Letter from Charles Hunter to his sister, Jane, from the Camp of the 88th PA Volunteer Infantry. Charles opens informing her of the state of his commission for 1st Lieutenant, and his hopes he will have no difficulty in it this time. He hears that she has been having a good time going to balls and dancing, and that if she were with him she’d be dancing to keep her feet warm. He tells her he has no hope of getting home for Christmas, or of having a turkey dinner, but that he has got to the point that “such things as turkey on Christmas don’t trouble me.” He wishes his friends, family, and neighbors a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Camp of the 88th Penna Vet Vols
Dec 23 1864
I received yours of the 16″ and was very glad to hear from all of you. My commission has been sent after to Andrew Curtin and I expect here by the end of this month as first Lieutenant, which I have to receive first before I can get a captains commission. Joe Lawrence the Officer in command says that there will be no trouble about it. But of course there is many a slip between the cup and the lip But I guess it will be all right this time. At least I hope so.
So you are haveing a good time of it going to balls and dancing if you was down here you would have a good time dancing to, but it would be to get your feet warm. I think you must have been tired against you danced 21 sets on a Ball room floor. i dont think it would hardly pay for the shoe leather.
There is no hopes of getting home for Christmas but if everything goes right I suppose I will get home some time though this winter I will let you know as soon as I get the commission as I will want something sent down in a box, that is if the paymasters come along this way.
The day after tomorrow is Christamas and never a sign of turkey. But I have got so that such things as turkey on Christamas dont trouble me.
I suppose you will get this on Christmas so I send all of you a Merry Christmas and if you dont hear from me again before New Years day a Happy new year. I did not get the letter that Goodwillie sent of yours but I got the one from Kate Robinson. Which I will answer at the soonest opportunity. With my respects to all, friends & neighbors and my love to Father Mother Lizzie Maggie Sallie & yourself
Your Affectionate Brother
Charles Hunter was born c. 1840, the son of Irish immigrants living in Philadelphia, PA. He mustered into the Union Army on August 31, 1861 with the 88th PA Volunteers. He was promoted to corporal January 1, 1862 and re-enlisted in February, 1864 when his initial service term went up. At some point he was promoted to sergeant, and then to 1st Lieutenant on January 16, 1865. He was wounded at Spotsylvania Court House, and resigned June 12, 1865.