Design a site like this with WordPress.com
Get started

Alfred P. Rockwell, 4 May 1864

Steam Transport “Convoy”
Headquarters 1st Conn. Lt. Battery
1st Division, 10th Corps
May 4th 1864

Dear Kate,

I know that the mails are all detained at Fortress Monroe, but as we all expect to have something to do within 48 hours & too busily occupied to write, I improve the present moment. Yesterday noon I received orders to embark and at once moved from camp & put my guns &c.—all but the horses—upon one of the large North River Barges that you have seen often no doubt. Owing to the usual delays, the steamer for the horses was not ready till this morning and we spent the night by camp fires.

Today has been my first day of rest and I have been making up lost sleep. Troops have been embarking all day and probably before morning all will move. It is a beautiful sight—the river full of steamers & barges loaded with men, flags flying, bands playing, steam tugs moving swiftly about in the fleet carrying orders to the different steamers, some getting underway. Altogether it is an exciting scene and appears like a busy harbor. Tomorrow all will be quiet and deserted as it was a few weeks ago.

As to our destination, I think my former surmises are correct but know no more now than before.

On the eve of what I presume may be a rapid and probably successful movement, of course I feel very anxious for we have not heard the sound of shot & shell for may months & a considerable number of my men are recruits. But I trust the Battery will not lose reputation. Thoughts of the personal danger and possible chances are not agreeable nor are they proper for any officer to dwell upon as they only unfit him for duty. But I can not keep out all thoughts of home & tonight particularly I have been wishing for one more look at least at her who is dearest to me.

May 5th. We got underway at midnight and this morning I woke up at anchor at Fortress Monroe immediately after sunrise. We are ordered & underway for Newport News. What next? Isn’t this uncertainty delightful? Just think how these great forces are moved—a few touches upon the telegraphic instrument at Washington & all the great armies move—no one but the favored few knowing anything about where they are going. We have just come to anchor at Newport News. It is a beautiful morning. Everything seems to smile upon us. How beautiful it must be in New Haven now! I will go and see as soon as we finish up this little job.

I have been reading that story in Littell and like it very much. I should like to continue it unless you wish to keep the magazine complete. The numbers will of course have to be thrown away as I read them.

Don’t smile at the heading of this letter. It was the beginning of an official communication & I had no other paper at hand and then my pen gave out & I took to lead. However, if it will only serve to convince you of my devotion, it will have done its work & may be consigned to the flames.

My letters will be less voluminous than formerly as I find it a little difficult to carry many reams in my waistcoat pocket. The consummation of stationery while on Folly Island was enormous. Goodbye, my dearest.

Affectionately yours, — Alfred

Return

Next Letter

 

 

Saving History One Letter at a Time

Spared & Shared 21

Saving history one letter at a time.

Spared & Shared 20

Saving history one letter at a time

Notes on Western Scenery, Manners, &c.

by Washington Marlatt, 1848

Spared & Shared 19

Saving History One Letter at a Time

Recollections of Army Life

by Charles A. Frey

The Civil War Letters of William Kennedy

Co. B, 91st New York Infantry

The Glorious Dead

Letters from the 23rd Illinois Infantry, the 111th Pennsylvania Infantry, the 64th New York Infantry, and the 14th Pennsylvania Cavalry

Cornelius Van Houten

1st New Jersey Light Artillery

Letters of Charley Howe

36th Massachusetts Volunteers

Sgt. Major Fayette Lacey

Co. B, 37th Illinois Volunteers

"These few lines"

the pocket memorandum of Alexander C. Taggart

The Civil War Letters of Will Dunn

Co. F, 62nd Pennsylvania Volunteers

Henry McGrath Cannon

Co. A, 124th New York Infantry & Co. B, 16th New York Cavalry

Civil War Letters of Frederick Warren Holmes

Co. H, 77th Illinois Volunteers

"Though distant lands between us be"

Civil War Letters of Monroe McCollister, Co. B, 6th OVC

"Tell her to keep good heart"

Civil War Letters of Nelson Statler, 211th PA

Building Bluemont

The Origin of Bluemont Central College

"May Heaven Protect You"

14th Connecticut drummer boy's war-time correspondence with his mother

Moreau Forrest

Lt. Commander in the US Navy during the Civil War

Diary of the 29th Massachusetts Infantry

Fighting with the Irish Brigade during the Peninsula Campaign

"Till this unholy rebellion is crushed"

Letters of Dory & Morty Longwood, 7th Indiana

"I Go With Good Courage"

The Civil War Letters of Henry Clay Long, 11th Maine Infantry

"This is a dreadful war"

The Civil War Letters of Jacob Bauer, 16th Connecticut, & his wife Emily

Spared & Shared 16

Saving History One Letter at a Time

Lloyd Willis Manning Letters

3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, Co. I

The Yankee Volunteer

A Virtual Archive of Civil War Likenesses collected by Dave Morin

William Henry Jordan

Co. K, 7th Rhode Island Infantry

No Cause to Blush

The Bancroft Collection of Civil War Letters

William A. Bartlett Civil War Letters

Company D, 37th Massachusetts Infantry

The John Hughes Collection

A Virtual Archive of his Letters, 1858-1869

The Civil War Letters of Rufus P. Staniels

Co. H, 13th New Hampshire Volunteers

%d bloggers like this: