In Cantonment near Newbern, N. C. March 27th 1862
My dear Mrs Mason,
Though I wrote to you a long letter so late as last Sunday, yet, relying on your kind assurance that I need not fear that frequent letters from me will �trouble you,� I feel I cannot let his evening pass � tho� �tattoo� has already sounded � without an answer to your most welcome letter of the 13th & 15th Inst., - that reached me safely by the mail two days ago. Could I have known on the 13th that you were then writing to me I�m quite sure that the thought would have cheered me on. I�ll never forget the labors or anxiety of that dreary afternoon or night as with broken down men, I equally fatigued, tried to urge them forward with the heavy cannon over the seemingly impassable road. Every moment I expected to hear the battle open ahead, & learning the absolute necessity of having the artillery up, & the almost utter impossibility of getting it forward, I leave you to imagine my feelings. You may be certain the Gen�l Burnside�s kind message that I might rest if I thought best, was an immense relief to me, & to you I may confess that his congratulations & thanks, as, tired to death, covered with mud & wet through & through, I told him that I had all the guns before his headqrs. Before the earliest day of day, fully compensated me
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