Design a site like this with
Get started

Chapman, 20 November 1861

Fort Richardson, Virginia
November 20, 1861

My Dear Wife,

I wrote a letter last night and will send it in this envelope. I shall get paid off tomorrow and I will wait and send you some money. I will send ten dollars this time and would send more if I was not afraid of losing it for is is the last that I shall get for a long time. The next that I send will be one little dollar to each letter. I shall send you back that box as soon as I can but what I send in it won’t be of much account but I want you to have the box so that you can send me some underclothes. I want you to send me one undershirt and a pair of drawers and I wish that you would buy the cloth and make them yourself a pair of drawers that you can make and send to me for one dollar [that] I would have to pay two for here. And I have got to have them for I have drawn my year’s clothing and they have only given us one pair of drawers and one undershirt and every time that I take them off to wash, I get cold.

My head aches so now that I can’t hardly see what I write. I have only got one blanket to cover me when I got to bed so when I leave a good hot fire after standing over it all day, it makes keep awake all night with the cold. I have a hard bed to lay on and one thin blanket to cover over me. The reason why I ask you to send these to me is so that I can send money to you that I should have to spend foolishly for I do think it foolish to pay a double price for anything. If you send these things, make them of blue flannel and send me one dollar’s worth of postage stamps for I have had to pay ten cents for the one that I send this with. I wish that I had two or three dollar’s worth of them to sell for four cents apiece. I could make something of them, I could make thirty-three cents on a dollar’s worth of them if I had them. I will end my begging letter for this time.

We have got a new captain. His name is George B. Cook.

Give my love to all of the folks. Will this I will close for my head aches too bad—too bad to write more tonight. So good night, my dear little wife, for I love you with my whole heart.

From your husband, — Chester

I got my money. I send you ten dollars in this. I went down to Alexandria today and have had two pictures taken for you. The small one looks like me when I am sick. It cost 75 cents. The other one was taken in a large case and cost three dollars. I will send them in that box to pay you for that cake that you sent me. I bought a pair of boots which cost me four dollars and a half. My love to you, dear wife.

— Chester Chapman

Return to Chapman Archive

Saving history one letter at a time

%d bloggers like this: