General Hospital, Fort Scott, May 16th, 1865.
My Dear Wife:
With much pleasure, I received your kind and consoling letter of the 7th inst yesterday. I am truly thankful to hear that you are all well. I am improving in health -- I may say almost entirely well.
I received a letter from Jacob Lemons since I last wrote you, dated the 29th ult. From the tone of his letter I think he is getting well of his wound fast. He writes that he should start for home on furlough in a few days, and tells me to direct my next to him from Wauzeka. But I presume he will be discharged before he comes. I am very sorry indeed to inform you that you will be sadly disappointed in my returning to you soon. The convalescents in this hospital were mustered out on the 13th inst, and sent to Leavenworth for pay. I presume they are now on their way to their homes. The Surgeon in charge of this hospital says the Veterans can not be mustered out under the order. But I believe it is a base lie. If the order has not been altered or modified, since it was issued by the War Department, undoubtedly they have as much right to muster out Veteran Volunteers as any other soldiers. Several Veterans were mustered out here, belonging to Kansas Regts, and one who belonged to the 3rd Wis Cav. This one, it is understood, was mustered out by mistake. The whole of the 3rd Wis Cav are on their way from Little Rock, Ark. to this place. There is an order from the War Department to muster out of service all men whose term of service expires by the 1st of Nov. next. There will be some of the 3rd Wis mustered out on that order. I hear that the Regt is to be reorganized as soon as those can be mustered out; and report says the Veterans are to be sent on to the plains to fight Indians and protect the mails. We have a new Col in the 3rd Regt. I have no doubt he is doing his utmost to keep the Regt in service as long as he possibly can; to the end of 3 years if he can. I believe it is through his influence that the Veterans in hospital have not been mustered out...
It was almost the greatest disappointment of my whole life -- not getting mustered out. For the order that I have seen -- and sent to you -- made no distinction between Veterans and other soldiers. But I shall have to take things as they come, though I must say I have been very lonely since my acquaintances left here. If I can not come home, you have this consolation: Henry, Manly, Amos and Jacob will all soon be home. I suppose from all accounts that Sherman's army are now at Washington, and you may, without doubt, look for the boys home next month... I suppose it is best to think there is a good time coming, if it is a long way off.
We got news here yesterday of the capture of Jeff Davis and his outfit. He was caught at Irwinsville, Irwin Co., Ga. He was captured by the 4th Mich and 1st Wis Regts. He was taken by surprise. He hastily put on one of his wife's dresses and ran for the woods. Our men at first thought he was a woman; but while running, his petticoat flew up and discovered his sex -- that is by his boots. The race was a short one and he was soon brought to bay. He brandished a large knife and showed signs of battle, but yielded rapidly to the persuasion of Colts revolvers without compelling the men to fire. Oh Jeff, how art thou fallen! I think there are but few north or south to pity you. I guess they will lift you up as Moses did the snake in the woods; only I think you will be lifted by a rope, as an example to others that should after act in the same ungodly way of high treason.
Give my love to all the children as it will take none of mine from you. The financial condition of the country is such that I think no troops will be paid before fall unless mustered out. Write soon and often. Heaven bless and protect you till I come. Remember me always in your prayers, and as your loving Husband ever.
Charles N. Mumford
P.S. My Dear Mary: Please accept this in answer to yours and write again you have time. Affectionately your Father, C. N. Mumford