Sunday, September 4, 2016

Captain William Thompson Lusk to Elizabeth Adams Lusk, February 6, 1862

Headquarters 2d Brigade, S. C.
Beaufort, S. C. Feb. 6th, 1862.
My dear Mother:

. . . I have received the little prayer-book from Nannie Day and thank the dear soul many times for a remembrance that by no means is needless to a soldier. You may tell her that I have several times carried it in my pocket, when circumstances have been such as to prevent my using the larger book which was packed in my trunk. I must not forget now either, Tom's photograph which I display with pride along with those of Hunt, Uncle John, and my own mother. To-day the “Ellwood Walter” arrived at Beaufort where the Connecticut battery is to be landed. I went on board immediately, hoping, notwithstanding his illness, Captain Rockwell might be aboard, but learned he would in all likelihood arrive by the next steamer. The “Atlantic” is looked for now hourly, and I trust he may be aboard. I was not a little disappointed to learn from the officers of the battery, that not a man of them all, except the Captain, had ever fired a gun (cannon) in his life, for I had boasted much of the Connecticut battery which was to be sent to Port Royal. Any time the good Governor of Connecticut, or the sons of the worthy state, see fit to honor me, I am open to anything like promotion. So goes the world. I have only held as a secure and settled thing, my position as Captain about three weeks, when I talk of something better. I will confess to you now, that though, since deserted by Lieut, (now Captain) Sam Elliott,1 I have held command of a company of Highlanders, and though I had been led to suppose for a time (on my first being transferred to the Staff) I held it as Captain, under which supposition I wrote you, stating the same, my real title to the rank of Captain has only dated since the short time I have mentioned. But having made the mistake once, there was nothing left for me to do but to try to get a Captaincy as soon as possible, and now that I have received the congratulations of the Regiment and Brigade, I think I may mention the matter candidly. Dear old Walter, I shall be glad to hear from him. I have lately written Hall, and trust he will forget my neglect in times past. There is going to be a “Nigger shout” to-night, which a number of the officers are going to attend. As I have no definite idea of the character of the performance except that it is a relic of native African barbarism, I shall attempt no description. Give my best love to all my dear friends at home. I do not forget their kind words, or wishes, though I do not often mention them.

Your Affec. Son,
W. T. Lusk.

1 Lieutenant Samuel R. Elliott resigned from the 79th Highlanders Sept., 1861. He subsequently served as Surgeon in other regiments, up to the close of the war.

SOURCE: William Chittenden Lusk, Editor, War Letters of William Thompson Lusk, p. 120-1

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