This letter was written by Eubulus (“Bule”) H. Brigham (1843-1924), the son of Edward Brigham (1811-1872) and Sara Ann Tissot. He wrote the letter to his sister, Sarah Ann Brigham (she later married Elmer L. Andrews).
Bule wrote this letter while serving as a private in Co. F, 6th Pennsylvania Reserve Infantry (35th Penn. Infantry). The rolls indicate that Bule was discharged from that regiment on a Surgeon’s Certificate on 22 March 1863 but this letter suggests he was still with the regiment. He later enlisted as a private in Co. D, 1st Veteran Cavalry. The military rolls indicate he did not enlist in the cavalry until September 1864. He mustered out on 8 June 1865.
Bule’s older brother, Charles Edward (“Ed”) Brigham (1841-1909) served as a corporal in Co. F, 6th Pennsylvania Research Infantry. The soldier referred to as “Sime” may have been Simon C. Kinney. Simon later served in Co. F, 191st Pennsylvania Infantry.
At the time this letter was written, the 6th Penn. Reserves (35th PA. Inf.) were encamped in the vicinity of Alexandria, Virginia, having been ordered there in early February 1863 after participating on Burnside’s Mud March. They remained in the D. C. area until 25 June 1863.
Addressed to Miss Sarah A. Brigham, Binghamton, Broome county, New York
Camp 6th Regt. Penn. Reserves
May 4th 1863
Dear Sister Sarah Ann,
A long space of time has passed since I received your most welcome letter. I have no excuse for not writing you before this. Neglect has been the reason for I have had time enough but it tis a great task for me to write letters. But sister, how I love to get letters—to hear from my friends. You may think I don’t think of my friends but if you could hear Sime & Brother Ed, & myself talk of friends & good folks, you would think you were never forgotten.
Our folks are all well. That includes Sime, Ed, & myself.
The weather is rather warm here now days. We had a hard thunder shower last night. This morning is cool and beautiful. Rather be here than with Old Joe Hooker’s at present. He is having rather hot times, I suppose. Let them fight & he will come out victorious. He has the best army in the field—mostly all old troops, well drilled &c., and if he does with the help of God gain a victory this time, you will see the rebellion shrink fast.
We hold ourselves in readiness to move at one moment’s notice. I hope we will be ordered to fetch up the rear for our old guns shine with vengeance. Brother Ed says he is bullet proof—been hit twice [and is as] good as ever yet. He has had good luck. Been in 5 battles & out of the 5, hit twice. He is bound to make a good soldier. He would not come home if he could. He says his father always told him when he commenced a job, to finish before he left it. Good advice. But the way I do, I lay by all advice in time of war. I shan’t run in the fire for the sake of getting burnt, nor neither will I run for the sake of getting out of battle. If it tis my lot to get killed here, so be it. But that is the least fear of a soldier.
We are having such good times here now—days warm [and] weather much more pleasant than winter. Sister, I had a long winter of the past one. Not one well day did I see for 4 months. Thank God a man can find friends everywhere. I had some good times & some hard ones. When a fellow is so sick that he can’t get up & lay & let his feet freeze [is] rather hard. But we won’t talk of the past but of the things in the future. I must close this for the band is out here playing Yankee Doodle Dandy & I can’t sit still. You would laugh to see Sime dance after martial music. Do you remember the time he danced in the Hall?
Oh, how is Hellen Lockwood & her husband? Well, of course. Sister, I want you to do me a favor. I know you will for you always did when in your power. I can’t tend to it myself. That is to speak a good word for me to some fine lassie that when I come to see you, maybe we could agree and make a good match. Sister, will you excuse these few lines of foolishness?
You said you liked to get long letters but I can’t think of a thing that will interest you. If I could, I would write all day. Don’t wait for me to write. Write soon & I will write as often as possible. Give my love to grandfather & mother; also the rest of the folks, hoping that the war will soon be out of our midst & peace float through the land.
Brother Ed is going to Washington in a few days with a friend of his to make a visit. That is all the place a soldier can go visiting. No more at present.
I remain your brother, — Bule Brigham