evening but wishes to pack his trunk this evening. He has kindly consented to carry this bundle of grape cuttings to you for me. Mr. Haynes procured them for me from Mr. Stickney. You will find quite an assortment. The kind we so much admired last fall was the Delaware–a light red color, very sweet, juicy and tender. Of course you will be extra careful of those. Each kind is labeled. Be careful not to get them mixed. I would recommend that you get a large box, say a foot deep. Fill it with earth and set them out in that no matter how close so they do not touch each other, but in rows or in such a way that you can mark them and keep track of the kind—say on the end of the box opposite each row or kind mark figure 1, 2, 3 and so on, and then take a book and set down the corresponding numbers with the name of the grape opposite each figure. Let them remain in the box this season to sprout & next spring they can be set out where they are to grow.

I also send you some medicine for the piles. Have you been troubled with them this spring? I have heard that this medicine is a great remedy but I do not know what it is made from. Mr. Haynes procured it from Dr. Piper. It may do you good. At least it can do you no harm. Try it and let me know what effect it has. I believe Mr. Haynes has written to Mary more particularly about the medicine.

Mr. Ames goes home on some business. Will not remain but a few days.

We were all at Mr. Colfax’s reception last evening. Had quite a pleasant time but I should have felt much better could you and Mary have been there with us. I never go there but i regret that you are not there. The streets and weather has been much more pleasant than any winter since I have been here. The streets are now dry and dusty. We have had no mud this winter. This makes everything more pleasant than it otherwise could have been.

Dr. Dayton leaves here next Thursday for Newport, Rhode Island, where their son is. They stay there two or three days and the last of the following week will be at home. All well. Love to all.

Your affectionate husband, — C. M. Heaton


Letter 62

Washington
Sunday a.m. March 20th 1864

Dear Wife,

You cannot imagine the satisfaction it gave me when last night I received your good letter of the 15th inst. Yes, I will remember the time you refer to, just twenty-nine years ago, the time Granny Miller was at our house. I remember also that eventful morning. I made a hurried trip to Terre Coupee Prairie and brought Dr. Egbert home with me, but it was too late, all was over and I was greatly rejoiced for I feared a painful repetition of a former occasion. But oh! how rapidly the time has passed away. It does not seem possible that so many years have passed and gone.

I am very sorry that James did not conduct himself better in the office. I was greatly in hopes that he would have done better. He is smart and might have been of service to Charles and also to himself. I know not how to advise in relation to him. He is yet too young for the Navy and even if old enough, at present there is no vacant places in our District, and what is to become of the boy, I cannot tell. Elizabeth must feel very bad about it & I feel very sorry for her, but what to advise is beyond my comprehension just now. But I will think of the matter.

This evening Mr. Ames starts for South Bend and before receiving your letter last evening I had sent a package of grape cuttings to him for you with a short letter.

You say you felt a little disappointed in not getting any money this month. The reason I did not send any was that you remember I had written you that I had made my brother an offer for his interest in that White County land and I did not know but he would take me up, & if so, I should need some to pay him the first payment. But he has not yet written me on the subject and it is now so late in the month that even if he does, he must wait until next month. And I will therefore send you one hundred dollars by Mr. Ames. He will arrive at Sound Bend about the time this letter does, though this letter & Mr. Ames will leave on the same train this evening, but I understand he will go by the way of Cincinnati having obtained a pass on that route to Cincinnati. When you write, let me know which gets there first, Mr. Ames or this letter.

I knew you had enough to last you even if you did not get this until first next month. I shall send you from time to time all that I can spare and I shall need none, or but little besides my board—except that if I get a letter from Bro. Johnson, & he sends me a deed, then I must send some to him. When he writes me, I will let you know all about it and then, I must save some next month for this Colfax presentation the amount I have not determined yet. But of course I must do what is right. And then again, the Indiana clerks have formed an association to distribute documents during the coming campaign, and of course I must do something for that. You remember Mr. Colfax had determined not to be a candidate again but the pressure has been so strong on him to withdraw that determination that he has about made up his mind to yield to the wishes of his constituents & I have no doubt will again be a candidate. Congress will adjourn about the 1st of June and he will be home soon after the meeting of the National Convention at Baltimore which takes place on the 7th June. Mr. Lincoln will get the nomination without a doubt & will be reelected. Nothing can prevent it. The people and the soldiers are for him everywhere. Mr. Chase has declined being a candidate in a very patriotic letter which has done him great credit.

The [St. Patricks] Catholic Church across the street is just out. A large attendance there today. 4th Sunday is Lent and everything big, little, young and old has a sprig of evergreen in their hand. I do not understand what that represents.

You say you have been talking with Messrs. Marsh & Alexander about fixing our house. They are good men and good mechanics and would be very likely to do the job as reasonably as any others. Let them make out the plan and see what the whole expense will amount to. Have them put it in writing and then send it to me & let me examine it and I will then advise what to do. Let them go on the principle of furnishing everything themselves and finishing it up ready to occupy. I think that would be better than to furnish the material or any portion of it ourselves. The fence, you know, would be a separate job altogether. You should let them know now before they get too much on their hands that we want it completed by the last of August so as to be in time to have things fixed up a little by the time we et home in October.

When they ascertain what the expense will be, I will then determine how fast we can pay the. Charles must lend a helping hand in this matter by way of paying expenses for living, &c. as eventually you know this improvement will be as much for his interest as for ours. The fence should not be built or at least the front part of it until after the repairs are done to the house.

It wsa certainly very fortunate that our things got home so safe & especially that large glass jar. I really expected that to be broken but I am glad you got it through for it will be of use to you. Since my last letter to you, I feel much better, but I fear you will feel bad over the letter. And if I had it back, would not send it. But you have it before this. Indeed, I have almost forgotten what I did say. But I guess I scolded some. I will finish this letter in the one containing the $100 by Mr. Ames. Love to all.

Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 63

Washington
March 20th 1864

Dear Wife,

Today I mailed you a letter saying that I would send you by Mr. Ames one hundred dollars which I here enclose you. Let e know which letter you receive first. In closing up the letter by mail, I told you that I would finish answering your letter in this.

I did not know that I expressed any great anxiety for you to become acquainted with Mrs. Saunders and in fact, I did not know there would be any objection to it. I thought as she had been here & attended some of those receptions that you would like to see her and hear her describe them. I never had heard anything about her. I am sure I never has seen her to know her until I seen her here & would not have known her had I met her in the street or anywhere else, But Mr. and Mrs. Ames who did know her & all belonged to the same church seem to give her as much attention as anybody else, and I wish you would tell me why she has a bad name.

Mr. Saunders was always a good friend of mine—always voted for me, and worked hard for me at my last election. And of course I should always treat him with respect. I should not be surprised, however, if she was a little “toungy”—perhaps too much so, But so far as the Captain is concerned, I think him a very clever man, not very bright, that is true, but he always votes right.

I heard yesterday, however, that she was going to stay here for a few months, that they had rented a room or two on Capitol Hill, and are going to keeping house.

You say you have had a man to trim our trees. I do hope that he did not make a mistake and trim off those grafts I had put in two of the apple trees on the right hand of the path as you go to the wood house. They stand near the asparagus bed. I would not have them cut off for ten dollars and hope they have been saved.

It is now dinner time and I must close up for I must go right after dinner and give this to Mr. Ames.

Do tell us how Polly gets along. You don’t write anything about her or the cow. What did you do with the calf?

Frank and family all well. And I know of none of our acquaintances who are sick. Love to all. Your affectionate husband, — Charles M Heaton


Letter 64

Washington
March 25, 1864

Dear Wife,

Charles’ letter of the 17th inst. was duly received and it done me good to get it. It was just such a letter as I wanted and I am glad to know that his business is in a healthy condition I had no fears however but that all was right but I wanted to see some figures, to know how much he was saving. He, and all of you will remember that as I address all my letters to you, it is intended for you al, and as answers for all previous letters received from any of the family. Charles, I hope you will carry out your determination about keeping accounts with anyone, for Express matter, or for telegraphing. Your keeping an account with the bank is no exception, but a convenience for yourself as you may make your deposits with them but it only makes trouble for yourself to keep accounts with any others. And it is expected, and is the rule everywhere, to require the cash for express charges on delivery of the goods—and your only safety in in following up this rule strictly. And this applies to telegraphing as well as for Express business.

And there is one class of charges you should be more strict about if possible than any other, and that is C O. D. packages, Never allow such packages to leave your possession until all charges are actually paid and that unconditionally. I remember once I came very near having to pay $200 in such a case. It kept it to myself and sweat over it for two months, but finally got it. The moment such packages leaves your possession, you are liable. [More advice on collections]

I have written to r. Kipp and urged him to make a liberal increase of your salary—pointed out all the reasons for it that I could and I have no doubt it will be done. But how much I cannot say. I have not heard from him yet and it may be tht instead of writing to me here that when action is taken on it, the result will be sent to you. Perhaps the matter may be referred to Mr. Cone and he may call and see you about it. You will of course be careful to always make everything pleasant with Mr. Cone.

When Messrs. Marsh and Alexander called to make a survey of the work necessary to be done in fixing our house, do not forget to bring to their notice the floor. You know how uneven it is along where the stoves stand in the dining room, and it seems to me that the north door should be changed to near the N. W. corner & have a hall where the long room is, not as wide as the room but of a proper width—or perhaps the other corner, the S. E. corner would be better—and then it might be best to have the stairway go up in that hall. However, I will wait to see the plan they may propose. I sent you by Mr. Ames $100 and suppose you have it before this time.

Mary’s line to me, enclosed in a letter to Mr. Haynes, was duly received and was surprised to hear that James Davis had run away from home. I feel very bad about it and I know that Elizabeth must feel wretched over it. And what should be done? I am unable to say just now. It seems he is determined to have his own way and although he is so young, yet I do not see how it can be helped. Was he brought back, doubtless he would try it again soon. But if he is let along, I think he will find out there is not much fun in it and the first thing you know, he will voluntarily return—and it may do him good. If he sticks with the 48th Regiment, no doubt some of them will see that he does not suffer.

Dr. Dayton, wife and daughter left here yesterday morning for Newport where their son is [and] where they will stay until Money. They then go to Pittsfield, I believe it is, & will arrive at home next Thursday night or Friday morning. They have had a fine time here. They stopped with Mr. [Schuyler] Colfax and he of course gave them every chance to see all the sights. I seen Mrs. Sturgis last evening a few minutes at the house, the other Mr. & Mrs. Sturgis have sold out & again left the city. I suppose this time for good. Mrs. Sturgis says she is going to write to Mary in a few days.

I suppose our taxes have been attended to. I wish you would see Judge Egbert & tell him I want to know whether he received his daughter’s pension papers I set him some days ago. Hope he got it all right. Has the garden seeds I sent you come to hand?

On Tuesday night we had quite a snow storm. The snow Wednesday morning was about 8 inches deep but it is nearly gone now & looks something like rain this p.m. If it does not rain, I expect to go to Mr. Colfax’s reception tonight. Wish you was here to go along. I know you would enjoy it well. There is a fool fellow in the room talking so much I can scarcely think of what to write. But my sheet is full. Love to all.

Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 65

Washington D. C.
March 30th 1864

Dear Wife,

I have this moment received a letter from Mr. Kip of Buffalo in answer to a letter I wrote him asking an increase of salary at our office in South Bend. He represents the affairs of the office in a very unfavorable light and you may imagine how badly I feel about it. Here is a copy of the letters. It is dated day before yesterday, March 28th, he says, “I returned home from the West on Sunday morning and today find yours of the 22nd inst. I go again tomorrow and will consult with Mr. Cone about increase of pay. I intended writing you this day about our business at South Bend and unpleasant as it is must do so. The returns from that office are not made to my satisfaction—delays every month without cause—and if your son continues in the office, I shall insist on our statements being made weekly or he must give up the office….”

…my object in pressing Charles so strong for a statement of how his financial affairs stood was that I might judge as to the condition of the office. And from what he wrote me, I suppose he has sufficient means on hand to meet all the office demands. But if he has not, they must be met by applying every cent you have on hand if necessary for these reports must be made at once. Charles must not get in a flurry and excited over this, but take it cooly & deliberately, but promptly and at once….

Do see also that I am informed every day or two how he progresses. A line or two if no more. I shall write to Mr. Kip today that I have written to Charles directing these reports to be made at once and will guarantee that it will be done. I want Charles also to be particularly careful in his intercourse and correspondence with Mr. Kip or Mr. Cone so as to exhibit a disposition to do everything he can to give satisfaction. Mention this as a precaution for I know that Charles when punched up a little is very apt to exhibit some feeling—and no exhibition of feeling must be indulged in these matters for it is all a plain business matter and the only way to get along is to obey instructions to the letter.

I have not heard from you since I wrote you by Mr. Ames sending you $100 but am looking for one every day. Mr. Van Doren has not arrived yet unless he got in this morning as he did not arrive on Saturday as he wrote he would. I suppose he concluded not to start until Monday.

All well. Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 66

Washington
March 30, 1864

Dear Wife,

I wrote you this afternoon at the office and this evening Mr. Hayes went to the post office and brought me your letter of the 26th and just as I got through reading it, in stepped Mr. Van Doren and over all this we rejoiced and felt better. The things Mr. Van Doren brought was jus what we needed & we are glad to get them. On reflecting over my letter I wrote you today and receiving Mr. Kipp’s letter, I find I got a wrong impression to some extent as to his complaint about reports. If I remember the terms correctly, a statement is one thing & a report another—or else it is a weekly statement & semi-monthly statement—but I see Mr. Kipp insists that his weekly statements must be promptly made…[more discussion on Charle’s business performance].

That pile medicine, Mr. Haynes got it from Dr. Piper and I understand it is a great remedy for that troublesome disease. I hope you will give it a good trial. I don’t think there will be any danger of its doing you any harm if no good, but I would continue to take it until you take what you have of it or until you can determine whether it will do you any good. I am very sorry to hear that you have such a bad cold. You must be very careful with yourself and be sure & wear plenty flannel clothing and do but very little work. I hope you still have your good Dutch girl. Make her do the work.

I am surprised at Mrs. Sample but am very glad this last one (I suppose) is a daughter and hope she may have the good luck to raise it. James [Sample] is out this evening and does not know it yet. I hardly know what he will say but I think it will tickle him.

The drawers you sent me are very nice. I shall put a pair of them on in the morning. My old ones has failed very fast lately. What is maple sugar worth? and molasses? and what is sorghum worth?

Mr. Haynes and James are both out tonight & I feel terrible lonesome. Somehow lately I feel more lonely than ever. Were it not for fixing the house, I believe I should be for having you come back and stay here whilst I am here, and I am now of the opinion that you will have to come & stay here next winter for I think I cannot stay here alone during another winter. If Charles would go and see Kate Morehouse and marry her, I think it would be the best thing he could do. Don’t you think so?

Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 67

Washington D. C.
Sunday pm., April 10th 1864

Dear Wife,

Your letter of 5th inst. done me much good and done much toward quieting my “nerves” and hope Charles will keep up his reports promptly. It is just as important for him to promptly forward his weekly abstracts as it is his settlement reports for it is from them that they make up their accounts with other offices.

I am not very well today. My bowels are out of fix but hope to feel better tomorrow. It rained all day yesterday & last night but today it has been quite pleasant. But not feeling well, I have remained in my room all day.

Yesterday morning Mr. [Schuyler] Colfax sent me word that there would probably be an exciting time in the House [of Representatives] after Congress convened and if I would like to see it, to come down. I got there just 5 minutes past 12. Mr. Colfax had just take the floor and was introducing a resolution to expel a Mr. [Alexander] Long—a member from the Cincinnati District in Ohio—for stating in a speech the day before that he was in favor of acknowledging the Southern Confederacy. This produced excitement sure enough and called forth speeches from both sides of the most excitable nature. The Democrats tried hard to defend & shield Mr. Long and among others, a Democratic member from Maryland, Mr. [Benjamin Gwinn] Harris, not only endorsed all that Long said, but went much further and stronger than Long had done. And in the midst of his speech, [he] was called to order & made to take his seat when the case of Long was postponed until Monday and the case of Harris immediately taken up and a resolution was offered to expel him. But it requiring a two-thirds vote to do this, the Unionists were not strong enough. Although a large majority voted to expel him, yet it did not amount to two-thirds according to the rules of the House.

The Democrats voting against expulsion, soon as this failed, another resolution was offered to censure him which was carried. By this time a few of the Democrats began to see they were getting themselves in a bad fix, defending a man who had openly and defiantly avowed his treason on the floor of Congress, and a few of them turned over and voted to censure him. No doubt he will resign as no man ever remained in Congress after a vote of censure. He will resign and go back to his people for reelection. But it is said he will easily be eaten next time.

I will send you the Sunday Morning Chronicle containing the proceedings. Mr. Colfax’s course in the matter will add greatly to his popularity. I stayed until the whole matter was ended at half past 5 o’clock.

I have had no further letter from Mr. Kip but am expecting one soon as he promised he would write again in regard to increasing the salary soon as he could see Mr. Cone. There will be no necessity for Charles to write a letter of apology either to Mr. Kip or Mr. Cone if the reports are kept up promptly—that is all that will be required.

I think from indications that the price of sugar is going up and also all kinds of spices, and I think you better lay in a lot at once. Butter here is worth from 65 to 75 and everything else seems to be going up. And Frank [Heaton] has concluded to stop keeping boarders at all, so we will have to look out again for a new boarding house. It may be that we can keep the rooms if we can get boarding nearby. I doubt whether we can get in at Cox’s as I hear they are full. Mr. Finney has quit and only rents rooms now. Some of his boarders have gone to Cox’s. If we had known how things were going to turn out, we should not have some here in the first place. We will keep you posted as matters progress. We do not know yet what Frank is going to charge for the rooms but my opinion is that it will be so high that we will not stay. I hope you will pack and save all the butter you can and if you could buy a lot now and then that would do to pack down, guess you better do it for there is no telling how long it will stay up.

You may just as well make your calculation to spend next winter here for I know I shall not be willing to stay here another winter alone and it is of no us to think of it. I shall be there for the October & November elections and you may expect to return here with me.

Augusta Eccleston Shoemaker

Last Thursday Mr. Colfax invited me to go with him to Baltimore where he was to lecture for the benefit of the Sanitary & Christian Commission for sick and wounded soldiers. I had a seat on the stand with General [Lew] Wallace and Judge Bond of that city. Had a good time. We stopped at a Mr. Shoemaker’s—a man of wealth. His wife [Augusta Shoemaker] & family made our visit very pleasant indeed. She is at the head of the National [Sanitary] Fair they are getting up there which is to be opened a week from tomorrow. We returned home next morning after breakfast. I enjoyed the trip very much but I should have enjoyed it much more could you have been with me. The whole trip cost me 10 cents which I spent for apples on the cars. Next Friday is Mr. Colfax’s last reception night. The President also discontinues his on Tuesday night next if it does not rain & I feel well enough, I will try and attend both as they are the last for the season.

In a few days I will send you some more money but don’t know just how much. We have an Indiana Club here preparing for the election campaign & I must do my part in this & also my part in this Colfax presentation. But I will send you all I can & will make my expenses light as possible & be decent. Write as often as you can. Have no letter from Charles yet but expect it in a day or so. Seems to me I have forgotten something I wanted to say. When I think of it, if it is of importance, will write again. All well. Love to all, all, all. Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 68

Washington D. C.
April 16th 1864

Dear Charles,

Your long letter of the 9th inst. was duly received—that portion of it in relation to Dwight Coonley surprised me very much. But in relation to your own business matters, I am much pleased to see with what energy and promptness you have brought up your reports so close, that you have but a week’s bills in hand, and now, that you have the matter of your reports so completely at your command, you will find it much easier for you to get along. But it will require great care and watchfulness to keep them up close. Whilst Thomas Baird is with you, no doubt he will be of much service to you. He at least should keep your waybills closely entered up and distributed, and also your telegraph dispatches entered up daily. It is best to keep the Express Co. in your debt if possible.

In regard to Henry Painter, I would say that the contract with im was made by Mr. Cone and I suppose it continues in that shape. No, Henry’s duty under this contract was for him to receive all express matter in his office, load it up himself, deliver it to the messenger in the cars, and receive from the messenger, all express matter for the office & deliver it to you in the office unless otherwise directed by you—that is, you might direct him to leave any portion of it on the sidewalk….[lengthy discussion of express business and advice].

Some time ago Mary wrote to Mr. Haynes about sending a dozen bottles of the Sicilian Hair Renewer. Tell her and Mother the best way to get that would be to go to Mr. Cushing. Take a bottle with her with the directions pasted on it and request him to order some from the proprietor, R. P. Hale, Nashua, New Hampshire. I have no doubt Mr. Cushing would do it at once, and then you could obtain it from him.

Tell your Mother I want her to mention in her next letter whether she is using that Pile Medicine I sent her. I want her to give it a fair trial, according to the directions I sent her. Dr. Piper says it will certainly cure her if she will continue to take it. It may take some time to do it. She must persevere in taking it & when she has nearly taken all she has, let me know I will send her some more.

In my last I mentioned that Freak Heaton was about to quit keeping boarders & that on the first of next month we would have to find a new boarding place. Mr. Haynes also wrote Mary this morning the same thing and for a day or two we have been looking for a new boarding house and supposed we had found one where we intended to go, but since dinner this afternoon, we found on 9th Street right opposite the Patent Office at Mrs. Johnson’s where we can board at $22 per month without a room and we can keep the two rooms we have at Frank’s at $10.50 each per month, including gas, so that James [Sample], Mr. Haynes, and myself have concluded to stay where we are and board at Mrs. Johnson’s. This will make our room & board cost us $32.50 each per month and it is the best we can do. Everything in the way of rents and board have gone up to the very highest pitch. Many boarding houses are closing up on account of provisions being so high. Frank and Mr. Cox stops the first next month. So does Mr. Green and Mr. Finney quit the first this month. Mother will remember these places. Others are also quitting. The arrangement we have made is the very best we can do. We are glad to be able to keep our rooms. They are large and airy and very convenient to the office.

Keep us posted how you get along with Dwight and whether you have made any new discoveries. Your affectionate father, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 69

Washington
April 24, 1864

Dear Wife,

I should have answered your very welcome letter of the 17th inst. but somehow I have been very busy for a few days past and could get no opportunity of sitting down quietly to write you. But this Sunday evening Mr. Haynes & James [Sample] have both gone to church and I am left alone, just as I want to be when I write you.

For several days past I have had my leisure time employed in fixing up this contemplated presentation to Mr. [Schuyler] Colfax. We have been very successful in receiving donations for that object and three or four days ago we made the purchase. It is a tea set consisting of three teap pots, sugar, cream, and slop bowl & waiter. The whole costing $650. I have now on hand paid in $595 and some ten or twelve of us who have not paid yet. We have been holding back to see how much would have to be made up. But it will be easily made up and our shares will not amount to much. The presentation will be made some time next week. I wish you could see it. It is a beautiful set and I wish very much you & Mary could be here when the presentation is made. We intend to notify Mr. Colfax on some morning that in the evening at a certain hour a number of his Indiana friends intend calling to pay their respects. We do this that we may be sure that he will be at home. I will send you an account of the affair soon as it is over.

I do hope that Charles will find that his loss of Coonley has not been quite so great as $600. If so, I fear he has discovered other packages that have been robbed other than those he mentioned. The largest he mentioned was a $50 package sent by Mrs. Harrington which Coonley refunded & $20 from another package which he was not quite certain about, and a $2 package. If the loss of any others have been discovered, I must be informed fully. And if $600 has been taken, he must be behind with the Express for I do not think he could have saved that much after paying the expenses of the office and his own incidental expenses during that time. [More business discussion]

You seem to think it will be impossible to procure lumber to fix our house with this season. well perhaps it would be best to hold on as to the house—but the fence should be fixed. And you say you have bargained with Pitts Taylor for lumber for the fence at $17 per thousand, What kind of a fence do you intend to put up? Should it not be the same kind that is round Mr. Sample’s lot. Better advise with him about making a contract to have it built. But the lumber should be seasoned before it is built and I want you to keep an account of all the expenses about building it…

You think it is best to know who is to be elected President before you determine about coming to Washington again. Now, I have no doubt but Abraham will be reelected. The people have fully determined that, and you might just as well settle your mind on that now as any time, and make your arrangements to return with me in November next. And by that time we can determine whether it wil be better to board than keeping house.

It is just nine o’clock and the bells have just broke out ringing for a fire. I must look out and see were it is—wait. Well, I cannot see the fire & I will no trouble myself about it.

y impressions now are that it will be best for us to board unless we sall be lucky enough to fid a house sufficiently arge to make it pay by renting rooms and a little more because I believe to have house rent free, it will cost about as much to keep house as to board. But times may change for the better by fall and we may find a house during the summer that will suit.

You may expect to hear of some terrible fighting between ere and Richmond before long. General Grant is getting everything ready for a forward movement & Richmond will be taken. He has at least 250,000 men here now and more arriving every day. Soon as the earth dries out a little more, the army will move. All the hospitals are being cleared out ready to receive the sick and wounded. There has been some more fighting near Newbern [N. C.] where [brother] David is but I guess he is safe yet. But when Richmond is taken, it will relieve all North Carolina as well as all Virginia. Every day, more or less of the Rebels are coming into our lines & giving themselves up. The other day I seen near a hundred pass up the avenue and they seemed to be glad to get where they could get something to eat.

I have closed the bargain with brother Johnson about that land [in White county]. I get his share for $80 and have sent him $20 on it. Will have the deed in a few days. I will write to Davis about his taxes in a few days. He must pay them. Your suggestions about reading letters are right and will be followed hereafter. I sent Davis some garden seeds. Did he get them?… Love to all, all, all.

Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 70

Washington
May 5, 1864

Dear Wife,

I am just in the receipt of Mary’s letter of the 1st inst. and am very sorry to hear that you have taken a fresh cold, and not so well as usual. I hope before this reaches you that it has passed off. I am glad that spring has come and the cold weather gone, and in future you will not be so liable to take cold. I am quite certain that it will be better for you to make your arrangements and calculations to spend next winter here. It will be more pleasant for us both, for I am truly tired living in this way and made up my mind that it must not continue so longer than next fall. Mr. Haynes has doubtless written to Mary about the way we are now boarding. As I wrote to you before, the first of th month we went to Mr. Johnson’s on 9th Street to breakfast, having made a bargain with her at $22 per month, but after breakfast she told us that although the bargain was for $22 per month, yet she would have to raise on us to $25 as she had raised on the rest of her boarders. I told her we did not expect this, but could let her know in a day or two whether we would stay. And that same evening we found another place at a Mrs. Walls, right opposite to Mrs. Appleby’s on E Street at $20 per month where we are now boarding and keep our rooms at Frank’s. This makes our board and room and gas at $30.50 each per month. This is the best we can possibly do just now. How these rates wil hold is too hard to tell.

The heavy battle that is about to come off may make things better—or worse. General Grant is about ready to move forward. In fact, it is said among the knowing ones that he has already commenced to move, and it may be before this reaches you that you will hear that the battle has commenced. It will be a terrible one. Grant has a larger army than was ever collected here before—over thirty thousand passed through the city a few days ago. I stood on the corner opposite Mr. Finney’s where it took them 4 hours to pass and among them was about 4,000 black troops and two companies of Indians—and finer looking troops than these Blacks & Indians I never seen.

Grant has a larger army than was ever collected here before—over thirty thousand passed through the city a few days ago. I stood on the corner opposite Mr. Finney’s where it took them 4 hours to pass and among them was about 4,000 black troops and two companies of Indians—and finer looking troops than these Blacks & Indians I never seen.

—Charles M. Heaton, 5 May 1864

We have every confidence that Grant will win a victory and take Richmond. Grant has at least two hundred & fifty thousand men for the conflict and there must be a great human slaughter. Let it come as it must come and I hope he will completely clean out those rebel traitors so that what may be left will be glad to sue for peace and ask for terms.

Mary says nothing has been done yet in the Coonley matter except that he has written to his uncle. I hope he has kept a copy of his letter. He should be very careful how ad to whom he writes about such matters…[business discussion]

The rebels have not yet attacked Newbern as we had heard when I wrote you last but the last news says they are working down towards Newbern. But we think if Grant’s battle commences immediately, it will have a tendency to draw them off from Newbern.

[Paragraph or two on flower seeds and sending money home.]

I suppose after the fence is built, and as the stuff should be planed, it should also be painted. Advise with Mr. Sample how to have it painted. Will you have steps or a gate where those steps are on the north side. Have that fixed just to suit you. Have it all fixed to suit you as I know you will have it done right. I am glad you had those maple trees set out…

The presentation to Mr. Colfax goes off Saturday evening at 8 p.m. Wish you could be here. Will send you an account of it soon as it is over.

Word has just come that Grant has crossed the Rapidan with his army an that Lee, the rebels are falling back. I believe we will have Richmond within a week. But you will get the news before this reaches you. Excitement is up here & will remain so until the battle is over. The weather is good & the roads are also in good order.

Mary says you have not taken but one dose of the piles medicine. I think you better take it. It may effect a permanent cure. At all events, it cannot hurt you. Try it. Love to all—to all—to all.

Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 71

Washington
May 13, 1864

Dear Wife,

We are all in a glorious state of excitement over the news from our gallant army. The news says Grant is whipping Lee out of his boots. Our army has followed up Lee from Fredericksburg fully half way to Richmond and now we hear that our cavalry has got between Lee & Richmond, cut the railroad, taken 40 cannon, thousands of prisoners, with three or four Major Generals. Our forces are now in connection with General Butler on the other side of Richmond and I have no doubt by this time our forces are around Richmond in such forces that the Rebels that are outside cannot get in and those inside cannot get out. And before this reaches you, we certainly will have Richmond.

The slaughter has been terrible on both sides. The wounded are arriving here by the thousand. Lee’s wounded are also in our hands. Thousands of the wounded are yet on the field but this warm weather they are better off out of door than in houses. And every effort that is possible to be made is being made to make them as comfortable as possible. Thousands have gone to the field to take care of the wounded. Frank [Heaton] went day before yesterday. James Sample would have went but for a felon on his finger. But the wounded are all joyous and cheerful over the glorious success of our army. The rebels are being swept entirely out of Virginia and certainly they will soon sue for peace.

