Fredericksburgh [Frederick], Maryland
August 26, 1861
My Dear Wife,
This is your paper that you sent me to write on and hope it will find you better than it found me for I was sick then and I am now. I have been so sick that I have not been able to write before. They was a going to send me home but I am a getting better so they won’t do it now. I am a going to have them transfer me over to the Navy for I can’t live on the land—-I am so weak that I can’t walk across the camp without fainting. I wish that I could come home and stay about a week or so and then go to sea—I should get well. But I shan’t here. Our captain [Joseph C. Dunford of New London] has been home three weeks sick but he will be here the last of this month and we shall be paid off on the first of next month. I don’t know how much they mean to pay us then.
I must lay down again before I can write more. My dear Martha, this will be a short letter but you must excuse me for I can’t write more. I think they will have us a fighting tomorrow. They are fighting now within five miles of us and we can hear their guns. All of General Banks’ troops are camped around here. We are in Banks’ Division. There is to be a grand move soon for when our troops enter Virginia again, it will be to close the summer campaign and there will be hard fighting then. There is over seventy thousand of our troops right around within ten miles of us.
There was a sort of a rebellion from the companies turned out like a passel of dogs to fight among themselves but they got brought back very quick. But I am glad to say there was no shooting done but there was a great rumpus.
I must close this now for I have not strength enough to write more. So good day, dear wife. I wish I was with you. When you write, send me some of them new kind of stamps.
From your affectionate husband, — Chester A. Chapman