Note: It’s interesting to read an enlisted soldier’s thoughts on how McClellan is conducting his campaign. And after the rains came later in the month, we have the battle of Gaines’ Mill. Good prediction, Charlie.
June 14th 1862
As you will see by the heading of this letter we have again changed camp, and now occupy a most beautiful location on the Richmond side of the Chickahominy, that most famous natural defense to the capitol of the would be Southern Confederacy, which General Magruder said would be the grave of McClellan’s army, but Little Mac is slowly but surely digging into Richmond. The secesh make but little noise now-a-days, indeed they are too quiet to suit me for it seems to be the quiet of conscious strength, and I expect if the rains happen to raise the Chickahominy again, we shall “Fair Oaks second edition.” I don’t think, however, there is any danger for “Mac” is making breastworks and intrenchments (sic) all along the lines on this side and will most likely advance when the works are completed, so “wait a little longer.”
The health of the troops is not as good as I should wish, but it will improve with the change of location, I suppose. I hope so, anyway.
I am going to send some money home to you and I want you to keep it for me untill (sic) I come home, or if you don’t like to leave it lying idle you can invest it in something that is convertible, and keep it that way. I shan’t (sic) send enough to buy out the county, but think I may send two or three hundred dollars, about seventy is in the old kind of treasury notes. I believe there is a premium on them, I will put them all in this if it will hold them.
I have cut my fingers about half off opening a box of sardines, so I can’t write much it hurts so, but must mention that I saw Ammi Hull a couple of days ago, he is just the same fellow he was five years ago, not a bit bigger.
You must remember me to all the relations for I probably shant (sic) write again untill (sic) my finger gets well so goodbye and give my love to all.
Your affectionate son
Charles E. Bates
P.S. I enclose sixty dollars in this. You must direct it to Camp Lincoln next.