July 22, 1861
My Dear Wife,
I now take my pen to let you know that I am well and hope this will find you the same. We are still in this place but we shall move in a day or two. We shall go to Harpers Ferry. All of our boys are there now but fifteen. Half of our regiment are in Martinsburg and the other have are all over the country. There is three companies of our regiment here with us—that is about fifty men to a company—and I expect the whole of us will go soon though I hear that General Patterson says that if our Colonel sends any more men from here that he will break him of his office but I can’t tell how true that is for there is so many stories here that you can’t believe one of them.
Our troops have been victorious so far for our general leads them right ahead. They have gone through now to Manassas Gap and they have taken that place. The next they fight in will be in Manassas Junction and that, I think, will be a very hard fight for the rebels have got the place very strongly fortified and I think they will make a stand there.
There has been a great amount of fighting done but I have been here and have seen none of it. I have been as safe here as if I were at home and I hope it is God’s will for us to be throughout this war. And if it is not God’s will for me to return to you, may it be that we meet in Heaven. I could write no end of hair-breath’s escapes here in this letter if I had a mind to but I want no honor but what I gain. There is one thing that I have though—that is a good name by all. Our captain tells his officers that I am the best guard in his company and the best man he has got. That is one thing that I am proud of. I hope that you still love me and think of me. If you do, I can be happy for I can think of nothing else but you now and hope that I may one day return to you and be happy.
Since I commenced this, there has been another call for men to go to Harpers Ferry. I think they will go from Company H for their company is about full, they having just returned from Martinsburg, so I think it will be them that will go. Our Colonel [Levi Woodhouse] is a very fine man and I like him very much for he don’t make us do more than he can help. If we should go to the war, we should all get killed for we are getting too lazy to fight.
You give my love to Mother and all of your friends. Why don’t Ed Sisson write to me if he is a going to? He knows better than to do that. I wish he would. I should like to hear what he has to say. I must stop this now for I have got to go on guard, so good night with my love to you.
From your affectionate husband, — Chet