September 13, 1861
My Dear Wife,
We have left Frederick and have moved on towards Washington and we have joined Banks’ Division. I don’t know the name of the place where we are or how long we shall stay here. I got your letters and your daguerreotype before we left Frederick and was very glad of them but I could not answer your letter for I was too sick.
We have been three days coming and we are now within twenty miles of Washington and I think we shall go there soon so if there is any more fighting to do, we shall have to do it for we are the first three-year’s men in the division and there is forty thousand of them here. We have not got so many men to fight as we had for North Carolina is sending men here to fight for us now.
You wanted to know if I could come home before the war ends. No, I can’t [unless] I was so sick that I could not stir. They won’t let let anyone go home that they think will ever get well. So you must not think of seeing me until the war ends and if there is a stray bullet happens to come my way and hits me in the head, then I think I shan’t see him anymore. You say that you have got something to tell me when I get home, You need not wait till them. If you have anything to tell me, put it in your letter so that I can know what it is. You can write any secrets that you want to if you send your letter in one of the wrappers that I send to you there.
I can’t write more this time so good night, my little pet. Write as soon as you get this for I want to know if you got your State Pay so that I can tell what to do. Good night.
From your affectionate husband, — Chester