Harewood Hospital ¹
Washington D. C.
December 4, 1863
I have just received Jettie’s letter. I am very sorry to hear you are so unwell. What have you been doing to hurt your back? I am afraid you have been working too hard. I hope this letter will find you better. Be careful of yourself as you can. Keep a hired girl if you need one & have the doctor tend to you as much as you think he can do you any good. Don’t be afraid of the expense. Your health is worth more to me than money. I am sorry that I cannot be with you to comfort & help you. I think I could nurse you better than anyone else can. I have learned some here & love would make me faithful to you. How do you think you would like me for a nurse? I hope you will not need any one but if you do, I must come home if I possibly can. You must write or get someone to [write] very often for I shall be very anxious to know how you get along. If you get any worse, write or telegraph to me. I hope your mother is with you by this time. I think she would be a great help to you. Who saws your wood now-a-days.? I hope you do not have any trouble about that, now do you? If you do, let me know [and] I will try to get someone to see to it for you.
I went to meeting Sunday night & last night. They had a very interesting time. There was two new converts. The meetings were more full than they have been. They formed a society called the Harewood Christian Alliance. It is for the purpose of encouraging the inmates of the hospital to attend the meetings & to distribute religious reading [material] among them. I hope it will prosper.
I cannot think of anything more to write this time. I hope your health will soon return. My love to you & the children. Goodbye. From your loving husband, — William A. Bartlett
¹ The Harewood General Hospital was located on the Corcoran Farm outside of Washington D. C. The hospital was built in a “V” pavilion style with nine wards, each ward containing 63 beds for a total of 945 beds.