I have put in afew little shells in the childrens letters to be divided as you think best one or two for each of them
Fort Jefferson May 19th 1862
My Dear Girl
I have written to the Babies directed to Ada with Annah & Lillys inside So this is all to yourself. I have cut off the picture leaves for them as I thought it would please them to have letters alike I continue in good health & spirits. I have forgotten whether I have written you since I recd yours of the 4th inst if not I will now acknowledge the rect and the pleasure it gave me to know that the dear Ones at home were all well. It is very warm here now 100 in the shade Gen Brannan Staff & Brigd Surgeon with Band arrived here last thursday & stoped till Sat morning, it was a great treat for us to hear some music for we are about sick of the everlasting Fife & Drum. It was very hot so that the Gen did not inspect us, for, which we were very thankfull. You will recolect I spoke of being examined by the Col; I have a little secet to tell you & dont mention it at present. I have it from one who has seen the figures also from Lieut Clark whom the Maj told that I passed the best examination of any Man in the Regt; what do you think of that now? you have always thought that I did not know much but I tell you that you must not twit me of being foolish again if you do I shall refer you to Cols Put & Abbott & Maj Smith of the renowned 7th Regt N.H. Vols Lane & Davis were very good but the Col says that Prescott is not fit for an Orderly so that keeps him where he is & makes Davis orderly of they choose to Prescott 2d & your Uncle Dudley 3d great promotion that. Only the first Sergt outranks the rest are all alike if their warrants are of the same date so the 5th Sergt is as high in rank as the 2d or 3d.
May 20th We have commenced drill at Six Am before breakfast, the Officers & Sergts on Skirmish Drill from 2 to 3 Regtl Drill 4 to 5 Dress Parade a 6 PM it is awfull hot work from 2 to 5 but I can stand it if the rest can. There is a bet between two Officers of $20.00 that we shall leave here within two weeks but I dont see it, although there are any quantity of Rumors that we shall leave very soon & to all parts of the U.S. but Rumors are not worth much I dont see anything to convince me that we shall go at present. I wish to go to So Carolina very much & help wipe out the Nest Egg of Secession Lieut Williams is persistent in his efforts to resign he has sent in as many as 4 or 5 I guess the last one will go to Port Royal to Gen Hunter he is the Comdr of this Division the Col neglected to send some of the others and told Williams that it would not be granted the Agt told him this last time that it would not be granted Williams replied it would be according to what the Col wrote on it. I have got an awfull longing to see you & the children I don"t know but I shall get homesick yet if I do I shall not tell of it as the rest of the men do or many of them. I don"t eat as much in three days here as i did at home in one. Sam is Rheumatic yet, not very bad, he got Lousy as a hen has his hair cut as short as sissors will cut it he looks like the Dvil makes fun for the whole Co. Burrell is well wishes to be remembered to all his friends Frank Lee is full of the Dvil as ever. Dodge is in the Guard House has had a Court Martial & sentenced to two months imprisonment & wear a 24 pound Ball & Chain attatched to his leg that is tough; in the first place he was saucy disobeyed orders of one of the Sergts for which he was first under arrest, was sent to work sawing wood, he refused & threatened to whip the Provost Sergt and they tied him up by his thumbs; & resisted when they put him in the Guard House & tried to strike the Sergt. last night he got into a fight & whipped one of his fellow Prisoners & is pretty tough generaly dont speak of this to his prejudice at home for he will be punished enough. I pity him we are looking for a mail every day are anxious to hear of the progress of the war for thereby [ ] hangs our prospects of going home & for that time and the close of the war I devoutly wish and to see my Dear Wife
Good Morning It is cooler here with a good breeze, there has no mail arrived or left sp I thought I would scratch a work or two. No signs of a Paymaster yet I wish he would come so that I could send you some money. There has a schooner arrived this morning with a report that there is a mail at K. West for us; we are very anxious for it; as there is a Rumor that there has been, a great Battle at Williamsburgh, & that the Federal Army was victorious with great Slaughter on both sides. I have had no papers fpr a ;pmg time, I presume there are some on the way but have been delayed or miscarried. Another rumor that Norfolk has fallen you don't know how odd it seems to be so behind on news. the Col & other officers with some Women went to Loggerhead Island last night got back a little before reveille this morning I expect they had a good time Col Put looked sleepy on drill this morning House & Williams eat in our Kitchen & are so [ ] tight in their living that it gives occasion for much fault finding for some of the men think they live on our Rations on the other hand if they have naything better that we do the men will blow about that It is almighty strange that men as old as they are should be so ignorant of human nature. they are not fit to be Officers on that acct if they were well qualified on all others
PM the mail leaves at 6. there has a Brig stoped here with recruits going to Ship Island we get no reliable news I think of nothing more that will interest Keep up good spirits & be happy as possible. there has a Steamer hove in sight we hope with a mail. it may be only passing by. please remember me to all who take the trouble to enquire and not others and except my best love to yourself My Dear Wife