Fort Jefferson June 1st 62
Dear Wife & Children
it is Sunday Morning we have just come in from Inspection & it is very hot the Boys were streaming with Sweat. I am better than when I wrote last. There the Col & Staff has just passed through the quarters & the wind tipped over my Ink Bottle & spilled the whole on my Rubber Blanket which I use for a table-cloth. I dont know as I can write much as each day is about a pattern of the next all nearly alike & no news except a rumor that No Carolina has returned to the Union if true you will have known it for a long time. It is uncertain when a Mail will leave here; we expect one the middle of the week. Williams is as tickled as a Boy at the prospect of going home, it will take him down a peg if he is disapionted this time. the Regt is in better health than at any time since we arrived a good many have the Rheumatism some have the sore throat
House has done some almighty mean tricks to which it will not answer to record I will fix them sooner or later if I live
3d It's cooler the wind blowing quite hard & partialy cloudy I should like to have you heard the Boys swear yesterday PM when we came in from Co Drill I never saw such a numbhead as House it was one continued blunder all through the Drill at one time he had the Co wrong end too inside out & he was on the wrong side of the Co himself the Co was perfectly disgusted & ashamed with & of him & of the appearance they made on the Parade Ground. the Co will show him up if they ever get home; well it is no use talking. the Col swears at the officers on Drill right; I should think they would feel ashamed, he yelled out to them the other day what in H--l are you about you dont know as much as your men do; that suited the Boys. He sung out at House the other day Damnation what are you doing there. They give wrong orders & snarl the men all up & cant seem to learn appear frightened as a parcel of whipped Boys when their Daddy is around
5th I remember yesterday & today as the birth days of our children I have thought of you all many times. Yesterday I went to West Key after shells I got about a pint of all kinds I shall try to send them by Williams if he ever goes home; you dont know how hot it was on that barren sand yesterday it seemed as if the sun would burn into ones Brain. I dont wear anything but my old fatigue Cap many have got thin Hats but I am going to be a Soldier while I am in the Army I wear nothing but Army clothes except Stockings at noon the sun is exactly in the Zenith a pole placed on end perpendicular casts no shadow it is rather odd to see the sun shining on all sides of the Light House equally it is sweat-sweat day & night. No Mail yet we expect one every day as soon as we receive it there will be one leave so I write along from day to day. I think it is about the best thing you can do to let Mr Pillsby have the Pasture as you propose last night 7 of our Boys went to Loggerhead & got two Turtles as big over as tables one laid 134 eggs after they turned her over. this morning they butchered the other & took out 130 eggs; beside, a half pailfull of little eggs without shells each Turtle has 3 sizes in them one Batch with shells ready to lay, the others look like yolks of Hens eggs; they cannot be boiled so that the whites will be hard as other Eggs but have to be fryed or poached.
June 6th Yesterday PM we are very happy in receiving a Mail yours of the 18th of May came I was very glad to hear that you were all well I did not think Ada would get promoted so soon I think she is pretty smart, dont let her study to hard. Annah must not be jealous of her, for I hope she will get in with her when she is as old. the Inspector General of this Department arrived with the Mail & at 8 this morning we had to go out with Knapsacks packed & be inspected we had a Shower this Morning so that it was quite comfortable for this place we have an advantage in being the 2d Co that is inspected and get in sooner than the other 8 Cos.
I should have liked to have seen Cambridge in the Pond better than any other Man I know of we hear that there has been a requisition on Gov Berry for another Regt & the President is going to call out 100,000 more men; if that is the case you will not see us at home at present if ever; for if we have to go to the Main land & go through with one or two Campaigns many of us will be under the Sod within a year So prepare for the worst & hope for the best is my Motto. Williams has got no Backbone more than an Eel that is the greatest objection the men have to him It looks as if the Government thought the war was not very near its close of this above rumor is true we are going to have Turtle Soup for Dinner today, if we could have things to season & put with it probably it would be good. Ned is well works hard in the Kitchen, Burrell is with him he says Ned is trying to be Pious I have thought it was all moonshine but Burrell thinks it is so, if so it is well that it is so also probably he will be more so & all and as usual about so-so, perhaps so
7th The Mail leaves at 6 PM for Key West I will try and fill the rest of this sheet but I hardly know what to write, we had a hard Battallion Drill this morning. the Col was showing us off to the Inspector the sweat dropped on the Blouses like Rain; our shirts we could wring sweat out with ease & all this before Breakfast We are to Drill By Cos in the course of the day to see which is the best & it is rumored that some of the Cos will have to leave; Co C will make a splendid appearance if House Drills us, I hope he will Williams expected to receive his discharge by the last Mail I think he was much disapointed he has not had a letter from his folks for five Mails for when he first resigned he wrote them to stop till further orders he has written about every mail prehaps some of their letters have been miscarried.
There was one Man on Guard a week ago last thursday was buried last Tuesday of Co I; another of Co G. was on Guard Tuesday & Buried thursday the men are dying this week fast of Typhiod Fever Congestion of Lungs & Sun Stroke. the Surgeon ordered us in yesterday out of the Sun he does most every day but the Officers take the men right out again the next day in the Sun regardless of their lives & health I hope God will forgive the Officers for the Men wont. their any quantity of cases of petty tyrani in the Regt just because the Officers dont know their duty. I want to see you very much if the war lasts three years it is hardly an even chance that I shall, so dont worry about me anyhow for I dont believe it is much worse to be dead than to be alive I am going to be just as little homesick as possible do my duty & let come what will I have a good reputation as a Soldier in this Regt in spite of my Enemies they may do their worst