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William Latham Candler

Papers, 1861-63, Ms1997-007


February 15,1863; letter written from Army of Potomac Headquarters; near Falmouth

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Head Quarters A. of. P.
Camp near Falmouth. Feb. 15th 1863

My dear Brother

Yours of the 10th came to hand today; by some unaccoutable delay in the mail arrangements it has been five days in the mail. I was rather surprised at hearing of your projected trip to the West Indies and Europe, and can not say I think it a bad project. ? have long felt that your unwearied attention to business for so many years, had made it necessary for you to have some relaxation, and have been governed much, by the desire I felt to ease you in some measure, in my decisions regarding remaining in the Army. At first it seemed to me better that I should return and keep up the business, but on further consideration I felt that for me to attempt to carry it on, unlesss you were there for the first month or two, would be likely to be productive of evil results rather than beneficial ones. And I am in doubt whether the trip and consequent suspension of business for the next three or four months will not be as likely to leave us at the end of the time in a better postion than otherwise. There is but little doubt I think that in the next three months there will be great changes and fluctuations in trade, should our Army have one or two good successes, should we defeat this Army in our front, gold would go down with a crash and everything

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else in the way of merchandise would follow suit. I'd as lief be out of it as in when the crash does come. You may rely upon it, that if this Army goes forward under Hooker, success will follow its foot steps; it may be some time before we get to work, but when we begin, the blows will be quick and strong. It may also be far better for us when you retire for you will have seen the making of things in Europe and can judge well of the best chances for trade. But, throwing all other considerations out of the question, that of the reestablishment of your health is of such overwhelming importance as to leave the expediancy of your taking a sea voyage, beyond all question; and you should not hesitate one moment in acting in the best manner for its recuperation. The business of the concern of J.W.C & Bro. is dependant on its senior partner, and outside of business, a family of children and women folk are also in the main dependant on this[?] knowledge. Without health you can be of no use to any one; with it all hands will come out right. So far as I am concerned, there is but one question; that of my wife; I don't care for myself and if it comes my time to settle up this world's accounts I am ready to go; I have but one life and could not render that in a better cause. But I cannot bear to think about Fannie, should anything happen to me; I have sometimes thought since my marriage that I did wrong in taking that step until I got out of the Army, or had some way

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of providing for her in case of my death, but it is too late now to change, and I don't know but that I should take the same course were I to go back again; we have had a few short months of happiness which will tend to make her happier should I fall. This is a question I rarely speak about and should not now were you not going away, God only knows what changes there may be as three months pass by. But should it be His will that on your return I am numbered among those who were, I must ask that you will see she is kept from suffering or want, and show her the kindness you always have, and would, to me should I live.

I do not think I shall leave the Army until you return, unless sickness at home or trouble there should render it advisable, if Mothers health continues good I shall feel no uneasiness, but if she begins to give way, I shall not be content unless I am there to look after her. I wish now that when I was last at home we had foreseen this trip, for I could then have posted myself up in the details of our arrangements which I am now in ignorance of.

Well, John, just get yourself well at any rate, if your not well at the end of three months, why stay longer; if it becomes necessary I can cut myself down in expenses and if I get a promotion as I mean to do after, if not before the next fight, can do something to help matters along. It doesn't seem right to me for you to be the weak one, I've always con-

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sidered myself the only one of the family liable to sickness, and depended on you, to keep things right. God grant that your health may be fully established before you return. I can never, My dear Brother, repay or express my gratitude to you, for your never failing kindness to me, you and Uncle Charles are friends which one rarely meets within this world, he did not live for me to repay him in the slightest degree; but I trust that if I live, I may be able at least to let you know I have appreciated it. If I go, my thanks will be all the return I can make. God bless you and restore your health will ever be the prayer of

Your Affectionate Brother
William


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