Letter from James L. Inghram, from Camp Pierpont, January 19, 1862

Camp Pierpont, Virginia 
Jan. 19th, 1862

Dear Aunt Maria, 

Your kind letter of the 12th reaches me two days since, and I assume you found a welcome. I have nothing interesting to write you, in the way of war news – but am glad to say I continue in excellent health, and still better spirits. Our Company only reports one man sick – and that case is only a slight one. 

The weather for the past week has been awful – raining, sleeting and snowing alternately and today (Sunday) the mud is almost knee deep. The Adjt not being well, I had to attend to guard mounting this morning, and you should have seen us standing in a driving rain – and going through the various formalities. I was sorry to learn of the illness of Grandmother, ere this I hope she is well again. I should liked to have been at Uncle Jack’s to spend new years, I fancy I could enjoy the society of a few choice male and lady friends now, after being deprived of it for seven months – months of toil and privation, and cut off entirely from all social intercourse except what comes in a military way. 

I am proud of the opinion which Dr Laidly was so kind as to express in reference to me – rest assured I shall try and merit it all. I rec’d six letters last week, all telling me of Will’s + Han’s marriage. When I left home such a consummation was scarcely thought of – but from reports which have lately been coming to us, I was about prepared to hear of it being consummated. Well, I suppose it is nobody’s business but their own, and we can only wish them a long and happy life.

I should like to see “Kitty & Pigeon” in their new “Wrappers” – doubtless they are as proud of them – as a ragged soldier is of a “new uniform”. If something is not done soon in the way of an advance – I shall endeavor to get home on furlough for a few days. As it is now, no furloughs will be given until something definite is known in regard to the Burnside Expedition. 

Don’t build up any hopes or ideas, however of seeing me soon as I shall not come while there is a prospect of our Regt or Division moving. At any rate, it is difficult to get the Gen’l to grant leave of absence – and some time will have to elapse at least before I could possibly get home. Ere this doubtless “Serg Woods” of our Company has reached Greene County on recruiting service. He is a fine fellow, and I should like if Pap could see him and talk with him. 

In the last republican I see a notice of the arrival of the remains of Will Rinehart – and also a letter over the Col’s signature. I don’t want anybody else to know it – but the letter was written by me for the Col. I mention this merely to give you some ideas of the favor in which he holds me. We were paid off on Friday last, enclosed I send $20 – in care of Hiram. Also a “Photograph” of Lt. Col. Oliphant, which he presented me a few days since. He is a fine officer, and loved by all the Regt. As soon as I can get to the city I will send you a picture of myself. 

Tell “Lin Kendall” I will reply to her letter soon. 

I send this by Will Seals, who leaves for home tomorrow, being discharged on account of sickness. Jake Rinehart is also here and will leave tomorrow. My love to all.