I have Charles’ letter but can’t answer it just now.

The excitement is wonderful and but little work is being done here today. The Chicago Tribune will no doubt give you all the news before this reaches you but I thought I must drop you a line. Love to all

Your affectionate husband, — C. M. Heaton


Letter 72

Washington
May 17th 1864

Dear Wife,

I intended to have answered your good letter of the 11th inst. last night, but James [Sample] got possession of our table writing to his mother, and when he got through, it was too late for me to begin. We have but one table in our room and that is rather small for two to occupy at the same time. James Sample is quite afflicted with a felon on his middle finger of the left hand. When it commenced, I had him try the coal oil the same way you tried it with such good success. But it done him no good. He tried other severe remedies but could not drive it back U finally had it lanced. But my opinion is that it was not thoroughly done. Since that he has been using various poultices but mostly bread & milk. Night before last it broke, one side of where it was lanced. It does not pain him so much since but of course looks badly. I remember you, on the last one you had, applied corose of subliment, but I do not know how you applied it. Write me at once about it & tell me just how it should be applied & how much, and how often. I am sorry he did not write sooner about it to his mother & have her get some of that salve from the Dutchman of Studybakers. I think I remember of his curing one on some of Mr. Samples children some years ago. Perhaps it better be sent yet. James has not been able to attend to his work for several days & will not for several days to come. Sometimes he gets the blues but generally in pretty good spirits.

[Garden talk and money]

Hattie [Heaton] is now quite sick though she is better this morning. Sunday she was attacked with a chill & has had quite a fever since, and a sore throat. The Dr. thinks she will soon be up again. The rest of us are all well. Frank got back Saturday night from Fredericksburg & it is well he did as Hattie was taken on Sunday.

I am truly at a loss to know what to say about that Coonley affair. The same mail that brought your letter also brought me a long letter from him. He admits that he used the money from a collection of $43 to help get his sister from the East, and that when this collection was called for, he used the 50 belonging to Mrs. Harrington to replace the collection. And Charles says in a former letter that Coonley refunded the 50 dollars but of course Coonley denies that he improperly used any other money….[remainder of letter business related.]


Letter 73

Washington
May 26th 1864

Dear Wife,

Your more than welcome letter of the 22nd was just received. You cannot imagine how much it relieves me to get your letters, not that I am uneasy about how things are going on at home, for such is not the case, but it gives me a kind of inexpressible gratification to get your letters and read from your own hand all that is well. The fact is I am lonesome and often homesick, and I cannot help it. But I shall bear up with it the best I can. It is true that 4 and a half month will soon roll around yet I know they will pass slowly. If our boarding arrangements was in better condition, it would help some. To room in one place & board some five squares off is not very convenient and I have about made up my mind that I will change it is some way at the end of the month. James Sample is also dissatisfied with our boarding arrangements & will change whether we do or not but I think we shall change also.

Another thing, the quality of our board, does not come up to my expectations. I do not like it and will do better if we can. I think by fall Mr. Cox will get at it again and then we will get back there if we can.

I would like it much better myself if Mary could stay where she is until fall. I will talk to Mr. Haynes about it but I think it doubtful whether he will consent to it as I think his arrangements are already made for her to go o Long Island. He now talks about meeting her at Harrisburg & then to go right to Philadelphia & New York without her coming here. If this course is adopted, I am now inclined to think I shall go with him to Harrisburg & then to Philadelphia, but I will see about that hereafter.

I supose you are making arrangements to have the fence fixed this summer. Make the best bargain you can. Better get Mr. Sample to assist you in that but before it is done, get Mr. Stokes to set stakes at the corners where they should be. I suppose there will be no charge on the west side but will be on the north. I suggest that you say nothing about changing the fence between us and Mr. Sample this season as they have shrubbery there that they may not be ready to move and it will make no great difference to us for the present, but have the stakes set nevertheless. Mr. Stokes will not likely charge anything for setting them as he promised me he would do it long ago.

How do those wild grape vines grow and did you have them trimmed and staked? I am glad you have your garden in good trim. Everyday in imagination I am walking through the garden. I can see every tree and shrub in the garden. Oh how glad I would be to step out into the back yard to see how things have grown. But no, I can’t do it yet. I must peg away in this office until 4 o’clock, then go to dinner, and then to my room & take a smoke. But don’t be uneasy about my smoking. I don’t think I smoke as much as I used to, though I often take comfort in taking a good smoke after dinner.

I have not yet decided to write to Dwight [Coonley]. If I shouldm however, I will send it to you first. I hope Charles will continue to keep his accounts in such a shape that he can know at any time just how his finances stand. I shall write Mr. Kip again to know why he does not increase his salary. I am sure it ought to be done & I think it will be done. I think by fall he will be so master of his affairs that he will be able to manage them without difficulty.

What a boy that Jim Davis must be. I really don’t know what is to become of him & at this distance, it is impossible for me to advise about him. I hope, however, that Mr. Davis and Elizabeth will be able to control him in some way.

The weather here has been warm but not oppressively so. We have frequent showers and sometimes heavy rains. This morning we had quite a heavy shower and raining a little now. We have had so much rain that it affected the movement of our army. The roads were very bad but at present somewhat improved. Grant is still going forward and getting closer and closer to Richmond & we have every confidence that eventually he will take Richmond and destroy Lee’s Army. Lee continues to retreat with heavy loss and Grant follows up very closely. If Lee retreats within the trenches around Richmond, his is gone up for Grant will then surround him & starve him to submission. But some think that Lee will retreat further south and leave Richmond to its fate. If he does this, it will so demoralize his army that they will not be able to do much afterwards. Everybody has great confidence in Grant and I hear no fault found with him thus far.

It is though that today they are fighting the great battle of the campaign. We have not heard anything direct from Grant for two days but we are looking for news every hour. But before this reaches you, you will have heard all about it.

I know it is taxing you to write so often, but I hope you will write as often as you can. Have you a good girl yet? And how does your cow hold out? Butter is yet very high here, 50 to 60 cents. If the peach trees are dead, have them grubbed out. If they sprout below where they are budded, it will only leave seedlings. Better take them out and put in new ones if they can be had. Strawberries plenty here now from 15 to 20 per quart. Also green peas. Don’t know the price. We had strawberries at our boarding place once, with brown sugar on—rather hard. Who does Charles go for treasurer? It strikes me if I was there, I would go for Gallagher but I am not sure about it…Gallagher has always been a good friend of mins.

Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton

In any event, you must make your calculation to spend next winter in Washington and to come on with me when I return in November immediately after the election. Mrs. Defrees & Julia send their love to you & Mary. So does Mrs. Sturgis. I seen Mr. Van Doren last night. He is well but is yet in a quandary about a house for his family. But remember you come to Washington next winter.


Letter 74

Washington
Monday morning, June 6th 1864

Dear Wife,

On Saturday night your very welcome letter of the 31st May was received and I intended to answer it on yesterday but somehow I took a little cold and I felt so unwell during the day that I could not get at it. I do not feel very bright this morning but here I am in the office and the first thing I do, shall be a letter to you. And even before this reaches you, I fear you will think it a long time between letters. The weather has been very changeable here for a few days past. The most of last week was very warm and I took off my flannel again. On Friday the weather changed & the evenings were quite cool, but as I remained in my room every evening I did not put on my flannel again & I suppose that is the way I come to take cold. But this morning I feel better and the weather bids fair to be as warm as ever.

We finally concluded (that is, Mr. Haynes & myself) not to change our boarding place during this month. James [Sample], however, left and he is now trying it at a restaurant and says he likes it very well and thinks it will not cost him any more, if as much. I think, however, we shall make a change at the end of this month. I gave them a blowing up two or three times about sweetening my coffee with brown sugar & told them if they could not afford white sugar in my coffee, not to give me any. But still they would make a mistake & when they did, I would leave my cup untouched. But they are trying to do better now.

I am pleased to hear that you have finally got the lumber for our fence and of course I am not displeased that you have promised Mr. Bradley the job of putting it up. I approve the plan however of giving it to him by the job. I know he is slow but will warrant you. He will have it straight and plumb and he will save more lumber from the old fence than any other man. But make the bargain with him that when he begins it, he must not leave it until it is finished. What painting is done to it should be done soon as it is up. Advise with Mr. Sample about such things in regard to the fence that you do not understand. It seems to me there should be a gate or step near where the old steps are on the north side. And also a substantial gate on strong hinges and good fastenings next to the barn. It should also be fixed so that it could be locked when necessary. I hope you will take great care of those wild grapes that you say are in bloom. Give them every chance possible as I want to find out what they are. Do not let to many grapes remain on a vine and keep the extra growth of the vine down by pinching them off.

I am surprised that it has been so dry in the West. It is not so here. We have plenty of rain—a fine growing season. Strawberries are quite plenty, but the price keeps up pretty well. Average price about 25 cents per quart. Hope you will also soon have plenty. They are a great luxury but we lack the cream.

[paragraph on local South Bend politics]

In your letter, previous to the last, you expressed a desire that Mr. Haynes would consent to let Mary remain at South Bend until fall. I have freely talked the matter over with him and we have come to the conclusion to let her stay there and to send his daughter Mary there also, and he has written her to make arrangements accordingly. And we are now looking out for a chance to send her. John Reynolds and his daughter is now here. We called to see them last evening at Willard’s [Hotel] but they intend stopping in Ohio somewhere to see & visit some relatives and they are also going by way of Cincinnati. But no doubt some other opportunity will soon present itself and before many days she will start for South Bend. I am also much pleased with this arrangement as it will result in getting Mr. Haynes to South Bend with me in October. I am very anxious to have him go there and see the country. He has never been west of Cleveland. Mr. Haynes is in very good health. I never seen him look better in my life and my attachment toward him grows stronger & stronger every day. And I look forward with great pleasure to the day when we shall all be at home together and I fully anticipate the good things, you and Mary, will have in store for us. In the meantime you will be making your arrangements to return with me to Washington and you will determine as soon as practicable how you want to leave things at South Bend. I am glad you have so good a girl to work for you and hope you will be able to keep her until fall.

I herewith send you a draft on New York for $75. A few days ago I received a Deed from Bro. Johnson for his interest in that White County land and I sent him $20 more on it. I yet owe him $40. I expect to pay him $20 per month until it was all paid, but as we are not going into repairing the house this summer, might I not just as well pay him all up the first of next month? I have sent the deed to White County to be recorded. I sent it to the Auditor of that county. I think when I come home in October I will run over & see the land & probably sell it if I can.

I must not forget to tell you that Mr. [William] Lake has been dismissed [from the Treasury Department]. He had allowed himself to make severe remarks against Mr. Chase [Secy. of Treasury] which were reported to him. Mr. [Schuyler] Colfax asked Mr. Chase for the reasons of his dismissal and when he got them, Mr. Colfax says they were of such a character that he could not ask him to be reinstated, or to recommend him for any other place. Mr. Lake looks terribly cut down and has but little to say about it. I have not seen his wife since but understand she is nearly down sick over it. The left Mr. Cox’s the 1st day of this month & his dismissal was on the 2nd. I do not know what he intends to go at but think he will go into some kind of business either here or elsewhere. He is importuning for advise. Of course I must say something and advise him to go into business but to keep his temper and speak harshly of the man.

I hope you will write often as you can. Your letters are a great relief to me. I love to read them over and over. During this hot weather, keep in the shade. Take care of your health & see that Mary does so too. I would like to see Daisy & by fall I think Mary should put pants on him. She could find enough of Charles’ cut off clothes to make a nice suit for him. How does Lib get along? How much I feel for her & do hope she will be able in some sort to master that boy. Aaron Webster was here to see us the other day. When he gets home, he promised to call & see you. Mr. Lincoln will be nominated tomorrow. General Grant is moving on to Lee’s works. But the telegraph will keep you posted.

Your affectionate husband, — C. M. Heaton

I here send you a new issue of a two cent piece. They look well and just out. You will sign the draft same as you did before.


Letter 75

Washington D. C.
June 14th 1864

Dear Wife,

I wrote you one week ago yesterday enclosing you a draft on New York for $75 and as yet have heard nothing from it. I hope it came safely to hand. For two or three days past I have been giving all my spare time to J. G. Bartlett who is now here. Today he has gone to Arlington Heights but I could not go there. He is much pleased with things in general. He spent the Sabbath here and thinks it the most quiet city on that day of any city he has been in lately. Went to the Capitol on Sunday to hear the Rev. Dr. Breckinridge of Kentucky—an uncle to the Rebel General Breckinridge. The old man preached a very able sermon. He is 74 years of age and loyal as any man living. Goes in for emancipation to its full extent.

I see the nomination of Lincoln & Johnson is heartily endorsed all over the country. We have a ratification meeting here tomorrow night. Expect a large turnout should the weather continue fair.

Mr. Haynes went to New Jersey last night after [his daughter] Mary. We expect she will start for South Bend tomorrow night or next day morning with a Mr. Wilson of CHicago. I will telegraph Charles after she starts. I am very glad that arrangement has been made. It will insure Mr. Hayes to go West with me in October. And I am looking forward to the time when we shall all be there together and full anticipate a happy time.

I have not seen Mr. Lake for more than a week past and do not know what he is going at. On Sunday evening Mr. Bartlett, Mr. Colfax, & myself was at Mr. [John] Stailey’s to supper. Had a good time and a very nice supper. He thinks of taking a house on 6th Street, corner of L. It is a large brick house with water in all of the rooms. If he gets that house and does not ask too high for board and rooms, I think we better go there to board next winter. Mr. Haynes has not fully settled in his mind whether it will be best to board or keep house but there is time enough between now and fall to think about it and before we leave for South Bend will have all the necessary arrangements made for one or the other.

Hattie’s child has been quite unwell for a week or two past. It is cutting teeth. She is talking some of going to Crawfordsville during the hot weather but not fully decided yet. If she goes, Mrya will go with her. Mr. Van Doren is over to see us nearly every evening. He is in a terrible quandary abot his folks coming here. He had taken a part of a house at Bladensburg—six miles out of the city on the railroad towards Baltimore. But since that, Mrs. Van Doren, he tells me, has got a house in South Bend & moved into it and I gather from what he says that it is now doubtful whether she will come here for the present. I do not know what would be best for him to do but it seems to me if she can keep the house she has got or get another in South Bed, she better stay there at least until fall. Then he will be better prepared to make any change that might be necessary to make. Everything is so high here that it would take all he could make & more too, to make the change now.

I shall be looking for a letter from you every mail until it comes.

How about those peach trees? Are they all dead? If they are dead and sprouting up from the roots, perhaps it would be as well to let some remain—I mean the roots—and then at the proper time in September have the new sprouts budded with some choice varieties. I suppose they would come on quicker than new trees. But new trees would be best in the end as those sprouts would be apt to split off. Try a few of them in that way.

The weather has been quite cool for a week past—especially nights, and my health is quite good and I think general good health prevails in the city just at this time. The great place of suffering is in the hospitals by the poor wounded soldiers. There must be over twenty thousand in and around the city. Many die every day but all is being done for them that can be [done]. But at the best, they suffer terribly. It will be a blessed thing when this cruel war is over. How soon that will be, no one can tell. If Grant takes Richmond—which we fully believe he will—it will certainly cause the rebels to sue for peace. But they will have no peace until they consent to lay down their arms & submit to the laws of their country.

Write often as you can. Love to all.

Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 76

Washington
Thursday morning, June 16, 1864

Dear Wife,

About 9 o’clock last evening your very welcome letter of the 13th inst. was received. If it is the intention of Mr. Sample to build his front fence this summer, I most heartily second the motion to build our also. And I suggest that you authorize Mr. Sample, when he contracts for the building of his fence, that he at the same time contract for the building of ours and have it all built alike. As to the style, I leave that to you and Mr. Sample, but it should be substantial as well as good looking. The gates would be well hung and the fastenings should be of some kind that will make it easy to open and close but so arranged that they could no be rooted open by hogs, &c. Let Mr. Sample make the contract and you can furnish him the means as often as he wants to pay for it. But I want it so arranged that it be all completed by the last of September and as much earlier as he pleases. But have it all done by at least last of September.

It was expected until this morning that Mary would start this evening for South Bend but Mr. Wilson has just been in to tell me that his business will necessarily detain him a day or two longer and the time for them to start is now changed until Sunday evening and if they meet all the connections, you my expect to see Mary on the train next Tuesday morning. I will telegraph on Monday after she starts. Mr. Haynes returned with Mary yesterday morning. She is quite well and is much pleased with the idea of going to South Bend.

I am sorry our strawberries turned out so poorly. I think one reason is that the garden is so full of trees and shrubbery. But as others have been more successful and the prices quite moderate, you can easily have all you want. I hope our cow will hold out until we arrive that Mr. Haynes and myself can luxuriate once more on a good cup of coffee.

Will there be any apples this season? I should think those Northern Spy’s would bear if no others. When you write again, tell me what kinds of fruit you will have or whether everything is killed.

We had a great time here last night. The ratification meeting for Lincoln and Johnson was very large. The street between the Patent Office and Post Office was perfectly packed nearly the whole length of the Patent Office & you know that covers two squares & the street and sidewalks are very wide. The fireworks was on the top of the building and had the finest display of rockets & roman candles I ever seen. Some half dozen lighted balloons were sent up during the evening. No accident occurred at any time. I will send you the Chronicle containing an account of the meeting by the same mail that takes this.

I wrote you on Tuesday which will reach you about this evening. Tell Mr. Sample to go ahead with the fence just as fast as he pleases and as you say Mr. Waterhouse & Nicar are getting new fences, our corner and neighborhood will look quite respectable when all are finished.

Mr. Bartlett left here this morning for New York and Boston highly pleased with his visit. We found him a place to sleep at our rooms & we had a good visit. He wrote to his daughter that she must call on Mary Haynes when she gets there & make her acquaintance.

I must get this letter in today’s mail that you may get it Saturday evening. Love to Lib and all the rest.

Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 77

Washington
June 24th 1864

Dear Wife,

I presume Mary Haynes arrived safely either Wednesday morning or evening but as I understand railroad connections are seldom made at Cleveland, she did not arrive until Wednesday evening. When I last wrote you, it was intended that she should start Sunday evening but Mr. Wilson, who was to accompany her, was not well on Sunday and preferred putting it off until Monday evening so they did not get off until that time. And I see by Mary’s letter to Mr. Haynes that Charles started Monday morning expecting to meet her at Cleveland. In this he must have been disappointed unless he waited there over another day. I telegraphed on Tuesday morning about 9 o’clock the time she started. If Charles stopped i nToledo, he may have heard from that dispatch as it has to be repeated there & learned there when she started. But whether he did or not, I suppose all got home in due time and we shall wait patiently until we hear all about it.

From all that ew can hear, you still have dry weather in the West. It has been the same here for the past week or ten days and bids fair to continue. And not only so, but it is very warm and last night it was exceptionally so. A little air stirring this morning makes it more pleasant. This hot weather my appetite is not very good and for a few days have been troubled with diarrhea, but not serious. Still it weakens me and the distance we have to walk for our meals make it unpleasant. At the end of this month, we shall certainly change our boarding place and intend it shall be more convenient.

In my last I mentioned in regard to our new fence that I wanted the contract so made that it should be completed at the latest by the last of September. I see by the Register that county fair goes off in the last week of September. Now it seems to me you better arrange it so that the fence will be completed before that time—if it is not to late, try and have it all done by 10 September. Only think, we shall start for home, if all keeps well, in just 104 days from today. I know you say the time is short and will soon pass by but oh! what long days they are—the longest in the year. But we will be patient and wait knowing that when the time does arrive, if all keeps well, we shall have a joyful time, fully anticipating the good things that will be laid up for us, and I am so glad that Mr. Haynes consented to let Mary and the children remain there until we come. He is well pleased with the arrangement and thinks it is all for the best. And another thing, I was so anxious to have him see the West for he never was west of Cleveland.

Tell Aunt Harriet we are all coming to see her & Mr. Harris when we come. And tell Lib also that she will have to spread a large table for when we get there, we intend to branch out a little. And as I know where good things are to be found, her table, always abounding in the best, will not be neglected. Now you need not laugh at this for after starving and living on husks here, we intend to try and fatten up a little when we get where folks knows how to cook and live.

Congress will probably adjourn next week and if I draw my pay in time, I will send what money I can spare by Mr. [Schuyler] Colfax, though he may not be home until after the 4th of July as he told me a few days ago that he intended making his wife’s sister a visit on his way home. I asked you in my last what you thought about me paying Brother Johnson off for that land [in White County] the last of this month. I only promised to pay $20 per month until it was paid, but if you will not need the money, had I not as well pay it all off—$40—at the end of this month and be done with it. I will also have to send out & pay the taxes for last year which is $5.20. I think when I come home, I will run down and see that land and sell it if I can, and either invest it in some other land, or put it into repairing the house—or furnishing the house.

A letter from Bro. Johnson says Mother is in tolerable health & that she is either going to visit Crawfordsville or Middletown or both this summer. His own health is quite poor—hardly able to attend to any business & he feels quite discouraged.

I have not heard from David directly for some time though I heard indirectly that he and James will be here in a few days on business.

The news from General Grant is that he is slowly but surely pressing on Petersburg & must take it before long. They can now fire into the city. The negroes fight most valiantly.

The odious Fugitive Slave Law was finally repealed on yesterday and there is now no statute on that subject. I am rejoiced to see that odious law wiped out. It caused all our troubles and at the same time brought on the Kansas troubles, or was a stepping stone to the Nebraska Act.

Now my sheet is full. I am expecting a letter from you every day. Let me remind you that you must not work this hot weather. Keep cool & in the shade. Make your Dutch girl so all your work. I shall count each day as they pass and look forward with patience until we all meet again. Love to all.

Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 78

Washington
June 30th 1864

Dear Wife,

I was very glad to receive your good letter of the 26th inst. this morning and to hear that all was well, nothing gratifies me so much as a letter from home. I know it must be quite as task for you to have to write so often, especially while the weather is hot, but a change in the weather will make you all feel better and the task will be more easy. I only call it a task on account of the dry sultry weather, which makes everyone feel sluggish and dull. Sometimes I feel so much so that it is with great difficulty for me to discharge even my ordinary duties. But on Sunday night and Monday morning a change also took place here. A heavy thunder shower passed round to the north and since that time everybody seems to have new life. Still it is dry and dusty. If we only had a shower to lay the dust, everything would be very pleasant.

This morning, Frank, Hattie, Myra and myself attended the wedding of Jennie [Lepreux] Campbell & a Mr. [Henry Clay] Stier or Steir. They were married at the church near their house on the corner of I & 5th Streets. Not many there but everything passed off pleasantly. They were married at half past 6 and left for his father’s in [New Market, Frederick county] Maryland. I had an invitation for Mr. Hayes but he not being acquainted with them and it being so early in the morning, he concluded not to disturb his morning nap. I got up at half past 4. The morning was pleasant but I am quite sure before the day is out, I shall feel the effects of being routed so early.

Brother David & his [18 year-old] son James are now stopping at the National [Hotel]. He is here on the business of his office. He goes to New York next week and then back to Beaufort where his family now is. He tells me that [his daughter] Harriet is to be married on his return to a Dr. [Henry J.] Menninger who hails from New York and is now in charge of the hospital at Newbern. 1 David was thinking that you was here and expected you to assist him in getting some wedding fixings, but I advised him to wait until he gets to New York & get Mrs. Clark to help him. This he intends to do. His health is much improved.

I am a little surprised at some of the nominations but as they are now made, I want all of them elected & will vote the whole ticket when I come home. As to the fence, I will now leave that with you and Mr. Sample to manage the best you can. Have all the old fence not used nicely piled up or cut up for fire wood. I am glad you intend to have it all done by the last of August.

I will only send $20 to Bro. Johnson this month. I have just drawn my pay for June—$133.50. Out of this I will have to pay to Johnson $20, for board for June $20, for room rent $10.50, washing about $1.50, making $52.00. The woman we are boarding with is moving today & tomorrow we must find a new place. We expect to live at a restaurant near the office but we will have to pay as we go. We think we can live as cheap as we do now—at least we will try it for a week & if we find it costs more, we wil find a boarding house somewhere. But if we have to pay as we go, I must save some money for that so that I shall only be able to send you $60 this time. But next time I can send more. Mr Colfax will leave in a day or two. He thinks Congress will adjourn on Saturday. He then goes to New York & will be home last of next week. I will send the money by him. This will save some expense.

Mr. Van Doren went to Baltimore this morning to meet his wife. They will not come here but stop at Bladensburg six miles from here where they expect to live. Tell Charles I want him to write me and tell me what the regular telegraph tariff is from South Bend to Washington. The dispatch to Mr. Van Doren had 7 words in it and he had to pay $1.58 here and the dispatch said that she also paid at South Bend $1.33. It seems to me the tariff must be horridly changed or something is wrong about it. When I get Charles’ letter, I will go to the office and see about it.

I see Congress is levying the taxes on us here very heavy. Yesterday the Senate passed a bill adding 5 cents in addition to all our other taxes on all income over $600. This if it passes the House, which I suppose it will, will make my tax here $100 per year. This additional only lasts for one year and is to raise money to pay bounties to soldiers. There is no other way but to stand it. The Government must have money some way. It is believed, however, that next winter Congress will raise our salaries & it is said they would do it now if the elections were over & they think it the best policy not to do it now. We must manage, however, to live this summer as cheaply as we can. If we can do this & pay for the fence, and save enough to take me home & bring us back here in November, I shall be satisfied. I will have three months more pay before I go home & then, soon as we get back, another month. I guess we can get through it.

Mr. Towle was just in my office. He says Mrs. Ames is going home next week with Capt. Saunder’s folks. I hear Mrs. Lake is quite unwell. I have not seen them lately. He is not doing anything yet.

If you see Judge Egbert, tell him I received his letter yesterday & will answer him in a day or two.

The prices in South Bend is not quite up to Washington. Here ham is 30, butter 40 to 50, eggs 35, lard 20, coffee 50, sugar 25, potatoes $2.50, flour $12.50, coal $13.00 per ton, wood $9 per cord, beef stake 25 to 30, and we see no prospect of them being lowered so we think that boarding at $20 per monh is not much out of the way. You remember I wrote you some time ago that my wash woman lost one my shorts. Yesterday young Mr. Bliss asked me whether I had lost short. I told him I had. He said he had one with my name on. And sure enough it was mine & it is the best one I got. My shorts are giving out quite fast. I also found my handkerchief. Mr. Van Doren had it. So my clothes as to number are all right now, but oh! how bad they need you here to watch them. Myra looks after them some, mends my socks and keeps the buttons on my shorts. Seems to me I have forgotten something I intended to write about but can’t think of it now. Keep yourselves in the shade and take care of your health. Don’t expose yourselves to this hot weather. Hope you can get plenty of ice. My love to all. Write as often as you can. Love to all.

Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton

1 Harriet Vail Heaton (b. 1844), the daughter of David Heaton (1823-1870) and Mary Vanness (1826-1893), married Dr. Henry J. Menninger who was serving as the Surgeon-in-Chief, sub-district of Newbern, N. C., formerly Surgeon of the 2nd North Carolina Volunteers. Henry was an 1863 graduate of the University Medical College in NYC. After the war, Henry worked for the Freedman’s Bureau.


Letter 79

Washington
July 2, 1864

Dear Wife,

In my last letter I told you that I would send you sixty dollars by Mr. [Schuyler] Colfax but the probabilities are that he will not get off as soon as we expected. Congress has not yet determined on any date for adjournment and it may be a week yet before they adjourn. This delay is caused by the resignation of Mr. Chase and the new Treasurer Mr. Fessenden has not determined whether he will accept [his nomination by Lincoln] and Congress will not adjourn until that matter is settled. Therefore, I have concluded to send you the enclosed sixty dollars by mail. It is rather risky but I thought I would risk it this time.

You will see that these notes are interest bearing notes but they are worth no more than their face [value] for present use. The interest is not payable until the notes are due—three years after their date. I should think it would be a good thing if our I. O. O. F. Lodge would invest their surplus money in this kind of money. If you have a mind to, you might see Alfred Hall, our permanent secretary, and if he thinks it would be advisable for the Lodge to do so, you might let him have it for the money for that purpose. And tell him if the Lodge would like to invest their money in that way, I could do it or rather have it done for the Lodge.

David left for New York this morning. Will be back next Thursday or Friday. Tell Mary I sent those pictures by him to J. W. Clark to be handed to Mrs. Griffin.

The weather is very warm again and continues dry. It seems to me I feel the effects of this hot weather more than usual, but I keep out of the hot sun all I possibly can.

I am counting the days now when we shall start for home. It is now only 96 days when we shall be off. Oh, won’t I be glad when the time rolls around.

Yesterday we commenced boarding at a restaurant. I doubt whether I shall like it but we will try it for a few days. Some that have been there for a month or more say they like it very well but somehow I don’t get the hang of it yet.

It is very warm today and I believe I shall not extend my letter any longer. Hope you will keep out of the hot sun and make your girl so all the work. Preserve your health all you possibly can. I want this letter answered promptly for I shall be anxious to hear whether it gets through safe.

Love to all. Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton

A thunder shower is just coming up.


Letter 80

Washington
July 7th 1864

Dear Wife,

I am very sorry that another has passed and no letter from Mary to Mr. Haynes. He feels bad over it. It is now half a month since he had a letter from her. What is the matter. Is she sick? If so, someone else should have written. Nothing but sickness should prevent her writing once or twice a week sure. It won’t do to say it is for the want of time. That is a duty that nothing else should interfere with, and I am in the same fix for I have had none since the 21st June.

I have not been very well for a few days past—hardly able to be in my office today. Still I am here. Mr. Ludlow is still here. He starts for New Jersey this p.m.

I only wrote this to remind Mary of her bounden duty not to let so long a time pass without writing. No business or engagements of any kind should prevent it, I hope it will not be so again.

Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 81

Washington
July 11th 1864

Dear Wife,

I was very glad yesterday evening to receive Mary’s letter of the 7th inst. acknowledging the receipt of my letter with the $60. I wrote you a note or two a few days ago complaining that we had not heard from home for half a month but the same evening after I mailed the last note, Mr. Haynes received a letter from Mary mailed 4th of July, and in a day or two after, received another mailed 28th June. So you see the fault was all in the mail and not anybody elses. So you may just rub out those complaining notes. But they will serve one thing, just to let you know how badly we feel when no letters arrive. They very hot weather we have had for some time past made us both feel a little low spirited but for a day or two past, we both feel better. And we hope by this time you and Mary have quite recovered from the labors and fatigues of the 4th of July. We are also counting the days when we shall start for home—87 days from today.

From the published reports, you have no doubt discovered that our City is again in a blaze of excitement. The rebels are again making another heavy raid into Maryland & Pennsylvania, have cut the railroad between Harrisburg & Baltimore, and it is reported that they are trying to cut the railroad between here and Baltimore, but up to this time have failed in that. And it is rumored they are making a strong demonstration on Washington. But as heretofore, they will fail in that. They are not strong enough to reach Washington. Gen. Grant has sent up some twenty thousand troops from the front and other large reinforcements are continually arriving, and unless the rebs look out, they will get bagged.

Mr. Ames’ and Saunders’ folks left for home last evening but they will have to go round by Philadelphia.

Our company is again in motion. I attended one drill—the only one yet held—but I think I shall not drill anymore as the weather is too warm for me and I do not apprehend there will be any active use for them. The excitement, however, is strong. It is said that firing could be heard to the northwest this morning though I did not hear it. Troops were marching through the streets in large numbers nearly all night and those who ought to know say the city is safe. Many, however, are leaving. But many would have left anyhow as this is the season that all who can leave, does so to get into a more pleasant climate during the hot weather. Hattie & Myra are going somewhere up in Pennsylvania to spend two or three months. They intend to start tomorrow or next day, provided the rebels do not cut the road in that direction. But they will go soon as they can get off.

I am now boarding at Mr. Polars near the corner of H & 9th Street, opposite Mr. Finney’s at $20 per month. I could not stand the restaurant any longer. Mr. Haynes however sticks to the restaurant. He seems to like it better than I did.

No doubt this rebel raid was got up by them for the purpose of drawing Gen. Grant from before Richmond but it will not have that effect. Gen. Grant will not abandon his efforts before Richmond. The troops he sent from there, he says he does not need–that he has plenty without them, and could spare more if necessary. These troops have arrived and gone out to meet the enemy.

Oh, how do you get along about the fence? Have you got the thing started yet? Who is going to have the job on the front when done? Hope it will be well done.

By the way, I must tell you about Mr. & Mrs. Stailey. About the 4th of July they went to visit his new married son at Harpers Ferry. While there, the rebs came and the rush being great, they had a rough time getting to and on the cars, the last train expected to run to Baltimore/ But they got on and started. The train run out about two or three miles when bang went a cannon & a shell right over the top of the care they were in. Then the crack of various rifles. One shot killed the fireman. The train was stopped soon as it could be by the engineer and the wheels reversed. The train soon began to run back, but while it stopped many jumped out and started up the side from where the rebs were. But the train got started back when many tried to get on again but could not [and] consequently had to take to the mountains. But Mr. & Mrs. Stailey stayed in the cars, lying on the floor, & the cars run back to where they started again with a train of soldiers ahead—but got through. It was a narrow escape. They came near going to Richmond. I rather think Mrs. Stailey was badly frightened. They could see men killed all around on both sides and could see & hear the cannon on every hilltop & hear the whistling of the shells in every direction. She thinks she will not make another trip to Harpers Ferry soon.

Cox’s and Finney’s folks all well. There are no doubt some sick about but I don’t know of any. You may look out for us in 87 days on the evening train. Don’t forget it. On the evening train. Love to all.

Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 82

Washington
July 12th 1864

Dear Wife,

We are at last within the sound of cannon and musketry. The rebels are said to be about fifteen thousand strong out about six miles on the 7th Street road and made an attack on our outside fortifications. You will remember once we took a ride out to the Soldier’s Home and a little beyond where we could see some of those fortifications. It is there where the attack is made. All the afternoon yesterday and this morning we could distinctly hear the cannonading and even the musketry. But yesterday and all night last night, new arrivals of troops are rushing out and we are confident we are strong enough to keep the rebels back. The rebels are now occupying the premises owned by Postmaster General [Montgomery] Blair. They have burned all the outbuildings & everything except the mansion which they use for headquarters & will doubtless burn that when they leave it. Our authorities are very active and have got things in such a position that unless the rebs soon retreat precipitously, they will most of them be taken [prisoners]. We must have fifty to sixty thousand troops here & more continually arriving. They come mostly by water—some 18 to 20 thousand have just arrived from New Orleans & are pushing for the front.

Notwithstanding the rebs are so near, yet we have no fears of their taking the city. Most generally our citizens are pursuing their avocations as usual, labor on buildings are being pursued as usual, yet of course the excitement is strong—especially in the outskirts of the city. Thousands of families living out around the city are flocking into the city pell mell, bringing what they could, but leaving their homes & most of their things to the mercies of the rebels. You need not be uneasy about us for we have no fears but we will come out all right. I would be willing to go to the front with a musket on my shoulder if I was able to stand it but I know my inability for the task, and shall therefore not undertake it.

I do not know when this letter will reach you as all mails by railroad are stopped but I hear that a mail will be sent out this afternoon by water to New York. The last regular train that left was the one Mrs. Ames started on Sunday p.m. We have heard nothing from her but suppose she got through safe.

Mr. Haynes & myself are taking it very calmly—so is James [Sample]. He, however, is very anxious to go to the front but of course I discourage him for I am sure he could do but little good. In fact, all citizens not in regular organizations should keep out of the way. We have plenty of regular soldiers to manage this affair and the best way to help them is to keep out of their way.

Just now they are calling for volunteers from among the clerks of the Land Office to go to the front. If I did not know that I was physically unable to stand it, I would go. In fact, if it was in a different season of the year, I would venture it anyhow, but the weather is very warm and I am sure I could not stand it to walk and carry a musket and necessary equipage with haversack halfway to the battlefield before I would give out. Therefore, I shall not attempt it. I see Frank’s name on the list.

Hattie was to start for Pennsylvania today but of course she cannot get away just now.

We have no news of the result of the fighting up to this hour but I will write you every day until a change takes place.

As our telegraph and railroad communication is cut off, no doubt you have the wildest rumors about the fate of Washington. But be not alarmed for our army is able to bring us out all right. Love to all.

Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 83

Washington
July 14th 1864

Dear Wife,

Mr. Haynes wrote Mary yesterday giving the situation of affairs up to that time. This morning the rebels have got away so far that we have nothing specially new from them up to the hour 11 a.m. but in the city, all is quiet. I presume you had a thousand rumors about our situation but not a rebel has put his foot inside our fortifications around the city except as a prisoner and we at no time have had any fears that they would. It is true, however, that had they come in force a few days sooner, they might have done so but by the time the rebs go in the neighborhood, our forces were on hand ready to meet them.

Yesterday morning as I was going to my breakfast, I could distinctly hear the firing out back of the Soldier’s Home, but since 10 o’clock yesterday, no firing has been heard in the city. Our forces drove them back yesterday & they left pell mell leaving all their dead and wounded in our hands. I am fully satisfied they did not intend to make much of a demonstration on the city, but merely enough to employ our forces whilst they got out of the way with what plunder they had collected from the farmers and small villages in Maryland—and this they have done pretty effectually. But our forces are in hot pursuit and it may be they will overhaul them and punish them severely.

I hear that they burned Post Master General [Montgomery] Blair’s house when they left it but did not burn the Old Man Blair’s house but left it full of their wounded. The city has hardly ever been more quiet than it was yesterday & is today. In fact, during the whole siege, no fears were entertained that the city could be taken.

Most all the clerks in the different departments have organized into companies and have been sworn in for 30 days services but I do not know what use they can be put too except to go to the forts so as to relieve some of the regular soldiers in order that they may pursue the enemy. As I wrote you before, I did not feel able to undertake such a service and therefore did not go into it.

Day before yesterday Mr. Van Doren came to town as usual in the morning train but it was the last train over the road until last evening. But in the afternoon, hearing that the rebs were getting near Bladensburg where his family was, he put back on foot and we have not heard from him since. I presume, however, he got home safe. But the most of the fighting took place within two or three miles of Bladensburg. In fact, some of it in the edge of town. But I do not hear that anyone was disturbed in town or that the rebs entered it at all. One good reason for it was that one of the forts—Fort Lincoln—commands that town, but I have no doubt Mrs. Van Doren wished herself back at South Bend. In a few days I intend to go and see them.

Mrs. Ames left Sunday afternoon but Monday or Tuesday Mr. Ames heard she had to stop in Baltimore. But no doubt she has left on her way home ere this time.

I send you the Chronicle which will give you more of the particulars of the raid than I have written. It turns out that the railroad to Baltimore has not been broken as reported. They set fire to a bridge about halfway but the timber being green, it would not burn. But not a rail was taken up. An engine and tender came through from Baltimore last evening and today the regular trains will start again. The wires were cut in two places but they are now all right again. We have had no mails since last Saturday night but they will be through today.

I am well pleased with my new boarding house—the best place I have found since we left Mrs. Cox. I called at Mr. Cox this morning. They are all well and send love to you. Mr. Haynes sticks to the restaurant yet and likes it very well.

It is said our forces are pushing the rebels hotly and we hope to hear very soon that they have overtaken them and punished them severely. In fact, we have a strong force north and south of them and it looks to me as though the most of them will be caught yet.

One of us will write again tomorrow. We are all in good spirits & well. Love to all. Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 84

Washington
July 16th 1864

Dear Wife,

I promised you that during the excitement here, about the rebel raid, Mr. Haynes and myself would write home every day. Yesterday Mr. Haynes was to write and I suppose he did, but as he went out with Mr. Stickney to Kendall Green 1 last evening, I do not know certainly that he did write.

The scare is all over and the city continues to be quiet. Our soldiers it is said are pursuing the rebels into Virginia but what has been done and how far they are from the city, we have yet to learn. All the news we have is in the Chronicle which I send you.

I accidentally learned that some ten days ago Theodore Coquillard’s wife [Helen] came to the city trying to find a brother in the army who was reported sick, I believe. But after a few days, I heard she was married to a Mr. R[osalvo] F. Cole of New York. This was announced in the National Intelligencer of last Tuesday. I understand she came here from New York—probably it was an arrangement for them to meet here to be married. I do not know where they stop and have not seen her. Suppose they have gone back to New York. 2

Having written you several times with a week, I have nothing specially new to write now. The weather is more pleasant and the nights cool. We have a good time to sleep.

Mr. Lake has not got into business yet. Do not know what he is going to do. I called in to see them last evening. They occupy two rooms in the third story in the same house where I went to board when you left and strange to say, they are boarding themselves. They got a little stove heated by a lamp with three burners. It is a complete thing and cold be used very well in hot weather to do any kind of cooking except baking. I think when you come, we will get something of the kind and try it. But that we will determine on hereafter. Only just think, in 82 days we will be off for home. One by one the days drop off and at last they will all disappear. Oh! how I long to be at home. I want to see the old house & garden again and the trees, and the town, and the folks, and above all the folks at home. Won’t we all be glad when the time rolls around.

By the by, what will you have for supper when we arrive? My opinion is we will be hungry for we shall not eat anything after we take our breakfast the last day until we all eat together. Oh won’t that be nice, all around the old table once more. Well we must be patient and wait. All well. Love to all. Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton

1 Kendall Green was the estate in northeast Washington belonging to Amos Kendall who donated land and facilities for a deaf and blind school. Congress granted the institution a charter in 1864 (now Gallaudet University).

2 Alexis “Theodore” Coquillard (1836-1884) was the son of Alexis Coquillard who was one of the founders of South Bend. Theodore and Mary “Helen” Pike were married on 24 March 1859. Helen was an adopted child of Augustus and Milley Oakley of Buffalo, New York.


Letter 85

Washington
Monday morning, July 18th 1864

Dear Wife,

Yesterday I was more than glad to receive your letter of the 14th inst. and again to hear that all was well. And was pleased to find that you was not much worried about the fate of Washington for I was fearful that you would be carried away with the ten thousand rumors consequent upon hearing that the railroad and telegraph was cut off between here and Baltimore. Well, no new dangers have presented themselves thus far and everything is quiet as ever.

I have not been drilling and do not intend to anymore unless the rebels should make another attack on the city and should such a thing take place, I shall then shoulder my musket which I keep on hand in good order and do the best I can. But I do not apprehend that another attack will be made during the present campaign.

I seen Mr. Van Doren a day or two since and as I supposed, they were badly frightened on Monday last as the wildest reports were in circulation throughout the day that the rebels were just about entering the town [Bladensburg] with a view to sack it, but they did not come. These rumors together with the sound of clashing arms in the immediate vicinity was well calculated to alarm anyone—especially as the town was just outside our fortifications.

So far as the fence is concerned, I shall be satisfied with any arrangement you may make. Would it not be well, however, to have it whitewashed? Who has the job for putting up the front fence and when it is to be finished? Of course the front fence should be painted immediately after it is up but that, I suppose, goes in with the job. And do not forget about having the gates in their proper places & well hung and the fastenings such as will be substantial and secure.

I am sorry to hear however that your Dutch girl “cut up” so you had to turn her off. You must find another right off for it will not do for you to be doing your own work this hot weather.

You say you will have a good crop of tomatoes. I think you better put up as many as you can for they will come in good play sometime. Has the apples all dropped off? When you spoke about it before, you said they were dropping off fast. I hope you will have some left. Is the grapes going to bear any? Keep the weeds down whether anything else grows or not. I suppose prices of everything are going up as they are here. Good flour is worth here from 16 to 18 dollars per barrel and most everything else in proportion. Yet I still get my board for $20 per month. But as the railroads are all open again, I think the provisions will come down a little. All kinds of cotton goods are going up. Did you buy some muslins when I told you? I hope you did. Brown sheetings here are now selling from 80 to 90 cents per yard & will soon be $1.

Tell Mary it will not be necessary for me to telegraph as your letter was duly received.

Yesterday Mr. Haynes again went out to Kendall Green and I have not seen him since. Have no doubt he had a good time as he always does when he goes out there. I am glad to have him go as he enjoys it so much. Either Mr. Haynes or myself have written now every day for a week past with the exception of yesterday and I do not know whether he wrote yesterday or not. Let us know whether they were all received.

Today I only weigh 176. Have fallen off six pounds since you left but when the weather gets cooler, think I shall recover my usual weight. My appetite is better now that a few weeks ago and today feel quite well.

Only 80 days more before we leave for home. How anxiously we look forward to the time when we shall be off. But still we intend to be patient and wait our time. But we joyfully anticipate the happy time we shall have, when we all meet together around our own fireside once more. All well. Love to all.

Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 86

Washington
Monday morning, July 25, 1864

Dear Wife,

Charles’ letters of the 14th, 21st, and 22nd inst. all received. The last one this morning giving me the painful intelligence that Elizabeth is sick with typhoid fever, or he says Dr. Ham say it may be typhoid. I feel much concerned about her but sincerely hope when I hear again that she will be better. Charles says if she should get to be dangerous, he will telegrapg. This I hope he will do and at all events he will continue to write me every day until she gets better or a change takes place. I fear every time my office door opens that a boy will enter with a dispatch, I feel greatly relieved however to know that you are with her as you know so well how to manage such cases. I pray God she may soon be better—poor girl. How I feel for her. She has had a hard time in this world but I trust before this reaches you she may be out of danger and on the mend.

Last night we had a heavy rain but it will do much good as everything was completely parched up with the drouth.

On Friday evening I went out to Bladensburg and stayed over night with Mr. Van Doren. Mr. Haynes did not go. He has some church matters to attend to but will soon go some other time. And besides, we knew they were cramped for room. One of the little girls—the next one to the youngest—is not very well. On Friday was quite sick, but Saturday morning was much better. They were glad to see me and I had a very pleasant visit. None of the family have been to the City yet but say they are coming over next week. I want to get this in this morning’s mail and shall not have time to write but a short letter. We are all well this cool weather and the dust all laid. We feel much revived. Nothing of special interest going on here.

Oh how anxious I shall be to get Charles’ daily letters. Tell him not to fail on any account. Give my love to Lib. I hope she will be patient in her affliction. I trust however she is on the mend. My love to the children and all the rest of you about home.

Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 87

Washington
July 29th 1864

Dear Wife,

[Portions not transcribed speak to daughter Elizabeth’s illness, fence contract for South Bend residence, adjustments to son Charles’ salary.]

Boarding here has a general upward tendency. Most all have raised to $25 for day board. My boarding house gave notice yesterday that they must raise at the end of this month to $23 and as I do not think I can do better myself, have concluded to stay there another month. After that we will begin to look out and make calculations how we shall arrange things for next winter.

Levi Ludlow returned here day before yesterday with recommendation from Mr. [Godlove Stein] Orth, member of Congress from the Lafayette District. I went with him to the War Department and they at once gave him a temporary clerkship. Their pay is about a thousand dollars per year. He accepted it with a view that when Mr. Orth came on next December that it may be bettered. I got him a room in the same house with us—at Frank Heaton’s. His room is on the same floor with ours which makes it pleasant, not only for him, but for us. Mr. Haynes has taken a great liking to him. Thinks he is considerable of a man and we all think the same thing. He sends his love to you all. He gave me his photograph. I would send it in this but I left it at my room. Will send it hereafter.

AnnaCox has gone to New Hersey to spend a few weeks. Hattie & Myra are now up in Pennsylvania at the same place where Mrs. Yetter went last summer—up in the mountains. They like it very well. Their board costs about $4 or $4.50 per week. They expect to stay there a month or two, more particularly for the benefit of the child. I doubt whether they will ever raise it—it is not healthy. Children raised on cow milk when they are compelled to change it so often is not healthy.

…Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 88

Washington D. C.
August 6th 1864

Dear Wife,

First of all I will give you the state of my finances at the present time. I drew my salary for July 1864…$129.85 and I had on hand at the time $11.00 [for total] in all $140,85

Out of this I have paid as follows:

For the Chronicle $1
Balance due on board for July $15.20
Balance of assessment to Indiana Club $4
For tobacco $0.40
Balance White County Land to Bro. Johnson $20
Taxes for 1863 on same land $5.20
For Room rent for July $10.50
Washing bill for July $1.05
Amount draft herewith enclosed $70.00

Total equals $127.35 leaving on hand for contingencies $13.50

If nothing happens I can get along with what I have left very well. I think, however, I will not send any more home until I come, unless you will not haeve enough to pay up for the fence, and other expenses. After examining your pile, let me know how the matter stands. In two months from today we will start for home and you can tell whether you have enough to last you. Should I not have to send anymore, I will be able to start from here with about $200 and out of this we must save enough to bring us back. You will write your name across the back of this draft as you did before and then Mr. Lindsey will give you the money for it, or Charles could use it in the settlement of Express business & give you the money out of the office.

I am rejoiced to hear through Charles and Mary’s letters that Lib is on the mend. Hope she is able to sit up most of the time by this time. But she will have to be careful and not get a backset.

We had a fine rain last night. The dust is all laid but very warm.

The rebels are making quite a raid in Pennsylvania & Maryland again. Our troops are after them and eventually will drive them out, but they will do much damage and steal a large amount of property. They are in pretty strong force. But you get the news full as soon as we do here. I hardly think they will make another press on Washington but still they may do so. If they do, they will find hotter work that they did before.

I shall be looking for a letter from you now pretty soon. I hop you have a good girl by this time to do your work for you. Be sure and get one that will stay through October so you will be able to go round with us when we come.

I have nothing special to write this time. Mr. Haynes writes pretty often and consequently you hear from us every few days.

The $20 I sent to Bro. Johnson finishes paying up for that land and I have got the deed and had it recorded so we have a good title to 40 acres and a tax title for the other 40 acres. Love to all. Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 89

Washington D. C.
August 11th 1864

[Editor’s note: I have not posted a full transcription of this letter which speaks of daughter Elizabeth’s illness, the completion of the fence around his residential property in South Bend built by a carpenter named Bradley, the draft of $70 sent in the previous letter, the dray weather in Washington D. C. (“scorcher”).]

…Ed Ames’ father is at Georgetown sick in a hospital. He came here from New Orleans. He is now getting better. I have not been to see him yet but design going today or tomorrow.

I here enclose you Mr. Ludlow’s photograph. He is well and boards at the same place with me. Mr. Haynes and Frank boards at the restaurant.

I was very glad to see that Sanitary Commission meeting at South Bend so successful & glad to see Charles’ name down for $10. But Mr. Colfax as usual put all the balance in the shade. Mr. Brownfield ought to have done better for he is able and should have put down as much as Mr. Colfax at least. But perhaps it went against the grain for him even to do what he did.

[more discussion of grapes, the cow, and of son Charles’ salary.]

I see by the papers that today Gov. Morton and McDonald speaks at South Bend. Hope you will all turn out. Every meeting of the kind ought to be well attended but I fear our Union folks have not got roused up yet. It is high time they were at work. This fall’s elections are the most important for the country that ever took place and the salvation of our country depends on its success. I want to hear from the meeting there today.

I am very anxious about Mr. Colfax’s health. He writes me that he has not recovered his usual strength since his excessive labors in holding so many night sessions before the adjournment of Congress. Tell him he must use that currant wine pretty freely. It will be good for him. It is so warm I can hardly think or write. Don’t neglect to find a good girl—one able to do your work. Love to all, all, all. Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton

In just 55 days we start for home!!!


Letter 90

Washington D. C.
August 23rd 1864

[Editor’s note: I have not posted a full transcription of this letter which speaks of the extremely hot weather in Washington D. C., new taxes (5%) levied on government clerks due 1 October 1864, the need for new clothing in wardrobe, and high market prices.]

…Hattie and Myra are up in Pennsylvania among the mountains at a little town called Catawissa boarding at $4 per week. Frank [Heaton] went up to see them last week. He writes me they are having a good time and enjoy the mountain air most hugely. He will be back net Friday but the rest will remain there awhile longer. If we stay here next summer, I intend for us to spend a month in New Jersey or somewhere up in that region.

The Democratic Copperheads will make a terrible effort to defeat Mr. Lincoln but I don’t think they can do it. In all the states but Indiana and Illinois the soldiers can vote in the field but for those two states, provision will be made as far as possible for them to go home to vote. In this way, I think, Mr. Lincoln’s election will be certain.

…It is our intention to get home Saturday evening the 8th of October for supper. I should like very much if we could get there in time for the fair but we cannot do it for I must so arrange my leave of absence so as to remain after the November Election—the next day after the Nov. election, we must start back…

Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 91

Washington D. C.
September 1, 1864

Dear Wife,

I have had no letter from you since my last but Mr. Haynes has had one from Mary which says the sick, or those that were sick, are all getting better. The weather has become cooler and bracing, and everybody feels better. I believe I never felt the hot weather so oppressive as it was a month or so past. It pulled me down more than for many years past. I was weighed yesterday and I was astonished to find myself at only 171 pounds, but still I feel very well with a good appetite.

…You will find that now the Copperhead Convention at Chicago is over. The Union men, knowing who they have to contend with, will got to work with a will. I hope our country is thoroughly organized and that every meeting will be well attended. Tell Charles to examine that old banner I left in the office and if it is in order, to hang it up where it can be seen. It is as appropriate now as ever.

Five weeks from today we expect to start for home and if the trains make their proper connections, we will be there Saturday on the evening train for supper. Oh, won’t it be nice for us all to be around our own table once more. Let us be patient. The time will soon pass away.

I had a letter from Bro. Johnson yesterday. The money I sent was all received $80 in full for his interest in that land. I think I shall go to Monticello when I come home and try to sell it. I think it will bring a better price now than for some time to come and will do us no good there. We only have a tax title for one half of it and I think it better be sold.

Fr, Finney’s little girl Mary is dead. I never see a corpse that looked so natural. She was buried on Tuesday. Mr. & Mrs. Finney takes it very hard. You know she was a great pet in the family—a sweet little girl.

I have not seen Mr. Lake for some time but I hear that he is pretty well used up with liquor and that she is fretting her life away about it. What a ity it is that he should throw himself away so foolishly. I find he is very stubborn and will not take advice from anyone.

Mr. Van Doren was in my office this week. Says all is well. He is also coming home to vote. Mr. Ames will also come about the same time we do. James Sample will be home about the middle of the month for a short time. Mr. Cox’s folks are all well. Anna has not yet returned from her visit to New Jersey.

Hattie will return early next week. They have had a fine time up in the mountains. Their babe has improved very much. I think it was a good thing for the child that they went. Mr. Ludlow has not been very well for a few days but this morning he said he felt much better. His general health is not very good though able to attend to business.

…We must have everything arranged to leave [South Bend] the next day after the Presidential election and I do not want you to be worked down when we start [for Washington D. C.] and it must not be so. The nomination of McClellan produced no commotion here. I have not seen nor heard of any stir in relation to it yet. I suppose the Copperheads will get up some kind of meeting before long but as yet all is still.

Charles Speed was here the other day. His wife had a babe but it died. By this time they have gone to Indianapolis where they used to live. My love to Lib, and all the Marys, and all the rest. Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 92

Washington D. C.
Monday morning, September 12th 1864

Dear Wife,

…I seen a letter in the Chicago Tribune giving an account of the Copperhead Convention at South Bend on the 3rd inst, and the serenade to Mrs. General Sherman by the Union men in the evening which corresponds with your account of the same matter. It was a good winding up of the day, that Mrs. General Sherman happened to be there.

The Copperheads seem to be getting into trouble, so many of them are bolting since McClellan’s acceptance which will cause “one grand split” among them. The peace portion of them will call a new Convention and put up another man. And the late victories at Atlanta and Mobile puts long faces on the Democracy [Democrats]. They would prefer anything to victories by our armies. On the whole I think the cause of the Union is progressing finely. One good victory by General Grant which we confidently look for before election will consign the Copperhead Democracy to eternal infamy.

I want to find one thing right off—that is the amount of our taxes in South Bend for the year 1863, last year. Have Charles hunt up the tax receipt and get the amount from that. And also the amount paid last year for our insurance. In assessing me here on my salary for last year (I refer to the special tax of 5 percent I wrote you about a few days ago), I find I am entitled to have deducted the amount of those taxes from that part of my salary over $600. It will not amount to much, but every little helps. The rents we paid to Mr. Yetter while living in his house also comes out and all together will save about $6 tax. Don’t forget this. I want it right off.

Have you seen anything of Jacob Morrell or Aunt Charlotte? Mary says in one of her letters to Mr. Haynes that they have got back to Niles. I never was so surprised. I cannot imagine why they did not remain in California for I understood they were well pleased with the country. I would like to know the reason they did not remain.

You have learned through Mr. Haynes that Mrs. Lake is in a very interesting condition. The next day after I wrote you last, I was at Mr. Cox’s and Mrs. Cox told me about it and I determined to find out whether it was so, and in the evening went over there. She was in the back room and was lothe to come out but finally she made her appearance and I was satisfied at once that it was so. When I left, Mr. Lake followed me out and told me voluntarily that such was the fact and that little over two months from now would terminate the matter. They seem to be much alarmed and fear the result will prove disastrous. I gave him the best encouragement I could, advised she should keep very quiet, &c., but if all goes right, it will be a second epistle to Tom Thumb.

I have not found a room for us for next winter yet. I am waiting for Mr. Haynes to find a place and then I will get a room in the same house or as near it as I can. I think we wil have no trouble to get a room. We will get back here in time before Congress meets to find plenty of vacant rooms. It may be we can get one at Mr. Cox’s yet. He is to let me know when any of them are vacated. When I get home we can talk over the best plan for future operations, but oh! how anxious I am for the time to roll by when we will be off for home. A little over three weeks more. If nothing happens, will pack up and be off. Our present expectation is to be home for supper on Saturday evening October 8th.

James Ample left last Friday evening and went to New York. Expected to leave there this Monday morning for South Bend.

I should have been glad could we leave so as to be home for the County Fair but we cannot make it and remain until after the November election. Hattie and Myra have returned home all much improved—especially the baby, it is fat and hearty. Frank is going to Crawfordsville to attend the election there and it is probable that Myra will return home with him, but I do not see how Hattie can get along without her. A few days, however, will determine all about it.

Mr. Ames will come home with us. He is also very anxious to get off and says his wife shall not be away from him so long hereafter. Whether he will remain until after the November election, I cannot say but probably he will.

…Love to all. Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 93

Washington D. C.
Monday morning, September 26, 1864

Dear Wife,

I feel somewhat disappointed in not getting an answer to my last letter by this time. By Friday next, at the outside, I must make my tax returns whether I receive an account of our taxes at South Bend or not, with amount of insurance, &c. But perhaps it is on the way & will have it in a day or two. But if not sent before this reaches you, it will be too late. If I had it, it would save me a dollar or two taxes…

I see by the Register that the draft in South Bend is over and that Charles was not drafted. I am glad for this for I know he would not be able to stand the fatigues of an army campaign. The draft is not completed here yet. Frank [Heaton] is very uneasy as to the result. If he should be drafted, it will take all he can raise to procure a substitute. Some are paying from five to eight hundred dollars for substitutes and every day the price is getting higher. This week will determine the matter with him.

