3 May 1862

Thomas Nast’s Drawing entitled “On to Richmond!”

[On board USS Columbia]
May 3rd 1862

Dear Father,

I am on board the Columbia tonight to sit up with Horace. He is gaining very slowly but he is rational. I think that his having a good constitution is all that saved him. The regiment are on shore encamped in their little tents. The boat was thoroughly cleaned today & I hear it is to be a brigade hospital so it will no doubt remain here but G. & P. will have to give place to the regular nurse. The cooks received orders to draw & cook five days rations. That looks like doing something.

The Jersey brigade (a part of which were encamped near is & were the advance in Franklin’s Division) have been moving this afternoon but I do not know where. No doubt they will get where they are wanted before morning. You no doubt think that things here mover very slowly. Well they must, but who suffers—we or you? We of course will. We are satisfied that things are working all right & if you want to make a soldier mad—or hear him curse & swear—talk or read to him about, “On to Richmond” & the like. I tell you what, it is the politicians of the North & those in Congress get and deserve more curse than any other class of men that I know of. They are the biggest fools & are the worst enemies that our country has. I feel as though I could kick the back side of a hundred tonight without resting. If not, I could find plenty of help—& of the best kind too.

But enough of this. McClellan is our leader. He’s generous & brave & we are ready to go where he says go. Time will tell what we are waiting for.

There is not so much occasional bombing of cannon so that they jar the boat all for nothing. The shores are covered with pine of good size with the exception her and there a small farm. The soil is very sandy. The farms poor. There are a good many oyster beds along the shore. The people are very ignorant & are very afraid of our men at first which shows that they have been told that we would kill & eat up. But they soon find out the contrary when our boys offer to pay for what they get.

One thing more, have you read the report of the committee appointed to look into the barbarity of the Rebs at Bull Run. If not, I have & it almost makes my blood boil. I would like to meet the scoundrel that said he would drink punch out of the skull of one of our soldiers at his wedding. If he did, I think that it would be because he was bullet or bayonet proof. I have about made up my mind that the Bucktails are about right in not taking any prisoners. They have taken an oath not to take any prisoners on account of the manner in which some of their boys were used, but I have some sympathy for the ranks but if I can get a shot at an officer, I shall take it for they are more to blame than the men in the ranks. Either one will do.

Good night amid the booming of cannon. Postage stamps are getting scarce. — Chas. E. Bradley