April 17th, 1862
Yours was received in due time and, of course, read with eagerness. I had heard of the burning of J.A. Tuller’s house, but did not know how it caught fire.
The weather here is very warm in the daytime with the exception of a cool sea breeze which makes it quite comfortable.
Some of the companies are detailed each night to help build entrenchments and I think that by three or four days at farthest we shall open fire upon the fort. The mortars and field pieces are nearly all in position, and part of the howitzers.
I do not see what object P.A. Matson can have in representing me sick and “will probably never be able to see Conn. again.” He knows that since I left Annapolis, with the bare exception of a short time upon the “Chasseur”, I have been perfectly healthy. I do not think that there is one in the company but what has had sick spells caused by exposure. I may not live to get home, but I think I stand as good a chance as anyone in the company, P.A. Matson to the contrary notwithstanding.
Did you not receive a letter mailed Newbern written on a large sheet of bill paper? It was some that the Secesh left and we found. I wrote one to Ariel which he received; you can get that of him if he has not torn it up and if you can read it, by having patience to pick out bad pencil marks, you will find as much of a description of the battle as I could give. A person in the ranks knows very little about a battle; all he knows is to obey orders. I felt very different upon the battle than I expected. There is not the dread of death that one naturally expects. P.A. Matson was in the file ahead of me and I could not help laughing to see him skulk and dodge, trying to fall out. When he was hit he fell upon the ground saying, “Oh God, I’m killed. Orderly, be I killed?” I never was more pleased at any thing in my life. That shot was worth a great deal to him for it was nothing but a scratch at most.
I have sent with Lieut. Marsh’s package $25.00. I wish you would call of Mrs. W.P. Marsh and get it.
Capt. Hoyt is sick and at the hospital in Morehead; afraid he is going to have a run of fever. I have been a little down with a cold for a week or ten days, but since I have got into camp I am all right. I am afraid that some of my letters are miscarried because I did not put on the count.
What is Alonzo’s boy’s name? Give my best to all inquiring friends.
P.S. If you send my anything, send paper, envelopes, pen and ink.