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22 August 1862

Fort McHenry Hospital
Baltimore, Maryland
August 22, 1862

My dear mother,

It is with pleasure that I now take my pen in hand to write a few lines to you to let you know that I am still a living and am getting quite tough again. It is near two weeks since I wrote to you and as I have had no answer yet, I thought that I would write again. I got a letter from you with 2 dollars in it and I wrote them and have had none since from you.

I am going to the regiment within a few days so you needn’t write to me till you hear from me again.

I went up to the National Hospital where Mike [Gerred] is yesterday and who should I run afoul of but William Marsh. ¹ He is in the same house with Mike. I didn’t know him from a side of leather. He knew me though as soon as he saw me. I met him on the sidewalk. He spoke to me and I answered him. He talked awhile and then passed on. Pretty soon he came back and asked me where to direct my mother. He had on citizen’s clothes and I thought it was some rowdy trying to pick a fuss with me so I told him if he wanted to keep his jaw whole, he had better make himself scarce about there. “Maybe you don’t know me,” said he. I told him he would know me if he didn’t keep his jaw still. “Well now,” says he, “let’s argue the question. Now to begin with, I will introduce myself as Bill Marsh of Little Valley, New York.” He didn’t have time to say anymore for I had hold of him and was shaking him. For God’s sake, mother, I fear he is crippled for life. His side is badly hurt and he has lost one finger. His ribs on his right side seem to be strained off from the back bone. It was done by a fall.

[Your brother] Wiley [Lafferty] went through here last Tuesday but I didn’t see him, He had been home on a furlough and was going back.

Mother, I have just got your letter and am so glad to hear from you that I am almost crazy. I began to [think] that there was something the matter with you that I didn’t know what to do. As to the enlistments, I have not much to say. But if they had asked me what I thought about it, I should have told them the farther they kept from the recruiting office, the safer they was. Don’t write again, mother, till you hear from me as I am going to the regiment in a few days and then I will write and tell all the news. But goodbye till then.

This from your son, — Ed Whipple

P. S. I got a letter from Ellen yesterday and I will write to John Mustart tomorrow and am very thankful for that money. — E. M. Whipple

[Encloses letter]

Fort McHenry Hospital
August 22, 1862

Friend Jim,

It is with pleasure that I heard today that you had enlisted in the Army of the Lord as the boys here call it but what on earth did you let Father enlist for? He will never stand it in the field or anywhere else. But it is too late now to cry for spilt milk now.

Well Jim, I hope you will have as good luck as I have and will come out all right and tight. You must write to me and let me know what you are a going to call your regiment now. Write to me Jim as soon as you can.

So goodbye Jim, for this time. This from E. M. Whipple

¹ William (“Bill”) Marsh enlisted at Allegany on 21 September 1861 to serve three years in Co. K, 64th New York Infantry. He was wounded in action at the Battle of Fair Oaks on 1 June 1862 and was discharged for disability on 29 September 1862 at Fort McHenry, Maryland.


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