I have been sadly disappointed in receiving no letters this week

Joseph Culver Letter, May 27, 1865, Page 1

Head Qurs. Co. “A” 129th Regt. Ills. Vols.
Washington, D.C., May 27th 1865
My Dear Wife

I learned through J. A. Fellows this evening by a letter from his wife of the 22d inst. that you are well. I have been sadly disappointed in receiving no letters this week, & it is now Saturday night. I have felt uneasy thinking you must be sick. I hope, however, to hear from you by to-morrow’s mail.

It has been raining hard for three days, & we have been wet most of the time. Our Review came off very well on Wednesday [the 24th]. You will get the full particulars through the papers. Bro. Charlie came down Tuesday & found his way to camp in the evening. Bro. Wes. with Mary & Hannah were on a stand in front of the President’s Mansion, &, after the Column had passed the Reviewing Officer, I fell out and went back to them. I saw two Brigades of our Division & two Divisions of the 14th Corps pass.1

It was the first Review I ever seen & was quite interesting. After the Review was over, I brought Hannah & Charlie out to camp with me. I got a place for Hannah with Major Richardson & wife, the former commands “Fort Lincoln.”2 She has a very pleasant place. Charlie stays with me in camp. Our camp is 4-1/2 miles from Washington on the Baltimore Pike & 1-1/2 miles from Bladensburg. The situation is a very pleasant one.

We are hard at work preparing for muster out & hope to finish all our papers next week. We have not learned yet what time we may expect to go home, but ’twill not be long.

I was in Washington yesterday in company with Hannah, Charlie, Maj. Richardson & wife, & Mrs. Cartwright. The latter is wife of Lt. Cartwright, Bro. of Mrs. Richardson, & have been married but a week.3 It rained very hard all day, & we were kept close to the houses & the ambulance. We visited the Capitol & Patent Office. Considering the weather, we had a very pleasant trip.

Hannah & Charlie will go home on Monday morning [the 29th]. I could not drive from my mind the idea as we passed down the Avenue on Wednesday [24th] that you might be present. I thought there would certainly be a delegation from our part of the State thus affording you an opportunity to come. I know you would have enjoyed it. It occurs to me just now, however, that you could not leave Sister Maggie [Utley] which may also account for the long intervals in your letters.4

Another week has passed away, & another Sabbath approaches. I hope soon, very soon, to spend them with you in God’s service. I will probably write to-morrow if I am not called on for too many reports. Always when we get into camp as now there is a few months back work to make up, & the calls for papers are almost incessant. I made up the Muster & Pay Rolls to-day. We will receive part pay before we start home.

I will close for to-night; it is almost 11 o’clock. Charlie & I spent the evening with Hannah at the Major’s. All the boys are well & are making good use of the time looking around Washington. Remember me in love to all the family. Kiss Howard for Papa. May God bless you & keep you safe from harm until my return.

Your affect. Husband
J. F. Culver

  1. The XX Corps moved out with the First Division in the van and General Ward’s Third Division bringing up the rear. In Ward’s division, General Harrison’s 1st Brigade had the lead. The unarmed men were left to guard and move the knapsacks, camp, and garrison equipage to the new camps east of the Potomac. Marching by way of Columbia Pike, the corps passed Fairfax Seminary and Fort Richardson and crossed Long Bridge at 7 o’clock. O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XLVII, pt. III, pp. 563-64. []
  2. Fort Lincoln was near the district line, a few hundred yards east of the Bladensburg Pike. James M. Richardson, a 36-year-old Brookline merchant, entered service on Nov. 20, 1863, as captain of Company H, 3d Massachusetts Heavy Artillery. He was promoted major on Nov. 30, 1864. In the spring and early summer of 1865, Major Richardson served as acting inspector general, Hardin’s division, XXII Corps, with his duty station at Fort Lincoln. Compiled Service Records of Union Soldiers, NA. []
  3. Edward G. W. Cartwright, a 19-year-old Nantucket clerk, was mustered into service on Dec. 3, 1863, as a 2d lieutenant in Company H, 3d Massachusetts Heavy Artillery. He was promoted to 1st lieutenant on Dec. 15, 1864, while stationed at Fort Lincoln. Ibid. []
  4. Maggie Utley gave birth to a child, her third, in May 1865. Culver, “Robert Murphy and Some of His Descendants,” p. 129. []

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