Camp Pawnee, Feb. 23d, 1865.
Your kind letter of the 4th inst came to hand yesterday and with much pleasure I devote time to answer. It seems a long time since hearing from you. I think my last to you was dated the 14 or 15th inst. It was undoubtedly my duty to have written sooner, but I trust you will overlook and pardon the neglect when I inform you that I have been confined to my shanty with rheumatism since the 13th inst. My hip and knee pain me much. The cords under the knee seem to be contracted so that it hurts to straighten my leg. I can walk only with pain and only hobble at that... On the 13th I went to Fort Scott and it rained all the way going and coming back and my clothes were wet entirely through. I think that made the rheumatism much worse than it otherwise would have been. I am not doctoring any for it, for the doctor will give me no medicine for rheumatism, or any thing else unless you go to the hospital, which I should have done before now if pecuniary circumstances had not prevented. I have two horses and some other effects in camp that would become positively worthless in a short time if I should go to the hospital and leave them in camp. I hope and believe my lameness will leave as warm weather approaches.
My colt, Clarissa Mumford Jr, is as gay as peacock and as sleek as an otter. But I am too lame to ride her. She is of a very powerful strain of race horses from the south, called the pop corn breed, so called because they are usually below the medium in size. This colt was foaled the property of the Rebel General Marmaduke and will be three years old next Aug. She is a red sorrel with four white feet and legs and a white face, which is characteristic of the pop corn stock. It is not known but by one person in the camp except myself what the mare is and her qualities. I have been offered money repeatedly to let her run, but always refused. My reasons, 1st, she is too young, and 2nd, if her speed were known I believe she would be stolen in a short time. I am afraid she will be stolen as it is. My other horse is a very likely half-breed pony good size, for which I paid $25. I have since been offered $40 cash down, but refused it. I have managed thus far to get corn and hay of the Govt. to feed them. But they will soon live on the grass any how.
If I knew that we were to be stationed in Kansas for the next year, I am sure that I could make a thousand dollars in an honest and legitimate way of doing business. A soldier that has a little money can make money; but they may also lose all if they are not careful. A Sergt by the name of Noble in our Co made, mostly by speculation, in his three years, enough to buy three four-horse teams and wagons, which cost over $3000. He hired three men to drive them and was realizing a good profit. He was discharged and went home to Wis to be mustered out, calculating to be back in a short time. Shortly after his departure his teamsters sold teams and wagons in Leavenworth and sloped for parts unknown.
My firm conviction is that the war will soon end if there is no foreign aid to the Rebels. Charleston and Mobile are in our hands - or will be soon; I think there will be some great work in the next two months that I believe will knock the Rebel Govt out of time to be known no more. Tell me how your stock look s and keep it all if you can. Have you hay enough? Has any of your stock died? Can you have the place and hay ground by paying a reasonable rent? If so, rent it and in advance. I wish to say I shall be able, I think, to furnish money enough to buy all the stock you can keep. Stock will be my dependence if I ever get out of the service. I think we will go to southern Iowa, don't you?
I think that I am getting a little old, from the fact that my eye sigh has failed much.
I sent you money on the 13th inst by express. In looking at the receipt today I see it states money was sent to Mrs. N. Mumford in place of C. N.. If the money was so directed, I fear you will not get it till it is sent back here; but I think it was directed right. Please let me know as soon as you receive it, as I feel some anxiety about it.
We do not know when we are to leave Kansas.
I should have paid the charges on the money, but the Agent said that was not the best way.
Dear Daughter Mary:
I thank you for your kind letter and Ma will read hers to you, which you will consider to you as well as to her. Be good and kind to your mother. I think I shall be able to make you all a small present when I come home. If Edward and Frank are good boys, perhaps I may fetch them each a pony. Would you like one that is gentle and kind? Or would you not?
Heaven bless and protect you all. My love to all.
Ever your devoted Husband and Father
C. N. Mumford