31 December 1864

Convalescent Barracks
Point of Rocks Hospital
December 31st 1864

My Dear Nellie,

I am feeling cheerful tonight and if I was with you, think I should be as happy as a “clam at high water.” I have been “mustered” this afternoon for my pay. All the men who were detailed as attendants at the hospital were mustered but those who were not detailed did not get mustered. But they may possibly get paid the same as I did the last time.

I have got my box this afternoon but have not opened it yet. I thought I would wait until tomorrow and so have the contents for New Years. I received a long letter from you and Sister Emma this afternoon. I was pleased when I opened it and found Emma had commenced it. I thought it was some kind of a joke on us, but it was sisterly in her and I will answer it sometime. I would liked to have been with you so as to have received that “Hug” which you lavished on Mr. Latimer but I will be even with you and him sometime. I guess Emma will be up to the Ferry sometime. Well never mind. I should think Dick had rather a hard time with all of you girls to tease him. I should think his brother Joseph might help him keep you straight.

I was sorry to hear that Jimmie Belden has been so sick. George [Meech] has just received a letter from home and his folks wrote that he was better, had walked as far as Charles Stoddard’s, so I am in hopes he will recover. I think a good deal of him and must write him before long.

I commenced a letter Uncle Avery the other evening but there was so much going on that I made some mistakes as usual and so gave it up. But I am going to write him soon. I should like to hear from Aunt Mary but presume she is alright and that she will write in due time. I should think from your description of “Christmas” that you had a merry one. I should think you had a very nice present. I hope I shall be home next Christmas and New Years so as to make some presents or receive some, don’t you?

I have not heard anything more from Robert but hope he is well. I wish I was where I could see him occasionally. I am glad Mariah did not scold you for breaking the knife and plate as it would have spoiled your Christmas. I am extremely sorry that the letter which I wrote you leading you to think that there was something wrong with me gave you so much trouble for there was nothing the matter except the trouble that the whiskey made. It seemed as if things were all going to loose ends, but things have changed for the better and now we get along finely in the office. Mr. Ward has not been tight since that night and he is a good-natured man. He is just about as large as Capt. Allyn and has a bald head. He calls it his “Summer head.” I call him Pop.

Henry got over his Diphtheria in two days so I think he did not have it very hard. We have received about two hundred men from the Field Hospital today. They are all sick — none of them wounded. They are mostly Colored men. It is nearly eleven o’clock so I will leave this until tomorrow after I open my box. Good night and a kiss.

Sunday morning. It is a nice, pleasant morning but very cold. I opened my box this morning and found the things all in good order. Tell Mr. Latimer I am much obliged for the “Spiritual Manifestation.” I am going to treat George [Meech] and the other boys in the office to some of the pie in the course of the day. I want this to go in the mail today so must bring this to a close with a “Happy New Year to all.”

I will write more next time. With love and kisses. — Thos. L. Bailey

Please do not worry about me anymore for I am alright for the present as far as I know. I will try and not annoy you again with such an unpleasant toned letter. — T. L. B.