Charles Dillingham to William Wirt Henry
Yours in regard to Frank Atkins came to hand some days since
The Doctor will not grant furloughs or discharges unless for good cause shown. He can see no good cause why Frank should go home any more than the rest of us except that he is homesick. (he says he is not). He had the measals hard, and like many others it takes him a long while to get stout again. He fancies that he raised blood from his lungs the other day, but it was all fancy. There are but two men in the company that in my opinion realy ought to have discharges. Those are Terrence Rody and Charlie Gilman. Charley was sun struck. Rody has the heart disease. they all and their friends might as well “dry up” on discharges or furloughs, they are not to be had for the asking as they used to be before McCellan took command.
We came up here last Monday to stay a week guarding the river fords. Every man is
detailed for duty every day, and they like it have plenty of fishing and they
buy all the corn, grapes, plums &c they can eat.
We have some ten miles of river to guard – it is done by Squads under
Lieutenants. I have never had so easy a time since we left Burlington. We have
got quarters in an old Hotel. Sleep between sheets and on feathers. Eat at the
table like other folks, and only have two days work out of ten. One as Officer
of the Day and
one to head a patrol posting.
Pitkin sent me up a horse the other day and I live high since then, ride all about the country in comfort with Dr Carpenter, but this all has an end to it, I suppose, and we shall probably be releaved and go back to chain Bridge. there I shall have to go to work - drill - drill - drill, and then skirmish drill. These fellows in the 3rd are  , else they are mistaken.
But William I am writing this in the morning before breakfast with nothing to drink, and must bring it to a close.
Love to Mrs. Henry and Katie
Writing materials are scarce