20 April 1862

1862 Map showing location of Shipping Point near Budd’s Ferry in Potomac River

[Aboard steamer]
Sunday, April 20th 1862

Dear Father,

We left Alexandria Friday & we are now anchored at the head of the Chesapeake Bay. the weather is very cold & rainy. The weather is very cold & rainy. The wind blows strong & we are to stay here until morning. We have laid here most all day. I have not been sea sick any as yet but some have. My stomach feels funny.

I saw Fort Washington, Mount Vernon, the Rebel Batteries &c. The peach trees are in bloom along the shore & the trees are leafing out but as a general thing the shores are steep & mostly covered with woods with here and there a farmhouse. We have much better quarters than we would have on ship. I think that the regiment has landed before this. We expect to land at Shipping Point. There are a great many ducks on the river. The rock of the vessel is very nice if anyone can think so but we land sharks can’t see it in that light.

We have hard bread, rum, ham & once in awhile potatoes. Two weeks ago today we were going to Manassas & one week we were marching back.

April 21st—It was a bad night last. The wind blew stronger this morning than it did yesterday. I was sick this morning & some of the boys were last night. Of all the lonesome places that I have ever been in, this is the worst. How is Mary’s health since she got back home? I hope that she has got well. You would be surprised to see how little we think about going to Yorktown. The boys do not seem to think as much about it as they would if they were going after oysters or some other thing. Still we think that it will be the hardest battle ever fought on this continent or the Waterloo of America.

April 22—We run back yesterday morning about five miles into a small bay or inlet & there stayed until this morning. The wind blew very strong & the rain fell in torrents. Some of the boys got most through but I did not. The sun shone beautifully this morning but still the wind blew. We have our sails all up & the steamer Nanshan has four of us in tow. We are now in Chesapeake Bay & going along at a good rate.

April 23rd—We ran at a good rate yesterday but the wind blew strong & the water would smash clear over the bow of the boat. We lay at anchor last night & this morning we ran to Shipping Point. There was a good many vessels here. I guess that our boys have not been ashore yet. The Rebs had an encampment here last winter. The shores are covered with pine woods.

April 24–=We went over to the steamer & got our pay yesterday. Write how you like to have me write each day.

April 24—Enclosed find “Assistant Treasure” note of fourteen dollars. When you was down to see me, you gave me $4 & have sent me $2 since that I have received. If you have sent more, add it to this $6 & take it out of the $14 & let Mary have the remainder—that is, if I do not give you any on the last note which you will know. The first of next month the government will owe us $26 more but whether we shall get it then or not, I cannot tell.

We got into Shipping Point early yesterday morning all safe. There are a good many vessels here & the troops have part of them landed. Hod is very sick. He is out of his head part of the time. Parker is with him. That march out to Manassas & back is the cause of it. It came very near turning me over. We can hear the booming of cannon here most every evening. I am well & hearty. We have lots of oysters. The shores are lined with their beds. You fellows can content yourselves with eating them out of cans but we have them out of the shells.

Respectfully, — Chas. E. Bradley