Thursday, April 9th, 1862 Beaufort, S.C.

Dear parents,

         It is with the greatest of pleasure that I sit down to answer your most kind and welcome letter.  I am well and I hope this will find you all enjoying the same blessings.  I was greatly surprised and grieved to hear that you had only got one letter from me for a month and I hope you will believe me when I tell you that I have written a dozen at least.  I wrote 5 or 6 to you and 2 or 3 to Aunt Mary and one to Uncle Hamon.  I have got most of the letters you sent me of late but did not get the first ones you sent me.  I h ope you have got one before this for I wrote one 8 days ago.  I just now got a letter from cousin Sally Sellars she says they are all well and she is making homemade molasses.  My how I would like to be there but alas for wishes, and I will answer it today.  There is a good many I ought to and would like to write to but I have not had much time yet but they have quit drilling us so much and I will have a chance to write to them all in a day or two.  The company is all flourishing and we have better times now than we had.  We only  have to drill about 3 hours a day, one in the morning and one in the evening.  We were at the ferry about a week and we had a fine time of it there.  The first night we went there I was on picket about a 1/2 mile from our quarters by myself.  It was as dark as pitch and the rain fell in torrents and I was very glad when morning came that was the only time I was on guard while we was there.  The other night I was on picket out on the shell road with one of the Highlanders.  He was in the Bull Run fight and told me all about it, we drank about 2 quarts of milk and it came pretty near putting us to sleep.  It is the only time I have felt anyways sleepy but by walking around we managed to keep awake.  Last Friday we got 2 months pay amounting to $26.00.  I sent $20.00 home to you and I want you to make use of it.  You must not keep it for me for I do not want it.  We all give our money to the Captain, he gets a check for it and sends the check to Collin Reed who draws the money for it and then all you have to do is go to Reed and get it.  Tell Tommy not to cry and etty will come home to them someday.  Indeed I hope this war will soon be over and I think it will be before the summer is over.  I am glad to hear Kate is growing so fast I expect she will be running about when I come home.  I am glad to hear Dave and Jim have got another pig to feed and I hope they will take good care of the old mare and tell sis there are some pretty flowers here and I will try and get some seeds and send them to her.  Tell Frank there are some very nice spoted dogs here and when I come home I will try and bring one for him and Dave and Jim to hunt with.  I  have got a gun that will shoot a thousand yards.  There is going to be plenty of fruit here this summer and hope there will be plenty there and if I am spared I think I will be there when it is ripe.  You said in your letter that it was not good for me to eat meat and fruit in this country.  I know it and have not eaten any meat or fruit since I came.  We have to sleep on the floor of our tent for there is not such thing as straw  in this country but for all that I fell as strong and active in the morning as if I  had slept on a feather bed.  I have plenty of good clothes and when I run out I can get more but I am very grateful to you for asking but I  have everything I need.  I have four very nice and agreeable messmates.  Their names are as follows:  J. Eckels, F. Huchison, Wm. Claffy, J. Atchison and we get along finely.  We have splendid officers they are Captain Templeton, Leut. Pentecost and Leut. Oker.  Andy McPeck is going home tomorrow or next day if the boat leaves and I will send my likeness with him.  When you write I want you to tell me how pap and Sam McEllery came out and if he got paid.  You mention all those that wrote me and I have not answered them all yet but will in a day or two and now I must close.  Give my love to all the folks and grandpaps folks and I will write to some of them tomorrow.

From your affectionate son Alex