Camp near Winchester [Va.] in the field
June 8, 1862
I will now try to write a few lines to you to let you know that I am alive & well and hope you are the same.
We are near Winchester in a large clover field. We left Harpers Ferry the 2nd inst. in pursuit of Jackson’s army but he has practiced running so much more than we have that we hain’t no sight at all. Things are quiet here. No rebels in sight & everything is very dear here—tobacco $1.50 per pound, whiskey $2 per gallon, pies 3 inches across cost 25 cents, and other things accordingly.
Well mother, this puts me in mind of Missouri though it is not so hard & we are disappointed in not having a brush with them (the rebels I mean). We thought that we should have fell in with them at Winchester but find they have left on suspicion. We are so close to Jackson’s force that we take all his men that stray from his main force. We have got 8 regiments of infantry, 1 regiment of cavalry, 1 battery of artillery (6 twelve pounders rifled). I think that with this force, we can whip the Devil out of them.
We have had very bad weather here. This is the first fine day we have had this month. It has rained as steady as a clock. I don’t think that we will get out of the service before next spring if we do them so you needn’t expect us till we get there.
Mother, you spoke of leaving home. I am very sorry that it is so. You needn’t be afraid about that deed. If you had seen Ben when I let him read the letter I got last. Mother, he cried like a child to think that you had such an idea of him. He told me that he had to keep it in his hands to keep the Mason’s from getting it and he said that you should have a home as long as he lived. He said that he was sorry that you had got it into your head to leave there but if you would go, he couldn’t help it.
Mother, I wish—and so does Ben—that you would stay as long as you can. I and Ben will do all we can to make things go right. I guess Ben will send a line in this. Ben is getting as poor as a snake. It don’t agree with him to soldier in earnest. He can play soldier but it don’t agree with him in earnest. It is hard for me and I am tougher than he is.
Mother, write as often as you can. Don’t wait for me to write but send them along to Baltimore.