Letter dated November 3rd, 1863
Nov. 3, 1863
Camp near Bristoe Station, Virginia
I now improve this opportunity to write a few lines to you to inform you that I am still alive and well. We have been in camp here over a week. I stand it first rate. We have to drill 2 hours in the forenoon and 2 hours in the afternoon so that I don't have much time to write letters or do anything else. We have got to go on drill at 2 o.c. this afternoon. I will try and send you some of my hair in this letter and I want you to send me some of yours and Lina's with your likeness as soon as you can. We shall get our pay in about two weeks then I will send you some. You must be as saving as you possibly can and if you have more than you need let Mr. Smith or some
good man and take his note for it.
How does all the folks get along there? Tell them all to write to me. I have got good clothes and enough of them. When you write to me again put one or 2 large needles and some pins and some good black thread for me. I can't buy any here. I buy once in a while a can of condensed milk for my coffee. One can will last me a month. Sometimes I can buy some cheese; that with my tobacco is all that I have bought off the sutters yet. I can live well enough on my rations. Only on the march then we get nothing but hard tack,meat, coffee and sugar. Then it goes rather hard. I have not time to write any more today so good bye my dearest write soon
Yours as ever
I have just received you letter before I mailed this. I had just finished it; had folded it yet. I have not heard from mother or any of them since I left but John Ryel and Palmer. I have not heard from the money I sent to Palmer. I wrote to him the same time I wrote you before. You must not fret about me for I am safer here than I would be in the hospital for there I should be exposed to all kinds of disease, while here I have plenty of fresh air and water to wash myself Yesterday I went down to the creek, about a mile from camp, and washed myself all over and some of my clothes, I tell you that it was a pretty cold bath but it done me good.
I am not sorry that I did not raise the money for if I had I would have to stand
another chance now; and now I have got most 4 months of my time in now. So much the nearer the time to come home if I should be spared to see that happy time. How happy we would but the ford only knows when that will be but we will hope soon. The opinion of the most of the officers and men is that it will be as soon as next spring. You may tell mother that all I see here only makes me more of a Democrat than I was when I left home. You send me the things that I have sent for. If I could get a pair of good woolen gloves I would be glad to get mother to knit me a pair and you can send me them by mail. It won't cost but little; it would be cheaper than I could get them here. No more this time;
p.s. Write soon, give my love to Lina, mother and all