23 December 1863

Cliffburn Barracks
Depot Camp I. C. [Invalid Corps]
Washington D. C.
December 23, 1863

Dear Wife,

I have not received any letter from you since the one that you wrote a week ago last Sunday. I guess you did not write to me last Thursday, did you? I had ought to have got your last Sunday’s letter today but it did not come. But I shall look for it tomorrow. I hope you are quite well by this time & have got someone to help you. I hope your mother has got over with you.

I stay here yet. I do not know how long I shall have to stay here. I hope not long. I do not belong to any company yet. I have a very good time here. I have to work about 3 hours a day helping get wood for the cooks. My arm is much stronger than it was when I was at home; otherwise I remain about the same as I was 2 months ago.

I cannot think of any news to write to you today. There is a great many camp stories but I do not know what to believe. One of the officers said last night that he thought that whole of the second battalion would be discharged in a few weeks. I hope they will for I belong to it. I cannot see what they want to keep us for for we don’t earn our board — never mind the wages. But then if you are well, I can afford to stay as long as they can afford to pay me. You get 12 dollars a month. I get 13 [dollars a month] and $3.50 worth of clothes which makes $28.50 besides my board — very good pay for what little work I do. But I don’t care how much they pay — the more the better if they are fools enough to keep me.

I want you should write to me as often as you can while I do stay here & you need not expect me home until you see me & it may be a good while before that. You need not think that I would not come home if I had a chance for I would double quick & I shall try to get a chance if the thing is possible. Keep up good courage & hope for the best & don’t worry about me. I think I have got as long ahead as most of them & I shall get home if I can. If I was well, I would not take my discharge but would try to do my duty.

Well I guess you will think I have wrote a curious letter but I wanted to fill it up with something. It is a cold, snow squally day. I send my love & a kiss to you all. Goodbye. From your loving husband, — W. A. Bartlett

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