January 13, 1865
Here we are again trying to write a little but what to write about is what to know for there is but little news for me to write about. But I can say that I am in the best of health, thank God, and I hope that you can say the same when you write. Everything is quite still now and the steeples of the churches and the tops of the houses are covered with flags of truce in Petersburg and they have a white flag out in front of us. There is something up but what it is, I can’t tell unless they want our men to stop firing on the city for a spell. But the story here is that the rebs has sent commissioners to Washington to have peace. I wish it was a true story and hope it is, but I don’t believe it. ¹
At night at on picket.
Darling Mat—Amesbury got another letter from his Molly last night and tonight he sent his photograph to her so when you go down to Westerly, you will see it. You have got one of his pictures and when you go down, take it with you and make her believe that you are an old spark of his. I see and read all of her letters to him and I am ahead of you. I wish that you would get more of those pictures from Weeks in Norwich that we had taken together for I would like to have one or two of them to send away.
I am in hopes that we shall soon get paid off and if we do, you will have some money to do with. I shall not get home on a furlough this winter for I would not go to the expense of traveling home and back in times like these for you need my help too much for me to spend any money for foolishness like that. So you must not expect me.
Everything has been very quiet here since they blew out the bulkheads of Dutch Gap Canal [on January 1st] but we shall have hard work in the spring for the hardest of the fighting will be on this line of the army. We have to study now so if I get well posted, I suppose that I will want to enlist for life one of these days for it is good work for a lazy man to do. But I do hate to stay away from home so long from my pet for I do love to plague you so well that I can’t help thinking of different ways to do it but no matter, I can give you a spanking when I get home if nothing more, and you know that you don’t like that, you little old maid.
Give my love to Mother and the girls and I will close this for fear that you will get mad and I would hate to have you ruffle your feathers. Write soon for I am your Chetty dear. Good night pet.
From your loving husband, — Chester A. Chapman, Co. D, 1st Conn. Artillery, Washington D. C.
¹ A message was sent out to General Grant under a flag of truce on 12 January 1865.