Annapolis Nov. 13th, 1861
I received your favor of the 11th this evening, and having as much leisure now as I shall have hasten to reply. I can assure you that your letter was read with much interest and pleasure by your absent brother. I am very much rejoiced to hear that mother has received no serious injury from her fall, and hope she will not suffer much inconvenience thereby. I am very thankful for the mittens as they will come in play (?) in a short time. In my last I spoke about mittens not answering the purpose, but I did not know you had made them with a finger in them. They are just the thing and better then gloves.
I attended colored church Sunday evening and if there was ever enthusiasm in any place, there was there. Whilst the minister was preaching there was much shouting and clapping of hands. His subject was the readiness of Christ to receive all sinners; he was quite eloquent, but he handled the subject different from what we usually hear it, making some of the most singular comparisons that I ever heard. After the sermon there was delivered such prayers accompanied by such yelling and groaning as you never heard, but the climax was not reached until they commenced to sing, each one singing to suit him or herself using same repetition (to suit his taste) after every line. The other words appeared to be composed for the occasion; they kept time by snapping fingers, stamping, rocking their bodies too and fro. Every little while such unearthly shouts were made that it really reminded me of a mad house. There was a little negro sitting by the side of me, and seeing that I was pleased said, “You ought to hear them, some nights they make a heap more noise than tonight, sometimes they knock down the stove by their stamping.”
There are four (3?) churches besides the colored one in the place, one Catholic, one Methodist, and one Presbyterian. The Catholic is a new church commenced two years since. It is splendid upon the inside, the roof being composed of three arches each one being supported by many pillars. Around the altar it is furnished in extravagant style, but the body of the church is not yet finished. It has a chime of bells, the first I ever heard. The Methodist is a nice church commenced two years since but is not done off upon the inside. The Episcopal looks like an old one with a new wing, but looks very neat and pretty upon the inside. The Court House is furnished in fine style upon the inside but is rather of an ancient looking building upon the outside. Every principal street (if any call be called principal) centers at the state house and it is nothing uncommon for a soldier or officer to inquire the way of the patrols saying wherever the[y] go they always come to the state house.
I get cheated out of going to church in the daytime because our relief is on from 11 to 3 o’clock, but we have the evenings. You may think that I am rather explicit in describing the public buildings, but I do this in want of other news. We have fun occasionally with some drunken soldier or some tight Secessionist for I can assure you no sober man will talk in that way. About papers: I receive papers everyday or two from Ariel, now as long as I receive them from him of course I shall not want any, but you should make an arrangement to send a paper regularly, I should like the “Weekly Press” as well as any, as it contains the local news as well as the other. Tell grandmother that I have enough to eat, and rest as well at home, that it is not as hard work as working on the farm, besides I have the privilege of going when and where I have a mind to, only be ready to march with the patrol once a day and once a night. I am rejoiced to hear that she is getting better. Give her my best wishes. I am surprised to hear that neither Phil nor John have enlisted. Has Father got his crops all in? How is the weather with you? It is as warm as summer here except the nights which are chilly, but I have seen no frost here yet.
I received letters from Ariel every week, but he has not mentioned anything about Mrs. Thompson’s going to Washington. I can hardly credit it. I came from camp last Friday and have received six letters and six papers in that time so you see I am kept quite well posted about things in “Old Conn”, but do not on that account stop writing, but excuse if I sometimes delay writing in answer. The band for Conn. 10th arrived here today. The brigade will probably leave in the course of a week whether with or without our regiment we know not, and probably shall not until the day they leave. The war news is cheering and our boys will feel slighted if they do not go south with the brigade and share in their glory. I have not been to camp for three days. The boys of your acquaintance were all well then and I presume that they are now. Give my love to all inquiring friends. Excuse my writing as I can’t follow the lines by gas light. We have cartridges given out but cannot load yet.