18 February 1863

Newbern, North Carolina
February 18th 1863

Dear sister Myra,

As it is a long time since I have received a letter from you and not knowing whether you were in the land of the living or not, I thought I would write and see if you would answer it. There is no regularity here about the mail. I have not heard from you by letter in near two months but today there is a notice posted up saying the mail leaves for the North at 4 p.m. so perhaps this will go through.

I am well and tough at present and hope to remain so while the war lasts. We are now in good quarters—the best we have been in since we left home so we are quite comfortable. The weather has been warm and pleasant here most of the time. The birds sing around and seem well satisfied. The birds sing the same as they used to in the old oak and who knows but they are the same ones come down here to pay me a visit and watch over me.

Yesterday I was on guard and it rained most of the time and today it is the same old rain. It is most time for us to have wet weather and this looks like it. But as they say, we are here first and let it come. It does not seem very bad to hear the rain patter against the roof but when we are out in it, it does not seem so good. We are all enjoying ourselves finely here. We have got a violin, boxing gloves, jews harp, and 3 niggers so you see we are in our high heel shoes and some of us carry rings under our eyes and makes me think of the black eye I gave Father coming from Manchester.

What are you doing this winter to pass time? Do the little ones go to school and do they learn fast? You must let Jack go with them sometimes to take care of them. But I was busy all the forenoon cleaning my gun and was awake all night and am some sleepy. Can think of nothing but nonsense. Want this to be in mail in time and if that is not reason enough for not writing, why I will try and write more the next time. Please excuse all mistakes and my foolishness. Remember me to all and write sooooooon. — A. H. Bancroft

Co. B, 85th N. Y. Vols., Care of Capt W. W. C., Newbern, N. C.