Convalescent Camp 18th Army Corps Hospital
Sunday, July 24th 1864
My dear little wife,
I am still at my old place at the convalescent camp and go through with the same routine of duty daily. Yesterday I wrote Jane a letter. Dwight [Satterlee] saw me writing and remarked that I was writing to you often or something of that sort. But I told him I was writing to Jane & John [Hurlbutt]. So after I had sealed the letter he wanted to know why I did not give him a chance to put in a line. I offered to break the letter open but saw he was not anxious to write. I answered [my brother] Robert’s letter yesterday and will send it in this so you can read it and then seal it up. Don’t let him know you have read it for he might not like it, or I shouldn’t.
I am glad you are home again and that you had such good luck in getting there. I received the letter giving a description of your passage up on the boat yesterday. I am very glad you are feeling and looking so well this summer. I hope I can come home this fall and see you and all the rest of my friends, but I would be extremely glad of a chance to have you come out and see me as you did last summer. I hope something will take place so we can see each other again this fall.
Mr. [Charles] Gallup was down to see me day before yesterday. The boys were still in good spirits &c. The Christian Commission folks have a meeting here every Sunday and I have not been because I have always been busy, and now the drum has just beat for this morning’s service and I have just been called from my writing to go around camp and tell them there was going to be a meeting. I would go myself but I may be wanted before meeting is out. I have been to several evening meetings and like them very much.
My work is nothing but I like to be on hand when called on, and am expected to be. We have two new surgeons to help us here now. They are just out from home. They are young but I guess they are pretty good fellows.
Perhaps I may as well tell you what my duty is as near as I can as I do not remember of ever going into the particulars in my letters heretofore. Well first I am orderly for Dr. Satterlee and take all orders to the store house and all papers to headquarters — I mean to hospital headquarters. Well then, if there are any extensive cases of sickness in our camp and they have to be sent to hospital, it is my duty to take the order and see that they are taken there. Then if there is something wanted from either of the Commissions, I have to go for that. And when we send men off to General Hospital, I have to see about getting them ready. And when they are sent to regiments, I have to help get them together &c. And besides this, I do a good many little things that are not worth mentioning. So you see, I am liable to be called on at any moment. I do not mention this complaining but on the contrary, I am well suited with my place and work, and if I could have you with me, should be contented for the present.
What will you ever do with me when I come home? Had you ever thought of that? Had the idea occurred to you that you had a man to care for when this war was over &c.? I think I know what I would do with you. I suppose you will want to know what it is but I will wait until I come for I may change my mind before that time.
Dwight has just come along and wanted to know who I was writing to. I told him. He wanted to know if he could put in a note. I told him yes. He said I would want to read it. I told him I would not and I believe he is going to put one in. So you will have a note from one of your old flames. I think you say all but the flame. I am always sorry you spoke to Mr. Latimer about me or told him what I wrote you for I did not mean for him to know that I had written you anything about it. But it is no use to “cry for spilt milk.” I do not blame you in the least. I am the only one to blame about it. I guess he will think I am a baby. Well I be and I need you to take care of me. I do not know whether I might ever receive Richard’s letter but presume he did.
From your ever loving husband, — Thomas L. Bailey
Dwight has just brought along his note and laughed. Wanted me to read the outside. I see by that it is confidential. I will not read it as I told him I would not but you may send it back for me to read or let me know what it said.