Dear friends and family,
I take to pen to let you know that we are all well. At present hoping that this will find you in the same. I have just returned from a trip around the campsite where we have settled for a few weeks now. Each member stays inside his tent and passes the day on their own schedule. On one such occasion I recall the pleasing sound of music filling the air now noticeably absent of voices. My attempt to hold conversation with them is made at a distance and makes for social awkwardness. I fear some will find pity in our current status, but this is only a chapter in our life, but am content and will be more so when we return to the normalcy we left behind. The independence of life is what I want and I am willing to suffer for something to eat or do many, many days if will only send me to see my parents, a full and healthy son. The enemy still holds its position on much of the area and though some days seem to be fearful, it is by God’s kindness alone that we are here to write this. Oh, how I do wish that I could be at home now, for it is getting late in the evening and I long for the good and plentiful dinner and the company of friends at the local tavern. The general and medical advisors are finally in agreement that it would be wise to flatten the curve to solve the malady currently looming among us. News spread among the camp and initial reports are encouraging with some failures to be expected. In the case of the much older Lieutenant Dan or as some in the unit refer to as Mac due in part to his Irish background and in another sense due to the inept strength of his noodle arms, I strongly believe his fortune to be a difficult one. On the past days when we have been fortunate to share the field in the game of base ball, Mac has failed to flatten a crooked pitch much less a straight one while holding the bat. The able body members of the regiment have offered their expertise but have fallen upon deaf ears. We confer with our Rev and ask Captain Stitch if it might be easier to instruct Mac how to keep score during a match, but they remind us that he is not well with numbers either.
I wrote to Ma a few weeks back and am pleased she got my letter. It warms my heart knowing she took my advice and planted crops of necessity. The crops look well – I never saw as good cotton in my life. Seeing the picture of her in the field makes me wish I was there to take the matter out of her hands. The regiment has not drawn its full pay yet, but I will send money as soon as I get my pay, for I know that they must stand in need of all that I can send them. My advice is that Ma have the whole garden fenced in – every foot of it. It is the only way to keep clear of squabbles about land lines. I hope to return to work the field of corn and potatoes as winter has given me time to think of all the small things I miss from home. I indulged in thoughts of feeding the chickens and turkeys and taking the extra bushels of wheat and oat to town for old man Jaundice to sell. As I sit reviewing it, it seems like a dream, certainly more like romance than reality.
Tell my dear son that I cherish his portrait of his dear papa. May bright and shining angels watch over him as he sleep and may God keep him and his sister when they awake. I pray that they have adapted well to schooling at home. It must give you peace of mind to have them nearby to help with chores. If it fancies them please have them send more drawings as it is sometimes dull times and I should like to look at the good things they see back home.
You must excuse this exceedingly bad letter as I have written in great haste. My love to you all. Write when you can and a long letter as I am very anxious to hear from you. Tell Alexander to write as often as he can and I will answer all of them. Every time I get a letter from there, it seems as if I am at home.
Good bye and love to all.