Monday morning, July 25, 1864
I sent you a letter yesterday and received two from you. One was directed to N.O., the other to Washington. You may direct all you write to Washington. I will get them sooner, if directed there. We are camped about four miles from the city, on the road to Tenallytown. We had a cold rain this morning. It will probably rain all day. By this morningís papers, most of the reports we have heard are not true. I heard this morning that our paymaster was in Washington. If he is, and we stay here long enough, we will get our pay. I hope we will get it here. I know you need it, as well as myself. I just heard we are ordered to report to City Point tomorrow, but donít know if there is any truth in it. I donít believe this war will ever end by fighting. In order to whip them, we must have at least ten men to their one. In order to get around them, we have to scatter our forces and have as many in each place as they have in all. If we have about the same number of troops as they do and have to devide our force to hold different points. They can mass their forces on either side of our points, drive us, or lick us out and go where they are a mind to. I heard the president had called for five hundred thousand troops. I wish it had been two million, then it would begin to look like doing something. I get more and discouraged the more I see of this war. I canít see how Grant is going to ever take Richmond, for it is admitted by all, to be a great deal stronger fortified then Washington and I donít believe the whole world combined could take Washington, with itís forts properly garrisoned. I may be a little blue and down spirited this morning, but I tell you the thing looks pretty dark to me. We have never faired so poorly, since we have been in the service, as we have since we arrived in Washington. But I think we will fair better as soon as they get things properly assigned. They ought to be prepared in a place like Washington to accomodate thirty or forty thousand troops at any time. I have never seen so much confusion amongst troops and the management of them, as I have since we left Louisana. But it may be because we have had troops from a number of different army corps all mixed together. This army we are in is composed of about two thirds of the Sixth Corps, two thirds of the Nineteenth Corps, a portion of the Fifth, Eight, Ninth, Fourteenth and Seventeenth Corps and about for thousand of one hundred day men. So you see, we are a mixed multitude. The whole are under the command of Major General Wright. General Emory commands all of the Nineteenth Corps in this department and General Dwight the First Division and Colonel Bealy the First Brigade. Our regiment is in the First Brigade of the First Division of the Nineteenth Army Corps.
It is reported that a good many of the 19th Corps were captured by the Pirate Florida, while on their way from New Orleans to this place. Amongst are six companies of the 160 N.Y. Regt. They were mostly N.Y. Regts. that were captured. I have heard what regts. they were, but I donít remember the numbers now. One thing is certain, they are bound that the 114th shall see a good portion of the United States if they keep them marching and riding all the while to do it. It is not their luck to stay long in any one place. I donít know, but it will be better for us in the end to keep us moving around, so that we wonít spoil. For my part, I would be willing to run the risk of lying still for awhile. I suppose it is alright, but it is not always pleasant. My health is first rate, never enjoyed better health in my life. I have got entirely over my cold. I ought to be very thankful that my health is so good and I believe that I am.
Some of our boys are quite sick. Two of the boys, George Foslez and Jo Montena from Levill have got the pox, the worst kind. They got the receipt for it just before they left New Orleans. Jo Montena is the new recruit. He was at Brookes a good deal, while I was home. He staid there two or three nights with different girls. I find it about as well to let all such things alone, and get along just as well.
I suppose it will be of some satisfaction for you to know that I have not had a drop of liquor of any kind since I left Morganza, Louisana. Neither do I care anything for it and neither have I the least affinity for it. By the way, they say the Rebs have taken Morganza and Natches and entirely blockaded the Mississippi River. I wish we might be sent back there.
I was happy and glad to hear that you got along without their (unreadable in original). You must be very careful and I think you will get truly over them. Oh how I long for the time to come, that I may be permitted to return to my own dear, dear wife and family again and that I may be so permitted to return. You are in my daily and hourly prayers of your affectionate husband,
S. S. Dunton
It is still raining quite hard. I think we will get plenty of it, for it is a regular Northeaster.
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