31 March 1863

Suffolk, Virginia
March 31st [1863]

My dear little Nellie,

I received your letter with the pictures enclosed last evening. I was very much pleased with them and think the one on the card is first rate. I have showed it to Thomas Newbury and all the other boys that are acquainted with you. They all pronounce it good. I think you look full as well as you did last fall.

Our regiment was to have moved into a rough fort or earthwork about a mile from here this morning but it rained so we did not go but I think we shall start tomorrow morning.

I saw Dwight [Satterlee] Sunday and had a long talk with him. He thinks we are going to Tennessee but I do not hear our officers say much about it so do not know what to think. I have got so that I do not care where we go.

The paymaster is in the 2nd Brigade paying them four months pay. It is said that he is going to pay us. I hope he will for then I can send you some money in a letter which will help to bring about your fortune. But I would recommend you not to fix your mind upon it for you might be disappointed. It is all the talk here among the boys that we are to be turned over to government as nine months men. They say that the 20th Regiment was the last 3 years men called for, &c., but I am not going to make up my mind to any such thing as that for I think I should be sure to be disappointed. Uncle Sam has got us nailed for 3 years and I guess he will hold on to us unless he can make something by letting us go.

A young man has been through our streets circulating tracts and small books this afternoon. I will send you one of the tracts with this. I am sorry [your brother] Christopher [Brown] is in the law. Did he ever say anything about our getting married or about my downfall &c.? You know he thought last fall that we had better wait until I returned. But I can’t see as you are any worse off than you would have been single. I am glad [my brother] Robert has been to see you. Was his finger all healed up? I do not blame him for trying to better himself and I think it would be a good time now as help is scarce.

I have been writing this very close. I didn’t do it because I was out of paper but thought I could not fill a sheet so would take this half sheet and write it close.

I was picked out as one of the cleanest looking men in the regiment the other day so you will see that I still have a little pride about my personal appearance. I could tell you a great many things if I was with you. I often think I should keep you awake nights talking to you but I presume when I get home I shan’t have much to say.

So your mother and Dick think you would have been in danger if I had got a furlough? I guess they was afraid I would come, but I think we could have got along well enough with anything that we should have had to have done. I do not think of anything more this time so will close.

From your ever-loving husband, — T. L. Bailey

P.S. I will write you again after we get moved and settled. I hope Dr. Brady will succeed in breaking up your cough. I hope you will be careful and not get cold. I have just hot the Herald and paper you sent me. I can buy the N. Y. papers here for 6 cts apiece so you [have] no need to send them.