March 2, 1862
Off Fort Jefferson at Anchor 1/2 mile from Shore. We arrived here this morning at 10 oclock and at 2 oclock I recd yours of the 16th the mail leaves at 6 this eve I recd your other letter when we were leaving NY coming down from the harbor was very glad to hear from you and the money I write in haste this time. We have been 17 days on the passage in the Barque Tycoon 4 Cos on board 6 Cos on the ship which has not arrived. a few days out a man of Co A died and was cast into the sea this morning one of our company by the name of Dewey died just as they dropped Anchor. They are to bury him on the Island. I was not Sea Sick but want of sleep and my cold made me sick for the first ten days out my finger has been so bad that I could not write on the passage it is better now it will peel off nail and all in a few days it has been a bad Finger it is as warm as June or July if it was not for the Sea breeze we should die almost my Finger is so stiff I cannot write very well we expect to go on shore as soon as the Ship arrives when we go on shore I will write a description of the Fort which looks very imposing from the outside The hot weather has broke my cold and sore throat I feel very much better but very uncomfortable from humors which have broken out all over me which make me itch badly.
Take it together we have had a rather hard time on the passage [ ] meals a day poor at that and scanty since the men get over their sickness. the Beef is so salt we cannot eat it. I live on hard bread and a pint of the meanest coffee a day with some potatoes our Pork is quite good tho fat but very bad to eat in this climate. we hope to fare better ashore.
Friend Thayer was Sea sick for a number of days could not eat anything but is better now if we can beg buy or Steal anything good we share it together I would give a Dollar for what good water I could drink this afternoon the water stinks worse than a Hog pen it is said there is not a drop of water on the Island it has to be brought from Key West I think. Write often and send me some Papers most any Papers you can get hold of after you read them the Weekly Tribune Boston Journal or most anything we heard to day of the victory in Kentucky and Tenn which makes us feel well Direct to Fort Jefferson Floriday (spelled wrong, I guess) Tortugas Co C 7th NH Vol.
There are quite a no sharks swimming round the vessel they would like a Soldier to eat I suppose some think they smell the corpse which is about to be carried away the escort is already Formed I had to borrow $15.00 to make out that money and I shall have to pay a heavy interest but I shall have some money to send you if pay day ever comes that will help you to live better let the Debts go to the Devil and try and live comfortable I wish I had some money to send you but have not we dont live half so well as State Prisoners or Town Paupers but I dont want you to live so There has been times on board here that I would have given $ 5.00 for a good meal if I had money as I used to have. I have forgotten to acknowledge the recpt of some of your letters. I think I have read all of them.
Dear Ada Anna and Lilly I was very glad to receive your letters and will write you soon I wish you to write me often if it is only a line apiece I think of you very often and hope you will be good and kind to each other and to Mother, and if I never see you again to remember that Father loves you very much I wish you to be happy and to enjoy yourselves as much as you can. Thayer has written a description of the voyage and he says you must ask his Wife to read it to you. I presume it is written much better than I could write it in fact I know it is I will close with love to all and I think of you all, night and day many times.
From your Husband, Father & Brother