20 January 1863

Newbern, North Carolina
January 20th 1863

Dear sister Myra,

I see by the date of your last that it is some time since you heard of my whereabouts but here we are under marching orders and as you will see by my last, expected that we were going ere this. We may go in 24 hours and we may not go in a week but we are ready to go at any time now. I believe there were some regiments in the brigade that tried to mutiny when the order came but the difficulty was settled without much trouble and no bloodshed and now everything is quiet. We do not have much in the way of news here. Papers are scarce and letters too for that matter. We have the same thing over and over again and if it were not for the Euchre decks, we should have many dull hours and do as it is today. I have tried every experiment to kill time and finally tried the pen and you see I shall fill the sheet of paper and perhaps you trying to read it, but I cannot help it.

You spoke about Aunt Myra’s wanting to know where I was. I have written her and Aunt Eliza long ago and have not had an answer to either of them. Were they well when you heard from them last and what is Aunt Myra doing that she cannot come and stay with you and take care of the little girls who by the tell are growing as fast as they can and wish me to direct letters to them. They must be sick. It is all I can [do] to think [of] enough to write and direct to all of you at once for news is scarce down here where there are no girls to talk with and find out what is going on.

Willie says he has been up to Bristol and got my books. He must learn as fast as he can out of them for they are fast books. How do my things get along up there? Are they keeping up in my room? Does it look natural as ever? And how do the children get along?  You must write and tell me all about it. But Myra says I must write to Nathan and as this [is] the last day mail will go out in some time, I will write this afternoon but he will cheat me out of one letter then. But he is a hard customer and I shall have to make some allowance for it and you will do the same for the short letter. Write soon and remember me as ever, — Albert H. Bancroft

Paper is scarce down here, and tin too. Here comes the piece of flag now you did not find in the other.

[in another hand] — I will [send] you a piece of the old flag he sent us. We have one letter since this. He was well as usual.