St. Augustine Jan 25th 1863
Dear Wife & Children
It is a very foggy misty morning we have just come form Inspection the wet stood in drops on my sword; the muskets rusted in the short time going from the Ft to the parade; there is conciderable wind but it does not lift the fogg, we rather expected a steamer this morning but it will not come in till the weather clears if it is not for a month, that is one of the inconveniences of having a Bar ar the entrance of a harbor; My health is not good, although I am on Duty; my liver is getting in bad condition, or rather it has been so for a long time, & gets no better very fast.
I left the "Magnolia House" this morning for Mr Riddells, the one that is a prisoner, "now dont be jealous for she is no such woman, besides Ev Miner boards & Len takes dinner there so I presume they will keep things straight"; I expect House & Lane will go there next week I dont [ ] on that very much however, what I am trying to find is a place that the cooking will be some like home, or in northern style; I have to eat what I can get I think that is one reason why my health is no better. I wish you was here to cook for me, "I suppose that is selfish" 26th no signs of a steamer this morning, it is calm but some foggy on the ocean yet.
There was a "Catholic Bishop" come in Sat brought a letter from Cate very short to Lt Mason, saying they were at Lake City & treated well & wishing him to take charge of his effects, I like my new Boarding place very well so far, Mrs Riddell appears to be a very agreeable woman. It is warm enough to sit without a fire & very plesant, I wish you could be sett down here if for only an hour just to see the difference of a winter in N.H. & Fla.
Eve. we have had the first "Battallion Drill" this afternoon for six weeks, it was so warm I sweat my shirt & coat through, we go on Picket tomorrow I shall be in command I expect as Mason is on the sick-list; I should like to catch a rebel or two just for variety. there is a Schooner advertised to leave for H. Head at 9 in the morning and as I make it a point to write by every Mail I shall send this & not wait for a Steamer, I want to see you extremely a greater desire than you might naturaly suppose from my cold commonplace way of writing. I should be homesick sometimes if I did not sink everything rather than my duty to my Country, I dont know but you will think I brag of my Patriotism but I feel just as I write, write me all the news & remember me to all enquiring friends do you write to Father I had ought to but somehow I have not written for so long I am allmost ashamed to
Yours as ever & C Shedd