ŇIt seems quite natural to go to school again, only if you were here to go with me it would seem more natural.Ó
Camp near Potomac Creek VA
Saturday, February 19, 1863
[letterhead of eagle with shield and banner, red, white and blue]
I am well at present and hope these few lines will find you all enjoying good health at home. We have just experienced another snowstorm in Virginia and now it has turned into another broiling mass of mud. It snowed until we had about 4 inches of snow and then turned into a heavy rainstorm and it has just stopped raining.
Tom has come back to the Regt and is getting along quite smartly. He is looking better now than he has looked since he has been in Virginia. He says he feels weak but is well otherwise. He was wondering today why Mr. William Jones donŐt write to him and me. I for my part shall never write him another letter as long as I live until I get one from him. I should think at home where everything is handy to sit down to a table and write, he might easily of answered one of my letters, but if he donŐt care for me I donŐt for him. I write a great many letters here at a great inconvenience. I have to sit down and take a board on my lap instead of sitting at a table.
Dear Clara, I have commenced going to school again. We have a SergeantsŐ Call here every morning and we have got to get a lesson and recite it before the Lieut. Col. It seems quite natural to go to school again, only if you were here to go with me it would seem more natural. You know how you used to go to school with me once? I can remember how you used to look with your little bare feet pattering along the road. But those days are gone, Dear Clara, and we have seen happier ones and I pray to the good God that gave us existence we may see them once more. Oh how long it does seem since we have been away from one another. But if God spares our lives, Dear Clara, the time will come when we shall meet again once more.
Our Col. has gone to Washington on furlough for a week. Some think he has gone to pick out a place there for us. There is strong talk here of our going back to Washington and also of the Army of the Potomac being broken up. We are detailed, or rather about 60 of our Regt is, every morning to build fortifications between here and Acquia Creek. It is generally supposed here that when it is done we shall fall behind it and take transports back to Washington. How true this all is remains yet to be seen.
Mr. Demming has not arrived here yet. We have been expecting him now for a couple days. Fletch got some things from home which was sent down by Tom Gray. He told me there was not gloves sent to me in that package. Dear Clara, I donŐt wish you should send me anything more by Demming. He charges too much and I can get along without those things very well. DonŐt send me anything more until I send for them. I am expecting a letter from you tonight.
I must bring my letter to a close for it is after Roll Call and I will soon go to bed praying that God in his mercy will watch and pray over you and my little dear ones at home. Goodbye until I write again,
Soldier of the Potomac