Mr. Haynes, I believe, has secured a place for him and Mary to board. They are to have two rooms in a house with a private family, Rooms and board $80 per month. This includes Daisey. I shall secure a room for us if I can and shall get one as near Mr. Haynes as I can. Mr. & Mrs. Cox is expected back today or tomorrow. It may be I can get one in their house but of this I am not certain. Soon as they return, I will see them. I could keep a room at Frank’s but can’t find board nearer than four or five squares and that won’t do—must have them closer together. I will look around this week and do the best I can…

I see there is a meeting advertised at South Bend for Saturday, October 8th—the day we expected to get home. I should be very glad if we could get home in time to attend it. I have said nothing about it to Mr. Haynes but I intend to make an effort to get off one day sooner, but do not know that it can be done. If we do, will either write you or telegraph from some point along the road…

The late victories by Sherman and Sheridan seems to revive up our Union folks all over the country & it is believed will have a good effect on the October elections in Indiana and elsewhere. And I believe from all I can learn that General Grant will make another grand effort to take Petersburg within the next ten days, perhaps this week. The rebels are more discouraged than ever and if Grant whips them at Petersburg or Richmond—which he surely will—the rebellion must cave in. And it may be before this reaches you, you may hear that Petersburg has fallen. And when this is done, Richmond must fall as a matter of course. Let this be done and McClellan is no where.

How does Mr. [Schuyler] Colfax’s health and strength hold out? When did you see him last? I have been very fearful that his strength would fail him. What do you think of his prospects? Every clerk from our district will go home to vote. Mr. Van Doren is coming when I do. So is Mr. Stokes. I know of none but what is going. Mr. Towles went a week ago. I suppose you have seen him ere this as he promised to call and see you.

When does James sample start back? I see we are to have no county fair this month as was expected. Under the circumstances, I suppose it is as well to discontinue it. I hope you and the rest are all well and that your girl holds out to suit you. Next week I hope to see you. Love to all. Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 94

Washington D. C.
September 30, 1864

Dear Wife,

Yours of the 26th inst., by James Sample received. James looks very thin. Says he has been sick most of the time he was at home. I was sorry for this for he anticipated a glorious good time at home. He seems in good heart however and thinks he will soon be all right again.

I am very busy and will not have time to write you a long letter this time but I write you expressly to say that we have determined to stat next Wednesday evening instead of Thursday and if we meet the connections all right, will be home Friday evening. Hurah! Ain’t that better? Will telegraph from Toledo.

Yesterday evening I went over to Bladensburg to visit Mr. and Mrs. Van Doren. Found them all well and had a nice visit. Left there this morning at half past 7. It is only 15 minutes ride. They all send love to you and Mary.

Frank Heaton was drafted yesterday. We all feel bad over it but cannot help it. We think, however, when he comes to be examined, they will release him for he has a wretched set of teeth—hardly a sound tooth in his head. He could not live on “hard tack.” He is to be examined tomorrow.

It does me good to hear you speak in such cheering terms of the prospects of Mr. Colfax and of the good time you had when Long John Wentworth made his speech. Say to our Central Committee that I seen Gov. Randall of Wisconsin, now 1st Assist. Post Master General, this morning. He is to let me know tomorrow whether he will not speak at South Bend at the Mass Meeting, Saturday October 8th. I think he will come. When I see him in the morning & find out about it, will write to Wheeler or telegraph in time for next week’s paper. He is a splendid speaker. All well. Look out for us Friday evening. It will not be necessary for you to write any more after receiving this as I would not get it.

But I must stop to finish up some other business before dinner. I may write you a short note tomorrow to tell you how Frank comes out, &c. Love to all.

Your affectionate husband. — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 95

Washington D. C.
October 4, 1864

Dear wife,

Mr. Haynes has been promoted and a new desk assigned him. He will not be able to stay but a few days and this change also makes it necessary for him to get off soon as possible that he may get back the sooner. Hence, we shall start tomorrow, Tuesday evening. I write this in haste to let you know it. We hope to be at home Thursday evening.

Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton


1863 Letters of Charles M. Heaton

For a Biographical Sketch of Charles M. Heaton and to read letters 1-30 dating from 1861 and 1862, go to 1861-64 Charles M. Heaton Letters.

Letter 31

Washington
March 9th 1863

Dear Charles,

We have had no letter from you since the one written me on the day of the death of Mr. Chaudonai. Your Mother & Mary are getting very anxious to have a letter from you and I want to hear how Mr. Chaudonai’s affairs are getting along. Who is to administer on the estate? On the 21st of February I sent package garden seeds to you and 1 each to James Davis, Timothy Harris, Jacob Morrell, J. L. Waterhouse, & John T. Lindey. And on Saturday last I sent you another package & one to H. Bradley, Mrs. Mary Matlock, D. Dayton, and L. Humphreys. When you see them let them know who sent them. Those sent to you, you will open them and divide them out to who you like. Your Mother or Mary will write something about that.

I think your Mother and Mary will go home sometime next month. It is doubtful about their going to New York. They are getting quite anxious to go home.

All well. Your Father, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 32

Washington D. C.
March 27th 1863

Dear Charles,

I have just taken your letter to Mary out of the office and opened & read it. My office is near the Post Office & where we board is three quarters of a mile off. Consequently they will not see the letter until I go to dinner at 3 p.m., and one item in your letter requires an immediate notice from me which is in relation to Mr. Davis’ taxes. When I was at home last October, I learned that his taxes had not been paid for a long time and they amounted, I think, to $12.88 though I may not be right in the exact amount, yet it is near it. I seen Mr. Harper & I intended to get Mr. Davis to pay it if I could but if he did not pay it before I got ready to leave, I told Mr. Harper that I would pay it. I spoke to Mr. Davis about it two or three times and said it should be paid—and on the morning of the day I left, Mr. Davis came to me and showed me Mr. Harper’s receipt for those taxes and the receipt showed that the taxes was paid by Mr. C. B. Chaudonai for Mr. Davis and of course I supposed all was right and that the taxes were paid and I gave myself no further trouble about it. I am not mistaken about having seen the receipt.

You will see Mr. Harper and show him this letter and if all is not right, show it to Mr. Davis and ask him for the receipt he showed me and enclose it to me at once. I am glad you have paid our taxes. I forgot whether you ever told me whether you had renewed our insurance policy on our house last fall. Hope you have done so,

Mary wrote you a day or two ago. will write again soon. Mrs. [Schuyler] Colfax is yet very poor and very doubtful when she will be able to travel.

I will leave it for Mary to write you about the time they will leave for home. I want you to make some enquiry about the price of lumber. Is Mr. Palmer in the lumber business yet? I shall want two or three thousand feet inch lumber suitable for fencing and some posts &c. Enquire and write at once.

Your Father, — C. M. Heaton


Letter 33

Washington
March 30th 1863

Dear Charles,

By the same mail which takes this letter I send you a package of grape vine cuttings and some other little things. The package is franked by J. M. Edmunds, Commissioner General Land Office. The cuttings however was sent to me by Mr. Crocker from California and are very valuable if they can be made to grow. Before you open the package, I want you without delay to go and see Mr. Chapin or John T. Lindsay and find out from them who would be the best man to properly put them in the ground & who ever he may be go and et him to go to our garden & with you select some suitable place and get him to prepare the ground in a proper manner and put them in. I want him to spare no pains in doing it up as it should be and you pay him for it. I want him to be careful about preserving the labels which are on the slips & have them so arranged that I can tell which they belong to. Have no delay about it as it is necessary they should be in the ground soon as possible.

You will look over some of my last notes to you & see whether you have answered all my enquiries.

Mary will write you today—at least she said she would—and will give you whatever news there may be. The time for them to start home has not been set yet but when it is, you will be advised.

Drop me a note when you receive this & tell me who is to set them out. All well

Your Father, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 34

Washington
May 8th 1863

Dear Charles,

I intended to have written you yesterday or day before, but in consequence of the battle on the Rappahannock which has been in progress for several days past producing so much excitement that I could not write. But before this reaches you, you will hear that Hooker has withdrawn his forces on this side the river again. Though this may seem strange to the public, yet under the circumstances I doubt not but it is a correct move. You will remember when he went over he only took eight days provisions with him and were without tents, and the immense rains that have fallen within the past three days caused the immediate necessity for this move, but it is certain that we have inflicted vastly more damage on the enemy than thy have on us. Over 2500 prisoners are now in this city and more on the way. We have taken 6 to 8,000 & their loss in killed and wounded is double that of ours. And the next news I should not be surprised to hear that Hook has recrossed the river again to give the enemy battle. But the telegraph will anticipate all I can say on this subject.

I promised to write you my opinion about buying a horse. You asked that I found out from Mr. [Schuyler] Colfax whether he would sell his. I spoke to him about it but he says as it was a present to him, he does not wish to sell but expects to let his stepfather Esq. Matthews take him for the time being on his farm. Mr. Colfax, I suppose, is now in South Bend and is to speak there tomorrow. So far as I ever had anything to do with owning horses, they have been a loss to me. In fact, I have lost more in horses than any other one thing I ever touched. But I do not intend to say that you must not buy one. But it does seem to me that it would increase your labors. If you should undertake to carry the Express matter to and from the depot, the loading and unloading heavy boxes would be too heavy for you. To avoid this, you would have to employ a man to run it & at this time labor must be in demand and wages high, and you could not afford it. I wrote to Mr. Roberts of LaPorte to get his experience in the matter as I remembered that he kept one. He was not at home but his clerk Mr. Saulsbury who has been with him for a long time answered the letter and he says it will not pay. I herewith enclose you his letter.

If you could employ some trusty young man at wages not too high during the hot weather months, or during the strawberry and whortleberry runs, it seems to would do better than to buy a horse and wagon for one over effort in loading or unloading heavy boxes would do you more harm than all you could save in a whole year. And if you should undertake to do this, you could not avoid those heavy lifts which is so injurious for you could not always have immediate help at command.

No matter what kind of help you have, it will be necessary to always have your eye on your own business. Your business is one of the most trustworthy a man can be placed in. The amount of money passing through the office is so great and the collections to be made are so numerous that it is necessary that you keep your own eye on every case that you may fully understand it at all times.

But as to the horse business, I shall leave it with you after due reflection to do as you think best, but in all your transactions my advise is to manage things with a view to economy as much as you can and by all means keep entirely out of debt. You know I am so situated here that for the time being I cannot save much but I shall save all I can. And it is my earnest desire that you save all you can. Now is the time to do it for we know not what a few months may bring forth. And to do this you should make frequent examinations of your business to see how it stands. Be very careful to enter every item of account on your books. Trust nothing to memory. Make your entries immediately. Don’t wait for a more convenient season. If you do, you will lose by it for your memory will fail you.

I have no doubt you are doing the best you can, but I thought there would be no harm in making these suggestions for I know I have lost in trusting to my own memory too much and my advise is to trust nothing in a business matter to memory. Commit it to writing at once.

I want you to save all you can and I shall do the same. And now is the time to do it. Ultimately it will all inure to your benefit.

As to matters here, your Mother and Mary have doubtless kept you posted. Your Uncle David is yet here. The absence of Mr. Chase makes it uncertain what day he will leave. We are all well and getting along quite pleasantly. Make an estimate of your business & let me know how you stand. Does your collecting business by Express increase?

Our kind regards to Mr. & Mrs. Lowell. Your Father, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 35

PRIVATE

Washington
May 14th 1863

Dear Charles,

The other day I sent you a “Chronicle” containing the most of the rules under which the coming Draft is to be made. It will not be long and perhaps the proper office has already commenced making out the roll from which the Draft is to be made. I want you to encourage and always speak in favor of it. Sustain everything that may be done by authority of the government. But you might say at the same time that in case you should be drafted, you would probably avail yourself of the privileges of the Enrollment Act of paying the $300 required and that you would do it cheerfully or enter the service. I hold that every man should sustain the laws and thereby sustain the government cheerfully & promptly. I want you to keep me posted as to how they progress in preparing for this Draft. And it will be necessary for us to prepare accordingly. Therefore, between us, we must have this $300 on hand so that if your name should be drawn, it can be promptly paid to the proper authority. In all your movements and business transactions, you must keep this thing in view. You will let me know when the day is set to make the Draft, without fail.

I do not know how much time will be allowed but under all circumstances we must be ready to meet it. This is another thing to be considered in connection with the subject of my last letter to you.

As this in intended for your own eye only, I will say nothing more. Only to add that your Uncle David is still here. He goes to Beaufort, N. C. via N. Y. Leaves here Saturday morning. All well.

Your Father, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 36

Washington
May 19th 1863

Dear Charles,

I am just in the receipt of your letter of the 13th inst. in relation to the purchase of a horse. I shall interpose no further objections and leave you to exercise your ow judgement in the matter. But I would suggest however that you be b=very careful in the selection of a horse and I think Mr. Ireland would be a good man on whom to rely in selecting a sound and gentle horse—one that will no be frightened at the cars.

I am glad to see your cash on hand looking so favorably. I would collect quite closely at the end of each month. Short settlements are always the best and easiest made, and always gives the most satisfaction. And I will again suggest that in all your business transactions, never trust to memory but make your entries of debt or credit promptly at the time it occurs. And never allow a package to be taken from the office without it being receipted for on the receipt book. The only exception is when you may have a running account with such men as Guthrie, Chess, or [John M.] Brownfield. I should not be surprised if you get a horse that you will have to have the stable floor repaired. You will have to examine it and see what will be necessary.

Henry Matlock will probably return home about the 1st of next month and thinks he will probably remain there. And I think will finally take the old office at the Depot. But you will say nothing about that to anyone for the present as the young man who is now there may not like it. But he will be provided for. Henry thinks that as his expenses here are so much larger than they would be at South Bend that he in the end can do nearly as well at South Bend as to remain here.

Your Uncle David Heaton left here for New York on Saturday on his way to Beaufort, North Carolina as a special agent of the Treasury Department. His salary is $6 per day and mileage at 10 cents per mile. He has improved in health very much and seems to be much encouraged as to his final recovery.

Tell Jimmy Davis I will write him in reply to his interesting letter in a few days. Mary wrote to Lib and little Mary yesterday. The weather is now very pleasant—bright sunshine and cool nights. Your Mother & Mary was just in the office. Have gone out for a walk in the city. Your Mother is anxiously looking for an answer to her last letter to you. It worries her very much because she has not got it. You should always be very prompt in answering her letters. The oftener you write her the better she feels.

I wrote Mr. Lindsey about the application of the money from Mr. Clark. I am very much pleased that matter is so nearly closed up and that Lib and the family has a home that no one can disturb.

William T. Bartlett was to leave for home or rather for Philadelphia last evening. I think he intends to be home the last of this week. James Sample was quite unwell on Sunday. Your Mother went to see him soon as she heard of it but he was better and up about the room & says he will be out again in a day or two. James, Henry, and William was all at our house for dinner on Saturday. Had a pleasant time & we all wished you was there also.

Your Father, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 37

Washington
June 13th 1863

Dear Charles,

Your letter to your Mother, finished on Wednesday, was received yesterday, Friday, at noon—a pretty quick trip. You think it doubtful whether Elizabeth will come unless she brings Tommy with her. We would also be pleased to have Tommy come and not only him but the balance of the children and Mr. Davis also. But we know this cannot be and it is of no use to think about it. Since my last letter to you, I wrote Elizabeth on the subject suggesting how she might have her children cared for during her absence. I presume that letter has been received and that you have seen it. Now I and your Mother & Mary are very anxious to have Elizabeth come with you. I know it will do her good to take such a trip, and during the balance of her life, another such opportunity may not present itself, and I am certain if she should bring Tommy, or any of the children, it would in a great measure destroy her enjoyment of the trip. The weather is war and it would worry her out, taking care of him, and her enjoying the trip would be entirely cut off.

I am sure that Mr. Davis would undertake to see that the children would be properly cared for and I verily believe Mr. Davis would be glad to have her come. I hope she will at once make her mind up to come. She need to do but little to get ready. If she needs to have a dress or two made that she has on hands, have her take it to a dress maker & have it made, and you pay for it. One trunk each is all you need. Neither of you should bring more than a change or two of clothing. When Elizabeth & yourself gets here, I want you both to be in a condition to see the sights about Washington. They are worth seeing, and neither of you may never have another chance to do so. And I shall feel greatly disappointed if she does not come. And if she does not come, I am sure she, as well as myself, will always regret it. I do not know what more to say about it. If I did, I would say it.

Now Elizabeth, just see if you can’t find some careful person to come and stay at your house and take care of the children during your absence. I think you ca and will do so. And until we hear to the contrary, I shall make my ind up that you are coming.

Henry Matlock was just in the office. He says he will be in South Bend on the evening of the 23rd or morning of the 24th inst., ready to come into the office and if you look sharp after your reports, you can put them in a condition so you can close them up on the 1st day of July and leave the same night for Washington. You can reach here then by Friday.

I will now give you directions about the route but in the first place, I want you to drop a line to Wm. Kline, Jr. and ask him to send you a pass for yourself from South Bend to Cleveland and back, & I have no doubt he will send it to you. Better do that now.

At South Bend you will have your trunks checked to Toledo. Just before you get to Toledo, the baggage man will come through the cars when you will check your baggage through to Baltimore. That will end your care of your trunks until you get to Baltimore. The fare for Elizabeth from South Bend to Toledo will be $5. A Toledo buy a through ticket for her to Baltimore. I think that will be $15.50. Where you pass runs out, you can buy a through ticket for yourself to Baltimore. Just before you get to Baltimore, the baggage man will come though the cars again and take up your checks & give you tickets which will take your baggage through the city to the Washington Depot which is, say a mile and a half. You will take an omnibus for the Washington Depot and there you will at once buy your tickets for Washington $1.50 each. Soon as you get your tickets, go to where they are checking baggage nearby, hunt up your trunks among the baggage and get checks for them for Washington. They will not give you checks until you not only show your Washington tickets but the tickets you have for your trunks, which you got just before you got to Baltimore. But in getting about in these crowds about depots or elsewhere, look out for pick pockets. They are numerous. Be on your guard & keep your watch chain out of sight. Don’t forget this. You will hang on to your Washington checks until you get through where I will meet you. But if it happens I do not meet you, you will go to the front of the depot and select a hack to bring you to my house. When you select the hack, you will give your checks to the driver and he will go and get your trunks while you wait at the hack. Then tell the driver to take you to No. 216 6th Street between M & N Streets.

You better keep this letter where you can examine it at any time along the road. At South Bend you better take a night car & rest all you can whether you can sleep or not. The next night you will be at Pittsburgh and there do as you like about a night car as you will have to leave that train at Harrisburg about 1 o’clock at night. But in all crowds and places, look out for pick pockets. Soon as Henry gets there, put him in the harness quick so he will understand the old ropes soon as possible. I have told him we would pay him just what Kline pays him at the Depot. Now put your business in the best shape you can & you & Elizabeth get yourselves ready to start. See Elizabeth at once & then answer for I want to know whether she is coming with you. Show her & Mr. Davis this letter. Our love to all. Also to Mr. and Mrs. Lowell.

Your Father, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 38

Washington D. C.
June 16th 1863

Dear Charles,

The excitement in this city on account of the Rebel raid into Pennsylvania now in progress is considerable, and no doubt it extends throughout the country. And at present there is no guessing what the end will be. But I do not believe they will get much farther than where they are now reported to be at Hagerstown and Martinsburg. But I do not believe they will succeed in taking Harrisburg as that state, New York, & Massachusetts are pushing forward troops to the scene of action with great rapidity and no doubt a very large force of troops on this moment at Harrisburg.

This raid may affect you & Lib getting here at the time we wanted you to be—about the first of July. But you will continue to make your arrangements to come. This raid will certainly blow over in a few days and it may make your time of starting a few days later, but get ready, and then you can govern your time of starting according to circumstances.

And no doubt also, there are a thousand rumors afloat about Washington being taken. Such rumors, you know are not new. But we have no fears on that subject. Our city is too well provided for and I don’t believe they will make any attempt to take it. Gen. Hooker is able to take care of Gen. Lee and keep him at proper distance.

Whenever I think there is any danger here, I will let you know. Just go ahead and get ready just the same as though nothing was going on. And then when the sign is right, you can start. All well.

Your Father, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 39

Washington
June 24th 1863

Dear Charles,

I think it very likely there is more alarm at Sound Bend and in the West generally about this rebel raid into Pennsylvania and Maryland and around this city than there is here, and it may make you and Elizabeth feel a little discouraged about starting for Washington. But we hope you will not let this stop you from coming. It is true the rebels are making quite a raid over into the edge of Pennsylvania and it seems they are working their way down toward Pittsburgh, but they will never get there. The rush to arms in that region is too great and the rebels will soon have to change their course. And they will find such a host of them after them cutting them to pieces on all sides, that they will be glad to make their way back again.

So far as Washington is concerned, we now apprehend no danger. Hooker is able for anything they can bring against us. But in consequence of this raid into Pennsylvania, no doubt all the railroads will be heavily employed carrying troops to different points and on that account might make it troublesome to get through via Pittsburgh. Therefore, it will be just as well for you to come by way of Buffalo, Elmira, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, but Henry Matlock is no doubt at home by this time and can give you the best route to come. The difference in the expense will be but little. And if they do not sell through tickets on this other route at Toledo or Cleveland, you can pay from point to point.

But what about the Draft at South Bend? When is that to be made? Have you seen Dr. Dayton about it? Will those that are enrolled be prevented from leaving home until the Draft is made or not? If not, perhaps you had better get your certificate or enrollment and carry with you. You can arrange withHenry—that if the Draft takes place while you are absent to telegraph you as to the result of the Draft the moment it takes place. Tell him to direct it to Room No. 17, General Land Office. I will write you again in a day or two but I want to be informed of the day you are to start and the route you expect to come.

We are all well and expect to go to the Capitol Grounds this afternoon to hear the fine music by the Marine Band which goes off there every Wednesday afternoon and at the President’s Grounds every Saturday afternoon. These are pleasant recreations where everybody goes to see and be seen Tell Elizabeth not to fail to come. She will find it one of the most pleasant trips of her life.

Love to all. Your Father, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 40

Washington
July 2nd 1863

Dear Charles,

This morning it loos as though the rebels are being driven back from their advanced positions and some severe fighting will no doubt soon follow. Our forces will press on the retreating rebels and will no doubt destroy if not the rebel army, a large portion of their ill gotten plunder. At all events, there is no danger of their making an attack either on Washington, Baltimore or Harrisburg, but the telegraph keeps you posted in these matters.

Before you receive this, you will no doubt have seen Mr. [Schuyler] Colfax as he wrote me he intended to be in South Bend about the 4th. I wrote him at South Bend and told him to inform you about the route you should take in coming here. I do not know the route via Buffalo & Philadelphia, never having traveled it. We want you and Elizabeth to start soon after you receive this as you can complete your arrangements. Write me at once soon as you set the day and tell Henry Matlock to telegraph me. Everything is becoming calmed down here and things are quiet as usual.

One thing I want to remind you of as you will come on that other route, the first point you come to where you can get a through ticket to Washington, not Baltimore, better get it, and at the same time have your baggage checked to Washington, not Baltimore. If you cannot do this until you get to Philadelphia, better wait till then. The object is to get through Baltimore without stopping as Martial Law now prevails there, though it may not by the time you get there. But if you get in a Washington car at Philadelphia, you will be alright, and just remain in the car as you come through Baltimore and no questions will be asked you.

But for fear of accidents, you better ask Mr. Colfax to give you a letter as to your loyalty, &c. It might be well to have it. I think the route will be via Cleveland, Dunkirk, Elmira, New York, to Philadelphia, and I think you can get through tickets either at Toledo or Cleveland or both. Did you ask Mr. Kline for that pass?

Now pitch in and come along soon as you can. Don’t let Elizabeth be frightened off by any exciting news for there is no danger here whatever. Our army is too strong & is being strengthened every day. Of course I would no tell you to come if I thought there was the least danger. She must not fail to come.

All well. Love to all. Your Father, — Charles M. Heaton

During the whole route, look out for pickpockets.


Letter 41

This letter was written by Lewis Humphreys to Charles M. Heaton.

Louisville, Kentucky
July 27th 1863

C. M. Heaton, Esqr.
My dear old friend,

About the 5th of this month, I wrote you and enclosed $5 to procure some photographs of myself & wife at Henry Ulke 1 on [278] Pennsylvania Avenue who took our pictures last winter when we were in Washington. I directed my letter to P. O. Box 507, Washington City (is that the right number?) I did it from memory. I expected a reply from you on my return to this place but found none today on my return here. I do not know but my letter was miscarried. Hence I drop you this note. I know that you all are very busy about these times. The prospected wedding of Miss Mary 2 & your recent trip with Mr. Colfax has engrossed most of your time. I came round by South Bend last week & saw Schuyler Colfax. I do pity him from my soul. He is so cast down by his recent great calamity. I endeavored to cheer him up all I could. I have no time to write any news. 3

244 F. Street, home of the Sanitary Commission in 1863 but previously the home of Presidents James Monroe and John Adams.

I have a brother-in-law by the name of James Robison —a private soldier in Co. F, 24th Michigan Vol. Infantry reported sick in one of the hospitals in Washington and he is reported to have typhoid fever. His wife lives at Lapeer, Lapeer county, Michigan, and is exceedingly anxious to hear from him. She is afraid he is dead as she had heard nothing from him for 6 weeks. Prior to that he wrote regularly 3 times a week. Could you find out anything about him? She does not know what hospital he is in. I think if you could go to the Sanitary Commission rooms at [Adams House] 244 F Street, Washington City, you would find a complete register of names of hospital patients. If you can find out, I would be glad. A line to his wife t the above place would be a great relief to her. James Robison, Private (I believe) Co. F, 24th Michigan Vol. Infantry. Col. Moore commanding. 4

Kind regards to all your family & yourself. Yours sincerely, — L[ewis] Humphreys

My box is 770, Louisville, Kentucky

1 Henry Ulke was a photographer and portrait painter from Prussia who came to the United States in 1852 with his brothers Julian and Lee. The brothers settled in Washington D. C., and took up residence as boarders in the Peterson Boarding House, just across the street from Ford’s Theatre and the very same house in which the assassinated President died. It is presumed that it Julian Ulke, Henry’s brother, that took the famous photo of the room in which Lincoln died on the morning of April 15th. Henry Ulke had a portrait studio at 278 Pennsylvania Avenue in 1862.

2 Charles’ daughter, Mary Althea Heaton (1835-1901) was married to David Haynes (1815-1902) in the District of Columbia on 3 August 1863. Mary was David’s fourth wife. His previous wives were Mary Blake (1825-1852), Julia Isabel Blake (1830-1859), and Mary Elizabeth Adams (18xx-1862). David was the son of Daniel Haynes and Sarah Smart of New Hampshire. He graduated from Brown University and came to Washington in 1861 to accept a position as a clerk in the Post Office Department. In the 1880 US Census, David & Mary Haynes and their daughter Mae were enumerated in the household of her father, Charles M. Heaton located at Grant Place between 9th and 10th Streets, G & H NW. After Charles’ death in 1899, David and Mary inherited the house at Grant Place NW and were enumerated there in 1900.

3 Evelyn Clark Colfax (1823-1863), the wife of Schuyler Colfax, died on 10 July 1863. She and Schuyler were married in Argyle, New York, in October 1844. The couple had no children.

4 The soldier was carried on the muster rolls as James Robertson (1825-1863). He enlisted on 6 August 1862 at Detroit, Michigan, to serve as a private in Co. F, 24th Michigan Infantry. He died of disease on 15 June 1863—nearly six week before this letter was written. In the 1860 US Census, James was enumerated in Marathon, Lapeer county, Michigan with his wife Eliza (Pearson) Robertson (age 38) and 3 year old daughter Ella. His occupation was given as merchant. According to the Pension records, James died of typhoid fever at Fitzhugh Crossing Hospital near Falmouth, Virginia. The couple were married on 18 June 1848 at Medina county, Ohio. The widow Eliza never remarried. She was admitted to the Michigan Insane Asylum in Kalamazoo on 2 June 1868 and died there on 22 August 1873.


Letter 42

Washington
August 17, 1863

Dear Charles,

Yours of the 13th inst. received. I thought you took the enclosed papers back with you. I think it best to enclose them to you and let you answer it from South Bend. You will explain in your letter the cause of delay and also hunt up the justices receipt for the money paid on the garnishee, and return all in the collection envelope if you still have it, billing it in the usual way. But as it has laid so long, you better mark it “D. H.”

Keep a copy of your letter as you may want to refer to it hereafter. I think you had better call on Justice Stanfield and find out just what the medicine sold for, what the costs amounted to, & whether any of the proceeds remain and what amount, &c., and report the result in your letter. Should there be a balance in the justice’s hands, let it lay until you get directions either from our agent or Mr. Dally what to do with it.

Your Mother is some better but not entirely well yet. Heard from Mary. All well and doing well. Your Father, — C. M. Heaton

P. S. Is Theo. Chaudonia in South Bend yet & has he maintained his integrity for sobriety? Don’t forget to tell me in your next.


Letter 43

Washington
September 24, 1863

Dear Charles,

Your Mother wrote you a day or two ago telling you that Mr. Haynes and his little boy was quite sick and I only take time now to say they are getting better. Mr. Haynes is now able to sit up part of the time and his little boy is quite well again.

I was just at the P. O. and got Elizabeth’s good long letter. It done me so much good to read it. She write a most excellent letter. Oh how I wish I was able to put her in a position that she would not have to work so hard but this I cannot do. Indeed, I would be glad if we was all better off but we must be content with our lot and be industrious and save all we can and prepare for a rainy day.

We are glad you are going to put up some peaches for us. They are so high here we cannot attempt it. Put up all you can find time to do.

I fear, however, that we will fail in getting the house we expected and the laws here, being all in favor of the tenant, it is doubtful whether they could be put out by operation of law. I shall try for another house, but it is hard to tell what the result will be.

C. W. Price did not remain here but a few days. I only got to see him about five minutes. He is now at Harrisburg, Pa., at Camp Depot. Tell Mr. Farnam the letter sent to him with a note on it by him to be delivered immediately arrived here today & immediately forwarded it to Mr. Price at Harrisburg. He will receive it tomorrow.

Your Mother, Mary & myself are well. The weather is cool and pleasant. Love to all. Your Father, — C. M. Heaton


Letter 44

Washington
November 23, 1863

Dear Charles,

Your letter to your Mother, I have forgotten its date, and have not got it before me, was received Saturday. She will also answer it today I think.

