Humboldt, July 17th, 1864.
I have received two letters from you within the last week and I suppose you would like to hear from me. I am at present in rather poor health and have been taking medicine for the last week. I am now up and much better, and should have answered yours before if I had not been sick. The last I had from Ma was dated the 3rd inst. The family were well then.
We have news here that Washington has been captured by the Rebels. Since, we have heard that there has been hard fighting only. Neither report do I believe. Yesterday there was a telegram received at Fort Scott that Petersburg was captured by the U.S. forces. From the signs of the times I am inclined to believe the latter report. One of our men said he would bet $5.00 that Petersburg was not taken. I offered to wager the $5.00, but he backed water when he saw I was in earnest.
There is an order that no more private horses shall be used in the service of the United States on and after the 1st day of May. There are about 40 private horses in our Co., and the Govt can not furnish any more and I do not know what will be done unless they turn us into infantry. The men can not sell their horses for near the amount they gave for them. You will at once see the inconsistency of such a law. Men were allowed to furnish their own horses when they could be bought for from $65 to $80. Now the Govt. pays as high as $168. Don't you think this is a very wise administration -- over the left.
I think the raids in Maryland, in the end, will turn greatly to our advantage. The raiders left Lee's army at Richmond, but I believe they will catch the devil before they get back.
I am opposed to Mr. Lincoln's selection, and should be if I had ever been his supporter. I verily believe that a great majority of the people of the free states are in favor of the Union as it was and would jump at the chance. But I believe the present administration would continue the war till the restoration of the Jews to the Holy land before they would make a peace upon any other terms than an entire abolition of slavery. I believe that you are so much of a Democrat that you believe a majority should rule.
Give my kindest regards to Henry -- and the same to you. This must do for both of you at the present. Tell him to write, for I do like to hear from you both often.
I am ever your affectionate Father,
Chas. N. Mumford