General Hospital, Fort Scott, March 13th, 1865.
My Dear Wife:
Your letter of the 18th ult I received the 8th or 9th inst. But I had written you on or about the same date; I have therefore waited till the present. My prayer is that you are all well and may so continue. I think I can truly sympathize with you when you are afflicted. You first, and then they that are ours, are ever uppermost in my mind. I am sorry to hear that you were lame. I trust you are now well. My health has not improved since I came here. My leg is very painful. Last night I slept well -- the first night for several; but I took a dose of morphine to ease the pain and it had the desired effect. The weather has been very cold for this climate since the 1st inst. Much colder than Feb. I hope and also believe that as warm weather approaches I shall recover in part if not altogether form my present illness.
The war news continues favorable to the Union cause; although it now appears there were not nearly as many prisoners captured of Earley's force as at first stated in my last to you. Many deserters are daily coming to our armies, which is greatly reducing their ranks, and in time would ruin them. Their armies no doubt are fearfully demoralized, excepting, perhaps, the army of the Rebel General Lee. My own opinion is that we are on the eve of a tremendous battle, in which I believe the fate of the so-called Confederacy will be sealed. Would to Got it could be decided otherwise than by this awful bloodshed. The old story that the Rebels are in a state of starvation has, without doubt, become true. If you examine a map of the South (such a map I presume you have not got) you will see that their supplies are entirely cut off. The Rebs through their newspapers boast wonderfully. They said they could hold Charleston at all hazards; Branchville, Wilmington and Columbia -- the Capital of S.C. that now lies in ashes.
I, with many others, may be mistaken in our opinions. Richmond may be evacuated. It may be their intention to raid with all their entire army into the northern states. If so, I think their armies will be cut to pieces.
The wives of the soldiers here frequently visit them, while I have to be deprived of that inestimable privilege, which would be the greatest of all comfort to me in my present situation.
Captain Bernard of Co. M has been dishonorably dismissed from the service of the U.S. Cause: dishonesty. Henry Ferry will be the next Captain. I think he will make a good Captain. Many of the boys have been to see me and say a majority wish me to the 1st or 2nd Lieut. I told them if I got a commission it would be without any effort on my part; and also that if I was commissioned, I should get a surgeon's certificate of disability and immediately resign, as I thought that my health was such that I would be more expense to the Govt than I would do them good. Consequently I think I shall be left out, as I always have been when confined in hospital. If so, I shall not feel bad about it. You may think a commission is a fine thing -- I do not. I presume I have the best opportunity of judging...
I am some afraid you have not received the money I sent you, as you do not name it in your letters.
Kiss Marion for me. Give love to all. Write soon and often.
Devotedly your Husband
Chas. N. Mumford