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.

January 5, 2013

War Letters of William Thompson Lusk.

Camp Near Falmouth, Va.

Jan. 5th, 1863.

My dear Mother:

My letters seem very long in reaching you. The one I sent the day before Christmas, containing a little money which I hoped would contribute to the children’s happiness on New Year, had not come to hand on the 31st, yet I had hoped it might precede the rather dolorous document written only the evening before, but which, of course, wouldn’t be overtaken. To tell the truth, I was not a little ashamed at having been so querulous. I do not like the habit of complaining, and do not mean often to indulge in it, but the best of our guardian angels cannot always resist the attacks of those emissaries of Satan — the cooks.

Col. Farnsworth, it is said, will soon rejoin his Regiment. It is still a matter of doubt though, whether his physical health will permit him to remain long. Besides the natural effects of his wound, he is much paralyzed I understand, from severe neuralgia. Be this as it may, I am very sorry for him, and shall welcome him back with pleasure. Farnsworth, McDonald and myself enjoy about an equal degree of popularity in the Regiment. Since writing the last sentence my opinion has been somewhat modified by the arrival of the mail. Farnsworth sends a certificate of disability looking for a further extension of his “leave of absence.” This is indefensible. The law allows disabled officers two months to recover. F. has had four months already, and looks for a further postponement of his return. I have also received your letter bearing date Jan. 2d, and see how much harm I did by indulging in a little fit of spleen. I do not see the slightest hope or prospect of either a short leave of absence, or of promotion, neither of which little matters do I intend shall disturb my equanimity in the slightest degree. To be sure my associations are not always agreeable, but when I entered the service had I any reason to hope they would be? I certainly enjoy more favor than any line officer in the 1st Division. This ought to suffice. Again I am losing years that ought to be spent in fitting me for my profession. Well, what of that? Shall I at this late hour begin to count the cost of doing my duty? No, mother, we both know that this matter must be pushed through to the end. I am not of so much value as to complain of having to bear my part. To hear me talk, one would suppose I was the only one who fancies himself unjustly used. Bah! The army is filled with them. Possibly twenty years hence I shall be grumbling because my professional skill is not properly appreciated. It is hard for disappointed men to believe the fault lies in themselves. Yet such things do happen. I shall be obliged to postpone my Christmas remembrances to you until the paymaster (invisible now for six months) shall visit us.

Very affectionately, Will.

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