May the 18th 1862
Dear Sister Addie
As I have not wrote to you for some time, I thought that I would drop you a few to let you know that I am well and trying to do the best I can. We have hard living hier now, juts cornbread and Bacon & Pickel Pork. We can live most anyway to obtain the independence of our loved South, but I tell you it seams very hard. I saw yesterday for the first time three Yankees. They ware stout healthy looking men. They seamed to be in fine spirits. The way I came to see them was my self and other men was sent a bout ten miles below hier to get some tools where our men had bin tarring up the Rail Road. We met the 4th Cavalry where they was watching three horses. Therefore I had a chance to have a talk with them. They had a yankeys Drum Majers drum staff. I tell you it was a pretty thing.
I should like very much to see you all but it is rather uncertain when I get to see you all. But you may be shure as soon as I can get the chance. You wrote to me something about Drinking. You can rest very easy about that thing. I have not sean a man drink in six months. There is nothing hier to drink. I am trying to live the best I can under the present circumstances but I can tell you it is hard to live write in the armey. I have nothing more to write therefore I shal come to a close. Write soon to your friend and Brother.
Sources: Christopher Watford, ed. The Civil War in North Carolina: Soldiers’ and Civilians’ Letters and Diaries, 1861-1865, Volume 2. (Jefferson,NorthCarolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2003). Original in Mary Gash Papers,NorthCarolinaState Archives.