I would not say anything more to Mr. Lowell about boarding one way or the other. My opinion is with yours, that when your Mother gets back, and you can get the house, you better be alone—board no one. My opinion is your Mother will not be there before the first of February. In the first place she will go to New Jersey in about two weeks or so from now, perhaps she will stay until Congress organizes. I want her to be present to see Mr. [Schuyler] Colfax elected Speaker [of the House of Representatives]—and there is no mistake he will be elected Speaker, the Chicago Tribune to the contrary notwithstanding. But she will go soon after hat takes place.

Then about Christmas, I expect to go there myself and spend say ten days. She will remain and finish out her visit among her old friends and relations and get back here about the middle or latter part of January & then her and Mary will start for South Bend. This is the program according to my understanding. I should be glad if Mr. Lowell could give up the house at least by the first of February and at any time before if he can, but we must not be arbitrary with Mr. Lowell for he has been a good friend to you and I greatly respect him for it. And I have no doubt he will give us the house soon as he can. He may find a place somewhere about town that would suit him to board for a time should he not be able to get a house by first of February. If the cow does not pay her way by giving milk, I think you better provide the food for her and take care of her, but she that she is well taken care of.

On Saturday we sent home our things by Express. I finally thought it would be the safest way. I paid the freight on the 4 bales to Elmira, New York $8.25 and wrote to the agent at Elmira to ship them through free from there. If he does not, I want you to mark all over $4 from Elmira over charged. In fact, I think it better all of it be marked over charged unless they come through free, for I have no doubt Mr. Kip would allow it had I taken the time to write him but I did not think of it in time.

I hope you have had no more breaking in the office. Have you missed anything yet? I would not leave a large amount of money in the office over night. Better take it to the bank if it cannot be delivered before you leave the office. It would be a horrid affair to have the office and safe robbed.

Do you make your reports twice a month now? And do you keep up the practice of giving notice to owners of packages on hand, soon after they are received? I would not fail to do that, and add the postage to the charges. It is the only safe way to give satisfaction and never fail to take a receipt when the package goes out. And always be prompt with collections & their return. By the way, is that Liston Collection entirely settled up? And how was it finally wound up?

Did you receive my note about our insurance on our house and have it renewed?

I see in the last Register a notice reflecting on Matt France loyalty. I think that notice is unjust. Mr. Skinner who gave the information must be mistaken. I have written a letter for the Register by this mail correcting it and giving an extract from a letter I recently had from Matt which I think will place the matter right. I never like to see an old friend improperly attacked without defending him. I believe Matt is as loyal as any man in Kansas—in fat he is a perfect “Radical.”

I am very proud of that nice pipe you sent me & the tobacco. I like it very much. What does such a stem cost?

Do you know whether E. V. Clark, Holloway, & Dr. Hendricks are coming here next week to be present at the opening of Congress? I hope they will tell them to come on for Schuyler will surely be elected & we expect to have a grand time.

When you answer this letter you will have to read it over, or you will forget half he questions I asked.

I have been unusually busy for a month past or I should have written to Lib before now. Those nice apples she sent by Mr. Saunders was much better than any we can get here, and here such apples sell for 5 cents each.

In one of your letters you spoke of hearing that James Samples’ health was very poor. James is well as ever and getting along first rate. Some time ago he had a little cold but he got over that but with it all, he never lost a day at the office.

But I must be off for dinner. Our love to Lib and the children. Your father, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 45

Washington D. C.
December 14th, 1863

Dear Charles,

We were all glad to get your letter of 10th inst. It was the first we heard from the shirts and other things we sent you. The charges on those bales are horrid. You should cut it down at least one half. They ship from Chicago to New York for $4 per 100 lbs. and surely from Sound Bend to Elmira ought not to be over half that amount—especially for an agent.

I have no doubt the increase of business makes the work quite heavy for you. I want you to give me the footings of your statements to the months of November for 1861, 1862, and 1863. I want to see the regular increase. And I will write to Mr. Kip and try to get your salary raised. I think it can be done—at least I will try it. How often does Mr. Cone call to see you and have you shown him how the business has increased? Should he call soon, bring it to his notice.

When I go to New York, I will call and see Mr. Lowell. Your Mother expected to start for New Jersey in the morning but Frank Heaton’s wife is about to be sick [give birth] and your Mother has gone to see her and probably will not get off for a day or two.

You must write her more frequently. She gets very uneasy if she don’t get a letter at least every week.

Glad to hear Mr. Lowell has a prospect to get a house. I suppose the girl he has will go with them. Your Mother wants you to look out for a good girl—perhaps she could get Lucy for a few weeks. See her.

Mary wrote to Lib yesterday. I cannot give you the precise time when your Mother and Mary will be home. I think, however, it will be about the 1st of February. It may be a few days sooner. It depends altogether about how long she will prolong her visit to New Jersey.

When she starts for New Jersey, I will write you and when you write here there, you will direct to Bloomfield, care of Ruth Stevens.

Love to all. Your Father, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 46

Washington
December 17th 1863

Dear Wife [at Bloomfield, New Jersey],

It rains this morning and everything looks gloomy as you know it does when it rains. We are very glad you had a pleasant day for your trip on yesterday. Hope you enjoyed it and that you arrived safely and found all well. We want the particulars of your trip and whether you found anyone at the depot to receive you, and whether my telegram was received, &c.

Last night was a lonesome night. In fact, we all felt that someone was missing, but we weathered it through and this morning we were at the table as usual for our rations. At dinner yesterday we found a new boarder. He occupies the back parlor room. I forget his name now, but he is from Park County, Indiana, and is about such a looking man as Mr. Stevens was.

About eleven o’clock yesterday after you left, I got an answer from m telegram to Charles saying that Mr. Sample was much better. And soon after I got a line from James Sample written at Baltimore saying that he had lost $50 you handed him in the morning. For a time this very nearly made me sick. I felt horrid over it. I remember on the way to the depit he said he would get out some money & have it ready to buy his ticket to Baltimore & I then admonished him o be careful how he exposed his money in [public]. I know he got his money ready although I did not see it, for you know I took his carpet bag to carry and as he was getting out his miney, he fell back a little. And he thinks he must have lost it at that time. Poor boy—I pity him. I advertised it in the “Star” but I have no hopes of ever hearing from it again. I here send you his letter and the telegram from Charles.

I shall write to Charles today to write you at Bloomfield and will send you any letters we may receive from him.

Now I hope you will have a good visit but you will of course find great changes in everything since you left that country over thirty years ago. You will find that even the distances from place to place will seem shorter to you, and the farms and houses where you used to frequent will seem to be much smaller and no doubt many things will be so changed that it may cause you to feel sad. But you must overcome all that and turn everything into cheerfulness you possibly can, and be determined that you will have a good joyful visit everywhere.

From my recollection of your sister Ruth, I believe she will aid you in this, and that you will aid each other, I have no doubt. And Levi and Wesley will be a full team in that respect. And I do hope you will all have a good time generally. And when I get there, I will throw in my might & hope we may all have a pleasant and happy time together.

It was expected that Mr. Matthews & daughter would arrive last night but I have not heard whether they got here or not. I called at the National [Hotel] last night to see Schuyler [Colfax] but he was not in and I did not see him. I suppose very likely he had gone up to Mr. Stailey’s to meet his Mother and sister.

Everything is just as it was when you left. Have said nothing to Mr. Cox yet about board or change of room, but when I leave for New Jersey, I will settle up in full so that when I come back we will begin entirely new.

We all join in love to sister Ruth and all the family to Bro. Levi and family, Wesley & family. And as ever your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 47

Washington
December 19th 1863

Dear Wife (at Bloomfield, New Jersey)

We received yours of yesterday this morning. Glad to hear you arrived safely and found all well. You arrived at Newark at least two hours sooner than we expected and glad to hear that Bro. Levi met you at the Depot. Did he know you “at first sight?”

I wrote you a day or two since. No doubt you have received it ere this. Since I wrote, have not had any further news from Sound Bend but expect a letter tonight or tomorrow, When it comes, will send it to you. We are getting along about the same as when you was here, only we all feel lonesome enough. Night before last I went to Frank [Heaton]’s to see the baby [Edith] but it was asleep and did not wake before I left. Hatty is getting along quite well and from what I could see I think she has a very good nurse, and you know I am something of a judge in such matters.

While there I called on Mr. Matthews & Clary. Found Mr. [Schuyler] Colfax there. He gave them some ideas on etiquette which was very proper. They go into their new abode on the 1st of January. Mrs. Matthews seems to feel very nicely over her new position and well she may for it is a proud one. Clary seems quiet as you know it is her nature to be and I sincerely hope they will both succeed in filling their places satisfactorily to themselves at least.

Mr. Stailey and family are well and all send love to you. Mr. and Mrs. Ames are also well and so is Polly. Mary intends to call on Mrs. Matthews & Clary on Monday. Yesterday it rained here nearly all day and the streets were very muddy, but last night it cleared off and was cold—the mud frozen this morning—and today bids fair to be quite pleasant.

I hope you will have a grand good time in New Jersey and New York and I believe no doubt you will. We hear that we will be paid off the day before Christmas. If so, I can come on most any time after that. What time do you think I had better come and where will you be on Christmas day? Soon as you lay out your visits, let me know how you have arranged them. When do you go to New York? Perhaps you better wait and not go to New York until I come for I shall want to spend a day or two in New York at least. You know I have some business to look after there.

Mary, I think, will also write you today. Mr. Haynes’ cold is better and is as well as usual. We expect his daughter Mary tonight. She is to occupy the room were James Sample was, and Walter goes into the little room over the hall on the same floor. Perhaps Anny will lodge with her, but I don’t know certain.

I shall send you the Chronicle occasionally but I don’t know whether you will find time to read them.

Do you think you would have known sister Ruth and would she have known you? Thirty years has no doubt made a great change in you both. Still I have no doubt your meeting was a joyful one and I sincerely hope the weather will be favorable for you both to plod over your old stamping grounds together. It seems to me I can see you pointing out a spot here and a spot there where when you were girls you used to romp over the green grass on the side hills and near the old spring on wash days where you used to have good times in general. But those old spots you will find greatly changed and some of the it will take a stretch of the imagination even to recognize—and this may make you feel sad. But you must not indulge in sad feelings for these changes are natural. Everything is changing and we must look upon such things as a matter of course, and we may even wonder if you should ever recognize any of the old land marks. But make the best of it all and try to enjoy yourselves the very best you can.

Schuyler Colfax engraving on front page of Harper’s Weekly Magazine, 26 December 1863—“a very good likeness.”

Write as often as you can. We are all well. Our love to Ruth and all the friends. Will write you soon again. Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton

Find “Harper’s Weekly” of December 26th —No. 365. See a very good likeness of Mr. Colfax. Those in the other pictorials are not good but in Harper’s Weekly it is very good.

Frank had a letter from Bro. David. They have left Beaufort and now live in Newbern, N. C. They are all well and say they have a much better house to live in than they had at Beaufort.


Letter 48

Washington
December 20th 1863

Dear Charles,

Enclosed I send you a letter for Lib with $5 in it. I have left it open so that you may read it. Give it to her by herself. The five dollars is for her to buy the children some little Christmas presents.

In a former letter you say you had $106 for Mary. Now if you can lend this to some safe man until the 1st day, or say the 10th day of October next, so as to make ten dollars on it, you can do so. Perhaps Esqr. William Miller or some such man would like to have it. Let them give their note for $106 without interest and at the same time give you ten dollars. But have it well secured with personal security, and then loan the ten dollars if you can so as to make something out of it if you can. Make the note payable to “Mary A. H. Haynes, wife of David Haynes,” but don’t let it run later than the 10th of October next for about that time the other note of hers will be due, and then she may want to use it. But be sure and get it into some good hands such as can command money for she will want it at that time and don’t forget to have he proper amount of stamps on it. I do not recollect what the amount of stamp should be but you can find out.

Hope you wil write to Mother quite often for you know how anxious she is to hear from you. Keep her posted about the house matters. Had you not better secure 8 or 10 cords good dry wood so as to have it ready? Make them cord it up in the wood yard. Mary and all well.

Your Father, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 49

Washington
December 23rd 1863

Dear wife [at Bloomfield, New Jersey],

I expect to breakfast with Levi Clark in Newark [N, J.] on Friday morning. Have written him to that effect. Shall try and find you during the day. Have had nothing from South Bend since I last wrote you except a dispatch from Charles that Mrs. Sample is still on the mend, but I doubt whether James comes back as he telegraphed for me to send home his trunk which I send today.

Mr. [Schuyler] Colfax starts for South Bend tonight as Congress has adjourned over the holidays. Mary & Mr. Hanes are well. So is Mary & Daisy. Nothing new. All send love.

Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton

If you have made any arrangements for Christmas visits, don’t let my coming break them up or change them, Go ahead and carry them out. I will find you somewhere.

[in pencil]

In Post Office. I have just got your letter. I find I have to start sooner than I should for the reason that will affect my absence next fall to be away from here long after 1st January in the same year.

1861-64 Letters of Charles M. Heaton

We don’t know what Charles M. Heaton looked like but this man appears to be an older brother to David Heaton. In South Bend, Hoosiers referred to him as “Squire Heaton” in later years. (Will Griffing Collection)

This collection of incredible letters were written by Charles M. Heaton (1805-1899), the son of James Heaton (1779-1841) and Mary Morrell (1782-1871). Charles was married to Ann Crane (1810-1899), a milliner, in June 1833.

Obituaries inform us that Charles was born and raised in Middleton (near Cincinnati), Ohio. He was married there but in a few years was left a widower with two small children. He relocated to Lafayette, Indiana, about 1830 and stayed there until 1833 when he came to South Bend, Indiana, when the population was less than 200. “He was a man of good education with fine business ability, which combined with a genial nature, energy and honesty of purpose made him a very useful man in the community.” Applying the skills of a surveyor which he had learned from his father—a civil engineer by trade, Charles surveyed the land for South Bend’s early settlers and mapped out the town lots. His prominence and reputation for honesty and fairness enabled him to be elected a justice of the peace in the burgeoning city. He also served as the town’s first express agent and telegraph operator.

In politics, Charles was a member of the Whig Party. He gave his first vote for President in 1828 to Henry Clay and campaigned hard for “Old Tip” in 1840. When the Republican Party emerged from the wreckage of the Whig Party, he leaned hard in that direction and threw his support behind fellow South Bend editor, journalist, and politician Schuyler Colfax who rewarded him with a good position in the government land office at Washington in 1860 where he remained for the next twenty years.

Senator David Heaton (1823-1870), much younger brother of Charles M. Heaton

Charles’ brother, David Heaton (1823-1870) was a practicing attorney when elected to his first public office, the Ohio State Senate (1855). Two years later he moved to Minnesota and was a State Senator there for six terms (1858 to 1863). The Civil War changed the course of his career. In 1863 Heaton was named a special agent of the Treasury Department and dispatched to the Union-occupied city of New Bern in Confederate North Carolina; he chose to remain there after the war, turning down a promotion in the US Treasury to do so. A staunch loyalist associated with the Union League, he was a leader of the state’s derisively called “carpetbagger” element, though his name was not associated with the corruption rampant among his more unscrupulous colleagues. He was a member of the North Carolina Constitutional Convention in 1867, after which he emerged as the Republican frontrunner for the state’s return to representation in the US Congress. Heaton was elected to the Fortieth and Forty-First Congresses, representing North Carolina’s 2nd District, and served from July 1868 until his death in office. He was buried in New Bern.

Charles M. Heaton’s Civil War Era Letters are all published on Spared & Shared 23 on three separate pages.

1861-62 Letters (posted below)

Letters 1 through 30

1863 Letters

Letters 31 through 49

1864 Letters

Letters 50 through 95


1861-62 Letters

Letter 1

Washington
December 12, 1861

Dear Wife,

I did not feel very well today. My head has ached some and somehow have felt very dull today and had concluded I would not write tonight, but after reading some and sitting before the fire toasting my feet before going to bed, now quarter past nine o’clock, I got to thinking about home and of the many miles that are between us and it seemed as though my desire for sleep had all vanished and that before I laid myself down to rest, I must write a letter home. I drew out my table drawer, got out my paper and am now at it.

For two or three days past the weather has been very heavy though but little rain has fallen. It rained, however, on Thursday night and on Friday morning a heavy fog rested upon the city. The fog continued all day on Friday & Friday night & all day Saturday. I never witnessed such a fog in all my life. Yesterday it was so dense you could not see the houses across the street, but last night it went off & today has been quite pleasant. But the streets and crossings are very muddy—worse than I ever have seen them since my arrival in this city.

I received Mary’s letter of 31st December [November], also one from Charles of 2nd inst., which I answered and directed to him. I also received another note from Charles of 7th inst. acknowledging the receipt of the $125 I sent you by Express, and that Mr. Burroughs was fully paid off. I was greatly rejoiced to know that we had that debt entirely paid and that too before the interest amounted to but little.

There is now quite an excitement here among the clerks. It is said that [John] Sherman of Ohio has introduced a Bill, among other things, if it passes, will reduce all our salaries 33 percent. If this should pass it will drive away many of the most meritorious clerks to resigns and leave the city for they cannot live here & pay house rent if their salaries should be so much reduced. We are all active in seeing our members and trying to convince them that it will be suicidal to us to pass the bill. I do not know what they may do but I doubt whether it can be passed. I have not seen Mr. [Schuyler] Colfax since it was introduced but Esqr. Matthews told me last night that he was opposed to it. I pitched into Mitchell, the member of the Elkhart District, and he thought it could not be passed. A friend of mine–Mr. Stailey, a clerk from Rochester, Indiana—proposes that if it passes that the clerks get up a large pewter cased watch and have a large Jackass engraved on it & presented to Mr. Sherman & that he will make the presentation speech. You will hear of some tall times if it passes.

It is hard to tell what our government is coming to. The army does not move forward and so far as the public can see, no preparations are being made to move. And it is yet believed by many that we will soon be in a war with England and much anxiety is manifest to hear the news from England, whatever the news may be, will have much to do about the movement of our troops. If England should accept the surrender of Mason & Slidell as satisfactory and consequently put a stop to any immediate prospect of a war with England, it will of itself crush out the prospects of our Southern rebels & a sudden forward movement may then be made by our troops & they may be easily routed while in despair of being favored by England. But if England should still be determined to make war upon us, they will also acknowledge the Southern Confederacy & we will then have them both to fight and there is no telling what the result may be. Even though we may succeed in the end, our government will be totally bankrupt & the people generally will see hard times. A few days more, however, will settle this English question & my opinion is that it will be all right.

I think it would be advisable for you, as early as you can, to secure a few bolts of muslin for shorts and other things at the best price you can, though the prices are now higher than they have been, yet it will be much higher. I should not be surprised if shirting such as could be bough six months or a year ago at a shilling a yard will be before a year two shillings per yard, and in the same proportion with all other cotton goods. Better have an eye on this.

Mary wanted to know something about the style of hat I mentioned in one of my letters. I do not know how to describe it but I think they are black velvet with rolling rims and ostrich feathers around both sides. Those that I noticed I thought looked very rich and nice. When our money matters get all right, I will see what I can do in that line. Next month I cannot send so much as usual having sent $125 last time. I kept nothing back to pay board with. I always like to have my board paid up at the end of every month & enough in my pocket to pay for the ensuing month for fear of accidents. After that is provided for, I will send you all the balance as usual.

A few days ago I called at J. D. Defrees. Mrs. Defrees & Julia went their love to Mary and express great anxiety for Mary to make a visit here. But after we hear from England, I will say more about the visit and I also want to know the fate of Sherman’s Bill before Congress.

Whenever you can spare the money, I would like to have you see Alfred Hale at the Printing Office & have him get me my I.O.O.F. card for the ensuing year as my card I have has run out & I can’t visit the Lodge room until I get a new one. It will cost for the Lodge card $5.45 and there may be in addition a funeral tax of 50 cents as I see Bro. [Daniel] Haight 1 is dead. The Encampment Card I can wait a little longer for that but I want them both soon as I can get them. If I should be sick here, they would be a benefit to me, and besides I would be entitled to weekly benefits from my Lodge. I hope however to have better luck that to get sick.

I hear that there is much sickness in the city though I have not seen it, yet it is said the small pox, typhoid fever, and measles are very prevalent in the city. I am very cautious not to expose myself for I should feel miserable to be sick so far from home. When you write, tell me how Mother stands the winter. Does her usual health keep up pretty well? I have no doubt she is much better off than she could have been anywhere else. How is Lib’s 2 children? Have they got over the measles? Was they pleased with those things I sent? My love to Mother, Lib & her children, to Mary & Charles, and the largest share for you.

Your husband, — Charles M. Heaton

I here send $5. I want you to hand this Mr. Barrett on balance I owe him on my watch. I will send him balance before long. I saved this out of my expenses for this month. I have just $2.25 left. Guess I can get along. Tell Charles to charge it to Barrett on his account in my book.

1 Daniel F. Haight (1814-1861) died at South Bend on 9 December 1861.

2 Here and throughout the letters are numerous references to “Lib” who was Elizabeth (Heaton) Davis (1827-1911), a daughter of Charles M. Heaton by his first marriage. “Lib” was married in 1851 to James Davis (1812-1883), a native of Pennsylvania who studied law in Pittsfield, Illinois, when he was 21 while working as the clerk of the Circuit Court. He was admitted to the bar in 1836 and practiced law until 1876 when he accepted a position at the U. S. Treasury Department in Chicago. James and Elizabeth (Heaton) Davis had three boys—James (b. 1852(, Charles (b. 1857), and Thomas (b. 1859). [History of St. Joseph county, Indiana, 1880]


Letter 2

Washington D. C.
July 8th 1862

Dear Wife,

I did not write you on Sunday last, for reason first, that Sunday was one of the warmest days of the season, and it was all I could do to sit in the shade and fan myself, and not only this, but for more than ten days past I had been very much troubled with diarrhea, and a good part of the time quite unwell. In my letter by Express I wrote you how I come to choose my boarding place a week ago last Monday. When I left W. Stokes’ house that morning, I determined I would not return & packed up my things accordingly, and having no place to go, I went to where Frank [Heaton] 1 was boarding & they not having any vacant rooms, I engaged temporary boarding at $3 per week and slept with Frank in the room where he had his things stowed away. I remained there just one week before I found a place to board.

I am now at Mr. [James] Mankin’s, 2 No. 398 on 9th Street, about 2.5 squares from the office. This is much more convenient on account of the distance from the office than any place I have had, and the eating there is better than any I have had since I have been in Washington. They have, I think, about 8 or 9 boarders, mostly from the southern part of Indiana. One, however, is a Presbyterian Minister, a chaplain to one of the hospitals in Alexandria. His name is Ulmsted from New Jersey. Mr. & Mrs. Mankin are both members of the M. E. Church. The house is a framed house three stories high and looks a little ancient. It has fine large sycamore shade trees in front. The furniture about the house is quite ancient also, and I think some of it might be kept in better order. They have a piano in the parlor. I do not know who plays on it yet but I wish Mary was here to shake its dry bones a little. Mrs. Mankin attends to the cooking herself—has a black woman to help her. They have a fair variety on the table and comes on in good order & very well cooked, and altogether I think I shall like it pretty well. I pay $20 per month & furnish my own lights. They have no gas about the house. I have a good lamp of my own & therefore did not care but little about it.

And another reason why I did not write on Sunday is, I had no letter to answer; have had no letter from home for nearly two weeks, and am getting a little uneasy for fear some of you are sick. If any of you get sick, you must not keep me in suspense by not writing but let me know it at once, and in the case of sickness, must hear the oftener, if only three lines at a time. I hope to get a letter by the next mail.

From the papers you have no doubt learned of the battle before Richmond. It lasted for about five days and various opinions exist as to the result, but no doubt McClellan had the best of it. Our loss, however, in killed, wounded, and missing is not less than twenty-five thousand & the rebel loss is at least fifty thousand. It was a terrible battle. The wounded have been sent to the various hospitals at New York, Philadelphia, Washington, and other places where they could be taken by water. Four or five vessels loaded with them have arrived here. Nearly all the churches in the city have been converted into hospitals, two of them close by where I board—one of them within fifty steps of the house. It is a terrible sight to see the wounded in every form possible to think of, and some of them dying daily at every hospital. And the surgeons are all the time at work amputating arms or legs. Oh! it is dreadful to hear the moans of the poor sufferers. But everything is done for them that can be done. These large churches are airy & everything is kept neat and clean. And every man has a mattress bed on a bedstead alone—no two together.

Gen. Lew Wallace of Crawfordsville, Indiana

Our committees are constantly at work looking out [for] the Indianians and furnishing them with every comfort they want. Frank Heaton is devoting himself to it manfully. I am on the Executive Committee as you have seen from the papers I sent you. And I see they have published it in last week’s Register. We intend to see that all our Indiana soldiers in the hospitals in and about this city shall be provided for. I have paid out eight dollars for their benefit & if necessary, will do more. There is now between eight and ten thousand wounded soldiers in the hospitals in & about this city. And all this suffering has been brought about on account of slavery. Slavery is the prime cause of it all. You read the speech of Mr. [Thaddeus] Stevens of Pennsylvania in the Globe of the 7th inst. He speaks my mind exactly about arming the slaves of the South to fight these infernal rebels—and before this war is over, this course must and will be adopted.

I am scratching this off in a great hurry in the office. The vest you sent me fit me to a T—a very nice one indeed. I think I will have to buy me a think coat & a hat. General Lew Wallace is here & is to be serenaded tonight, & will likely have a speech from him. My being so unsettled for a few days & not being well, have not got those pictures yet though I suppose they are ready. I may go and see this evening.

I seen James Sample yesterday evening. He is well & seems well pleased with his place. He has not got a permanent boarding place yet & where I board is too far off for him. My health is now very good considering the hot weather. For three days past the mercury stood at 92 to 95 in the shade—pretty hot, ain’t it? I hope to hear all is well at home. Love to all, all, all. Your husband, — C. M. Heaton

Frank M. Heaton in later years

1 Frank Miller Heaton (1834-1908) was a nephew of Charles’. He was the son of Charles’ brother James Heaton (1808-1882) and Sarah Castor (1810-1895) of Crawfordsville, Indiana. Frank was also employed as a clerk in the Land Office at Washington, beginning in 1860. He remained in that position until 1888 when he resigned to open a law office specializing in land claims. He was married to Harriet (“Hattie”) E. Bowen (1837-1869) and their first child, Edith L. Heaton was born in December 1863 (her birth is mentioned in Letter 46). The 1900 Census record erroneously gives Edith’s birth as December 1864. After his first wife died in 1869, Frank married again to Mabel Berthrong. Frank was killed instantly when he was struck by an automobile after stepping out of a street car in Chevy Chase, Maryland, on 30 October 1908.

2 The District of Columbia 1862 City Directory lists James Mankin, grocer, at the 398 9th west H (ditto, home). In the June 1860 US Census, James (age 58) and his wife Deborah D. (age 42) are enumerated (both natives of Maryland), with their children Deborah C. (age 19), James (age 18), Mary E. D. (age 15), Miriam (age 5), and Henry D. (age 2). At that time their boarders were A. Caldwell Singleton, a 22 year-old clerk in the G. P. Dept.; Sidney B. Deitzer, (age 20); Ellen Powell, a 35 year-old servant from Ireland; and Frank Powell (age 21). In the 1865 City Directory, James Mankin was still listed with his boarding house at 398 9th West.


Letter 3

Washington
July 20th 1862

Dear Wife,

No doubt you think it a long time between letters this time, but by the time you get through reading this letter, you will know that the apparent neglect was not intentional. For some time past, as I have before written you, I have been much troubled with diarrhea, and especially during the last week. Notwithstanding, however, I have been able to fill my place at the office regularly. Mr. [Schuyler] Colfax left for home on Thursday evening and I intended to have met him at the depot and seen him off, but that day I was particularly feeble and was not able to do it. And in addition to this an additional cause of excitement and warm blood occurred at my boarding house that day, and it was just at the time I should have gone to the depot if I could.

In the forenoon of that day, a Negro man was taken from my boarding house—the house of James Mankin 1—an account of which I sent you in the Daily Republican. I marked it so that you would understand as much of it as was true. Hope you have received it. I knew nothing of the matter until I came to the dinner table at four o’clock. Some of the boarders became much excited over it—especially a W. Ulmsted, a Presbyterian Minister. The act was denounced as an outrage in the warmest manner, but the Land Lady, Mrs. Mankin, was particularly severe in her remarks in justifying the act, although the men that took off the Negro was not officers of any kind & had no writ of any kind, and according to Mrs. Mankin’s own story, the Negro man was a free man and had been raised in this city as stated in the paper (cut out that article & put it with this letter so that it will always explain itself) and this excitement, together with my being very feeble in body, prevented me going to the depot to see Mr. Colfax off. I want you to see him & let him read this letter—or at least tell him why I was not there. And tell him also that this morning I received the letter he returned to me from Elmira.

Daily Republican, July 18, 1862

The following article was published in the Daily National Republican on 18 July 1862:

“Kidnappers at their Inhuman Business Again—An Outrageous Case.

Yesterday morning between 9 and 10 o’clock, two men drove to the boarding house of James Mankin, No. 389 Ninth Street, near I, and enquired for a colored man named Jim, who, at the time, was at the market, The landlady invited the men into the parlor, and when Jim returned, they seized him. He cried ‘murder’ lustily, whereupon they gagged him, dragged him out of the house and thrust him into the carriage, when he threw himself out on the other side. They then picked him up and ordered him ot step in. This he refused to do, whereupon they pushed him in and drove down Ninth street towards the river. Mr. Mankin was not at home at the time of the outrage, but the family made no resistance. The carriage was a dark colored barouche but was closed at the time—white horses, driven by a white man with drab or gray clothing, side whiskers.

The colored man says he was born free in this District and was raised by a colored woman named Smith. He was always known as good, orderly, and trusty servant. His color is pure black…

Quite a crowd had collected by this time, but the thing was managed so quickly there was no time to rescue the man. This man has worked for Mankin for several days, waiting on tables, &c.

