Banks of the Nansemond River
Friday, April 3, 1863
I have just received your letter of March 29th and as I have an opportunity, will answer it now. We left our camp at Suffolk Wednesday and came here. We are on the south bank of the river about four miles below Suffolk. I was very much disappointed on arriving here for I expected to see some kind of a fort. But there was not so much as a shovel full of dirt thrown up. I soon found that instead of coming out here to garrison a fort, that we had got to build one. So yesterday we commenced. There is to be a hundred men detailed each day until it is finished but we do not have to drill and I had just as leave work same as not.
Our camp is in a young pine grove which will be nice when the weather becomes warm. So if they allow us to stay here after we finish the fort, I shall be satisfied. And if they do not, I shan’t care. I am bound to be satisfied so long as I am well and have enough to eat &c.
I am very sorry your cough troubles you so. You must be careful and not get any more cold for this is a bad time of year for colds. But the weather will soon be war, so I think if you slip along through this and next month without taking cold, your cough will wear off by June, if not before. Now you will be a good girl and mind what I have written you, won’t you? And when you go to do anything imprudent, just stop and think of me.
I received a letter from [my brother] Bob yesterday. He sent me one of his pictures which I think is first rate. He spoke of calling on you &c. Aunt Mary wrote a short letter and sent with his. I think it is pretty good so will send it to you. I was in hopes to have had some money to have sent you in this but we have not been paid yet. But I think we shall be soon so perhaps by the time I write again, I can send some.
I believe I wrote you about the death of a man who belonged to our company. His name was Watrous. He was from Mystic. His brother came on after his body and is going to start for home today.
Have I ever mentioned Mrs. Hiram B. Crosby in any of my letters? She has been out here with her husband ever since we came to Newport News. He is Major and in command of the regiment now. She is young and does not look older than Julia but I guess she is in a different condition.
I would not mind anything about what Mrs. R. Stoddard said about me, anyway, I would not let her know I knew it or if I did, would consider her sayings of no account. She is a foolish, brawling woman to say the least. And Melissa is not to blame for what her mother does. So I hope you will not have any words with Mrs. Stoddard. But I would not go there if I were you.
My love to all the same & a kiss for you. Your loving husband, — T. L. Bailey
In my letter to Aunt Mary, I spelled the word cavalry with a d. so you will understand that she knows that I am a poor speller. Send Mrs. H’s picture if you have it.