Newport News, Va. Monday
March 10, 1863
My Dear Father and Mother:
Your most welcome letter of March 8 received this morning and was very glad to hear from you also to hear that you are all well.
I am well and the rest of the boys are too. I don't see them very often.
D. Davis and King been made corporal and George Waldran is now a drummer. I think it is a good thing for George as it is much easier for him.
I don't hear anything more about moving so do not think we will for a spell.
I have just stewed some dried apples and cherries. We draw dried apples, one little mess every five days.
I just saw the Flag of truce boat go past on it's way up the river. It is a large side wheeler steamer with a flag of truce on the bow and the stars and stripes on the stern.
The reason those things things were so long coming was we were on the move all the time and they Could not catch up with us. If we should go to North Carolina the express will come along right after us.
I received the socks and the suspenders. I didn't expect you would send them by mail but in the box. I hope you will not think me unreasonable for asking you to send so much.
I am ashamed every time I do.
The ointment I have not used much for I am exposed to too much exposure,. If it is no worse than anguintane I am not afraid to use it. The breaking out I has not as bad as it was. I know you are very anxious about me and you may be sure I am about you.
I can not say how much good I may do if I live. As for the Past I cannot say but while I am here I will try to live so when I do go home my friends will not be ashamed of me.
I Consider I am serving my country as well and as honorably as if I was in the ranks. I was in the ranks seventeen months and never missed being with the Company on a march or in a fight, except the battle of Malvern Hill and our Regt. was not engaged there. The reason I was not with them was that I was sick.
I hope you never have thought I intended to desert even if I did sometimes speak of it. You must not blame me too much for writing as i did for you know all the time we were at Falmouth we had a very hard time.
The battle made it worse to see thousands fall and suffer because one man makes a blunder. It seems rather bad but whom shall we blame? We cannot blame Burnside for before he was placed in command he said he was not competent. Then the president and his leading generals must be to blame. I don't care who commands the Army if he will conduct things as they should be. That is why I think McClelland Should command for no one has done better.
Hooker may be able to do better, I am willing he should try but I know McClelland is no traitor and I think none the less of him for being a democrat.
General Hallock I don't like.. I think he was jealous of McClelland and used his influence against him more than he needed to. As for the president is concerned I have not one word of fault to find for he has had trouble ever since he took office. I think he has done the best he could. As for his proclamation I don't think it is of much account until we gain the territory the slaves are in, I don't think this government can be established on the same constitution it was before the war.
The North can't agree with the South. The South has slavery so we may as well make the best of it. Don't you think so?
I think some of our officers think more of money than of their country and there others that think too much of their whiskey, but not all of them. Many of the officers get their commissions by home influence.
If their father is acquainted with Gov, Blair or some Senator they have no trouble getting their commissions.
As for being a Republican I don't Know what I will be for the times may change when I come to vote.
I don't like some of the State officers or one at least and that is Chandler.
I was glad to hear the State would support the Government.
I don't think there is any danger of a war in the North.
Such men as you speak of dare not do anything and should not be allowed to talk as they do.
I would like to see all of you very much but I cannot go home until my time is out. You need not expect me until that time unless something happens.
I think of all my friends and would like to see them.
I received a letter from Lavisa and think by her letters she must have a hard time. Do you think she suffers for the want of anything. If she does I will send her some money.
Let me know what you think.
I am sorry to hear Father is afflicted. Mother you need not save that money expecting I will come home in less than fourteen months. I don't think I can come so you had better use it.
What is Col. A.L. Demming doing?
I can't think of any more to write so I will stop.
Why don't Phoebe write, She owes me a letter.
How does Aunt Lucy get along?
I send my love to all and please soon.
from your Loving Son
1st Division, 9th Army