Letter from Orlando Gray to Juliana Smith Reynolds, February 19, 1862
As we leave Camp tomorrow moving for Picket duty and will be absent some four days I thought I would devote a part of this evening to chatting with you not because I have anything new to tell you for tis nothing but the same thing over and over with us and the worst weath[e]r you ever saw. But knowing that your whole soul is wraped up in this war and in those who are engaged in it and also that their is one upon whom your kindest emotions are centered and who has been for the last six long and weary months my daily companion, these and other things Conected together makes me feel as though I did not want to write to any body else but you and my wife-- and I think in my last letter to Emiline that I threatened to Scold you for being over anxious about Tilton. But I refrain from so doing for fear I might unintentionally wound the feelings of one who has ever been a kind friend to me. And I hope that before this that you will have heard enough to satisfy you that although Tilton and I are not inmates of the same little cotton house that our friendship in unbroken and for ought I know must always remain so. And not alone for your sake but I love the Boy and between you and me together he gets pretty well lectured and I think that if we are not to severe on him that he will proffet by the advice. And My prayer is that if ever we are engaged in battle that Divine Providence will turn the whistiling many balls to the right and to the left that he may return safely home to resume the mighty responsibilities which must eventually fall upon his shoulders. And that I think at the present rate that our troops are whipping the rebels will be ere long. The great Anaconda is encircling them in his strong grasp and must soon crush this monster reb[e]llion to death. And gladly will I heed the day for this war has no attractions for me for my wife and little Children are constantly before my eyes. Were it not for them I could enjoy a soldiers life a great deal better than I do. I have been thinking of writing soon again to Thomas for I expect he hardly thanked me for the last letter I wrote him. It was so brief but I will try to write to him soon. It is hardly ne[ce]ssary for me to write how John is getting along for he has written to you this evening and of course will tell you all about it. I suppose your mother will have a little intrest in the war now as well as you and Emiline and will probably know how to appreciate your feelings. But tis growing late and I will Close this letter.
Remember me to all enquiring friends and believe this to be from your friend And Brother.