17 October 1861

Elmyra [New York]
October 17th 1861

Dear Sister Myra,

I received your letter of the 16th and was glad to hear that you were all well and hope these few lines may find you the same. I am as well as usual and have gained 12 pounds since I came here and that is 1 pound a day. I will tell you what we have to eat. In the morning we have all the beef, bread, coffee, and potatoes we want and at dinner we have pork, beans, bread, taters, and water. At night we have rice and molasses or pudding and milk and bread and butter.

Tell Aunt Myra I will come home and see her if I can and if I can’t, I will not give her reason to be ashamed of me. I will do my duty before God and man and no man shall have reason to say ought of me. You thought the future looked dark but I think it looks bright. 2 more battles will decide the troubles and they cannot get by them. They are hemmed in, but they may get out and run.

But my letter us long enough and so I will close by sending my love to all. I will send you a picture of the place where [I] went first and a feather for you to take care of for me.

This is from A. H. B.