Letter from Frank to Fanny Hall, From Willard's Hotel, Washington, D.C.
Willard's Washington D.C.
Dec. 3rd, 1862
Own Dear Wify,
I am expecting to leave tomorrow morning
at 8 o'clock & reach Falmouth at about 10 o'clock, The boat leaves at
8 & at 9 o'clock. I was not ready in time to go off today.
I went down to the foot of 6th Street at about 2 o'clock to find out how I was to go & found a boat (not a government boat) just ready to go down as far as Alexandria & supposing that it might expedite matters and as the fair was only 25 cts. I went down hoping to catch the Aquia Creek boat or something that might be going. However, I gained nothing but the sail & the sail hook, as far as regards progress, but it seemed quite providential in one respect:. Coming back I saw a man looking at me & soon he came up the ladder & addresses me. It was Quarter Master Delancy of the 118th Regt from Plattsburgh. He told me his Regt. was at chain bridge, about 5 miles above Washington. The Regt. with my Luzerne men in. Since I had nothing to do I determined to go up & see them all. I left my saddle box down at the wharf in care of the government agent, so as to be ready for the 8 o'clock boat & then returned to Willard's & had dinner & met Col. Roberts there, or rather Big Gen. Roberts. He seemed glad to see me, asked after you & wanted me to go & see Mrs. Roberts, but I told him I was going out to see the 118. So Immediately after dinner I went up to the Provost Marshal's office to get a pass, but one in the office told me as the Regt. was on this side of the river I would not need a pass. So I went to Georgetown & thence by a one horse wagon & darkie to the chain bridge where I found that the 118 was on the other side of the river & that I would need a pass. It was bright moonlight & the soldiers at the bridge made it somewhat like it was that night with own dear wife going over the River Vag to Nice. I had with me my pass as Chaplain to headquarters at Falmouth, so I produced that & asked for a guard, which was at once given me, two soldiers escorting me up headquarters called Fort Ethan Allen, on the Sacred Soil of Virginia. I was soon in the camp of the 118. Cap. Barly & Dawlin were off on Picket duty & would not be back till tomorrow night.
I saw Dr. Moore & Col. Kerne & Guinness & Jimmy Taylor. Oh how glad the two latter were to see me & so was Dr. Moore. His tent was really delightful, It looked like an old fashion room with an old fashion fire place of huge proportion & a huge fire in it. They are in winter quarters. The Dr. Tells me they (the 16th) are waiting for me, he thinks.
I went over also to the camp of the 169, to see Chaplain Eaton, the son of our old Methodist Minister at Luzerne & oh how glad he was to see me too. We all acted as if it was quite a treat to see somebody. I enclose the pass I received while at headquarters there, to return over the chain bridge to Washington tonight.
They challenged me corning back & wanted the counter sign, but I gave them this pass to look at & they concluded to let me go through, but seemed to want the counter sign, too, which however they did not get on account of my indisposition to tell mope than I knew.
In the bridge they have two doors they can shut to with musket holes or loop holes to fire through & at the other end they have two cannon looking hard nearby so as to sweep right through the whole length of the bridge if needful.
Peter the Darkie drove me back safely & on reaching the hotel I met a Mr. Harley from Hartford, who is quartermaster & goes down tomorrow at 1 o'clock.
Guinness is orderly of the 118 & is which being made a tent. You would be surprised to see how nicely these fellows are living. Little canvas houses & most of them with enormous old fashioned birch fire places in them. Oh what a beautiful night it has been, clear moonlight; I would loved to have wify to have seen all with hubby, I enjoyed it. And all things have gone so finely. All things seem to fit in so nicely. Met people just in right time & right people & c. & c. Don't forget my direction sent in today's letter, "Francis B. Hall, Chaplain 16th Regt., N.Y.S.V. Slocum's Division. Bartlett's Brigade, Army of the Potomac. Via Washington D.C." & if necessary to telegraph "F.B. Hall, Chaplain 16th Regt. N.Y.S.V., Slocum's Division, Bartlett's Brigade. Care of Freder. W. Seward, Asst. Secretary of State, Washington D.C."
Good by own dear wify with loving kiss from own ever loving hubby.