Albert J. Barnard, 30 November 1862

U. S. Transport Atlantic
November 30th 1862
5.15 p.m.

Dear Mother,

I wrote your a short letter this morning while they were loading the steamer to take the men ashore. The steamer was not large enough to take all, and all others had gone to Aquia Creek. As I was the only officer in Co. B for duty, it was one of five that stayed on the ship, and being the senior officer, I was in command so have been busy most of the time.

The steamer “Star” has returned with the men who went ashore and a letter for me from you dated the 26th. You do not say how you are but presume you are better. Am I right?

I have not written Mrs. Gray as Will said my writing you would do as well, and her seeing a strange hand writing might frighten her. He is much better and the doctor says will shortly be well if he is quiet and doesn’t take cold. He is in good spirits and jokes as much as usual.

We are going into camp on shore tomorrow morning. So many men are sick here that the Colonel got permission from General Dix to pitch out tents till the expedition is ready to sail. I shouldn’t wonder if we were here two or three weeks longer, but still we may not be. I have twenty men in the hospital. There are one hundred and thirty men there from this regiment. Most of them have the measles but few have fever—all doing well. They have good care, and all they want.

John Dobbins has a hard cold and feels real dumpish. He received a trunk yesterday from home—one that I think Lewie brought as far as Baltimore. It had three turkeys, two or three mince pies, and some cake. I should not have thought of this being your birthday had you not spoken of it, and tonight will eat a big piece of pie in honor of it.

We are all looking for “Waddie” [Wadsworth] tonight. Hope he will be here soon for we will get more news from him than from any other source.

Either you made a mistake in dating your letter or else in the day for it is dated, November 21st, and you say “Thanksgiving day sure enough.” I should like to see Lewie’s letter written at Baltimore. I wanted him to stay with us till after Thanksgiving but he couldn’t as they are so busy at the office.

Please don’t worry so much about me. I have so far had all that is necessary. I don’t suffer much but Lewie will tell you how we live. The men’s rations are generally well cooked but were not, the first few days that we came aboard.

I hope as soon as you can you will send me your photograph and I would like Lewie’s. I meant to speak to him while he was here but forgot it. You speak of soldiers at the Fort. What ones are there?

I will send in this letter a photograph of Lt. Col. Cottier. I would like you to put it with the other officers of the regiment.

I wish you could see me swelling around today with my new hat. John Higgins and I have got one like Major Love’s. Lewie can tell you what they are, They are better for the hair than a cap or a low hat and are very comfortable in hot weather. They are regulation and I think most of the other officers will get them.

Supper is ready and I must run for if we are late, have to go without. So goodnight, Mother. Think of us hereafter as in camp on shore within sight of Fort Monroe and Sewall’s Point. Accept piles of love from, — Albert