Headquarters Convalescent Camp 18th Army Corps Hospital
Thursday evening, October 20th 1864
My dear Nellie,
I am all alone just now so thought it would be a good time to commence you a letter.
We have had a call from Generals Grant and Butler today. They came to inspect the hospital and also the barracks. I believe they are going to build hospital buildings at City Point and so came to see ours as they had been praised up as being very cheap and comfortable to Butler by Dr. [George] Suckley, Medical Purveyor of the 18th Corps. I have not heard Dwight [Satterlee] say what they thought of them and I do not know as they made their opinions known. We were cleaning and preparing for them all the forenoon.
Charles Satterlee was here yesterday. His gunboat is at Deep Bottom on the James River. He walked over. I think it is about six miles from here. He looks very natural. Says he likes his place very well but says that they are very strict. I did not have a chance to talk with him as long as I wanted to for he did not get here until about eleven o’clock a.m. and left about three p.m. and Dwight had to taken him all around, and after dinner, they took a ride and when they came back Dwight put the horses in to the wagon and carried him back as he said he must be on board before sundown.
There has been cannonading all along our line tonight. I heard that it was a salute for some victory we had gained. I hope it will prove to be so. The weather is pleasant — warm days but cool nights. Dwight has got his log house done and has moved in. It has a chimney and fireplace and canvass roof and on the whole is a very comfortable place. I suppose I shall have different quarters before long if I remain here. I have made you a little book out of Pocahontas Oak and Mr. Lessey put the staple in it for me so you can hang it on your chain with the cross I made you in Norfolk. This book was made from a knot which I cut from the oak said to be the identical tree under which Pocahontas saved the life of Capt. John Smith. It is a very large tree and is now fallen and will soon waste away. A great many have cut pieces from it. I have several more pieces and have made a cross and little heart but will not send any of them except the book this time.
I will write you again Sunday if nothing happens and will try to write to [my] sister Julia Marlatt between now and then and so send it to you and let you put some more with it and send it to her for I have forgotten her address. Please write me what it is and I will try and not forget it again. I shall look for a letter from [you] tomorrow. With a great deal of love and many sweet kisses. I am as ever your fond husband, — Thomas
I hope Jane will get along well with her boy. I shall want to hear from them whenever you write. Give my love to Mother Brown and all enquiring friends. Tell [my brother] Robert to write me again if he is home.