February 17, 1863
I now will write a few lines to you that you can hear from me. My health is very good again. I have had the diarrhea for about 3 weeks but am better now and I hope this will find you health good again.
My discharge papers have been sent to Baltimore now 4 weeks and Sweet’s and 10 others in our regiment and have not come back yet but the doctor looks for them every mail. Although my pay is going on as if I was on duty, I am doing nothing and haven’t for 4 weeks—only eat and look about. I have a free pass and go out when I have a mind to. I was thinking of coming home and my my discharge and pay sent to me. If you can send me some money, I will do so. It would take about 16 dollars. You could send by Express. Have Hank take it to the depot and get a receipt for it and it would come safe. And if my discharge comes in that time, I shouldn’t use it for I would get a free pass home. You can write to me if you send it and then I can look for it at the Express Office when I get your letter.
Our boys are out scouting every day and catch some Rebels. They got 4 Sunday and Saturday night. The Rebels shot 2 of our pickets and took them off and stripped them of their clothes and paroled them and sent them back to camp again. One had his shoulder bone shot to pieces and the other had a ball shot in his arm. We have got 2 of the ring leaders of the guerrillas—Capt, Buler and his son, a lieutenant, and 4 of his privates.
Salnare is in the hospital and is quite feeble. I think he will get his discharge soon if he don’t get better.
It is very muddy here now. We had about one foot of snow here. It came on the 28th of January but it is all gone now.
How do you get along for hay? Can you get any for the colt and cow? Write how you are getting along and Hank’s folks and all the rest of our friends.
I have written a letter to the boys but have not had any from them yet. I had a letter from Clarissa and Lois a few days ago and have wrote to them. They were well.
I want you should write to me as soon as you get this and if my papers should come, I will stay here till I hear from you. I remain yours affectionately, — William Ely
to Phebe B. Ely
Direct to Harpers Ferry, Va.
14 Pa. Cavalry, Co. I
Care of W. W. Miles