ŇThere has been some desertionsÓ
Arlington Heights, Camp Seward
Monday, October 27th 1862
[letterhead of woman in flag dress with feather hat helping man in billowing pants, probably Zouave, laying on his pack]
Letter No. 9, Received 3
Your very welcome letter was duly received with MalvinaŐs and glad I was to hear that you was well with all the rest of you at home. I can say that I feel a great deal better. I have taken quite a tramp today in search of something to lie on. We could not find anything but a picket fence which we tore to pieces and made a [?] in our tent. Last night we slept the best of any night since we have been here. We awoke in the morning and was lying in about 2 inches of water and when we got up we was so cold we could hardly stand it. It seems as if I never saw colder weather in the middle of winter than I saw this morning. Everything was wet and we could build no fire so we went without our breakfast but in the middle of the day it cleared off very nice so we could dry out and find something to lie on. So tonight I and Fletch are writing quite comfortable.
Tell Maley I delivered her messages immediately after I got her letter and tell her not to let that be the last letter. I saw in your letter that Pa had enlisted but I canŐt believe it at no price. I canŐt see his object in doing so. He could not stand it here at all the way we have to live here in Virginia. I donŐt want you should take on so about me because I am getting well very fast. If you do I shanŐt expect to find anything left of you when I come home. I suppose I do wrong by telling you everything what happens to me and how I feel but dear Clara I canŐt help it. It seems as if I must tell you everything as I always have.
Oh, I do think so much of you and little Ida. It seems as if I must be writing to you all the time but that donŐt satisfy. I want to see you so bad again I donŐt know what to do. If I only could I should feel better. The boys are all getting better except John McGuire. I think he will not stand it long if he stays here. His breath smells so bad he drives every one away from him. I think it is consumption. He feels pretty bad because he canŐt get home.
I almost forgot to tell you Fordis Phelps came in handcuffed and alive yesterday. He was caught in Baltimore and brought here. There has been some desertions since we got here but I think they will be caught before long.
Tell Julia Tom is well and looks good. He sent a letter last Saturday to her and will send one again tomorrow. Put on your letter ŇNew York State VolunteersÓ to have them come to me or else they might go to some other State Regt. Write all the time to your never forgetful and loving husband.
Yourn and yorn alone through life,