Sept 8th 1863
Is well but quite lonesome. Went to see the Lieutenant today who said he would write a recommend for him to get a furlough, showed him the Colonel’s recommend. Lengthy description of how badly he wants to come home and is “not of any use I am afraid the goverment [sic] will be the loosers [sic] by keeping us pened [sic] up so tight when they come to Exchange us if they ever do I am afraid the most of them will desert on purpose to get home tomorrow is going to be a sad day here there is going to be a couple of Deserters Shot Close to our Camp I have heard some of our own boys tell there was 16 of them came here from the front a Couple of days ago and they witnessed the execution of them men out there. They say it was the hardest thing they have seen since they have been down here Most all was affected to tears. If so god knows I do Not want to see it. Our boys that Came here have been put in the invalid Corps. They are worn out gone up for active Service. They was the Hardest Looking set of men I have Ever seen they have suffered every thing this sumer [sic]. Ben Chapman the hardest looking & bigest [sic] man in the Regt is Broke down he is here at Convalisent Camp mother knows him very well.”
They are getting new clothing, he will have to get pants and stockings. He doesn’t know when they’ll get paid. They had orders to muster them but they were countermanded again. “One of our Sergts that came from the Reg says we have been struck off of the Regimental Books & marked on Detached Service. I nor no one else can tell what it means But it sounds as if we were not going Back to the Regt very soon. I have been a Prisoner of war now 4 months & 8 days and I begin to feel tired of this kind of life. Wednsday [sic] the 9th Dear Clara I am feeling Quite well to day.” The execution has been postponed. Got a letter from the Regt saying “the Captain has gone back to take Command of his Company with one arm.” Lengthy description of how much he misses home. He wants to hear from her and if she is picking hops. He wants to fill out this sheet but “the boys keep me getting up & making out Passes & running after them all the time I have been very busy making out Clothing Rolls all this week so far but I have got most through now how Does Sarah graff feel now I wonder if she has most forgot Jake I wish you & she could live together while I am gone I think she would make good Company for you.”
He doesn’t hear anything from Tom, the poor fellow didn’t want to go back to the Regt. If Peter had known he would be in Camp so long he would have sent for her but it’s too late now. It’s hard to find good company here: “there is nothing but low and vulgar conversation going on all the time & I don’t wish to hear it you must lump it But once in a while we can come across a few good ones but they are Chiefly to be found amongst old married men I think you know Michael Keating he has got so he don’t send any money to his wife at all but spends it amongst the women in elaxandria & Washington & Phil Smith & lib murray’s Brother has got something to Remember them by for some time to Come oh it is awful such doings in this world I wonder what things are coming to I gues [sic] Phil or andy neither one sends any money home it is to [sic] bad but they have got Past taking advice and they wont have anyone Preach to them as they call it….if you ever hear any one write about me what I have wrote about them you Can make up your mind that I have gone Stark mad for as long as god gives me my Proper sence [sic] & faculties for reasoning you will never hear from me in such a way”. Closing.