Albert J. Barnard, 3 December 1862

Steamer Atlantic
December 3rd 1862
8.30 a.m.

Dear Lewie,

I wrote you this morning before breakfast and had to cut short as the purser got ready to go ashore with the mail before my letter was finished, but thought that would be better than none at all. We are to wait till half the fleet have sailed before we start as this is to be the flag ship of the squadron. The sailing flag is up and all hands on most of the vessels are busy preparing to make sail.

We are all hoping that the mail and express will arrive before we leave this fort.

John Dobbins spent a very restless night, Had a high fever and severe headache. The doctor says he is doing as well as can be expected. His fever comes on a little later each day which he thinks a favorable symptom.

You know the “two dollar mess” all have sheets on their beds so John sleeps in my bed. I sleep in Mason’s so as to be near him and Mason sleeps with [Will] Semour. So you see we are all turned around. I guess John thinks that I might as well be in the other end of the ship for he called me four times in the night and I didn’t hear him. I am writing this in my room so if I run off the lines, you will know the reason. John says that he would give anything for a glass of Old Buffalo water, or, he says a little pale brandy would do him. Croton water aboard the ship “is played out” and so we have to drink condensed water. His boots came all right. He got them the day we broke camp—Tuesday. Presume they will fit but he has not felt like trying them on. The letter that Wadsworth brought he will answer as soon as he feels able.

Gray is getting along nicely. He thinks he will sit up today if the sun continues to shine. He is cheerful as can he and looks quite like himself. Hammond left for home last night. Presume you will see him as he will call at the house if he has time. John wanted me to write this so that you could take it to his house for them to read but he wanted me to write in here and it is awful dark, and I have run off the lines and left out so much that you had better read it to them. He is real babyish this morning and can’t bear to have me leave him.

No knowing when I will have an opportunity of sending this ashore but will get it ready to send by the next mail that goes. John says if he ever gets home, he will probably stay there. He says he isn’t homesick but feels just as he did when you was here and that is there is no place like home. John thinks the last part had better not be read at his home.

Mr. Modesill is going ashore now after the mail so once more, in a hurry, I’ll bid you goodbye. Love to all, not forgetting yourself, and our dear Mother. From, — Albert

The first letter was directed to Mother but you may open it. — Al