Henry Harrison Wilder to Mother

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Camp near York Town VaApr 23th 1862Dear Mother

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I now seat myself to answer one of your many unanswered letters to me and partly for the reason that I now have a little time to myself and more for the reason that I have not written in a long time before & as you have seen had to send this without paying the postage as we have not got our pay and are all out of money and stamps pleas send some stamps in your next letter I am well Merrill is the same & with the Company to my joy he is like a brother to me the only & all the one that I can truly say I care mutch about in the Army and all that I wish is to do by & for him in a way that he may think the same of me there is others far away from where this was writen that are dearer

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to me than the one spoken of they are the loved ones at home those that I did not know how to prise when with them this has taught me many a good lesson that will follow me to the grave but alass it may be to late like other things that have ben cleerly learned by others as well as by myself. they met the fate that we all enlisted to meet & meet their death. I am alive yet but who knows but the next engagement whitch we expect any moment & are ready for may leave me with many others to tell in yeers to come whom the engagement was. sutch things as theas Mother are not calculated nor writen by me to cause gloomyness nor for dwelings at home but what I want understood by it is that I do not make any calculations on ever going home not but I wish to with all my hart and if the all wise God sees fit

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that I may I shall do it for the purpes of [      ] I enlisted to come & fight and die if nesesary although I am not prepaired to die a death that I should one that I know is my duty to that is a cristions

Perhaps you would like to know somthing of the engagement it took plase last Thursday the 6th & 9th suffer the most then was 30 killed & 75 wounded in all the 5th we are in sight of there fort all the time firing most of the time shot between the sharp shooters there has ben a flag of truce up for the last three days for some prefer not known to us we are fortifying all the time it is thought that the hardest battle will yet be faught in va on the old battle ground of 76 tell L & M this will have to do for the [     ] I get so stamps) good by (write some mutch love to all you in particular

H H Wilder
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those at home know that this was writen in sinserity