Your kind and welcome letters of the 13th and 20th of last month first arrived several days since when I was absent on picket guard 12 miles from our camp. I also received Manley's. Yours of the 20th I received yesterday.... I answer your letters as soon as I can and this will not leave here till the 3rd. The mail leaves here only twice a week.
I am afflicted with the rheumatism in the left hip, caused, I think, by sleeping on the ground. Other ways I am quite well. Formerly we had to stand picket guard a week at a time, but after this only three days at a time. I think it will be much better. We have not been paid yet and I do not think we will be before June. Consequently I have not been called upon to sign the pay rolls. One of the pay rolls has been lost and the Capt. says he shall have to send to Washington for a retained pay roll before we can be paid. He has sent for it, but it uncertain when it will come.
The weather for the last month has been cold and disagreeable.
I shall not buy the land that I wrote you about. I do not think you would be satisfied to live here, and I do not know as I should myself. There are many inconveniences here to encounter.
It is said that the veterans of our Co. will start for Wis. in a few days, but that had been the story for at least two months. They are 15 in number. I am not in and the time has expired for veterans to enlist. Therefore I hope to be at home, if life is spared, inside of a year. My time will be out on the 24th day of January, 1865, at which time I hope to be with you. But circumstances may be such that I shall not come till Spring. If I should have stock to bring home, it will be necessary for me to wait till grass grows.
From appearances I think our Co. will stay here till our time is out. I think we shall have very hard scouting to do this season after Bushwhackers, which will be a dangerous business after the leaves come out.
I have not given up the idea of buying the place that you live on, and I should like to have you ascertain what it can be bought for if you can. But I do not calculate to go in debt for land unless I can see a way to pay.
I shall have to close, as I am called on to go and help get rations. Write soon and often.
I am as ever your affectionate Husband,
C. N. Mumford
P.S. I shall write to Manley tomorrow. This will not leave till the 4th inst. CNM.
Dear Daughter Mary:
I was glad to get yours. I am glad that you think of me. I think of you all every day. You must be good to Ma and tell all the rest to be good to her. I want to see you all very much and hope I shall be able to in nine or ten months more. Please write again.
I am your affectionate Father,
C. N. Mumford