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August 23, 1862
Camp near Hanover Station, Va.
August 23rd., A. D., 1862
My dear Nancy;
I embrace the present to write to you and let you know that I made a safe arrival, and have Joined the Army under Major General Smith's command and Rhodes Brigade
I arrived in the City of Richmond,, on the 17th. Inst., and found my Compare , the next day. I seemed to be very fortunate; for I found my Colonel on the train, some fifteen or sixteen miles before I arrived in Richmond. I went up to him and he told me what Brigade I belonged to, which was a source of considerable satisfaction to me for I had concluded that it was going to bother me to find them without going to the War Department the next day, and to my great gratification, I met with my old Colonel W. R. Smith (though he is not my Colonel now. My present Colonels name is Ohnelle [O’Neil]). Colonel Smith assisted me in making out my Pay-roll,.and I drew $624.00. The next day after reaching Richmond, and when I went to the Camps, the men belonging to my Company told me that Captain I. H. Sanders had drawn my money up to the last of July 1862, and that he had resigned and gone home a few days before I got here. He drew $640.00 for me; so by that means, I had $1264 on the Government, but the next day I took back the $624.00 that I drew, and gave it up to the Paymaster, for which he gave me a receipt. I did not think that I could get into the "hog-eye" of such big men so easy; but so it was.
I have written to Captain Sanders to send my money to Brother Alberrry, that is if Alberry concludes to let me have that land. I thought as Captain Sanders did not write to me, that the Power of Attorney that I sent him was null and void, and that he could not do anything with it; so that is the way the mistake came about. Now I am without any money, or nearly so.
The boys told me that Lt. R. C. Rector was going to come back to the Army by way of South Carolina; and I have written on to Captain Sanders to send my money by Rector. Had it not been for that mistake, I would have sent you some money; but if nothing takes place, I will draw again before long, and will send you some then, or come and bring it.
I did not try to get a Discharge; if I had, I expect I could have done so easily enough, for when I reached the Camps, I found my Company without any Commissioned officer at all, and the men seemed to be in such a furlough condition, that it seemed to me I could not leave at all. They seemed to be so glad to see me, and treated me with so much kindness, that I could hardly leave them in that condition.
Lieutenant Rector and Lieutenant Taylor are both wounded and gone home; and the Captain has resigned. Do not know whether any of them will come back or not. In fact I do not look for the Captain- have no idea of his returning. I am acting as Captain and have been ever since I reached them.
We took up our Line of March for General Jackson's Army, the next day after I got to Camps, for the purpose of fighting a battle. We marched some twenty-five or thirty miles and pitched our tents; but how long we will remain here, or what the result will be, is more than I can tell. We know but very little about when a battle is coming on till we get into it (from what they tell me).
I want you to write to me as soon as you get this, and either go or send to Mother and tell her and all of them that I will write to them as soon as I can. My chance here to write is a very bad one, that is, if you call sitting on the ground a bad one.
I have seen several things here that I never saw before, and one of the grandest spectacles of scenery that I ever saw, is the monument of General George Washington. He is mounted on the finest horse that I ever saw, and this is mounted on a monument, about 30 feet high. About twenty feet below him are the statues of Henry, Mason, and Jefferson, and about one hundred yards away, is one of Henry Clay. In the Congress Hall is another statue of Gen. Washington, but it is not mounted. These are all in the Capitol Square in the City of Richmond, and are all made of marble. I have seen a good many things in life, but never saw anything before that took me by the eye like the scenes just mentioned above. They are the grandest. pieces of human art and skill that I have ever seen, but I need not be trying to write you all that I have seen.
I want you to write me wheather John is at home or not. Tell him and all the rest of them to write to me as often as they can. I do want to see you more than I know how to express. I want you to come over some night and stay until next morning and bake me some biscuits for breakfast, and I know that I could eat better by far. I am not very well at present, having taken a cold from exposure.
Hoping that these lines find you well, I am
Your affectionate husband, David Ballenger
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