Another case of the same character was reported to us yesterday. A contraband girl was taken from the residence of Mr. Fowler, No. 476 Seventh Street, at about ten o’clock in the forenoon, a few days since, in a manner similar to the above…

We are told that these outrages are occurring daily. How long shall our city be disgraced by such scenes? Unless the authorities take vigorous measures to put a stop to such proceedings, we fear that there will be some serious disturbance in our streets, for there are those here who cannot patiently stand by and see the capitol of the nation polluted by these thieves of human flesh and blood. Let the rascals be ferreted out and punished for their crime as its enormity deserves..”

On the same day, the Evening Star reported:

“In this morning’s Republican appears a local article headed, ‘Kidnappers…’ in which the grossest injustice is done to an eminently worthy and respectable family….The facts of the case are these. Yesterday morning two men drove to the residence of James Mankin, Esq., and inquired for a colored man named Jim, who was in the service of Mr. Mankin. They were informed that Jim was absent at the market with Mr. Mankin, but would return in a few minutes. The men waited until the negro returned, when they arrested him with a writ issued for that purpose by one of the commissioners lately appointed by the Circuit Court….Mr. Mankin did not return to his house with the negro, but went directly from the market to the criminal court where he was engaged as a juror.”

Well, the next morning, Friday, at half hour before breakfast, the morning papers were left at the house and behold, an account of the negro scrape was published. It was first discovered by the daughter of Mrs. Mankin, a stout, large girl. I was sitting in the parlor with this minister & another boarder, Capt. Latimore, when the girl came running into the hall asking for her mother, [and] found her just ascending the stairs. The daughter called to her to stop—that she had something to read to her, and she read it out so loud that we could hear that it was about the scrape the day before. But about this time, Mr. Ulmsted had gone to his room, Just then Mr. Mankin came in and was much out of humor and denounced the publication as false & said that he believed Mr. Ulmsted was the author of it & that he intended to go to the printing office & demand the author, and the daughter & mother were very worthy and free to denounce the author as a scoundrel & liar. The secesh blood began to show itself strong. They left, however—the daughter to her room and the mother to finish getting breakfast.

By this time Mr. Ulmsted had returned to the parlor & soon after Mrs. Mankin commenced singing & seemed to put on an extra effort to sing loud. Some of the boarders said, to listen, that it was a secesh song. We all listened. I could not hear distinctly but they all said it was a full-blooded secesh song & we all then determined to leave the house soon as we could find other places.

Well breakfast was announced & we all went in. The conversation at the table was exciting & pointed on both sides between the boarders & Mrs. Mankin. Mr. Mankin had not yet made his appearance and just as we were getting through breakfast, a Mr. [John D.] Bartlett—the son-in-law of Mr. and Mrs. Mankin (having married another daughter & lives somewhere in the city)—made his appearance at the dining room door, a stout young man, and without any previous notice, immediately remarked that, “The man who was the author of the article in the Republican was a liar, a coward, and a scoundrel.” Up to this time, the family all believed that Mr. Ulmsted was the man and those insults were all intended for him, but just then another boarder—a Mr. Tyner who had also been a captain in the one year’s service in the same regiment with Capt. Latimer (either the 13th or 16th Indiana Regiment, I think the latter as they are from near New Albany, Indiana, but now both clerks in the War Department)—was sitting with his wife & child on the opposite side of the table to me. By this time, Mr. Ulmsted had rose & left the table, but immediately after Bartlett—the son-in-law—made those insulting remarks, this Captain Tyner turned to Mrs. Mankin & said he, “Mrs. Mankin, I can tell you who wrote the article. I reported it to the editor and he wrote it down & I hold myself responsible for it. This took them and most of us by surprise, and he immediately rose from the table and stepped up to Mr. Bartlett who remained yet at the door, and said the captain, “Now, sir, if you have anything more to say, say it to me. I am ready, sir, for any emergency.

The lie was passed between them two or three times when the son-in-law made a pass at him with his fist and the captain kicked Bartlett & then the blows commenced. The captain nearly knocked Bartlett down two or three times & they clinched. Mrs. Mankin left the head of the table and rushed towards them crying at the top of her voice, “Hurrah for Bartlett! Give it to him—thrash the scoundrel!” and the daughter (the single one) came rushing in the room hollerin, “Kill him! Kill the scoundrel,” and they both pitched on to the captain trying to trip him up, pulling his hair, and scratching him in the face.

I tried to get to the men to separate them but could not for the women. They pitched in like tigers, hollering all the time for Bartlett. But when they clinched, they soon came to the floor, struck against the table, and the dishes flew in every direction. On coming to the floor, the captain was on top and soon had one knee on Bartlett’s breast & a thumb in each eye, & both eyes out on his cheeks. This soon caused Bartlett to holler “Enough!” most lustily, ad the captain, not forgetting that it was dishonorable to continue his castigation after his antagonist hollered enough, got up. All this time, however, both women was on him but he paid no attention to them. But just as he rose, Mrs. Mankin picked up a chair to strike him with. I caught the chair & told her she should not use it, but she stepped up to the captain and struck him a full blow on the side of the face with her open hand. The captain turned to her and gave her a disdainful look in the face, said not a word to her however, but turned and left the room & the women commenced to take care of the don-in-law & to get his eyes right again. The fellow looked badly used up as he was, but he swore vengeance—that he would shoot him, &c. &c. But he went home & went to bed where he remains to this day.

The captain was not hurt except the scratches given him by the women. All the boarders determined to leave the house and four of us started out to hunt a new boarding house. I soon found one and moved the same day. So did the other three. There were three others that could not leave immediately for he reason that they had not money enough to pay their board & could not until the end of the month when they will all leave.

I have not heard from this Negro man since and do not know what became of him but suppose he was run off out of the District. There was also a black woman there with a child about two or three years old. And I am just told that last night two men came there with a carriage and took her off in the same way. And there is considerable excitement in the neighborhood about it.

I am very sure I am at a good Union house now—at a Mr. Finney’s, 2 only one block from the Patent Office building where my office is. The family came here from Harrison county, Ohio. Mr. Finney is a clerk in the Treasury Department, came about the time I did. We are in a three story brick. I have a larger and better room than I have yet had & the whole house seems to be neat & in good order & very comfortably furnished. Mrs. Finney has a colored woman to help her but she oversees all her affairs personally & I think a very nice family. And the eating is good. They have five men boarders besides myself—all western men, mostly from Ohio and all good, staunch Union men—and still they have a spare room or two, My room is in the third story at $20 per month. He charges $25 for the lower rooms which are better furnished but I am well satisfied with mine—have a good closet in it for my clothes.

Hon. Schuyler Colfax as he appeared in 1865

Mr. [Schuyler] Colfax told me that Dr. [Louis] Humphreys 3 was ordered to report at Washington forthwith, but he thought he would just go to South Bend & visit his family. Mr. Colfax takes the Drs. commission with him. If the Dr. is there after you receive this, I want you to call and see him and tell him when he comes to Washington that ig it is not absolutely necessary for him to put up at some public hotel, that I have secured quarters for him here. And if he should bring Mrs. Humphreys with him, so much the better. If he only stays a short time, their board will be one dollar per day each. If they stay a month or more, then $25 per month each. I am very sure they will be satisfied with the place and the location is so central, it will be convenient for any part of the city—quite as much so as any location he could get away from the hotels. And then I would be so much pleased to have them here. And if he has time to drop me a line when he will be here, I will meet him at the cars & conduct them right to the house. But if I should miss them, tell them to come to No. 414 9th Street, corner of H Street. I have spoken to Mr. Finney about it and he says if they come, he will have them well taken care of. You may let the doctor read this letter.

Since yesterday morning I have felt much better and I think this troublesome diarrhea is about to leave me entirely. I am so glad I have got away from that secesh house—the table however was pretty fair, but still about the kitchen everything looked sluttish & dirty. I noticed this as I had to pass the kitchen door sometimes, and I think it would have been a miserable place in case of sickness. There was one man sick there a few days and if it had not been for the boarders, he would have suffered for the want of attention. His friends on the day of the fuss got him another place & took him away.I am quite sure where I am now, it would be much better in case of pickup for they are very kind and attentive.

I have only got now to where I must answer Charles’ two, and Mary’s last letters of the 14th and 15th inst. Charles enclosed me two land certificates for land locations for Milford Leonard to obtain his Patents for him. In 15 minutes after I received them I had the Patents and I here enclose them. Tell Charles to hand them to Mr. Leonard the first time he sees him & to tell Mr. Leonard I was glad to have the opportunity to serve him. He is a very poor man but has always been a good friend of mine. And I am glad to see that the Express & Telegraph business keeps up so well. I see they are increasing. And although the business is very confining and requires the utmost care & attention to give satisfaction to the public & to the companies, yet it is the best paying business he could engage in. I know of none that pays better, and besides this, the pay is always sure. And so long as the business is properly attended to, there is no danger of any change being made. And I am much pleased to hear from all quarters that it is attended to so promptly and faithfully. The greatest care is in looking after hte safety of money packages and the prompt collection & return of notes & accounts sent for collection.

At this time I suppose he is much troubled about the kind of money in circulation and about silver change. I suppose also the Express Company continues to issue circulars in regard to the kind of money to be taken. Always follow the instructions to the letter. Silver change here is very scarce & many, to obtain it, have to pay from 10 to 15 percent to get it. I find it very difficult to get along without being subject to this charge. I suppose our bank continue to pay coin on their notes. I would be glad to have Charles to save all the silver he can. You can keep it at the house, or he could make a special deposit in the bank—that is, to wrap up a package of silver or gold, put his name & amount on it, and have it laid in the bank vault to be called for when wanted. Tell Dr. Humphreys to provide himself with silver change for it will be difficult to obtain it here.

Charles also writes me that a Dr. W. Wright holds my receipt for two notes, one on A. T. Stevenson for $10 and one on C. W. Card for $8.34, and wants to find the notes. They are among my papers somewhere, either in some package in the safe, or in that box he mailed or packed up. I remember them well but cannot say where he will find them If it is necessary, you can look for them. They are worthless, however. They are receipts for medicine & not notes & anyhow they are worthless & could not be collected, and Stevens said he would contest if sued. And even if a judgment could be obtained, it could not have been collected for Stevens told me he was determined that he would never pay it. And about the time I got the papers, Card left South Bend. If the man Wright would leave my receipt with someone in South Bend until I come home, I can find the papers but they are good for nothing. I would not give him five cents for both of them.

Did you see my Sunday School letter? Tell Bro. Brownfield I should like to have a letter from him [and] that I think he is indebted to me one.

John Woodworth is still here engaged in the Post Office. He wishes to be remembered to you all. He says he wants you to tell Mrs. Byerly he wants her to write him. He has written her & the family two or three times but has not had a line from them. John looks well & is getting along very well. I send you herewith a couple little packages of flower seeds, Johnny jumpups, the different kinds are marked. You might put a part of each in the ground now and keep the balance for next spring. They are very beautiful & larger than any I ever seen.

And now, Mary, I have come to your last letter of the 14th inst. It is a good letter & I was rejoiced to get it. When you wrote, you seemed all to be enjoying yourselves so much after a good refreshing shower after a hot day. But it was sad to hear that even a poor little child must perish from the lighning. But she has gone to rest, poor thing, and will be relieved from all the cares and troubles that might have been her lot to endure in passing through this wicked world.

I do not think you need be troubled about Charles or I having to go to war. In the first place, I do not think Charles would even be accepted in the ranks as a volunteer on account of his once having his collar bone broken & not very stout at best. And I am too old. And again I think there will be in due time plenty of volunteers to fill the present call. But as old as I am, if at any time, I should happen to be where an attack should be made, I would not run but procure a musket and throw myself into the ranks and fight [to] my death for the glorious flag of my country, and do all I could to preserve and save the government under which we live.

We now think, however, that the war will progress with more spirit. The late movements & orders of General Pope is infusing new spirit & zeal everywhere, and if they are only half carried out, the rebels in & about Richmond will soon have to “skedaddle.”

I am glad to hear that Capt. Sweet was lodged at Camp Douglas and I should think he would feel so disgraced to be taken a prisoner fighting against his country & brought to the very spot where he used to split his throat with hosannahs to Douglas & the Democratic Party that he would fairly sink into the earth to meet an old acquaintance. How I should like to see him and give him my opinion of a Northen man now a Southern rebel traitor. I have a mind to send him my opinion of such a monster through Mr. Wright of Chicago where he used to board. When this war broke out, had he have come North and entered the service of his country under the old Revolutionary flag, he might have gained to himself some honor. But now he is eternally disgraced & will die a traitor to his country.

Frank Heaton was just in to see me. Says he just got a letter from Hatty. She is in Crawfordsville on a visit & enjoying herself to the full. He is going after her in September. You must go to Mr. Layton’s & buy yourself one of those albums. I want you to have one. Get one that just suits you. I went to get those pictures of yours yesterday & one of them did not suit me & I would not take them until they done it over & they cannot do it only when the sun is right. Soon as I can get them, will send them.

I am looking forward with all the patience I can master for October to roll round, when I shall start for home, sweet home, and will come through as fast as steam can carry me. Sometimes I hardly know how to wait but I will still try. I am getting along in my office very satisfactorily. Mr. Duffield has gone home & will likely call & see you. You must continue to fix for coming here next winter so that when the time arrives, you will be ready without any extra effort. I had a line from Mother the other day. She is still at Valparaiso but will go to Minnesota before long. She says she left a small book at our house & wants it sent to her. Have Charley send it by express man free through. Tell Charles to make it go through without charge.

My love to Lib & to each & all. Your husband, — Charles M. Heaton

1 Find-A-Grave records reveal that James Mankin (1802-1885) was married in February 1838 to Deborah Dent (1817-1905), both from Charles county, Maryland. An obituary for James Mankin claims that at one time, he was an employee of the General Land Office, first as a messenger and then as a clerk. He was described as “an upright, conscientious citizen and during his quiet, unobtrusive life he made many friends.” The couple had at least seven children that died as infants or very young. Those that survived to be at least young adults included Deborah Cookman Mankin (1839-1913), James D. Mankin (1842-1919), Mary Eveline Mankin (1844-11 October 1862), Miriam Mankin (1855-1935) and Henry Dent (1857-1928). It was Mary Eveline Mankin who was the wife of John D. Bartlett. She died on 11 October 1862, less than three months after this letter was written. The “stout, large” daughter living at home with her parents in July 1862 was 22 year-old Deborah Cookman Mankin who later married Zachariah Berry Brooke (1837-1878).

2 William G. Finney, a clerk in the Treasury Department and a native of Ohio, was registered as being 45 years of age at the time of the 1863 Draft Registration in the District of Columbia. An on-line family tree informs us that William Guthrie Finney (1818-1905) was married to Margaret (“Maggie”) Carnahan (1816-1894) in Harrison county, Ohio, in December 1842. Just prior to coming to the Nation’s Capitol to take a job in the Treasury Department, the Finney’s kept a store in Cadiz, Ohio. Unfortunately for Mr. Finney, he made front page news in the Washington papers in 1869 when he was accused of an extramarital affair and again in 1871 when his libel suit came to trial and correspondents covered the scandalous affair. The Finney’s oldest child was James Rea Finney (b. 1846) whose first job was a newsboy selling the Evening Star. Family tradition has it that James was present at Ford’s Theatre the night Lincoln was shot and remembered how the family sat up all night until morning hoping for his recovery. Late in the war he served in Co. K, 170th Ohio Infantry.

An 1862 Map of Washington D. C. showing the location of the Interior Department & Patent Office Building (shaded in yellow at center) and the proximity of the Finney Boarding House (blue star) where Heaton took board & lodging in July 1862.

Letter 4

Washington
July 21st 1862

Dear Charles,

Yours of the 18th inst. enclosing your Uncle Johnson’s letter this moment received. Yesterday I mailed your Mother a long letter enclosing the Patents for Mr. Leonard. When Mr. [Schuyler] Colfax left here, he informed me that Dr. [Louis] Humphreys had been ordered to report to the Department at Washington immediately, but he supposed he would come by the way of South Bend, and may be there by this time. I will write him however today at South Bend and should he miss it there, I will see him here. I will also write your uncle.

I see that your Grandmother has gone to St. Anthony [Minnesota]. The book I mentioned in my letter yesterday you will please send to St. Anthony by Express. See that it goes through free to her.

Mr. Colfax will be in South Bend today or tomorrow and will be at the Congressional Convention himself. If you can arrange your business so as to go to the convention, I wish you would do so. I have attended every convention since Mr. Colfax was before the people for Congress and now that I cannot be there, I want you to be there in my place. If it is possible, I want you to go and do all you can for Mr. Colfax’s nomination. One hundred dollars would be no sacrifice if it would secure his nomination. Encourage every man to go that you possibly can.

I am glad your Uncle Ira has been to see you and & am very sorry I could not be there to meet him & hope you had a good time. Nothing new since my letter yesterday. Your father, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 5

Washington D. C.
July 27, 1862

Dear Wife,

I received the Register last evening and I see that Mr. [Schuyler] Colfax has made a most magnificent subscription to aid in raising volunteers in our county $500. What a noble offering that is. I see also that others are doing considerable in the same direction and I feel that we ought to do what we can in advancing the same cause. Consequently I have addressed a letter to Mr. Wheeler offering $5 each to the first five persons who may volunteer after the issue of the next Register. I would have enclosed it to you but I was fearful it might cause a delay so that Mr. Wheeler would not get it in time for the next Register. You will see from the notice that I have directed Gilbert Hathaway, Esq., the Commander of the Camp [at the old fairgrounds (CampRose)], to call on you for the $25 & you would pay it to him and he will see that he proper persons get it. I think we should encourage volunteering and thereby prevent a resort to drafting. And if you should feel disposed, I would be very willing when a proper opportunity offers, for you, Mary & Charles, to add $5 each, in any way to promote this noble work. The men must be raised in some way & I hope it will be done by volunteers.

I have no time to write more now as I want to get this in the mail this afternoon & the time is up. I am quite well.

Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton

When Mr. [Gilbert] Hathaway calls, invite him to dinner. I have not heard whether Colfax was nominated or not. Hope he was. And I have not heard from Humphreys yet.


Letter 6

This letter was written by Mary Heaton of South Bend, Indiana, to her father, Charles M. Heaton, in Washington D. C. I have only transcribed portions of it.

South Bend
July 28th 1862

My dear father,

We received your long letter not until last Friday evening…It was a very interesting letter but dreadful to hear of such horrible scenes going on at your boarding house. I hope and pray you will be spared anything of the kind again. I hope those scoundrels that took that poor negro away will have justice done to them and that Mankin family ought certainly to be arrested. I am so glad that you are away from that miserable place and have obtained a better one. Those women ought certainly to put on pantaloons and go into the Confederate army. I would be afraid to spend a night at the house of such dreadful creatures for fear of getting my throat cut. We are rejoiced to know that you are away from them. We have not seen Mr. Colfax to show him the letter but I think Mother will go and see him sometime today. Dr. Humphrey has not come yet and Mother saw Mrs, Humphrey last Saturday and she did not know when he would be home for the last she heard from him, he did not yet know that he had received the appointment. She said that if the doctor wanted her to go to Washington with him, she would go…

July 29th (continued)…After I was through reading [your letter to our guests], the conversation was all about the war and of the dark days that we are now passing through. Words in favor of [Gen.] McClellan were few, and the president was not much in advance in the estimation of the company. Music followed and thus the evening passed away.

…Mother and I talked almost all day yesterday, about going to Washington, and it was not to go there to make a short visit, but we talked of going to keep house for you and keep boarders enough to pay our way, and perhaps make something by it. Lucy 1 says she will go along and you know she would be excellent help. Mother is putting up all the fruit she can, and if ew should go, it will be very useful. Other Clerks live there in that way, and why couldn’t we? But when you come home, we and talk the subject over and make all arrangements.

Uncle Ira stayed just a week with us. He seemed to enjoy his visit very much. We took him out to visit Morrell’s and Aunt Harriet. You never saw a man more delighted than Morrell was to see him. You would have laughed if you could have seen them meet. Morrell did not know him at first but after he found out who it was, he turned him round and round to look at him on all sides. We had a very pleasant visit in the country…

…The day before Uncle Ira left we took him over to St. Mary’s and Notre Dame. They were very polite to us and took us all over to see the sights. We went up into the tower to see the chimes and I think Uncle Ira was much pleased. He thinks it was very unfortunate that he did not settle down here instead of at Crawfordsville…

1 Lucinda (“Lucy”) Smith (b. 1836) was most likely the “hired girl” working for the Heaton family in South Bend at the time. Her father, Garrett Smith (1808-1879)—a “mulatto”—was a farmer and teamster in St. Joseph county, Indiana. Her mother’s name was Mary Jenks (b. 1810). Garret and Mary were married in Knox county, Indiana, in 1827. They moved to South Bend in 1841. Family tradition has it that Garret was born near Vincennes, Indiana, “the son of an Irishman, and a negro mother.” He was familiarly called the “General” and was always “a welcome addition to any corner or grocery store assembly.” Garrett lived in the west half of lot no. 11 in the original plot of South Bend.


Letter 7

This letter was written by Charles M. Heaton, Jr. to his father.

Sound Bend
July 28, 1862

Dear Father,

Your long letter enclosing the patents was only received last Saturday night. It had been laying in the Post Office here for three or four days, Mr. Farnam made a mistake and put it in the wrong box. It was very intersting indeed—especially that part in regard to the nigger fuss at your boarding house. I should liked to have been there about the time the captain had his thumbs in Barlett’s eyes.

I went down to Plymouth to the convention & had quite a nice time. Of course it is needless for me to tell you that Mr. Colfax was nominated by acclimation and no opposition whatever. Dr. Sherman was nominated for Senator over John Reynolds. Mr. Colfax made a good speech. I send you today a paper in which you will see an account of the convention.

We are all well. I only write today to let you know we are still in the land of the living as you have had no letter from us for so long. Mary will write you a long letter tonorrow. I am no just in the middle of my reports.

Your son, — C. M. Heaton, Jr.


Letter 8

Washington D. C.
August 1, 1862

Dear wife,

I herewith enclose you one hundred dollars. Yesterday I received a line from Charles saying my long letter had been detained in the P. O. at South Bend by a mistake of Mr. Farnam in putting it in the wrong box, and also promising that Mary would write me a long letter the next day. I am expecting Mary’s letter very soon. I am glad Charles went to the Convention at Plymouth. I received a letter from Mr. [Schuyler] Colfax saying that under the circumstances, his nomination was one of the most gratifying he ever received. Do you hear Mr. Brownfield saying anything about how he will vote on Congressman? When he writes me, he don’t say anything about elections.

I also here enclose you a paper of flower seed. I seen them growing & thought they were nice. The are called “Canterbury Bell.” You may now have the same kind in the garden but I don’t recollect. I also send you a secesh 25 cent shinplaster as a curiosity.

I have not heard a word yet from Dr. [Louis] Humphreys. Hope not only to hear from him but to see him soon.

My health for two days past has been very good. When I receive Mary’s letter, I will write you again. Your husband, — Charles M. Heaton

N. B. I will not pay the charges on this to New York for the reason it is so difficult to make change here & I have not got any just now. I still like my new boarding house very well.


Letter 9

Washington
August 2nd 1862

Dear Wife,

I thought I would write you a few lines tonight as I had been invited by Mr. Defrees 1 & Mr. [John P.] Ushur, the Assistant Secretary of the Interior, to take a ride on the Potomac tomorrow and expect to leave in the morning immediately after breakfast. I am not fully aware where they intend to go but suppose it will be to Mount Vernon. Mr. Defrees told me that 8 or 10 gentlemen would make up the company, but I do not know who they are. In my next I will give you an account of our trip.

Yesterday just as I was starting to the Express Office to ship a package of $100 to you, I received Mary’s excellent and long letter commenced 28th ult. Oh how glad I was to get it for it was so full of interest and one of the very best letters she has written and hope she will repeat it again and again. But now I think it most time for you to write again, and hope by this time you have another girl so that you can have a little more time to write.

I continue to like my new boarding place first rate. Everything we have to eat is got up in very good order and the variety is quite sufficient for me. My health is quite good again. Have had no diarrhea for three or four days. You say Mr. Duffield thinks I have fallen off in flesh very much. In this he is mistaken. I have not fallen off more than usual in hot weather. I was aware that Mr. Duffield thought so before he left but the reason for him thinking so I can tell you in one word. I shaved off my long beard. I know when he first seen me after shaving he was astonished how thin I had got. Others though the same thing and that is the whole of it.

I see you and Mary are quite anxious that I should come home this month, it being considered the hottest month, instead of October. How glad I would be to do so. It would be a great relief to me to get out of this city for a few weeks, but I will give you my reasons for waiting until October. I have three of them. 1st, I am fishing for another promotion. Our disbursing clerk [Peter Lammond] 2 has recently got into some difficulty, not only with a number of other clerks, but with Secretary [Caleb B.] Smith & Commissioner of General Land Office, and it is thought it will end on his dismissal. If so, a number has expressed the wish that I should get his place. Today I had a talk with Mr. Defrees about it, & you know he is in high favor with Secretary Smith & he is going to see Mr. Smith in my behalf. But at present, Mr. Smith is absent—expected home however in a few days. But my success in this I think is very doubtful. Still, I think it best to try for it. The salary is $2,000.

The next reason is that more clerks have left than usual & in fact there are but four left in my division besides myself & it was generally understood that I was not to leave until October & I encouraged the others to go now so as to be back in time for me. And the third reason is I must be home to vote at the October election. We do not know but the election may be close & I want every vote possible to count for Mr. Colfax. I am keep back all the clerks in our district & urging them all to go home and vote in October. There has so many gone into the army from our district that it may make the result doubtful, and it would be a dreadful thing to have Mr. Colfax beaten at the election. These are the reasons why I think I had better stay until October. And when I tell you that my health is now as good as it usually us in warm weather, I am satisfied you will agree with me, it is only two months longer to wait. And in addition to this, can bring home $200 more. The days will be long and tedious, but will try and stand it provided we all keep well.

I hope by this time Dr. [Louis] Humphreys has returned and that he and Mrs. H. will soon be here. Give them my number 414, corner of 9th & H Street, so that if I should not hear when they will be here, they will know where to come. But I hope they will give me notice & we will have his room all ready.

When I sat down to write, I found I had but two half sheets to write on. I did not notice this in time to bring more from the office but this will answer as the afternoon is quite warm and I am now all in a perspiration.

Mother did not give me any particular descriptions of that book—only that it was a little book, but as you cannot find it, it is of no matter. She will doubtless find it among her things. I do not know whether she took her things to St. Anthony or not, but I think more than likely she did. All i know about her going is from Johnson’s letter Charles sent me. It is so warm I think I must lay this aside until morning. I will get up early in the morning & finish it before breakfast.

August 3rd. I did not finish before breakfast and it is now after dinner. We did not take our contemplated trip on the Potomac as it looked much like rain and it is now raining finely and the air has become very pure and fresh. I want you to call on Mr. Wheeler and get J. M. Plummer’s address. I remember from the Register he has moved down East somewhere & want to write him. My teeth are giving way very much & I will be compelled to get a new set & I want to advise with him about it.

In one of my letters I spoke about Charles saving all the silver and gold he can. It is very hard work to procure change here. The common postage stamps are used here nearly altogether for change. The new stamps designed by the late act of Congress for circulation is not out yet but will be in a week or two. I will send you some the first I see for a sample. It is very seldom we see silver or gold in circulation now & when I first came here there was hardly anything else in circulation. 3

It does seem to me that the state of the country is in a very critical condition—perhaps more so than heretofore. The latest news from England is very ominous and I would not be surprised that before 90 days, England will acknowledge the Southern Confederacy & then France will soon follow. Nothing will prevent this but a vigorous forward movement of our army & the capture of Richmond. McClellan has been so slow in his operations that it has given the Rebels all the time they want to fortify and reinforce their army and from all accounts they are stronger at Richmond than ever and many think that this city is in more danger now than at any former period. But I do not think so. Nothing can put this city in immediate danger but a complete route and surrender of McClellan’s army, and also Pope’s army, and I don’t think it can be possible for them to be whipped.

If McClellan is not good for an attack, he is good for defense, and he is now being reinforced & strengthened with many additional armed vessels and I do not believe our army can be routed. And I believe some other general will be in command over McClellan before the country is aware of it. Before this month is out, I believe we will be in possession of Richmond. But it will cost many lives but it is necessary for the safety of the country that this sacrifice be made and our army is eager for the conflict.

The sick and wounded in the hospitals in this city are doing well. The hospitals are all kept very neat and clean & loyal ladies are unremitting in their attentions and caring for every little comfort to the sick and wounded in their power, and giving their personal attention both night and day.

I sent you those pictures of yours—3—the other day. Hope you have got them. Give one to Lib. I want you to put up all the fruit you can of every kind but I insist that you must not do the work yourself. Get Lucy to do it. Did you make any wine? And when I come home, we will talk about keeping house here, but it does not strike me favorable now. You must not feel elated about my promotion as it is very problematical. Keep yourselves in the shade as much as possible. Hope you have got a good girl to do your work. Don’t expose yourselves in any way and I will take care of myself. And if I find my health failing, I will come home. My love to Lib and the children, to Mary & Charley.

Your affectionate husband — Charles M. Heaton

1 Probably John D. Defrees, Superintendent of the National Printing Office.

2 Peter Lammond did not lose his job as Disbursing Officer at the Interior Department until June 1865 wen he was replaced by Mr. Goodwin of Indiana, a veteran in the Union army.

Postage currency with five 5-cent stamps.

