Arlington Heights, Camp Seward [?]
October 29th 1862
[letterhead of US Capitol, Headquarters 146th Reg’t N. York Vols., Col Garrard, Company – written in A Capt Cone]
Got her letter, is happy to hear she is well and sorry she feels so bad about him “because I was not what you might call sick at all onley [sic] I felt kind of dead and that breaking out I had was pretty bad I was so sore I could hardley [sic] touch anything without hurting me but thank the Lord I am a great deal better so that I can begin to do something”. Yesterday he and his regiment and 14 more went on a tramp down below Fort Albany on review “and it was a splendid sight I wish you could on such an occasion [sic] be here I know you would like to see so many men formed in line of battle I saw them from fort Albany and they look like a great mass of Woods moving along from there I went over to gen Lees house and from there down to the Potomac River and back to Camp again making in all about eight miles and I came todeling [sic] back tired and hungry enough.” She had asked how he sent a letter from NY and he said he didn’t, but guesses because it had the flowers in it they thought it was money and broke it open then mailed it when they saw it wasn’t.
“We are going to harpers ferry next Friday to form a reserve Corps in the next battle which I hope will lick the rebbels [sic] clean out and let us come home this winter.” Their Colonel doesn’t think they’ll see battle this time and has been offered two good places for the winter “but he wont except [sic] anything but the battle field all the boys think he wants to pay us off for the papers coming out on him so hard”. Plenty of good drilled men who are going to stay there because they have good Colonels. The Fourth Oneida is in winter quarters and will stay here. Sick are all getting well except a few who will be discharged. Talks about her inquiry about a white swelling on his hip. Feels he will stay until the end of the war. “You cant tell how hard it is to get away from here when once you get here they are on the watch for deserters all the time… if you haint got a pass they arrest you immeaditly [sic]. They are going to brand deserters with a letter B on the forehead as a mark to carry through life”. Tells of deserters from Fourth Oneida who got caught.
Wants her to let him know if they are going to do a draft again in Utica. “All the drafted men are shoved ahead of Volunteers”. Had his picture taken and is sending it: “Dear Clara I am tanned as a molato but my heart is as white as it used to be does Ida know where her pa is gone and does Willie grow any poor little I should not have left them and you the way I did but I dident [sic] see so far then as I do now”.