Short on personal stationery, a Civil War soldier camping in the House Chamber used official bill enrollment paper to write a letter home. On being mustered into federal service in 1861, the 7th New York Militia was called to Washington by President Abraham Lincoln and housed in the Capitol building. Before moving into Virginia to assist in building a fort, this member of the regiment wrote to his sister: “There is no immediate sign of war. I think that the Union Seventh is gaining ground very fast and . . . [We] shall be allowed to go Home.” Little did he know this was only the beginning of four long years of war.