Battery Anderson, Virginia
February 11, 1865
My Dear Wife,
It is with pleasure that I now pen these few lines hoping they will find you well for I am in very good health, but I am so homesick. Don’t you pity the boy? I do. But I shall not try to get home this winter for I cannot afford it for I suppose that you will want all of my pay to settle your back bills with, for as you have been so long without money you must have many debts to pay. They send in for a furlough for me but I would not take it for I could not see you in want for my sake as you would be if I got in debt to come home. They owe me nearly six months pay now and an installment of fifty dollars and I think that you need that more than you do me this winter. But I do want to see my pet og so much that I can hardly resist the temptation to apply for a furlough. But never mind, my pet, for I could get only a fifteen days leave if I got one and I could only get there and come away again in that short time so I will await and wish for the war to end or for my time to expire.
There is no news now but what you have heard of for you must of heard of the big fight for the Southside Railroad. If not, I will tell you that we have got it at last but it costs us about three thousand of our best men and one of our best officers for General [Gouverneur K.] Warren was killed in the fight. ¹ He was in command of the Fifth Corps. If you remember, pet, I told you that he led our Brigade at the Battle of Hanover Court House and we all liked him very much.
The rebel ram, I think, will try to get down the river again soon but I guess that we can give them all the pounding that they ask for next time for we are well prepared for them now. There has been great talk out here of peace but it is all stopped now for they can’t agree to the terms so we have got to fight it out.
February 12th 1865
Dear wife—I will now try to finish this for I received a letter from you last night and I was very glad to hear from you but I was sorry that you did not send that picture and I was very much disappointed when I found it had not come. I am very sorry that you have been sick, pet, and you must excuse me for not writing oftener than I did for I had no stamps but now I will try to do better.
You speak of your being out to Washington and don’t I wish my pet that you could be here with me now and I would give all of my pay to come and see you but I know that you need money too much for me to spend it in that way. But I would like to come for all that. I am glad that you are learning to play and to dance and if I live to get home, you must learn me to dance.
Give my love to all of the folks and I will close this with my best wishes and love to my pet. Write soon.
Darling, I am ever yours, — Chester A. Chapman, Co. D, 1st C. V. A.
¹ Gen. G. K. Warren was not killed in the battle. He survived the war and died in 1882 at the age of 52.