White Oak Church [Virginia]
December 8th 1863
I received your letter of the 3rd today. I was glad to hear that my money had got home all safe. I have sent $10 since & will enclose the same in this letter or the next. It seems as though there was more due me than I had an account of but as I have burned up all your old letters that that I have not those to refer to. Have you paid Edwin? It seems good to know that there are some besides relatives who enquire after a soldier. An old soldier knows by sad experience what it is to have a friend. If you have sent me the receipt for the Express box, I have not received it. Money must be plenty with you for you seem to be loaning a good deal. I should be happy to meet Barber on my return but there are several long months to pass before we shall meet without I get a furlough which I do not think I shall, being very hard to get. Why does not Mr. Barber write to me?
Some of our boys have been down to the 137th [New York] Regiment but I cannot afford to walk ten or fifteen miles to see anyone there. The Orderly was not sick long. We were going to have a fight you remember. I have a little private business that I will write to you but hope that you will keep it still. While in camp, there are some rations which we do not eat but could not do very well without when on the march. This sometimes amounts to a nice little sum which the Regulations say must be placed in the Captain’s hands or someone that he may appoint. We are now considered as in camp (winter quarters). Yesterday, Captain sent word to me by the First Sergeant that he wished me to keep an account of the rations not drawn & also to keep the money. This I did not like to do as there are so many to please where you have company money that I did not want to be bothered with it. The orderly said, “Well, Cap says you are the most honest man in the company &c., that you are honestier than he is & that he wants you to take it—that the boys will be better satisfied with you than any other man, &c. &c.” But I thought that I would go and see the captain myself. So I did. I told him what the orderly had said & told him that I would rather he would get someone else—that perhaps I could not do it satisfactorily. He said he would risk it so I told him that I would try it & told him my plans—what I thought, &c. We talked & laughed some when he said, “Charlie, I spoke to the Col. the other day about sending in for a commission for you if there are any vacancies, but he said he had not made out of the Company all of which were elected to a non-com. office before we left Ithaca. I thanked him & told him that nothing would suit me better if he thought me worthy & competent. Of the former, he said there was no one moreso & the latter he would risk. I told him that if I had been home last fall, I could have got one but that I preferred to get one in my old regiment if anywhere—that there were not many of us old soldiers that would reenlist. He thought the same. I told him that I had rather be at home going to school.
We then get to talking about his not getting Majorship. I told him I was sorry that he did not get it but that I would not like to have him leave the company. He said he had sent in his resignation but that it was disapproved all the way through but he had sent it again & had got the Col. to sign it. He said he would not serve under him (the Major) if it were but two days. I told him I was sorry that he had but a few months more to stay and that we had been together over 20 months through rough times &c. That is about all the conversation. After we lost our Major, the officers got together & nominated Cap. for to fill the vacancy as it belonged to him. He was the oldest commissioned but one of the other captains got his commission first through friends in New York. I do not blame the Cap for resigning. I think Cap Whitlock has more influence with the Col. than any other captain in the regiment.
You ask me if I expect promotion. Yes, if I can get it honorably but probably Geo. Semmens will send some deft-fingered Lieut. to fill up vacancies. Out time is most out. Do not let this get out.
Respectfully, — Chas. E. Bradley