Suffolk, October 29, 1862

mrlincoln

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Suffolk, October 29, 1862

Dear Frank,

It is a warm sun shiny day. I am sitting in the hospital with the sick of our boys. My own health is good, one of the nurses is sick and I took his place, how long I do not know. It is one of the peculiarities of military matters to keep us in the dark each day as to the work of the next. There is but 3 orderlies. H. is in hospital, Orwell Whitney typhoid fever, J. G. Mayborn too. They sit up a little and Adj. Lieut. Lowrey goes out tomorrow. I am getting to like this duty. The weather is so mild and clear for the season! Our boys have got the winter tents. They hold 5, in each structure. Close but then it is seldom they all in at once, some on picket or guard. Frank I don’t fall in love with this war trade. Not very fast, oh! Like it as well as I expected too. Where I am now I can serve as well as anywhere perhaps. We occupy a house left by a rebel, it is 2 stories, about 16 ft. x 36 ft. a fence in front, painted white and would be a pretty house but for 2, large chimneys are at each end of the house outside, good fireplace above and below in each. The garden was quite pretty but “John Browns Soul is marching on” and it don’t pay any regard to Virginia fences now days, than our friend Wilkes use to pay to the highway regulations…

… …Where was the glorious Tree of Life and streams of lilys gush free? All is glowing in the light of Immortality. Oh! Frank I can see already my school is having its benefits on my mind. I enjoy more real religion here than I have in a long time before. I am confidant God does all things for the best. “He says even the Wrath of man shall praise him” and we may yet live to see it verified in the case of this wicked war. The poor Negroes believe in God and expect him to help them, confidently look for it. We shall see if they are to be disappointed….

…Oh! Frank I do feel grateful that my nature is not of such gloomy cast as some. That whatever sweets nature or providence cast in my way I can enjoy without ever being embittered by gloomy thoughts. The sweet pleasure of natural and confiding love is not all destroyed by the fear of perpetual separation for I know that my Redeemer liveth “That I shall come forth as gold when I am tried”. I have written this [at] odd spells while tending the boys and find it rather fragmentary. Not as cheerful in love letter, as written out of a sick room perhaps, but the wise man says “it is better to go to the house of mating then to the house of feasting” and I go for the best.

Good Bye,

Orrin