16 November 1862

Camp Suffolk
November 16th [1862]

Dear Sister Myra,

Major Gen. John Adams Dix (1798-1879)

Yours of the 9th is at hand and finds me well. There is not much in the way of news at present. Last week Wednesday there was a Grand Review of all the troops around here by General [John Adms] Dix and it was a grand sight to see the almost endless lines of men, the uneasy neighing of horses, the artillery galloping along followed by the saucy looking guns that look as though they were not made to play with. When the General was announced, they fired the National salute of 13 guns and it seemed to awaken the men and horses with the thoughts of old times. But the firey horses stood in the midst of the smoke and never flinched, seemingly proud of their position. The General is a middle-aged man ¹ and does not act as though he felt himself better than men in common.

The weather is usually fine. We have had one snow storm and there is another storm a brewing so you are not much ahead in that line and our corn is all husked and the potatoes dug and have got the house banked too. But that will not save the Union and I begin to think it will be a hard matter to save the poor thing anyway. But I suppose that Mr. Seymour will bring things around all right and save the Union if it is not too far gone. What a pity it is that some of the union-saving men were not hung long ago, but matters are under a new head and I hope things will take a different turn soon. How do folks in general like the election and did they get much excited? Abrams folks seem to be getting many in the land and waxing strong. It must be a goodly land. You say that you have not seen Nate in some time. I have not heard from him in the way of a letter but once since last spring. Have you got acquainted with Ema and how do you like her? I wrote once while you were at Cassort.

I received a letter from Tip [Booth] the same night yours arrived. He is at Yorktown and is well last week. Ant Eliza sent me a paper and I must answer it today with a letter so you must not find fault if this is not very long for news is scarce here and Tip’s is answered. You say you wish you had the management of the war a spell. You would hang them all, wouldn’t you? Catch them first. Most anyone would do that for them if they could catch them.

Tell Willie that I have not heard from him in some time and would like to have him let me know what is going on and whether Jack is a good dog and how the old cat gets along. And how does siss’s little kitten get along, and does Susan’s pig fat as fast as Father’s? And how much does she earn picking up potatoes? Tell Father my boots are just old wheat. Four pairs of new boots come into the company last night from Bristol. But I must close. Write soon and remember your soldier brother, — A. H. B.

¹ Major General John A. Dix must have looked younger than his years for Bancroft to describe him as “middle-aged” given that he was actually 64 years old at the time of this Grand Review in Suffolk, Virginia. He died in 1879.