5 June 1861

New Dorp [Staten Island]
June 5, 1861

Dear Father,

I am very sorry that you were so worried about me. If I had been as sick as one of our boys who has just left the hospital for the first time since we left New York, you would have a good reason to be alarmed. I was very much surprised to see Uncle down here and still more when I learned that he wanted me to go home with him. I have been quite well since he left excepting the last 2 or 3 days, Most all of the men have got or had the summer complaint. I think that it is caused by the coffee—it being sweetened with molasses. I have stopped drinking it. Last night & this morn I bought some milk & had it boiled & ate bread & milk & cheese. I had to go out last night but do not mind it much cause do not have to dress and undress. You would laugh to see then “run.” It is about 9 o’clock & I have not had to go out yet this morning. I think that I have stopped it now.

I have a daily paper now. It costs 18 cents a week. Got my boots fixed yesterday. Cost 51 cents.

The army laws were read to us yesterday. They are very strict but just for the last two days we have had a good deal more regimental drill. Yesterday he run them all around the field without halting. Uncle can tell how far it is. I have missed but part of one drill (excepting when I had company from you & Uncle) & that was yesterday.

Lieut. [Hiram W.] Jackson ( 1st Lieut.) gave me a very nice book the other day. It is Headley’s Vicar’s Life. ¹

We were vaccinated the other day, Mine is working well. Tell Uncle that the men who we saw down by the seashore put it in. I saw him last night. He offered to give me something for my summer complain but I think that I have got rid of it. They have got the measles here. Have I had it? Write in your next without fail. The report is that we leave for the South the latter part of this week or fore part of next. I think what has been done here the last two or three days has not been for nothing. I have got some $12 but I wish H & P had more but if we get our pay soon, we will not need it.

We have not got any guns or clothes. I received some cake from E. C. Seymour & apples & cake &c. from Ithaca. Also 1 shirt, 1 pair socks, some boys had pickles, jelly, butter, & most everything “private.”

Our barracks are good & cool. I have got a good bunk on the top tier where I can sit up & write on a board. Some of our boys have gone home on a leave of absence but I do not purpose to come home now though I presume I could for a day or two. But then I should have to leave you again.

I passed examination well enough. I think that I can stand it a great deal better than a good many of our boys. I have not been to New York yet. Guess I shall. Don’t know. If you will only keep well & in good cheer, I shall be contented. Write immediately or I shall not get your letter. I think there is time enough for I got yours of the 28 & the 29th.

Direct to New Dorp. Don’t work for me. I will tell you how I am. — C. E. Bradley

¹ Joel Tyler Headley was a prolific writer. Joel’s father, Phineas C. Headley was an early-day pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Spencer that the Bradley family attended.