Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

Post image for War Letters of William Thompson Lusk.

War Letters of William Thompson Lusk.

November 17, 2012

War Letters of William Thompson Lusk.

Norwich, Conn. November 17th, 1862.

My own dear Son:

I think I will commence the week by writing a letter to you who in these times of trouble occupy so large a share of my thoughts. Sam Elliott was here on Saturday, dined with us and stayed some hours. His sad condition makes me feel very melancholy. Poor fellow! How he has suffered. I sometimes wish you were all withdrawn from the Army. Oh! my poor, poor country! It is so grievous to see our sons and friends maimed, sick, or to know that they are dead. He (Elliott) tells me you are well, and seem strong. God has indeed been merciful to spare your life and strength amid such great dangers as you have passed through during the last eighteen months. Elliott talks of returning to his duties this week. He certainly ought not, for he is weak, sick, and unfit for exertion; besides that, he requires the most nourishing diet. He told me that he found you at breakfast on mouldy bread and sloppy coffee, while we who are at home doing nothing are fattening on luxuries.

Oh! my dear, dear son, I feel so anxious about the effect of this coming cold winter, and I cannot help a feeling of bitterness that you are not provided with proper food. If you should have an attack of rheumatism, do get permission to return to be taken care of properly. I hear nothing more of your prospects in New-York, but am sure your friends will not relax their exertions. We are all well here, and the Grands are doing finely, especially the last. A week from Thursday is our Thanksgiving Day in Conn., so we are expecting Thomas and Lillie to pass the day, after which I shall return with them to New-York for the winter. Elliott told me when he reached New-York, being cold, he wrapped around him the blanket Hunt gave him, and as he staggered from weakness, a police officer arrested him for drunkenness, but released him immediately on discovering that he was ill. What is the general feeling in the Army regarding the removal of McClellan, as far as you can judge? Uncle John is violently opposed to him, and Hunt, I think, partakes of his feelings. Whether justly, or unjustly, there is certainly a strong party against him. The Post and Tribune oppose him, the World and Express uphold him, while the Herald humbly submits its judgment to the will of the President.

Mary Wells and her husband have returned from Europe, and are expected here this week. Hannah has nearly or quite recovered her strength. I have not much news to tell you. The Twenty-sixth Regt. left last Thursday, to the relief of some of our citizens. They were in town at all hours, and a hundred or more at once would run past the guard and rush to their tents when they pleased. The Lt.-Col., when issuing his orders, would address them thus: “Gentlemen, please to stand back,” or, “Gentlemen, please to stop,” when he wished them to halt. This is the gossip. Very few of them were known in town, and consequently less interest was felt for them than for the Eighteenth and Twenty-First. Edward Ells, and young Meech who married Louisa Bond went with them. Gen. Tyler and Ned, Dr. Osgood saw last week in Chicago. He reports that they are having a rather forlorn time. It is some time since their paroled prisoners have seen the paymaster. I hear you have been inconvenienced by the same cause. The papers state that all are now being paid, so I hope you too will receive your own. Uncle Thomas heard somewhere, that the “De Soto” was off New Orleans on her way home for repairs. If this is true, Charles may soon be home.

Good-bye, my own dear son, may the Almighty God be ever your defence and shield.

Always very lovingly,


Elliott said, if the Medical Examiner forbids his return this week, he should come and see me again. His brother William is in Washington. His arm is still useless.

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