ÒI thought I would send you a homemade, or rather Army made, ValentineÓ


[Undated and no location, probably between February 8 and February 14, 1864, mentions ValentineÕs Day, cold is better, Tom and Hank, Julia staying with Clarinda, same pen and signature flourish as February 7, 1864]


Dear Wife,


Through a great mistake made by me, I again write to you hoping that you will soon correct it.  I was on guard, and officer of the guard, at Gen. WarrenÕs Headquarters, and while there I received a letter from Eliza at St. Johnsville stating that she wanted me to write to her.  She sent the paper and envelopes and postage, and so I took out my lead pencil and answered her letter, and at the time I got it finished I was called away on some other business and, being in a hurry, I left it for someone else to direct and told them to direct it to you, all the time not thinking of the mistake until it was too late. 


I donÕt know what you will think about it, but I write so little to other folks it comes second nature to me to direct it to you.  When you receive this I hope you will remail hers and send it on to her.  DonÕt tell her of the mistake and perhaps she will never know of it.


My cold is getting a great deal better and I hope these few lines will find you all well at home.  I thought I would send you a homemade, or rather Army made, Valentine and see how you would like it.  It looks just like the house I live in now.


I received a letter from you today.  Let Julia stay there as long as you please.  I donÕt think Kate and Hank had a right to feel mad at you.  They might get a living, I should think, as well as other folks.


Take good care of your health, my Clara.  So goodbye until you hear from me again,

Pete L. D.