4 October 1863

Headquarters 6th Army Corps
Stone House Mountain, Virginia
October 4, 1863

Dear Wife,

I received your letter & papers of the 27th last Thursday. I should wrote to you Friday but it rained so that I could not write & I did not feel fit writing yesterday. My health is as good as it has been. Other things remain about the same. I have got a little cold & sore throat but it does not trouble me much. It is a beautiful Sabbath morning but it does not seem much like Sabbath day here. There is no preaching or anything else that I know of to distinguish it from any other day except I always write to you Sunday. I wish I was at home to go to church with you & the children but it cannot be & I consider I am enlisted in as good & holy a cause as I should be if I was there. I am sorry I am not able to do a soldier’s duty but in the situation I am in now, I am no account here at all & for that reason I should like to get my discharge but I don’t think I can very soon the way we are situated here. You need not think I am in any immediate danger but I am like all of the rest of the human race — got to die when my time comes — sooner or later.

I see by your letters & Anna’s that death is as busy at home as in the Army. You have quite interested me about Lucy Post. I should like to see her. I am sorry she has gone home for I should like to send her my compliments.

Tell Mary Ann [that] Papa does not want she should be a little boy. I had much rather she would be a good little girl so that when I come home I can take her in my lap and kiss her. I had rather kiss girls than boys. I should like to hear little Carrie prattle. It would be sweet music for me — the best that I could hear.

You wish to know what my religious feelings are. I hardly know what answer to make you but as you have a perfect right to know, I will tell you & tell you the truth. I am as I always was — very careless — & you know there is no stand still in a person’s character. It is either growing better or worse & I cannot say that I am any better. But I hope that I am not so lost but that there is hope for me yet. I judge from what you write that you have found hope in a Savior’s love & as wicked as I am it gives me joy. I think a mother’s prayers are a great help to her children & a wife’s prayers for her husband will help him if anything will for we all know that unless we have help from on high, we can not do anything of ourselves. Pray for me, dear Alida. And pray with a hope that your prayers may be answered. Our love for each other, I hope, will be a great help to us. If you are a Christian, I had ought to be or I shall be a source of trouble to you & I love you too well to wish for anything to disagree about.

Dear wife, in spiritual & temporal affairs both, keep up good courage & hope for the best. My love to you & the dear little ones. Goodbye from your loving husband, — Wm. A. Bartlett

I have not heard anything from our pay yet. Expect to get it every day. I hope it will come soon.

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