Camp near Aquia [Landing], Virginia
May 15th 1863
My dear mother,
It is with pleasure that I now try to pen a few lines to you to let you know that I am well and happy and hope you are the same. You must excuse me for not writing before for I have been so busy for a week that I have not had time to do anything for myself at all and have not much time now. There is no news to write so I can’t write much. You spoke about my gambling away my money. If you think I do, you are mistaken. I have not gambled for one cent since I have been in the army. I do play cards to pass away the time but not for money.
Mother, you know I always wanted to live well and I find it hard to come down to what the government furnishes and things cost a large price here. If you want money to use, I will send it to you but I had rather use it to here than to lay it up for myself if I should live to get back. Haven’t I got a good trade to learn more with when I get home. You shall have my bounty. That will be a hundred dollars. That will help a little towards building a house for you.
Now write and let [me know] if you want the money and I will send you some. I will send two dollars in this for a pound of tobacco and four or five stamps and keep the rest for yourself to pay for your trouble. Give my respects to father and tell him I was in swimming in the Potomac yesterday. The water is as warm here now as it is there in July. The buds on the trees are full grown [and] the early flowers are as large as birds eggs. Cherries are full-sized. I saw corn yesterday two inches high. What do you think of that? I don’t think that you have things quite so forward there yet. I’ll bet now that your garden ain’t all made yet. Now write and let me know. This is the 15th., remember.
Well, there is no more. Write. So goodbye for this time. — Ed Whipple