Joyce, another letter from my wife's gr. uncle James McKay Howland. Submited by Bradley Rice
Philadelphia Oct 28
Dear Father I recived yours of the 23rd this morning while I was Picking up catfish for Dinner Iwas glad to here that you was all well Iam as well as common my complaint trubles me some yet yous crap of buckwheat and potatoes is much better then I thought it would be you say that the aid society met at our house the 14th and that they was 219 ate there But a $ ,100 a couple is as paid as they used me at the festival they charged me $1,50 for myself and and 2 girls and then called it a free Dinner Pa I would like to be at home and help you husk corn nights and go to Once in a while a apple cut I and you used to husk raceses I think I could beet you all hallow but I cant try it now but I hope that I can try it Some time last spring when I was at the front I used to Pull up the green corn for my horse and I used work Pretty Some time to About the money that draws interest it is the new Stamp I will Send you all of my money the Solgers all Draws that it makes the Greenbacks as good as gold. I never had any of that but I have seen a good of it as I have not much time to write close you need not answer this letter till I write a gain no more Present
James M. H
I recived your letter this morning glad to here from you I also recived one from Joe and one from Em Howland I thought that they wore all from you your hand writing on them all Joe sent Paper Enough to last me a week he spoke about Addies new love and how mutch uncle Joe was pleased with him he is a nice fellow Well there is not mutch news here now nothing Since the Surender of Fort Fisher that I have herd and I would herd that if the Company had not been called out told that there was a going to be 100 guns fired for a Salute over the Victory of Fort Fisher I was ovre to the 20th Reg . of Pa. Vol. George C. is well or a great deal betterthan he was Dock is well E. D. Dingmond is well the boys are all well over there R. B. H. is well I gave the letter to Rob The noncommisioned oficers are all reduced to the ranks but Rob and Rat & Thomas Jonson he is a Sargent Rob ranks as corpral The Whole Company was under an Arrest for Steeling meal from an old reb Citizen Out Side the Pickets he had taken the Oath of alegince the boys took some meal & D. W. got a kittle full of dumplings he took it off the fire they wore warm yet when he came to the reserve Post D. W. Rathbone had to go on post and while he was on post the boys stold the dumplings from him he gave them a blesing for it he got in a little before I did We Wore both on relief When I came in he was giveing them the very old boy Wilburt is well the boys are all well Stewart Stevens D. W. Rathbone Coon Buch & myself tents together the H. J. Vanhorn tents with me there is 4 of us in a tent together you must use some of my money to buy hay and oats with to keep Cheering John and the other Creeters alive I dont suffer for anything as I know of unless it is for some stamps or some paper and envelopes or some things of that kind tell Joe that Addies lover is D. W. Rathbone dont tell (No Ending)
Dear Father I now seat my self to inform you that Iam well and in prety good health so good that I eat more than my rations Well Pa I wish you would send me a little money if you can I can buy bread to the Combusary to last me on Picket our rations is all send me enough to buy a little grub I can't tell when we will be paid, it will be this money that draws interist and I will send it home you may send me the boots and the spirs and the breast strap then when we get paid I will send it all home I guess we will be paid next month The Pay rolls went in last month We thought we would get it last month, but we have not had any get there Will be some comeing to me when I get it Write soon we are all well and happy as a Clam it rains here now. James M Howland To P.. P.. Howland. Esq Come off drill you may think I want a good deal but I need it all We have just come off drill it hails and rains to gather and my hands is so numb that I cant write They say (Unknown) is hurt prety bad I dont think of any more that would interest you and I dont know as this does. Yours in hasty From James M Howland To P..P.. Howland Esq
Mr. Howland Sir Yours of the 26th of March was read by me last evening. In answer to your enquiry , I will tell what I know about your son. He was killed the Fifth of Feburary about two miles South of Dinwiddie Court House ( The County Seat of Dinwiddie Va ) I got some of the boys to help me and we put him on the Horse and carried him back to the Court House and buried him. His grave is about one hundered roods North of the Court House on a small rise of ground. The excavation was about two feet deep and boards laid over the grave and then covered with dirt, the ground was dry and gravely. As to your getting his remains, I should advise you to not at presant, our forces occupy the ground where he is on now, But how long it will remain so the fortunes of war can alone decide. Futhermore you could not get here now if you wished to, as there is no passes to the Army granted now. I' am aware that your feelings differ widely from mine, But if I'am allowed to give my advice, it is that you trouble yourself no more, your son at the time he was with his company, seamed cheerful and his record is that of a hero. Always ready to do or give where duty called him. Weather you get his mortal remains or not rest assured that he was an honor to his friends and country. If at any time I can be of any service to you just let me know.
Very Respectfully WDBellows