21 May 1862

The Mansion House Hospital in Alexandria as depicted in the TV Series “Mercy Street”

[Mansion House Hospital, Alexandria]
May 21, 1862

Dear Father,

I have just received both of your letters mailed the 19th. I am glad to hear from you. I guess that my sitting up with Horace & being on a transport where it was very noisy indeed my head ached very hard the day before we landed. But I am now much better. I could hardly sit up when I came here but yesterday I was out & walked a little about the city. I had a slight fever at West Point & I got very weak & am weak now, but gaining strength slowly. I think that I shall try & go back the first of June if I am able. If not, I shall stay but I think I shall be all right before that.

I am glad that H. & O. are in New York. You had best get them home as soon as you can as they will do better there than in New York. The boy of our company that was missing is here with me. He is down below. He was shot through one leg, the ball passing through the lower part of his privates, & into the other leg & he was taken prisoner. I guess I wrote about him in my letter to Mother. He is doing well.

After we were driven out of the woods, they were shelled by our gunboats & batteries after which the Jersey Brigade & I do not know but one more Reg went in but found no enemy of any amount as they had gone. We did not go in again. Our General complimented us the next day on our soldierly conduct as we were about to advance. There is no need of your coming down here. All that ails me I think is being broke of my rest & getting tired out. A little fever come on but that left me some time ago. I am so I can walk about quite considerable.

What was said about the fighting our Reg did? How do the secesh feel in Spencer? I am where I can buy stamps now. Col. Camp who used to be connected with the Ithaca Bank had a son wounded in the foot & they could not find the ball the last I heard from him.

We have warm and cool weather—a variety. Have you began to make garden yet? I suppose you will plant most of it to potatoes again. Has the strawberry bed got well grassed over or did you let it grow up to mustard, dill, poppies &c. What are the prospects about fruit this year or is it so early that you can not tell?

Tis a wonder [Rev. Corbin] Kidder ¹ did not put on some extra touches in his last sermon. He has not as many friends now as he had when I was there, has he? What is Uncle Calvin & Truman doing? Does Walter hang around or where is he? Give my respects to all the friends.

Yours respectfully, — Chas. E. Bradley

Direct to Mansion House Hospital, Co. I, 32nd Reg. N. Y. V.

¹ The Bradley’s were members of the Presbyterian Church in Spencer where Rev. Corbin Kidder was the minister from November 18578 to May 1862.