December 31, 1862
It is time that I wrote a few lines to you to let you know how I get along. Well, I am well and hope these few lines will find you the same. I have had three letters from you. I am in a hospital here where they went me from Washington two weeks ago today here. The letters have been sent from there. I have just got one from Edwin [Whipple]. He says he is well. I was glad to hear from him. He is near Harpers [Ferry] now. I must write to him again. I got a letter from Ellen last night. They are all well. The boys grumble because I get so many letters. I have got eleven since I have been here—three last night and one today. I have had one from Long Hill since I came here. Yes, Bill Marsh is to home. He got his discharge there to Baltimore where Ed seen him.
I don’t know how I shall remain here. The doctor said this morning that he would discharge me so I will do the best I can for I want to go home and see the folks if I can. I got a letter from one of the boys last night in the company. We had one killed, 11 wounded in the company the last battle [Fredericksburg] that took one third of them. They have 22 left now. What do you think of Burnside? Give me Mac yet and that is what they all say in the field and they are the ones to pay up, I think. But I hope I shall get out of it. But I don’t know. I don’t know what to write. If I could see you, I could tell more than I can write and I hope the day will come when I can talk with you once more and all the rest of my folks. But I have been blessed with letters from them and in a strange land. I have read yours with great joy to think that I had a kind sister to write to me to cheer up the sinking spirit of a brother while passing through the trials and hardships of a soldier’s life. Many a gloomy moment would pass while it has been cheered with kind [words] from a dear sister to me who is nearer to me that a daughter.
Ed said he was afraid that I had not got any of his [ ] but he eat a lot for me so that will do just as well. Phebe, I have got a stamp to put on this to send it. I told you the other time I would not write you till I got one and I have. I have no more to write so goodnight. This from your brother, — Wiley Jafferty
Phebe, direct to Philadelphia, Pa., Christian St. Hospital
When this you see