Fort Jefferson June 9th 62 3 PM
I hear that a mail leaves here this Eve I have nothing to write but will send you a line if it is not quite so bright. I am pretty well in fact quite as well as one could expect in this climate. it is tremendous hot here today. two men died yesterday one was sick only 13 hours the other had been sick before in the Hospital & was discharged from it a day or two ago. his Orderly put him on fatigue he said he was sick & not able the Orderly told him he was not sick & if he did not go to work he would put him on Guard. He went to work a little while then went to the Hospital & Died in a few hours, the lives of many of us will lay at the Doors of some of the Officers the Curses of the men against them are loud & deep
The Inspector did not leave Saturday as we expected this morning Co C was paraded to show him our dexterity on Heavy Artillery we fired 10 Shells that cost Uncle Sam $100.00 I had command of Gun No 8 an old Chambered Columbiade she made the best Shot. I has a Horse [ ] on me when we marched to the Battery I had Gun No 7 Corporal Chase was my Gunner the whole Battery under command of Capt Langdon of the Regulars we commenced drilling IE going through the motions of Loading & Firing we had been loading by detail & was ordered to load for Action ie to go through the motions without direct commands for every motion I was instructing Nos 1 & 3 in relation to their duties when my Gunner ordered the men to load with cartridge & Shell I did not find it out till I heard the Shell grating inside the Gun as they were ramming it down you had better believe I swore, as it was my duty to cut the Fuse & prepare the shell there it was the shell in the Gun without any Fuse & if fired in that condition liable to burst in the Gun also to burst the Gun & knock us all into a Cocked Hat & there stood the Col & Inspector not 10 ft from the Gun I could have cut Chases Heart out with a good relish Capt Langdon ordered my Detatchment away fromt he Peice; I Marched them away & broke rank, feeling ashamed enough; but they could not get along without me, & House came to me to take command of No 8 & turned out Sergt Noyes & I made the best Shot after all the fuss; then I felt some better There was no damage done for we drew the Shell & Cartridge and it was all right I have had no Papers for the last three Mails dont send only the latest ones up to the time of writing.
There is no signs of a paymaster yet I begin to think we shall not get any pay till the middle of July or last which shall be six months a rather long time to wait but I suppose it is sure to come sometime.
Burrell could not stand it in the Kitchen but a week I dont see how Ned stands it so well he is tough tonight we have got to go to Dress Parade earlier tonight and show the Inspector our skill in firing Blank Cartridges in sham fight if we are reported to Gen Hunter favorable. I presume we shall have to take the Field this fall & leave our Bones to bleach in the Sun of Dixie well let her rip it is appointed once to die then cometh the Judgement then we shall see what we shall see and I am of the opinion that many will be disapointed if there is a Hell I expect to go to it & I dont believe it is much hotter then Tortugas as if is I should rather keep away. Keep up good courage be as happy as you can dont let anything in the future trouble you any more than possible. I close with my love to you all