Newport News, Va. Feb. 27, 1863

Dear Mother,

            I received your kind letter yesterday and have just seated myself to answer it. I am glad to hear you are all enjoying good health for it makes me very uneasy when I hear any of you are sick. I was glad to hear Aunt Mary was beter for I think she must ahve suffered terribly and I hope she will continue to get better. I saw Dr. Wishart a few days before we left Fredricksburg and he inquired after you all. He is surgeon in the 140th. I suppose they are still out there yet. I tell you what, we have got into a good place if we only get to stay here any length of time but I am afraid it will not be long. We have splendid quarters, we got new canvas tents, one to every 4 men. There is plenty of pine timber around here so we went to work and hewed out slabs and built them up about six feet high and then put our tents over the top and we got brick hauled to build a fireplace with and so we havenít got a bad sort of place to live in. Eatables are very plenty here, there are plenty of suttlers and the darkies are thick peddling oysters and fish through the camp. I think we will soon be payed off for they are making out the pay-rolls. I expect we will get 4 months pay. I have received 10 months pay since I have been in the service. I have spent a good deal here but you wonít wonder if you knew the price of things in the army. One has to pay about five prices for everything they get. Some of the boys spend all their wages but I donít think that is right. If a person got such a living as they do at home they need not spend any but when a person gets such rough food and the same things over and over again they often want something else. O my how I would like to eat one such meals as I used to get at home. I wish the rest of our time in the army would hurry and fly around. I hear they are going to put the conscript act in force in the North and bring out every man capable of bearing arms between 18 and 45. What do you and pap think of it? I think it is allright for there are some whakeys there taht out to have been brought out long ago, but I am afraid if what we have cannot whip them all the north canít. I do not think that men that is forced are of any account. If we get that many men though we may whip them but if we ever do it will be by main strength and awkwardness. What do the men say about it? Will they resist it? I think this war has been a terribly botched up affair on our side but it has been a very fine thing for some people. It has been carried on by men who hold the reins of the government in their hands and who have been working to their own interests not the countries but I hope something will turn up to put an end to it before the countries ruined altogether. (Rest of letter missing.)