4 August 1862

Harrison’s Landing
August 4th 1862

Dear Sister Myra,

Your last was received in due time and I was glad to hear that you all were well and hope this may find you the same. I have not been very [well] for a few days but feel some better today and shall soon be able to [do] duty again, I hope, for it makes a long day to lie in camp when unwell. I have not heard from John and Byron was over here the other day and he had not heard from him yet. He must be a prisoner, I think, and if he is, he will come around all right in due time. The boys are all well in Byron’s company from our way and some of their sick are coming back. Rodney and he reports all doing well at home which sounded well.

Our company has filled up some lately too. We had 4 return in one squad and one that was left at Elmira and of course does not know anything about soldiering but he tells what he intends to do and thinks it’s all so. But he will find out as well as a great many others have done that it is hard work to be a soldier.

I suppose Gust [Augustus] Gregg is in his clover and intends to give up the field for the present but I guess that his services will be needed in order to crush this rebellion and if he does not come like a man, they will bring him like a dog for it seems as if they thought an old soldier was as good as a new one. And I think so too.

How does Willie stand the soldier fever? If it is very bad, I will tell him what to do to cure him, Let him take his blanket and gun, some of the hardest and oldest bread he can find in town, and a piece of sow salt pork, a quart cup, and some coffee and not to have any fire after dark, and then place him over in some swamp in the mud with plenty of mosquitoes and there he is to stay 24 hours—rain or shine—and not leave his post, nor go to sleep nor fire his gun unless he sees the enemy, and the next day drill 6 hours and live as before. And if it does not kill that flame called patriotism and make you think it would seem good to have a dog from home bite you, why then call me a teapot.

I have plenty of paper for the present but if you could [send] an occasional buff envelope, it would come good. Excuse any mistakes and write soon and remember your soldier brother, — A. H. B.

Remember and write soon.