Dec. 31st, 1861.
[This date may be incorrect, as we have a different letter for Dec. 31st; however, the date may be correct, it is hard to say.]
Dear Rachel – I very unexpectedly got a note from you last night, and you may be sure I was glad to get it. You are smarter this time than ever you were. I would give a great deal to see you and little Virginia, and Will, within the next month. Ess. Shifler got a furlough for 12 days last night. He had sent in his application two or three weeks ago, and had given up all hope of getting it.
Capt. Warner is making out his payrolls and has our shanty full of clerks and papers so that I have no chance to write. As soon as the man who is play second lead comes in, I can leave and mean to do so.
Excuse the brevity of this letter. I have written it on the back of a book standing, and amid a babel of tongues. I will write soon again.