Fernandina Fla Sept 29th 62
My Dear Wife & Children
We left Beaufort in about two hours after I mailed my last letter: on the Propeller Burnside. That night we went to the H.H. took on 16 Recruits with some other Passengers & about three P.M. started again in a N.E. Storm that night we got an awful Rolling most of the men were seasick I am not troubled with that complaint We arrived here yesterday, Sunday, 2 P.M., shall lay here till this P.M. when I expect we shall sail for St A. I was fortunate enough to get yours of the 2d written at LB & of the 7th & 15 written at Tewksbury I dont see who should write that. I was so near dead I dont recollect of writing anything that would give that impression although I have been harder sick than I let on, I thought sometimes I should play out, but it did not frighten me. I am very sorry and do not thank any one for writing that which will give my Family & Friends so much uneasiness. I am getting pretty well, not quite fit for Duty yet but I am in command of the 50 men on board, the Col, calls me Lt & Mr. Shedd & has placed me in full charge, I have not seen him since yesterday, we have roughed it some on board the Cook would not so much as make coffee without pay we are all of us out of money & I went to the Col & he told the Cook to look to him for his pay, since then we have got coffee twice a day & had some meat boiled once, the men have eaten the meat raw most of the time , my stomach wont quite go it. I have a Straw Bed that belonged to the Hospital & I brought some Crackers a piece of cheese & a little Butter so I have got along well There is the old & new towns of Fernandina Ft Clinch is at the entrance of the River below Old Town New Town is 4 or 5 miles further up river the buildings look more modern than at Beaufort but there is almost an entire absence of Fruit Trees, also ornamental, which makes the Buildings look bare & unpleasant. The Rebels had the Shore lined with Masked Batteries but never used them when the Gunboats came they skedaddled after burning the Gun Carriages & dismounting the Guns, there are some Citizens here & plenty of Niggers, that did not have time to get away, there is nothing doing the stores are all shut & plenty of grass growing in the streets, the place is perhaps as large as Lebanon, which is considered quite a city in this country. It is held by the 9th Me a splendid regt & appear to be well disciplined, not quite up to the 7th in some things; a Regular Army Col, tells on the appearance of a Regt I wish Col Put could have had a Regt of men like the 9th. I should have liked to belong to it.
St. Augustine Sept 30th I arrived at 11 AM every man & Boy were or appeared to be greatly pleased to see me none of them ever expects to see me again I was not aware that they considered me so badly off I rather guess I was some sick. I like the looks of the place very much in comparison to the other places we have been in. The Boys are very sorry that I am going into Co A but are glad that I have come to the top of the heap in spite of Capt House, it beats all how the men hate him, they are awful bitter against him. I can hardly write, I have shaken hands so much in Co. C. but all over the Regt, between you & me, I dont want to brag but I honestly think, I am the most popular bah; I cant write it You will recollect this is the oldest town in the U.S. there are some quaint old Buildings in the Town. I have not yet seen enough of it to write understandingly. It is astonishing how the men have gained in health in Co. C.there is but 3 on sick list one of consumption one sore hand one sore foot & it is so with all the Regt, The talk is that there will be an attack here if so, I am here to see & if I am killed I hope you will not mourn me for it is the fortune of war & must be expected. So dont borrow any trouble, it will come soon enough. Dont be impatient if you dont hear from me for some time for the mail is very irregular the Burnside leaves at high Tide tomorrow So I will close with my best love to you all