Harrison’s Landing, Virginia
August 8, 1862
My Dear Wife,
As I have got clear of the rebels and back to my company with nothing else to do but write, I will let you know how I have been. I have been sick with the scarlet rash for about two weeks and besides all that, I have been in a Richmond prison for five weeks. I got taken at the hospital on the 27th of June by Jackson’s troops and carried to prison and fed on bread and water—and sour bread at that. But I am well at present, thank God, and hope that you are the same.
I wish that I could describe to you the horror of the battlefield. The one where I was was nothing to what some of them is. I went on to it a week after the fight and there lay poor men with no legs, some with broken arms, and some with all one side of their heads shot off and no one to help them for our doctors all run and the rebel doctors had as much as they could do to take care of their own men. I have seen poor men die that would have got well with a very little care for their wounds would get fly blown and the poor men would be eat up with maggots when a little cold water would have cured them.
You will know the reason of my not writing before for when a man is in prison, he can’t do as he would if he was out. It will be some time before I can send you any money but I will send it as soon as I get it. Don’t worry about doctor’s bills but get well. I will send you fifty dollars to pay them with the next time that I send—that is, if they will pay me all of my back pay for they owe me five months pay now. I will have one hundred and five dollars and fifty cents owing to me on the first of next month from the government and the boys in the company.
I will now close this for the flies are so thick that I can’t write. Give my love to Mother and the girls. Send word to my Mother that I have got back to the company and that I am well. My love to you, pet.
From your husband, — Chet
Do the best that you can until I get paid off for I can do nothing before. — Chet
Those three last letters are received. Thank you. Direct the same. — Chet