[Fort Richardson, Virginia]
February 25, 1862
My Dear Wife,
As it is your birthday, I will try to make you remember it by writing to you and you must serve me the same on my birthday if we are both alive and I hope we shall be. It will be on the 23rd of September. I got your kind letter of the 21st and was very glad to hear from you. I don’t think the war will be over very soon. Neither do I think that I can get home very soon. You won’t get your birthday present for some time yet but it will come soon.
I am sorry to hear that they have got the small pox so near you and hope that you won’t get it. If you do, I will never see you again for there ain’t no doctor around there that knows anything. I see you are too good for me. I hope that you don’t think so, my pet, so that I can read your writing. I am sorry that you have not bought you a dress yet. That is wrong in you, pet, for I want you to look good for I keep clean and neat and you can’t if you have only one dress for you would have to wash that and then go to bed and stay there until it dries if you do that a way. I would like to be there with you. I am sorry that you are in that old hut for I know it is cold.
I wish you could have seen us here yesterday for the wind blew all of our tents over. Some of them went over the hill. The wind lifted me off of my feet and blew me four or five feet before I struck the ground. I hope you did not have such a blow there. If you did, that old shanty would fall down. Tell Mother that I thank her for the letter that she wrote to me. I will write to her as soon as possible. I am on duty as a soldier again. I began today. I think that I have got done cooking for good out here. I hope so at least. I will now close for this time. Good night, my dear little pet wife.
From your husband, — Chet
Dear Mat, my wife, you are 19 today and I am in my 25th year. — Chet