September 29th 1862
I received your letter of September 22nd last night and also the paper containing the muster rolls of the Delaware Regiment. Although I had seen the muster rolls before, yet there was much interesting news to me in the paper. I should like very well to get a county paper once in awhile as the county news is something that we don’t get very often.
We are still lying inside the Fort. We have nothing to do but once in awhile to help mount some large guns on the fort. The fort is being repaired and more large guns mounted. As a general thing, we live pretty good. Although we don’t have many friends here to present us with firkins of butter and barrels of milk, yet we can buy butter for only fifty cents a pound and milk that isn’t more than half water for twenty-five cents a quart. The butter is not of the best quality but as the saying is, “It is strong enough to walk itself.”
The Delaware boys are having good times now and I hope they may enjoy it for they will often look back and talk of the good old times they had in Delhi. When they come to experience the realities of a soldier’s life, they will then know how to prize the blessings of a good home — a home where they can enjoy privileges which they will prize when they can no longer enjoy them, It is impossible for anyone to imagine what privileges a soldier is deprived of until they have a trial of it themselves — even the privilege to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience in a great measure is denied as for on Sunday morning, as a general thing, there is more work to be done than on any other day.
In the first place we have inspection every Sunday morning — (i. e.) we have to dress up in the best that Uncle Sam has furnished us and take our respective posts at our guns and remain there until some General, Colonel, or perhaps [only] a Captain rides along our lines to see if each man has every button of his jacket buttoned and stands in the position of a soldier &c. which of course takes up much of the time which God has declared should be spent in worshipping Him and thus depriving those who would feel inclined to do so of the privilege. I hope to God that the time is short for such thing to last.
There is no news here at present. The health of the company is good. I am well and hoping this may find you all the same. I remain yours &c. — H. S. Murray
Direct your letters to [Erasmus D.] Keyes Reserve Artillery, Yorktown, Va., — H. S. M.