3 “By 1862, greenbacks were being used more frequently, as coins disappeared from circulation. Eventually, small change vanished completely, and greenbacks were the only currency being used. Since much of what people needed cost less than a dollar, they found themselves faced with an unusual dilemma: how to pay for things without using their precious coins. Soon people were buying a dollar’s worth of stamps and using them as change instead. But the resulting wear and tear made it difficult for postal clerks to tell unused stamps from those that had been washed for reuse. This led to the creation of postage currency, which was approved by Congress on July 17, 1862. The first postage currency was issued a month later, on August 21, 1862. As a substitute for small change, U.S. Treasurer Francis Spinner began affixing stamps, singly and in multiples, to Treasury Paper. Although this was not considered actual money, it made stamps negotiable as currency. Eventually, the Treasury began printing the stamp designs on the paper, rather than using the stamps themselves. Postage currency remained in use until 1876, when Congress authorized the minting of silver coins.[Source: Mystic Stamp Company]


Letter 10

Washington
August 9, 1862

Dear Wife,

I this moment received Mary’s of the 7th inst.—a pretty quick passage. Glad to hear you were all well. The heat yesterday and today has been exceedingly oppressive. Now while I write, the mercury stands at 92 in my room (office) notwithstanding the walls are at least 4 feet thick and stone at that. And we hear also that a part of Pope’s army are having a severe fight near Gordonsville [see Cedar Mountain (or Slaughter’s Mountain)]. The poor soldiers will suffer much this hot weather and anything like a severe wound will be certain death. We are anxiously waiting for further news from the fight.

It is so warm today & will likely be the same tomorrow that my letter will be short, but I thought I must answer Mary’s letter right off. She says you was just starting to walk out to Mrs. Byerly’s. I hope you will not undertake such long walks. Why don’t you get Ireland to take you any place you want to go? Must do so in future. To walk out to Mrs. Byerly’s & back is too much for this hot weather.

Two important things Mary forgot to say anything about. First, she did not tell me whether the money I sent last had been received. And second, not a word about Dr. Humphreys. I have not heard a word from him yet.

As to the pictures, you must remember they were only copied from a very small picture. Those taken from life are always better. But after they are framed & hung up, they look very well. I am glad to hear that recruiting is going on bravely. I sent you a paper the other day containing an order from the War Department which excepts from the army all telegraph operators. This will put you and Mother at ease in relation to Charley. I would be willing to have him go if I believed he was able to stand the duties of a soldier but I am satisfied he is not and his present position will make an honorable excuse for him.

Now Mary, about that word diarrhea—ha, ha. You criticize me pretty severely. I remember well that I did not spell the word correctly. The fact is, I hardly ever had any use for the word and am glad you called my attention to it. But it does seem to me if I should undertake to call in question such a thing, I would be sure that I was correct myself. I see you did not write it correct at first, then you corrected it, and finally left it “diarrhoea.” Now according to Webster’s large dictionary that I have just consulted, spells it thus, diarrhea. Now although you have given me your word that it is according to Webster, “Please notice how I have spelled it” above, thus “diarrhea” & I will give you my word that it is according to my Webster, which I have just consulted. Ha ha ha. Don’t you think that will do?

Now it is time to shut up this office & I must close. Now I want you to write me a good long letter. Frank goes to Crawfordsville next week.

W. G. George is in the city. His health is not very good. He is trying to get a furlough to go home a few weeks but it is doubtful whether he will succeed. He has been here a week & his health has improved. He is not confined to his room nor has not been, but all he wants is a few days rest. My health notwithstanding the hot weather is now very good.

My love to all. Your husband, — Charles M. Heaton

No time to read over this letter to make my corrections.


Letter 11

This letter was written by Mary Heaton of South Bend, Indiana, to her father, Charles M. Heaton, in Washington D. C. I have only transcribed portions of it.

South Bend [Indiana]
August 13, 1862

My dear Father,

Yours of the 9th we received last evening. I did not expect to receive an answer to my letter quite so soon, but we were very glad to hear from you and learn that you were well. You though my letter went very quick. I guess the reason it seemed quicker than usual was because I wrote it on the same morning that it was mailed. As a general thing, I write the day before, and that makes the letter seem longer on the way. We walked out to Mrs. Byerly’s that day but found it rather warmer than we expected. There was a fine breeze blowing which made it quite pleasant in the house but out into the sun, it was very warm. I don’t think we will try it again this summer…

Charley, since the [73rd Indiana] Regiment has been quartered here, has been just as busy as he could be. He has a great deal of telegraphing to do, and you know it is a long ways for him to go to deliver messages down to the camp ground. It would surprise you to see what hosts of volunteers are piling in here every day. There are over two thousand in camp now. They came in fast yesterday and day before that, that the town could not supply them with bread, and they were obliged to send to Chicago and Laporte. Mother has been baking this morning for them. Our regiment will leave here very soon—probably some time today.

There is a general rush down to the camp ground every afternoon. The ladies are doing all they can in the way of carrying eatables down, and taking care of the sick. There are eight or nine in the hospital now. Old man [Thomas W.] Pray’s house has been taken for that purpose. Col. [Gilbert] Hathaway was here to dinner yesterday but he did not say a word about the money for the five volunteers that you were to donate. Mother was going to speak about it but he went off so soon after dinner that she did not have a chance. He didn’t even sit down after he came out of the dining room and was gone before Mother could get in. You know he has a great change upon him and but little time to spare.

Col. Gilbert Hathaway (1813-1863) of LaPorte served as the commander of the 73rd Indiana Infantry. He died in battle on 2 May 1863 while chasing Bedford Forrest’s cavalry in “Streight’s Raid.”

Thursday, August 14th. I concluded yesterday not to finish my letter until this morning. I have not heard a word about Dr. Humphreys since I last wrote you about him…

We had quite a hard rain last night which laid the dust but I guess some of the poor soldiers had to be out in it all night. They have not tents enough to supply all of the men…

You will have to excuse Mother from writing this time for she is very bust. She has gone to town now to see something about getting up a dinner for the soldiers. I heard this morning that the regiment would not leave before Monday…

We received a paper last evening in which we see that you have joined a military operation and are treasurer. We were delighted when we saw the President’s Order that all telegraphers were exempt…

Your affectionate daughter, — Mary


Letter 12

Washington
August 17th 1862

Dear Wife,

Yesterday evening I received Mary’s written on the 9th & 14th inst. As the time draws nigh for me to start home, my anxiety becomes greater and greater to often hear from home, for every hour when I am not asleep, I am thinking of home and of the happy time that soon awaits me. Sometimes it seems as though I could not wait for the full time to expire, and yet I must do it for my office arrangements are now such that I cannot leave before the time I have set. But as Mary says, the time has now dwindled down to weeks instead of months and it only remains for us to be patient yet a little longer. And if the good Lord will only spare all our healths, it will not be long before we shall see each other face to face.

When you was out to Mrs. Byerly’s, what did she say about writing to John Woodworth? He has had no letter from her and is anxious to hear from them. Next time you go there you must ride.

I did not pay the charges on the last money I sent. What did it amount to? I expect to ask a good many questions in this letter & I want Mary to answer them all in her next. I am glad you had Col. [Gilbert] Hathaway to dinner. Who else did you have with him? I wrote to Mr. [Schuyler] Colfax to tell the Colonel to call especially for the money or if the Colonel is gone, that he—Mr. Colfax—will see that it is properly applied, & also want to find out who gets it. I suppose it makes everything look very lively to see so many soldiers about South Bend. But when they are gone, everything will be equally dull. Charles should employ someone, either a good boy or man, to carry messages for him at such a time, for often when he is out, he may be wanted in the office badly.

How has the Dutch [German heritage] turned out for the war? 1 Does John think of going? But I suppose the next Register will give all the names. Mary, don’t forget to answer about Dr. Plummer. And I am sorry you have no news yet from Dr. [Louis] Humphreys.

My position in the army is not a very dangerous one unless Jeff Davis makes an attack on this city. Then I am in for a fight, but I guess General Pope & his army will keep him at bay until our new soldiers get into line & then I think there will be a crushing out time in rebellion. Neither is my position lucrative but I think our organization will have a good morale effect on the community.

The artist’s rendering of the Great War Meeting at Washington, District of Columbia, August 6, 1862, as published in Harper’s Weekly

I will send you Harper’s Weekly containing a picture of the Great War Meeting in front of the Capitol—a most excellent & truthful view. At this meeting the President spoke. I sent you the speech, & at this meeting it was determined to raise $200,000 to provide for volunteers & other war measures in the district. To this fund the Land Office Clerks alone of their meetings voted to tax themselves one percent on their salary. This amount for me $16. This with other similar expenses amounts to at least $25 within a few weeks past & consequently my money I saved for shirts is gone. I kept putting off buying shirts because I had no time to look after them. Now I think I will only buy two and you will have time to cut me some after I get home, and Anne or someone else can make them.

I am very fearful you will exert yourself too much these exciting times. You must take everything very patient & be sure & keep plenty of good help on hand all the time. Have you a new gal and how does she suit you? How does the peach crop prosper? And how many will we have? The same about the apples & pears and grapes. Did you have those new grapes staked and tied up? How many will they bear this year? Will any of that box grow? How does Lilly grow? Mr. George has gone, left here Monday. Expected to get home last night. Promised he would call and see you. Did you make any wine? We have had ripe peaches here for three weeks past but not very good until within a few days. Green corn time nearly over here. Plenty of fine tomatoes for some time & plenty of melons of all sorts but I don’t indulge in those things very much as I fear they might bring on the diarrhea. I may not send you any money next month and save the expense sending it as I suppose you will not need it & I can bring it with me.

I fear that so many of our Republican & Union men are volunteering in our Congressional District that it will make hard work for Mr. Colfax’s election Tell Charles he must work for him all he can. It would be a great calamity for him to be beaten for he is doubtless the best worker for the war that comes from Indiana and his loss in Congress would be more felt than any other man from our state or any other state in Congress. 2 I shall do all I can to induce every clerk here from his district to go home in October and vote. Mr. [William A.] Lake from Mishawaka told me yesterday he intended to go when I did. He married [in 1858] Esquire [Harris E.] Hurlbut’s daughter, [Mattie Hurlbut]. It is yet doubtful whether his wife will go along. Mrs. Defrees & Mrs. Butts are off visiting their friends this hot weather.

Troops are beginning to pour in strongly. They were moving across the river all night last night and we will again soon have a hundred times as many here as you have had at South Bend. Every train brings a regiment or two, but their movements are kept out of the papers as it should be.

This being Sunday & I have no postage stamps nor change to buy any, I will send this in a letter to Mr. Colfax who will hand it to you. The new postage stamps for change & small bills [are] not out yet but will be during the present week.

Have you built that outhouse? I don’t have so many papers to send you since the Globe has stopped being printed. Do you find time to read what I do send? It is now just six weeks from next Wednesday when I expect to start for home. I intend to get a full months leave of absence if I can. You must have matters arranged during October so you will have nothing to do for I shall want you all the time. Did Mary Davis get the letter I sent her? Give my love to Lib & the children. How is Aunt Harriet and Morrell’s folks and Aunt Charlotte? My love to them all. Love to Mary & Charles & any quantity to you. Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton

1 According to the 1860 US Census, South Bend’s population of 3,832 citizens “included 68 African Americans. Germans constituted 50 percent of the foreign-born population. The next largest group was the Irish at 24 percent.” [Source: “South Bend: Crossroads of Commerce,” page 71, by John Palmer]

2 Schuyler Colfax served in the House of Representatives until he resigned to become vice president in 1869, and he was elected Speaker of the House in 1863. Speaker Colfax was an effective leader who successfully united the different factions of the Republican Party.


Letter 13

This letter was written by Mary Heaton of South Bend, Indiana, to her father, Charles M. Heaton, in Washington D. C. I have only transcribed portions of it.

South Bend
August 21, 1862

My dear Father,

I have been spending all my time in the Office this week, helping Charley. There has been such a rush of business that he could not get along without someone to assist him and I have just finished making out his Express Report. He has been obliged to show me some but I think I can go through myself next time. I am going to try and learn hoe to do Express business and telegraphing so that I can be some help to him, and in that way we will not have to hire anyone. I expect the girls will have to take the places of the boys now for they are most all going to war. Mr. Chess has lost every clerk including his own son William and he says his wife and daughter will have to go into the store. You know Henry Baird clerked for him. They are going into an Artillery Company. Ben Coonley and VanDoren’s oldest boy are going and ever so many others that I cannot think of now. I am glad Charley is tied at home so that he cannot go. Charley received a dispatch from Dr. [Louis] Humphrey to his wife this morning saying that he will be home next Saturday. He is now in Louisville.

The 73rd [Indiana] Regiment left here this morning at seven o’clock for Indianapolis. I must say that I was glad when they were gone for the town has been so thronged, and with such a rough set, that on some accounts it was rather unpleasant. There are now in Camp [Rose] about fifteen hundred men. I could not realize as I saw them passing this morning that many of them were on the road to death and they did not seem to, for they looked in good spirits, and I suppose were glad to be moving. They made a good appearance as far as size and ability were concerned, but looked rather rough as they were not equipped. I was in hopes they would have their arms before they left for I would like to have seen them. 1 I heard that the other regiment [87th Indiana Infantry] leaves tomorrow. After they are gone, Mother will not feel so uneasy about her peaches for we have been afraid every night that they would be taken. There is one tree that is hanging almost full of peaches that are almost ripe and will be fit to eat in a very few days. They look red and tempting from the street, and we felt quite uneasy but we hope they may escape notice.

I am getting very hungry now and I guess it is about time we were going to dinner. I will finish when I come back.

Back to the office just 4 o’clock. I was surprised when I went home to find a letter from you. Mr. [Schuyler] Colfax had been down and handed it to Mother. I looked for one on this evening’s train but did not dream of one coming sooner. I am glad it came for now I can answer your questions…

Only six weeks from today and you will start for home. Oh how happy we will be when the time comes. We will have everything in order so as not to have anything to do but to sit down and talk. We have got a very good girl and she can do all the work…

We had no one but Col. Hathaway the day he was at our house for dinner. We might have had Colfax but was afraid that it might offend Mrs. Colfax if we should invite him without her, and Mother did not feel like having so many.

The Dutch have not turned out very well from this town for the war. John Elbel has not gone, and Mother says she heard him say that he would not fight in such a war. I guess he is not any too loyal. I hope when the drafting comes that it will hit some of them. I will here give you Dr. Plumer’s address—“Dr. J. M. Plumer, Clifton Springs, N. Y.” The charges on the money you sent was fifty cents. The peaches, apples, and pears are doing finely. Mr. Frazier says we will have at least ten bushels of peaches, and on one apple tree, I think it is called the “Northern Spy,” he says there will be ten bushels. other has had the limbs propped up of all the trees that needed it. The grapes are not going to do very well. The frost was a little too much for them…

I think Mr. Colfax is quite uneasy about his election this fall. He told me the other day that he thought his chances were very slim. Charley will do all he can for him We have not built that outhouse yet. We have got along so far and I expect the old one will last now until you come home. Anyhow, wouldn’t you feel bad to come home and find the old one gone?

We miss the Globe very much but we have more time to read the other papers now. It was a little more than we could do to keep up with it and the Chicago Tribune too.

Thursday morning…I forgot yesterday to tell you about a dinner that the Ladies of South Bend, Mishawaka and country around got up for the twenty-five hundred men that were in Camp [Rose] last week. 2 I guess we had the largest table that was ever set in this part of the country. It was in the form of a square and large enough to accommodate the whole number at one time. The provisions were brought inside of this square and from there put on to the table. Mother and Mrs. Tutt were the getters up of it and I think if it had no been for Mother, it would have been a failure for Mrs. Tutt didn’t do much. It was not thought of until last Thursday and Saturday the dinner came off. Rather a short time to get up such a big dinner, don’t you thin? All we did was to set the young ladies going to every house in town to notify the people and tell them to bring all they could to the dinner. The young men, a few of them, saw all the country people they could that were in town and told them to go home and go to cooking for the “Great Dinner for the Soldiers.” We sent up to Mishawaka and in that way we got it up. The notice was so short that we were fearful that there would not be enough to feed so many, but to our great satisfaction there was plenty and anough for everyone to take a plate full to camp for their suppers. Every fellow brought his tin plate and cup with him. It was food enough for the rest of us to see the poor fellows enjoy their dinner and they did so right hearty. After they were trough, such a screaming and hurrahing you never heard which seemed to be the only way for each one to express his gratitude. I thought it was a splendid sight to see them march in such fine order to the table. They marching in at the entrance of the square two and two, and then divide, one going each side of the table, and in that way those that came first had to march around to almost where they started from. There was not room enough for it into the Fair Ground so we went to Curling Grove [Carlin’s Grove?], a delightful place. I suppose you know right where it is. We did not have much encouragement from the gentlemen of the town but to the contrary, we thought they tried to discourage us all they could by saying that it could not be done—there would not be half enough for them to eat. And some of them went so far as to say that they would not have anything to do with it, that the ladies had commenced it, and they must go through with it and take the brunt and blame of it. But to their surprise, the thing went off splendidly and they were willing to acknowledge it afterwards. Mr. [Jarvis] Stokes, [Ethan] Reynolds, and Hunter were all the men we had to take an active part and give us encouragement. Col. Hathaway had many compliments for us…

Your affectionate daughter, — Mary

1 Not only were the 73rd Indiana Infantry unarmed and poorly drilled when they left South Bend, but they were sent to Camp Buell in Kentucky in the same way, prompting Pvt. Edmund Woods to write his father of their abuse by Col. Hathaway on 14 September 1862: “In the first place, why was we sent out of Indiana without arms or drilled in the least. All of our officers thought that we would stop at Indianapolis not less than ten days to three weeks and get a little drilled and receive our equipment and them as good as any other regiments have received. Lt. Col. Bailey said that he would never have left Indianapolis without our just dues if he had been colonel. He is a noble man, and he is liked by the whole regiment. But the old colonel [Gilbert Hathaway] receives many curses from the men. When he was at Lexington some of the men was sick in Co. E, and they heard there was some cheese owned by an old planter in sight of the camp, so the boys went over to buy some but the old fellow would not sell them a pound though he had twenty large ones. They came back satisfied he was a rebel, and the cheese was for the rebel army, so the next night the boys went out and killed a hog, two sheep and all of the chickens there was, and he complained of them, and the Old Colonel chimed right in with him, and gave orders not to take even a rail. There they were, all secessionists around us, at least they proved themselves so, after we left. That was great generalship sending us 130 miles south of the River and then retreat back on the double quick, many of the men falling by the roadside exhausted. Some fell senseless and had to be brought to with spiritous liquors.”

2 A letter dated 19 August 1862 from Camp Rose by Edmund B. Woods, 73rd Indiana Infantry, includes the following description of the dinner for soldiers as follows: “I almost forgot to tell you of the picnic dinner that the people of St. Joseph County gave us last Saturday. It was a splendid dinner, just the best they could afford, said the tables were 1200 feet long. They were built in a square, and our company marched all the way around and at the head of our company there was a cake about 18 inches high, and all coated with red, white and blue in sugar, and a flag in the center. It was splendid. There were about two thousand of us.”


Letter 14

Washington
August 26th 1862

Dear Wife,

Mary’s magnificent letter of 21st inst. was duly received. I had become a little gloomy waiting a day or two longer than I expected but its length and consequently its interest, amply repaid me for the delay. Mary, I am glad you have taken hold of the Express books. It will help Charles along very much for I know it must keep him busy to attend to the ordinary business of the office & keep up his books and reports. And now since the soldiers have left I have no doubt but you think times have wonderfully changed, and all kinds of business very dull. But here everything is full of life and animation. The new troops are arriving by thousands every day—at least thirty thousand have already arrived, nearly all of them passed over the river into Virginia & occupy the old camping grounds of Gen. McClellan’s army where they are being thoroughly drilled.

I was very glad to hear that Dr. [Louis] Humphreys was so near home. I shall expect to hear from him in a day or two, or indeed, I should not be surprised if I should see him here by the middle of the week as Mr. [Schuyler] Colfax told me that he was ordered to report here immediately & I have not heard that the orders have been changed.

I suppose you hear many rumors about the movements of the Rebel army and that Washington is again in danger, &c. &c. You must not put any reliance in such wild reports. We have them here [too], plenty of them. And sometimes some think that Jeff Davis will certainly be down upon us before sundown. The rebel army however has not been permitted to advance very far. Our army (Pope’s) only fell back far enough to prevent being flanked until reinforcements could reach them. McClellan’s army are now arriving on the ground and Pope is now so strongly reinforced that the whole of the rebel army could not move them. I seen a man today, Capt. Hunt from Lafayette. He left the army near Warrenton last evening. He says to all appearances the rebels are again falling back to Gordonsville.

You will see but little reliable news about the movements of the army for some time as all newspaper reporters have been excluded from within the lines and soldiers are not allowed to write to anyone—not even to their families—for very often the contents of these letters get into the newspapers and then the enemy gets it and in this way the enemy profits by information obtained in this way and our plans frustrated. In time of war, this seeming oppression must be borne with.

I am glad you was so successful with your large sinner for the soldiers. When you get started in a thing of that kind, the only way to succeed is to persevere & think of nothing but success. I wish I could have been there to have assisted in getting it up. I think I could have done a little good. Mary’s answers to my numerous questions were very satisfactory. I was anxious to know the prospects for fruit in our garden. I fear the peaches will be nearly gone before I get home yet I should think some of them would not be ripe until then. I hope you will can all you can & if our trees does not produce enough for house use & to out up besides, then buy & get Lucy to help put them up. And also put up what other fruit you can.

I do not expect to write a long letter this time for I have had other letters to write and then our company has another war meeting this evening to finish up our organization. Our organization is more intended to give a moral tone and effect in this city & the country than anything else. The Secretary of War has granted us arms & we shall probably commence to drill in a day or two. Still, if the rebel army should attack the city, then we shall pitch in.

I just received a letter from Mr. Crocker. He got home safe & found his family all well.

I have just been to dinner & supper and have but a few moments to spare before our meeting and I want to get this in this evening’s mail. I will write again in a day or two. We are having new sweet potatoes but the price is at the rate of four dollars per bushel. I have not been able yet to get hold of any new postage stamps. A few are in circulation. I will send you some next time.

Frank Heaton writes me that they talk of returning by way of South Bend to spend a day or two. I wrote him & urged him to do so but told him if he did that he must write you in advance. I hope he will come. They have always done all they knew how to make me comfortable. Give them a good visit.

Remember it is only five weeks until I start home and Oh! how glad I will be to get started. I shall aim to get four weeks leave of absence & I know I shall have a good time & long for the time to roll around. Be patient & keep in the shade. Save your health. Love to all. Your husband, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 15

Washington
August 28th 1862

Dear Wife,

I write you this hasty note to tell you that Dr. [Lewis] Humphreys 1 is here. This morning I received a line from Mr. [Schuyler] Colfax saying that the Dr. would leave on Tuesday and be here today. I just had time to go to the Depot to meet him and took him to my boarding house where I had engaged him a comfortable room. I just left him eating his breakfast. Then he goes to my room to rest until I return for dinner. By that time his room will be ready. I see the Dr. has had some hard times & much reduced in flesh, but his general health is good. He told me the last house he was in at South Bend except his own, was ours, and that he had eaten some fine peaches off our trees. I hope they will not all be gone before I reach home.

The Dr. will not be apt to write today, therefore soon as you receive this, I wish you and Mary would call on Mrs. Humphreys & tell her he is here safe & sound, and that I will see that he is made comfortable during his stay here. The Dr. says he is so tired that he will not report himself until tomorrow. Until then he does not know how long he will remain. But I tell you, it looks good to see him here and I know I shall enjoy his visit very much.

I was sorry Mrs. Humphreys could not come along. The Dr. said it was so uncertain how long he should stay and when and where he would have to go that it might not be best for her to come this time.

Postage Currency issued in 1862

I have nothing further new to write you as it is only two days since I wrote you. I intend to insist on every clerk from our Congressional District to go home to vote for Mr. Colfax in October & I think the most, if not all. will go.

I have enclosed you a 25 cent postage stamp such as are now being put in circulation. They afford every convenience for change. This is all I have to write now.

Love to all. Your husband, — Charles M. Heaton

1 Lewis Humphreys (1816-1880) was a South Bend physician who enlisted in September 1861 as a surgeon in the 29th Indiana Infantry. In June 1862 he was commissioned Lt. Colonel and assigned as a Medical Inspector. He remained in the service until October 1866. He was married to Margaret Pearson (1821-1904).


Letter 16

Washington
August 31st 1862

Dear Wife,

This is Sunday morning and Dr. Humphreys and myself are sitting at the same table in my room writing home. How strange it seems and yet how pleasant to have him here. It will very much help to pass away the time when I shall take up my line of march for home. It now looks as though the Dr. may have to remain here some time, yet it is impossible to say how long. He has ben ordered to report for duty tomorrow morning with a view of temporarily taking charge of the hospitals in this city in a few days. If he finds that his tay here will be protracted any length of time, he will likely send for Mrs. Humphreys to come here before I leave for home.

Very likely before you receive this, you will see many exciting rumors about the safety of Washington but you must not let them make you uneasy for I assure you Washington is safe. But yesterday was the most exciting day I have seen since I have been here. When the rebel army at Richmond found that McClellan was evacuating hs camp in their front, they also commenced making a new move, and nearly all their army left Richmond and came out to Gordonsville to meet our army under Gen. Pope and had quite a fight near there some ten days ago. The rebels retreated and changed their course, and knowing that our government had called for 600,000 new troops & that they were fast being raised, they (the rebels) determined they would at once make a bold & strong push towards Washington before our new troops could be brought into service. And they having many among them fully acquainted with all the byroads in that part of Virginia, they started and through these byroads & mountain passes, they succeeded in getting around Pope’s army & in this way suddenly made their appearance at Manassas and Bull Run. They supposed our forces near Washington was not strong enough to resist them but they found themselves mistaken and their headway was checked and in the meantime our forces under Pope, Banks, Burnside, & other generals returned and commenced closing in upon te rebels & found themselves surrounded & unable to get back the way they come in. Consequently some of the heaviest fighting during the war has been going on immediately on the old battleground of Bull Run and vicinity.

Yesterday we could distinctly hear the cannon in this city nearly all day and or course the excitement was great. Couriers we constantly passing and repassing to & from the War Department with great rapidity, and the wildest excitement prevailed through the day. About two p.m., a call was made from the War Department on all the clerks in the different departments to volunteer & go to the battlefield to take care of and assist the wounded. This call was also extended to the citizens, not only here but in Philadelphia and everyone who felt themselves able responded at once to this call & placed themselves under orders. This of course increased the excitement very much & in a very short time thousands were on the spot ready to march.

At first I made ready to go but finding such a rush, & finding also that it was impossible to provide conveyance for so many, and really not feeling able to withstand the fatigue that must necessarily be underwent, I returned home. And throughout the night and this morning many arrived from Philadelphia and other places for the same purpose, & among them was a company of over two hundred physicians from Philadelphia. All these were sent forward this morning. 1 It is thought that towards evening the wounded will commence to arrive & what adds to the labors is that our forces has driven the enemy from the field & we not only have our wounded to care for but also the wounded of the enemy.

It is understood that we have routed them & taken a large number of prisoners & killed two or three to their [our] one, and it is also reported that Stonewall Jackson—their greatest general—is among the prisoners, but these are only rumors. We have no reliable particulars yet—only that we have whipped them and that not less than twenty thousand on both sides & very likely more that that number have been killed or wounded. Oh! what a terrible slaughter. It will be several days yet before particulars will be learned sufficient to know the exact result. In fact, it is not yet known that the battle is yet over. The rebels are making a desperate struggle. They know that now was their last chance to strike & they have doubtless risked their all in this bold strike. They well knew that soon as our new troops were organized and ready for the field, that their days were numbered.

By this evening or tomorrow the wounded will begin to arrive & the hospitals have all been cleared of the convalescent and are being made ready for the arrival of the wounded. [Brigadier] General [Robert] Schenck of Ohio was brought in badly wounded during the night and is now at Willard’s. I do not know whether he is considered dangerous or not—hope not, for he is a very good officer. 2 Dr. Humphreys could not go to the field for the reason he is under orders to report here tomorrow morning and he will have his hands full soon as the wounded are brought in. The Dr. looks and feels that he is improving since he has got some rest. He has had some times and many dangerous scenes to pass through & I am glad he has now a position more suitable to his taste and not so much personal exposure—and not only so, he gets more pay.

I have no letter from home since Mary’s good long letter over a week ago. I went to the Post Office last night & this morning sure I would get one, but was disappointed. But think I will certainly find one tomorrow.

I suppose you have kept so busy on account of so many soldiers being about there that you hardly can find time to write. And I hear that still another regiment [99th Indiana Infantry] is being made up there. The nearer the time approaches for me to start for home, the greater my anxiety to hear from you. Only just think of it, only about four weeks more & I shall be off. As I mentioned in one of m last letters, I shall not send any more money until I come myself. You will not need it & I can save the expense of sending it.

The Dr. is writing his wife a good long letter. He commenced it last evening & he tells me he just conclude the tenth page. I think I shall not come up to him this time for I have some other letters I must write—especially to Frank Heaton. I drew his pay for him and must send it to him. And having written you so recently, a long letter is not necessary this time.

Tell Mary I gave her message to John Woodworth & he said he would write her soon.

Mary wrote some time ago that she was about buying an Album of Layton’s to hold these card photographs. Has she got one? If not, I want her to hold on until she writes me & gives me a full description of them & how many they are designed for, and then if I think I can do better here, I will bring her one from here. They have various sizes here & some splendid ones.

Let me just suggest another thing for I suppose you are preparing your wardrobes for a visit here next winter. Now just let me say that it would be advisable to have your dresses intended for the street so they will not drag on the pavements. The streets here when dry are very dusty and when wet, very muddy. And I see so many fine dresses ruined by being too long that it makes a person’s heart ache to see it. Write me now very soon. I want a letter from you. You must take tome to write me a good log letter & only think, a mont hence & I will start for home.

I just heard from James Sample. He is at Portland, Maine. I heard through Henry Matlock. Henry is well and is looking for a letter from Charles. Tell him not to fail to write him.

My love to all. Your affectionate husband, — C. M. Heaton

1 Late editions of the Washington papers on Saturday announced the request by the War Department for male surgeons and nurses to attend to the wounded. They were dispatched from Alexandria and told to be prepared to spend several days near the scene of action. It was estimated that about a thousand clerks and other civilians who rendezvoused at Alexandria that evening were packed in cars that did not leave until 9 p.m. They did not reach Centreville until early the next morning and once there, discovered that no provision had been made to transport them from there to the battlefield. Many were advised to return to Washington which they did.

