Will Fisher to his mother
Stafford C. H., Virginia
January 31, 1863

Dear Mother,

Although I have not received my answer from you yet, I will improve the chance I have at present & write you again. We have at least received a little pay from this noble government in the shape of some “Green Backs.” Wednesday we were paid all due to us up to the 1st of Nov. You remember we enlisted in August & then in Salem we got one month’s pay in advance, which made the commencement of this pay due from the 7th of Sept., which was one month from the time I enlisted. The amount of pay I got was $23.40. My expenses did not amount to so much as I expected they would. I had to pay 1.50 for topping shoes. When I first got out of money I borrowed $5.00 & that lasted quite awhile & was all I had till I sent home for that two dollars.
When I first came down here I might have spent more than was necessary, but I don’t think I did, but I certainly haven’t for a long time. I have never bought any thing to eat unless I was sick & had no appetite to eat rations, & I bought 1.00 worth of paper one time in partnership with Ab S. He carries my paper for me because he has a trunk, & I have bought a few P. stamps but not a great many. Well, when I come to get squared up I find I have just 15.00 dollars left & I will send you 10.00 & keep 5.00 myself which I don’t think you will find any fault with. The government owes us now just 3 months pay more, & if they will pay us the 4 months pay the 1st of March it will amount to 52.00 & if I keep clear of debt I will be able to send you $40.00 of it any way, if not more, & then have 12.00 left. But no knowing what may happen before then. But I don’t intend to spend all I have. Lem Skinner thinks I am not keeping enough, but I will run the risk, & keep you posted all the time as to my money matters.
You will be surprised why my money does not come by way of the allotment system. The reason is because our Capt. in Salem neglected to sign them properly before they were handed in. I get this information from Ab Shiland. I would not be surprised if the Capt. resigned before the 1st of April, but you need not say anything about it.
All of the rest of the company’s allotment rolls worked well & they received by post about 4 or 5 dollars apiece, not half enough to pay their honest debts, but they can send home & get money. There is not a great many men in this regt. but what would send the money home. I believe the government is going to pay the soldiers all up to the first of Nov. & then strike off a 100,000,000 more legal tender notes. I think we will be paid off immediately after the next muster, which will be the last of Feb.
The real wet & mud has set in now & I think we have a pretty good chance to stay here a few weeks. Gen. Sigel’s headquarters are about a mile from here. I saw him yesterday with his staff. It is all dutchmen around this village.
I want you to answer this immediately on receipt of the same. Lem & Jim send love to you & Aunt Sarah. I want a few P. stamps sent to me, for I borrowed this one.
Love to all. Does Aunt S. improve any? I hope so.

I remain as ever your boy,
Will Fisher