Probably to Portus Baxter, M.C., Derby Line, Vt.
East Charleston Jan. 18, 1864.
Dear Friend -
I had intended to have gone to Washington, but the detachment did not go Friday, and learned that one of my children was very sick and came this way instead of the other. I got home Saturday, found my youngest child very sick. He appears to be better today. Think he will get along. It was a bad time to come, as I had just been relieved from duty, in order to study. Major Bartlett made an application to Major Austin to get me into the 9th Regt. But the Major could not send me there and thought it not necessary. My furlough is out next Monday. I shall then fit for an examination as quick as possible. All speak encouragingly. I am sometimes fearful. I do not know what I have got to go through. I wish that I could see you before I go on for an examination. I may have a chance to go out as a general.
I should like to hear from you. I attended the funeral of Gardner Lawrence of this town yesterday. He was in Co. K. 10th Regt. I felt that if he was a friend of mine I should rather he was where he was than to have been one of those that had twisted out of the draft. I do not know but what I cherish such feelings too much. I know that some of those that call themselves my friends think me a foolish man. Let it be so. I wish there were 500,000 just such fools as I am. We might run at the first fire, but I do not believe we should and might live and die poor men, but I think we should live to a good old age and die in peace. If every man in the North was determined to conquer or die, there would few men die on the field of battle.
Very respectfully yours,