Fort Jefferson, Fla., March 24 1862
Dear Wife & Children,
I have a chance to send this by Lieut. House waiter Billy Smith who goes to Lebanon Capt. George has resigned starts for Key West today, Lieut House is in command of C. and as big a Lunk Head on military as George was the best part of the co think it is a poor swap Now dont be frightened our Men are Dying at the rate of one a day of small Pox L.L. Page of my squad is dead of it & his Brother Coporal Page is very sick
I have been expecting to have it for a few days I am just able to sit up & write the Surgeon has just left me he says I shall not have it; and I shall be out in a few days; this is the first time I have been on sick List since I enlisted. We have had no Mail for two or three weeks and I long to hear how you are getting on write often no matter if a No. of Letters come by the same Mail.
I want to hear about Town Meeting what C & H are doing in shop & McConnell & Heath in Tannery. Dont worry about me for I think I shall be out soon as my health has been first rate appetite good could eat double Rations easy
Mr Thayer is writing I dont know what he can find for news I cant think of any. Give my respects to I.H. Hayes tell him I should be very happy to have him send me a paper the oftener the better We have got to learn the Drill on Big Guns I like that. after I learn that I shall be pretty well posted up on Drill.
Patriotism is pretty well played out in this Regt, all the men talk of is being discharged; they want to go home and act like a parcel of boys and would be about as reliable in active service.
I shall have this Letter smoked so dont be afraid of it I will close with love to all
I should write more but dont feel able