Saturday, February 4, 2017

Captain William Thompson Lusk to Elizabeth Adams Lusk, May 2, 1862

Beaufort, S. C. May 2d, 1862.
My dear Mother:

May has opened charmingly in Beaufort. The air is warm but not oppressive. We are luxuriating in green peas, strawberries, blackberries, all the early vegetables, and the fig trees, loaded with fruit, will soon supply us with an abundance of green figs. Fish are supplied by the rivers in great plenty. Indeed we are well supplied with all sorts of good things, so we have little of which we can complain, except inaction. It is now fifteen days since a mail has reached us from the North. Telegraphic news in the columns of the Charleston Mercury dated the 26th, speaks of the city being in great alarm from the advancing army and fleet of Genl. Butler. A sailing vessel occasionally brings us a newspaper from the North. Otherwise we would be quite separated from the rest of mankind, and would be compelled to consider the North as having regularly seceded from us.

I have received the beautiful flag you sent me. I gave it to the boys of the Company, who were delighted. The other companies are quite envious. Thanks, dear Mother, a thousand times, for the expression of your love.

I think after all I must have that new suit of clothes I wrote for before. Notwithstanding all efforts to the contrary, my old suit will persist in growing daily rustier, and more unseemly in the seams. So if you will please have the suit ordered, I shall find good use for it full as soon as it shall be ready for me.

Tell Mr. Johnson I had a right pleasant time with his friend Bronson, and add too that Sloat’s men produced such an effect on the 79th Regiment, that it is impossible to persuade them that the whole affair of allotment is anything more than a Jew swindle. I am looking forward with great delight to the next steamer arrival, anticipating a heavy mail after so long neglect. There is so little of interest to write. I believe I wrote you there was quite a charming lady, a Mrs. Caverly, stopping at the General's. Her husband is dying with consumption and has come here to try the effect of the climate. You can imagine that a pretty and lively lady makes quite a difference in the house.

You do not know how inexpressibly indignant I feel at the attacks made on McClellan. They are certainly most scandalous, and calculated to ensure his defeat were he in any wise what his enemies represent him. It is the height of folly to suppose that men are going to sacrifice their lives, unless they have good reason to suppose that they are to be brought at the right moment to the right spot to play their part in gaining a victory. You have only to convince them that incompetent men are putting them in positions to occasion a defeat, and they will run before a shot is fired. It would seem that the enemies of McClellan are doing their utmost to produce that sort of spirit of distrust in our troops, so as to lead to new disasters. I am sick and tired of these howling politicians who would be willing to see everything we consider holy destroyed, provided they could only under the new regime get the Governmental patronage of the devil.

Affec'y. your son,

Flourishes supposed to indicate genius.

SOURCE: William Chittenden Lusk, Editor, War Letters of William Thompson Lusk, p. 143-5

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