Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

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Camp Butler, Newport News, Va.Thursday, June 20th, 1861.My dear wife:

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Your letter written last Friday, Sat. and Sunday was received last night. Our letters seem to go rather slowly towards home, or you would have got our letters Thursday and Friday. I am sorry that you have so much anxiety about me. You must take the matter a little more considerately. The chances of any of us being killed are very small indeed we have had one rather desperate fight, in which five companies were to some extent engaged, and only one man killed - one from the Woodstock Company - and but few wounded - none seriously. Here in camp it is quite healthy. My health is pretty good though I have not got entirely rid of my cough, but it is growing better. My duties as provost marshall are not quite so onerous as they were before the battle for the negroes seem to be a little afraid that we are not going to succeed. So I have more time to write then I did.

I have but very little new to write you this morning as I wrote you every thing yesterday. On the back side of this sheet I have drawn a sketch of the battle field, a little better than the one I sent to Charlie Harding with some variations.

You say that I have not written that I have rec'd Mr. McKeens letter. I have received it and I think I have so written you. I will answer it as soon as I

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get time. I have not written to as many as I intended to write to, for want of time, but I mean to try and make it up. You must not be disturbed by Dan Johnson's stories, and if what you write me is a specimen I dont think you need put much faith in them. If he gets very far from the truth many times some of us will write home what he left for. I presume he has not let out that secret. How is his leg? Another thing, you must not be disturbed by the jokes that are written home. We talk, here, to one another in rather a free style, and some of the boys have written in about the same manner. From what I wrote you about my using whiskey I dont want you to infer that any one else used it to excess.

Capt. Andross is very generous to write of me as he has. He told me what he had written after the letter was sealed. In regard to his own courage there cannot be the slightest question. He was the first Captain upon the embankment, and he remained there till he had fired his revolver. He was ready to go forward and was of the opinion that we should have gone over and attacked the enemy in their entrenchment.

You cannot complain but I have written you often enough for the last few days. Let me hear from you & Laura as often and I will not complain.

From letters rec'd last night we expect to see some of the Bradford people here in a few days.

Yours affectionatelyRoswell Farnham