Fort Jefferson, Fla, Apr 7th 62
Dear Wife & Children,
I am on guard duty today and have time to write but a word as the mail leaves at 3 oclock, of which I have been just informed I have nothing of importance to write, my health is better but I am not very well, but think I shall be able to do Duty if nothing breaks, regularly it is very warm here in daytime the nights are cooler and very damp heavy dew, which will keep ones clothes damp all through like a smart shower.
Lieut Williams has resigned and has written home to that effect, he has had the offer of 1st Lieut but will not take it if his resignation is accepted he will probably go home soon but the Co would be better satisfyed to have him stay and rank up. than to have those that will rank up if he leaves. I have about concluded that I had rather be the best Drill Sergt in the Regt than to hold a commission for the Officers are hated by the men awfullly and I have got the good will of the whole Co or all that I can about.
I wrote you about the small pox it is abating I think Corp Page is the last death that will occur from it it is sad to have the men dying so from home & Friendless for the army is the most awful place for demoralization; a man dies and he is forgotten in an hour Land returned from the Island he is well & rugged swarthy as a So-American he has had a terrible experience there of small pox [ ] he was not sick a day himself. I think of sending a small box of shells & coral if I can by some one that is going home, for you to remember me by if I never see NH again; but I hope to, and in a few months or a year at most, but it's impossible to tell anything about it, the last news we have heard was March 15th the fact is we are away from everything down to the extreme southern portion of the W.I. we are probably further south than any other regt will go in this war you can tell where we are I suppose better than I can as I have none and could not get sight of one since we were first ordered here.
I have got a new shirt shoes and mosquito bars we have not yet our Pants Cap or Blouse yet and some of the Boys are wearing their drawers for Pants Frank Lee is nearly naked from his waist down and a great many are naked where they sit down unless they have their drawers on, my pants are whole as when I had them and the best looking Pants in the regt; it is all in taking care of them, and not Fooling round; you know I was never very bad on clothes. I have my shirts washed out at six cts each, the rest of it I do myself.
Mr. Sweetser, that you saw at Manchester, is in my squad now he found a scorpion in his Blanket but we are not as afraid of them as we were for the Doct says he can cure their sting easy another man found one in his Box where he keeps his bread which made him swear awfully
I fear this letter will not be very interesting and I will close while I have room; with love to all