2 Brigadier General Robert Schenck 1809-1890) was struck in the lower right arm by a bullet leaving him permanently disabled. Apparently Schenck remained at Willards for quite some time. Fellow Ohioan Salmon P. Chase, Treasury Secretary, wrote in his journal on Monday, September 15, 1862, that he called on the general at Willard’s who was being attended by Schenck’s daughter and helped dress his wound “which looked very bad but the surgeons say he is improving rapidly and will be able to sit up in two or three days.”


Letter 17

Washington
September 2nd 1862

Dear Wife,

The city is still in a terrible state of excitement. The wounded are arriving by thousands, and the clerks are all out assisting them from the cars to the hospitals, and I am left here to take care of the office as I do not feel able to do much good in carrying wounded men, and it is necessary that someone should stay here. It is impossible for me to give you particulars of the present state of affairs owing to the thousand and one rumors not only concerning the fight—which has been going on for two or three days past in the neighborhood of Bull Run—but in relation to the decisive battle that is expected to go off today. The citizens, although in a blaze of excitement, are calmly waiting the result. Those that ought to know how matters now stand and who have the best means to determine the prospects before us, have every confidence of our success. A day or two, however, will decide the fate of Washington.

The enemy is in large force at Bull Run but have no means of giving their numbers. But it is believed that our forces are much larger than the enemy. But it is [also] generally believed that our generals are not as able generals as those of the enemy. The rumor that the rebel rebel General Jackson has been killed or wounded is all a farce. He is in command today and is a very able general & his men under him will fight terribly. Our generals have not proved themselves as able as could be hoped for, and they are jealous of each other, and consequently that harmony that should exist at such a time as this is wanting. Yesterday General Banks formed a junction with the main army and I believe it would be a good thing if he had supreme command. It is believed by many that he is the best field officer now in command.

Col. Sol Meredith, 19th Indiana Infantry

You remember of hearing me speak of Col. Sol Meredith of the 19th Indiana Regiment. This regiment was in the fight on Saturday & was badly cut up. His son, a lieutenant, was shot in the neck and will die, and Col. Meredith had his horse shot under him & when he fell, fell on the colonel and injured him considerably but not mortally. He is yet on the field at the head of his fragment of a regiment that is left. 1

Col. [William Lyons] Brown [of the 20th Indiana Infantry] from Logansport & a brother to Rev. W. Brown that was at our place, was killed—shot through the head. 2

You must not become alarmed for my safety for I yet have full confidence in our success and do not believe the enemy will be able in any event to approach the city. But let the result be what it may, I shall calmly wait the result. Two days more will certainly determine the whole affair.

Yesterday Dr. [Lewis] Humphreys was ordered aboard a vessel loaded with convalescent soldiers from the various hospitals & to proceed with them to an Island 3 where there is a large hospital for convalescent soldiers in the harbor at New York. He expects to be back the last of this or first of next week. He wanted me to have you let his wife know it as he had no time to write. He is in good health & spirits. He left his trunk with me until he returns.

It has been a week last Saturday since I heard from you. Am getting anxious to hear. Perhaps your letter has been detained somewhere. Now be calm & trust to providence for the future. I believe all will come out right. I will write you daily until the great crisis is passed. Love to all. Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton

1 Solomon (“Sol”) Meredith and his son were both injured in the fighting at the Brawner Farm near dusk on 28 August 1862. During the fighting, “Meredith’s horse, Old Roan, was hit by a ball and fell, pinning the colonel. Meredith was pulled free by two officers, but was stunned. The colonel’s son, Samuel, a lieutenant in one of the 19th’s companies, was also shot in the neck at about the same time. For 90 minutes, until it was too dark to see, both sides fired at each other at murderously close range during what would evolve into the three-day Second Battle of Bull Run. [Brigade Commander John] Gibbon, who’d see much fighting during the coming months, said later that ‘the most terrific musketry fire I have ever listened to rolled along those two lines of battle. It was a regular stand up fight during which neither side yielded a foot.’ As a result of his injury, Meredith missed the remainder of the battle, but was back in command when the brigade saw action at South Mountain, Md., on September 14, 1862.” [Source: Lance J. Herdegen, “Long Sol: The Pugnacious 6-foot 7 Solomon Meredith Cast a Long Shadow over the Iron Brigade.” Sol’s son, Lt. Samuel Hannah Meredith was wounded in the neck, as stated, at Brawner’s Farm but it was not a mortal wound. He survived to be wounded again in the first day’s fighting at Gettysburg and was discharged from the regiment in January 1864 suffering from lung fever. He died less than two weeks after his discharge.

2 Col. William Lyons Brown (1817-1862) was described by Brig. Gen. Philip Kearny as “Brave, skillful, a disciplinarian, full of energy, and a charming gentleman.” He was received a mortal gunshot wound to the left temple during the fight at Groveton on 29 August 1862. Prior to taking command of the 20th Indiana Infantry, Col. Brown had been a merchant and banker in Logansport, Indiana.

3 Governors Island in New York Harbor.


Letter 18

Washington
September 3, 1862

Dear Wife,

In my letter yesterday I promised to write you daily until the crisis was passed. Our army is falling back toward Washington. We had supposed that the great fight would go off yesterday but was mistaken. There was some skirmishing but no general fight.

This morning the President has ordered that all the clerks in the different departments form themselves into companies & that they be armed to do duty in defense of the Capitol. Under this order, I fall into line at 11 o’clock—one hour from now. But you must not be alarmed as we suppose we will not be required only to perform guard duty in the city so as to relieve soldiers who are now on that duty. I shall do my duty the best I can. I do not know how arduous it will be. My health is good.

No letter from home yet. I will write again tomorrow but no further time now. Love to all. Your affectionate husband, — C. M. Heaton

We have no fears for the city. It cannot be taken.


Letter 19

Washington
September 4, 1862

Dear Wife,

Everything is more quiet this morning. Our army has fallen back to where they were a year ago. This places Washington in a secure position again. When our army was before Richmond, they became so reduced from casualties & disease that they could make no further advances there. Consequently retreated & are now before Washington. The enemy in the mean time had been strongly reinforced and they determined to make a bod push and bring on a general engagement if they could whilst our forces were unusually weak, and before our new troops could be brought into service. Now we are just where we were a year ago—in our trenches before Washington—and there I presume we will remain until our new forces are drilled & made ready for active service.

In the late battles, we have lost many valuable officers and men. We cannot learn what course the powers that be will take. Their intentions and opinions are not allowed to be published. I send you this morning’s paper which will give you all the particulars known to us up to this hour but you need have no uneasiness as to my safety for I apprehend no danger whatever.

Our company are put under drill every day and I have so far done my share. I think if you and Mary could peep around some corner and see me shoulder and order arms, and come the quick step on the right and left wheel, you would laugh. All the trouble is, the musket gets monstrous heavy before we get through. But all together it gives us a good appetite for dinner and the night’s rest is sweet.

When this month is up, however, I shall ask for my leave of absence to go home and if no unforeseen circumstances should occur, I shall be there at the time. Only think, the month is whittling away and in a few days more I will be there.

No letter from home yet since a week ago last Saturday. I fear one letter has been lost. I wrote you yesterday and day before & will write you again tomorrow for I know just at this time you are anxious to hear often. I hope to hear from you soon and that all is well. But do not let so much time intervene between letters. It makes me uneasy for fear all is not well at home.

I have had no word from the Dr. [Humphreys] since he left but expect him back by the first of the week. The name of the vessel he went on is “Forest City.” I forgot to give you the name in my letter yesterday. My health is very good. Love to all.

Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 20

Washington
September 5, 1862

Dear Wife,

According to my letter you will doubtless be looking for another line from me today. I can give you no additional news of the movements of our army since yesterday excepting regiment after regiment are moving through the streets but I cannot find out where they are going to, but they seem to be moving up the river on the Maryland side where it is apprehended that the rebels intend to make a dash. But they will be foiled in that as our forces in that quarter are becoming very strong.

Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks

I do not think there will be any general engagement near this city soon. Our forces have been concentrated around this city so strong that the enemy will not dare to attack us. But it is very humiliating to think that we have been driven from before Richmond & forced to put ourselves in position before Washington just where we were one year ago, all because we lack generals of the right caliber. We have the men and those that will fight when properly led into battle. Oh! how we need some Napoleon to spring up that is able for the crisis. And I yet think that [Nathaniel P.] Banks will be the great man. He has so far proved himself to be the best commander in the field, but it will take time to bring him forward. 1

This afternoon I go again into ranks for drill. We have a very fine company commanded by Capt. J[ames] M. Edmunds, our commissioner of the General Land Office. We have not been ordered into any particular service but only hold ourselves in readiness for any orders that may come from headquarters.

But little business is doing in the office today, however we are doing some. Our hours for drill is from 5 to 7 o’clock p.m.

No letter from home yet. What can be the matter? I fear some of you are sick. Mary’s long letter, last one received. Love to all.

Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton

1 Nathaniel P. Banks was a political general with no prior military training when he offered his services in 1861 and was a made a major general of volunteers. He enjoyed some early success in the Shenandoah Valley but when he was given higher command and greater responsibilities in the Mississippi Valley in 1863, and the Red River Campaign in 1864, he faltered considerably.


Letter 21

This letter was written by Ann (Crane) Heaton of South Bend, Indiana, to her husband, Charles M. Heaton in Washington D. C.

South Bend [Indiana]
September 6th 1862

Dear Husband,

Your three letters written this week came through very quick and I tell you we felt more than glad to hear from you. We saw by Monday’s paper that the clerks were going as nurses to the battlefield and that our army was whipped came by telegraph, and we did not rest much on Monday night. I was afraid you had gone to the battlefield and I knew you could not stand the fatigue and the horrible sights you would have to see there. And we knew there were other dangers attending the battlefield. But when we got your letter of last Sunday, we all felt much better. I hope you will not have to drill too much for the Washington guard. I am sure you could not stand it.

I go in for arming the blacks. I don’t believe the South can be conquered in any other way and I can’t see why negro blood should be held more sacred than the white mans. If I had fifty sons, I would oppose every one going to war under this rule of the administration. It would be much better to have the negro killed off than the white man. The President wants to get clear of the negro by sending him off to some other country. I think he had better put him in the battle and save white man. It’s awful to think of the condition of our country. 1

I have been thinking it would be best for Mary to go back with you and make a good long visit this winter. I think it would do you more good to have one at a time and I want her to go first. We will have plenty of peaches when you get home. Charlie did well with his telegraph the last month. His part of profits was ninety three dollars and ten cents.

I must stop writing for I want to get this in this morning’s mail. Tell Dr. [Lewis] Humphreys his wife and family are well. I saw them yesterday [and] took your letter there and read it to them. Mrs. Morrell is very sick and not expected to live. I have not been there but will go soon. Lib and children are well. Henry Baird has gone to war. Aunt Harriett send me three nice young chickens. Tom just brought them in. We will have them for dinner. Can’t you come and eat with us! or is it your time to drill? If nothing happens, you will take dinner with us just four weeks from today and perhaps a little sooner that that.

Mary often talks of what we will have good to eat when Pap gets home. — Ann

I will write tomorrow, — Mary

1 Ann was no doubt reacting to a position announced by the Lincoln Administration during the previous month that the government “did not intend to arm negroes unless some new or more pressing emergency arises.” It was public knowledge by this time that Lincoln advocated the recolonization of Blacks to Africa.


Letter 22

Washington
September 8th, 1862

Dear Wife,

The excitement still continues as a matter of course. It is reported—and perhaps with some foundation—the enemy has crossed the river into Maryland and occupy Frederick, a town of some five or six thousand inhabitants, and where a strong secession feeling prevails. They may in time interfere with some of our railroads and telegraph lines. The government has sent out a strong force to intercept them & we expect soon to hear that the rebels has retreated back across the river or else there will be a heavy battle again. It will be impossible for the rebels to proceed far in that direction.

What i am about to tell you, you must keep it to yourselves for the present so that Mrs. Humphreys will not hear of it for the present. This morning the Dr. has been ordered to proceed with a train of ambulances to the late battlefield at Bull Run under a flag of truce to bring away a large number of wounded, yet on the field. This is yet within the enemy lines. It will take him two or three days to make the trip unless he should be detained longer by the enemy. The Dr. does not want his wife to know it until he returns. I will keep you advised about it. He nor none of us think there will be any danger in it for the rebels will certainly respect a flag of truce under such circumstances. It is horrid to think so many of our brave soldiers are yet on the battlefield unprovided for. It is said there are some five or six hundred of them there yet.

If I was stout and able to stand such a trip, I should be strongly tempted to go along. One or two of our clerks will go with him. There will be over one hundred ambulances in the train.

I had a letter from Frank Heaton the other day. He will not return via South Bend and thinks of leaving his family at Crawfordsville until this excitement is over and I have advised him so to do.

The Dr. often seen Frank Morrell down near Corinth. He is in one of the Illinois regiments. I suppose Jacob hears from him occasionally. I am still under drill every day from 5 to 7 p.m. and stand it very well though the gun becomes quite heavy by the time we get through. I have no idea we will be called out into the field unless an attack is made upon the city and that is ot likely to occur for the enemy knows right well that our forces & batteries are too strong around htis city. But if they should attack us, you may surely count me in the fight. I shall do my duty to the utmost of my power. We have all our equipments ready, even to ammunition.

The city is now full of soldiers and the streets crammed with army wagons carrying munitions of war in every direction and this is kept up day and night. The Dr. starts at 5 this p.m.

My health is first rate and hope nothing will be in the way of my coming home at the end of the month. Love to all.

Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 23

Washington
September 10, 1862

Dear Wife,

This morning I was more than rejoiced to receive your good letter of the 6th inst. and shall expect to receive another from Mary tomorrow as she promised to write the next day. It may seem very exacting for me to desire letters so often from home but having been absent so long, and the time for my starting for home drawing so close at hand, somehow increases my desire to hear from home more and more. There is not an hour passes from the time I get up in the morning until I retire at night without thinking of home. But we must be patient for a few days longer and then I will be there.

I intend to start soon as I can draw my pay for this month. I cannot name the day yet, for they are not always uniform as to the day in making payment. Sometimes payment is made on the last day of the month—sometimes the day before—and sometimes the day after. But if nothing prevents, I will start the first train after I get my pay. If our city is to be besieged by the enemy, I think it will be before the month is out but I do not believe it will be for we have too many troops around the city and I cannot think they will undertake to interfere with us. I believe that those rebel troops now making a raid towards Pennsylvania will soon retire again into Virginia and will then scatter and collect again at or near Richmond. Our army are after them in every direction and will drive them back.

Dr. Humphreys returned this morning about 8 a.m. and had a perfect success. I only had a few minutes with him. He is now making his report to headquarters. He went with his train of ambulances under a flag of truce to the battlefield and brought away every wounded man that was left. Some of our own physicians were with them. The flag of truce was duly respected by the rebels & the Dr. went where he pleased and collected every man and brought them off. Many were badly wounded and he succeeded in getting every one in the hospital without losing a man. 1

As he has returned all safe you can tell him wife or any others you please. The Dr. was out two nights. The first night he traveled until one o’clock, then rested until daylight, and then went on the battlefield. But last night he traveled all night & after making his report, will rest the balance of the day. His health is first rate and feels finely on account of his signal success. He found only one company of rebels there. They might easily be driven off but unless our forces should desire to occupy the place, it would not pay to do it. From all he could learn, there were no other rebel troops there.

As to your visit here next winter, we will settle on nothing until I see you. I am truly glad to hear that the telegraph last month turned out so well. According to your report, Charles has done full as well as I have. tell him to save all he can. Tell him not to boast of it among his associates but to keep his good success to himself. Such times as these it is better to do so.

I am sorry to hear that Mrs. Morrell is so ill. Have Ireland take you out to see her as often as you can. Yes, I would like first rate to step in and help you eat those chickens Aunt Harriett sent you but when I come perhaps she will send us some more. As you say Tom brought them in, I suppose he is at home now. Has he come to stay? Tell Mary I shall want some sweet potatoes when I get there. Suppose you have them by this time.

We drill four times a week—Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays, from 5 to 7 p.m. I stand it so far first rate. We have not made our appearance in the street yet but suppose we will soon. We drill in what they call the court—a large square in the centre of the Patent Office Building; sufficiently large & a a very pleasant spot.

The city is full of troops moving day and night from point to point and I do not see how they provide for so many mouths, but they do it.

You must keep cool these exciting times and do as little work as possible. My health is first rate now and always ready for full rations & am well pleased with my boarding house. Have plenty to eat and that, that is good.

My love to Lib & children, to Mary & Charles, & an ocean of it to you. Your husband, — Charles M. Heaton

1 It has been reported that “the Federals were ten days removing their wounded under a flag of truce” which would be about the time of Dr. Humphreys trip into Virginia. Richard H. Coolidge, US Army Medical Inspector filed a report on 10 September 1862 that claimed that, under a flag of truce, all of the wounded from the battlefield “near Groveton, and from the field hospitals at Bull Run, Manassas Junction, Bristoe Station, and Centreville” had been successful in retrieving them to at least Centreville. The Union loss between June 26 and September 1 in killed, wounded, and missing was placed at 32,750 men.

The south facade of the U. S. Patent Office where Charles had his office during the Civil War.

Letter 24

Washington
September 13, 1862

Dear Wife,

I received Mary’s good letter of the 7th inst. on the evening of the same day that yours came to hand. Together with her two photographs—they are both pretty good, but I like the one with the front view the best. Tell Mary not to buy an Album—that I will bring her one, and will also get some pictures of our generals to put into it. Mary wanted me to bring her back with me but I am not certain but what I shall give them to some friends provided I can get theirs in return. Do you think I had better bring Mr. Crocker’s picture home or shall I keep it here to hang up in my room? I will only bring such clothing as may need repairing.

Mary asks whether we wear uniforms on drill? We do not but they are talking about getting up some kind of a cheap uniform. But as I do not expect to meet with them next month, I shall not go to that expense. We are progressing in our drills first rate and I stand it full as well as I expected. Sometimes I get pretty tired but so far I have done my share and will continue to do so until I leave for home.

Our streets continue to be full of troops day and night and government wagons—there is no end to them. They are going all the time. The excitement is not so great as it has been and it seems as though the rebel ary are working further off their course—seems to be up the Potomac River. The news this morning say they have evacuated Frederick & that our troops now have possession of that place. And I think it doubtful whether they will give us general battle. Their object seems to be for plunder. They are quite destitute of everything. And after they do what plundering they want, will retire into Virginia again.

The Dr. [Humphreys] is here yet. He and I room together. Ain’t that nice? But the Surgeon General told him this morning that he was about to give him orders to report for duty to Gen. McClellan and will likely, for the present, be assigned to some corps in Gen. McClellan’s command. Does not know what hour he will have to leave but probably not before morning. He has been in hopes that he would be assigned to duty in the hospitals in this city so that he could have Mrs. Humphreys here with him, but at present it seems he will have no special location. But soon as he does, he intends to send for her. He is very anxious about it and wants her with him but think the time for her to come so that she could enjoy herself not quite arrived yet.

Tell Lib I received her letter enclosing one from James & Mary—all good letters. I will try and answer them in a few days. I have so much to do now that I have but little time to write letters but I will answer them if I can.

Oh! just think of it. In three week more and I will be at home. Won’t that be nice. Be patient, and the time will soon roll round. I feel much better after hearing from home & to know that all is well. Write often, Mary.

Love to all. Your husband, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 25

Washington
September 16, 1862

Dear Wife,

I did not write yesterday because I had some rheumatism in my neck and shoulders and did not feel very well but this morning it is nearly gone.

The excitement is dying off gradually—that is, the symptoms of fear are giving way to those of exultation on account of the reported success of our army on the Upper Potomac. I think this raid of the rebels into Maryland has not paid them very well and no doubt they will regret having made it. Their losses are reported to be very heavy and that their Gen. Lee is mortally wounded. I think this will be the last effort they will make in this direction.

The Dr. [Humphreys] is here yet though he is expecting every hour to receive orders to go to the late battle grounds to aid in looking after the wounded. But the danger will be over before he gets there and not only so we have possession of the field. I shall be sorry to have him leave for he & I now room and sleep together, & we are having just as good a time as we can, and it helps to pass away the time very much. He is very anxious, however, to have it determined where his final location is to be so that he can have Mrs. Humphreys come to him. He will however be sent to the West soon as the wounded in this late battle is cared for. His health is very good and we both enjoy the dinner table very much. We sit side by side.

Capt. William J. Speed of Co. D, 24th Michigan Infantry was killed in the 1st days fighting at Gettysburg while acting as Major of his Regiment.

The Dr. just received a letter from Mrs. H. this morning. She says she ad just been over to see you and that she participated in a fine dish of oysters. When I come home, I think we will have a few more.

I learned yesterday that William J[ohnson] Speed of Detroit is Captain in the 24th Michigan Volunteers. That regiment is just over the river. Arrived here a few days ago. I have not seen him yet but sent word to him today that I was here.

Not feeling very well, I did not drill yesterday, nor shall I today. And when Frank Heaton gets back, I will give him my place & will quit it altogether. As the time for me to go home is so near, it is no use for me to continue in the drill. Now only think, it has got so that I can say week after next I start for home and it won’t be long before I can say—next week I go home. The fact is if I could get my pay, I would make it next week anyhow, but there is no chance to do that and will have to wait. And to wait will only add to the time for me to stay when I do come.

Mary, write often. It will help the time to pass away. Hope all will keep well. Love to all. Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton

The Dr. just come in. Will leave in the morning for McClellan’s Headquarters.


Letter 26

Washington
September 19th, 1862

Dear Wife,

Only think how close the time approaches when I shall leave for home. I intend to start on the first train after I receive my pay and will hurry through as fast as possible.

Last evening Frank Heaton returned and brought me a few nice pears & apples sent me from Crawfordsville—best I have seen this season. He did not bring his family with him. They will come on sometime next month. Says all our folks are well at Crawfordsville.

We have not yet heard whether battles that have been raging between McClellan & the rebel armies have terminated or not. These battles, no doubt, have been more terrible than any since the war commenced, but up to this time, from all we have heard, our army has had the better of the conflict. But hte loss has been terrible and among them are many of our best officers. Should we succeed in gaining a decided victory, it will go far toward breaking up the rebellion. We are anxiously looking for a final result within the next 24 hours.

Should McClellan succeed in routing the enemy this time, he will have regained a large portion of his popularity. But his success, to be complete, must be followed up immediately with another rush upon Richmond. The new volunteers are pouring in very fast and are eager for a forward move.

I have not heard from Dr. Humphreys since he left but expect to hear from him soon. He has not gone to the battlefield for the purpose of performing the heavy labor f taking care of the sick and wounded but to inspect and report on the condition of things in such portion of the army of McClellan as may be assigned him. He is in company with Dr. [William H.] Mussey of Cincinnati.

We have had some cool, damp weather for a few days past which has affected my neck very much and shoulders somewhat. But this morning the sun shines out again & I feel better, and hope when I get out into the pure air of old South Bend, and get some good things you will have to eat, all will be right again. As Frank is here, I shall give up my drilling to him.

Mary, I have given Frank one of your pictures & have got his & wife’s in return. I am going out to buy your Album this afternoon. Love to all.

Your affectionate husband, — Charles H. Heaton


Letter 27

Washington
September 22nd, 1862

Dear Wife,

Tomorrow I intend to see our paymaster & ascertain the precise day he will pay off the clerks and the very first train after I get my pay, I will be off. At all events, I shall be with you some time during next week. As the time approaches, my anxiety increases to be on the road, so much so, that I can hardly eat or sleep. This may be foolish but I confess, I cannot help it. I shall brace up my feelings the best I can.

The aspect of affairs, so far as our army is concerned, is I regret to say, distinctly more unfavorable than it seemed two or three days ago. The enemy has crossed the Potomac with all his trains & artillery untouched, with all his wounded except a few hundreds, and with the loss of only and insignificant number of stragglers. He is said to be now well posted on the south bank of the river with his artillery in position and prepared to dispute our passage. That he thus escaped substantially without damage is i itself a serious misfortune for us. And furthermore, it admits of but one interpretation and that not favorable as to the character of the battle of Wednesday.

A battle must be conceded to be a drawn one from which one party withdraws in perfect order, the other party being disabled from moving until movement is too late. It may have been the moral effect of a victory for us, and I still think it has, but that is only because a drawn battle is defeat to an advancing and hitherto successful army, which such a battle is a victory to an army which has been suffering continuous reverses. This battle of Antietam (the name of the stream on which it was fought) was a victory for us in that sense only.

It is gratifying, however, to find that the reports continue uniform of the good conduct of the whole army. Every division, every brigade, every regiment, and so far as appears, every man did well. The new regiments vied with the old. The battle has also left our troops in good order & in good heart. It has strengthened their confidence in themselves rather than impaired it. This is of great moment in future operations.

Frank Heaton has been detailed with many others to go to the battlefield to assist in looking after the wounded and especially those from Indiana. Comparatively speaking, we had but few Indiana troops in this battle but what few there were, were brave as lions & consequently suffered severely. The wounded are coming in by hundreds and the hospitals are being filled up rapidly. Frank left yesterday afternoon. I have not yet heard from the Dr. [Humphreys] since he left but expect to hear from him by tomorrow. I have a letter for him from South Bend. Suppose itis from Mrs. Humphreys. Will forward it soon as he informs me where and how to send it.

Mary’s letter informing me of the death of Mrs. Morrell was received. From what she wrote in a former letter, I was not much surprised to hear of her death. No doubt she must have suffered much. Jacob will feel her loss very much.

My health continues good and hope all are well at home. Love to all.

Your affectionate husband, — Charles M. Heaton


Letter 28

Washington
November 18th, 1862

Dear [son] Charles,

Your letter to Mary was received yesterday. Glad to hear everything was getting along so well. Suppose you have received her two letters written since yours which gave you a full account of how we are situated.

Before we left left home, your Mother was talking with Lucy Smith about coming here to work for her, provided we needed her. We have concluded to make her an offer to come and want you to go and see her immediately and tell her we would like to have her come. Tell her if she will come, we will pay her the highest wages that is paid here with is eight dollars per month, or we will say eight and a third which will be at the rate of one hundred dollars per year. And we will also pay her railroad fare here. Tell her we will have seven or eight in family—two of them besides our family. She knows James Sample & Henry Mattlock. If she comes, she better come at the same time Capt. Saunders comes who will if you speak to him about it, assist her in buying her through ticket at Toledo and Baltimore and also see that her check for her baggage is managed properly.

I wrote Capt. Saunders how to manage about his checks and tickets for himself which will answer for both. The railroad fare will be $5 to Toledo and from Toledo to Baltimore $15.55 & from there to Washington $1.50. There will be no omnibus fare except in Baltimore which will be for herself & trunk 50 cents, making in all $22.55. If she comes, when she starts give her $25 & tell her she better give Saunders the money to buy her through ticket at Toledo. And you will also go to Elias V. Clark and get him to make out a certificate for her showing who she is—that she is now, and always has been since her birth a free person, that she was born and raised in the State of Indiana, that she is now on her way to Washington to work for me who now resides in Washington, and request all conductors of railroads to assist her in getting through. And attest the certificate with the county seal. As Mr. Saunders will be on the same train, there will be no trouble about her getting through.

If she concludes to come, she better get ready at once and start when Mr. Saunders come. Let Mr. Saunders read this letter and give it to Lucy to bring with her. We hope she will come. It would also be cheaper and better for her to prepare something to eat along the road & carry it in a little basket and except this, she better put everything she brings in her trunk & then she will not be bothered with anything along the road. And if she has room in her trunk, we would like to have her bring our two Britannia tea pots we left. You see to this. Perhaps she can pack them in the middle of her trunk & be sure and have her get good leather strap to buckle tight around her trunk. Tell her also not to undertake to fix up any new clothing. If she has stuff to make up, she can put it in her trunk & make it up here. Better give her this letter to look over at her leisure. Soon as she determines whether she will come or not, write at once & let us know. 1

Your Father, — Charles M. Heaton

She should show the certificate she gets from Elias V. Clark to all the conductors and if necessary also them this letter. See that her trunk is a good strong one & if she has not enough to fill it, then fill up with one or two of our pillows.

Since writing the within I have been making further enquiries about the price of hired help and I am told it varies from $5 to $12 per month. At some places where they have from 15 to 25 or 30 boarders they pay $10 per month and at the large hotels they pay some extra cooks $12 and taking it all together we have concluded that we will pay her $9 per month and pay her way here as before stated.

I also enclose a pass for her from Mr. Slade. This pass is for her to show to the conductor on the cares between Baltimore and Washington. If it should be necessary to show it, it will be, when she gets on the cars at Baltimore. But as Mr. Saunders will be along, it may not be necessary to show it to anyone. She should keep this letter and other papers where she can easily get at them should it be necessary to use the. This pass from Mr. Slade is not intended to save the paying of the railroad for the fare will have to be paid under all circumstances.

Lucy’s daughter, Sarah (Bainter) Anderson
ca. 1906

1 Lucinda (“Lucy”) Smith (1836-1879) was the daughter of Garrett Smith (1808-1879)—a “mulatto”—was a farmer and teamster in St. Joseph county, Indiana. Her mother’s name was Mary Jenks (b. 1810). Garret and Mary were married in Knox county, Indiana, in 1827. They moved to South Bend in 1841. Lucy was first married to Adam Bainter (1827-1856) by whom she had one daughter, Sarah C. Bainter (1854-1937). Lucy must have decided to come to Washington to serve as the “hired girl” of the Heaton family for she married on 11 September 1866 in the District of Columbia to Noah Hubbard Herbert (1834-1875). Lucy and Noah were still residing in Washington’s 4th Ward at the time of the 1870 US Census, her eldest daughter Sarah living with them. Lucy died in November 1879, leaving four young children by her second marriage.

The pass for Lucy