Will Fisher to his mother
September 25, 1864

My own Mother,

Will you excuse me for this long absence, or not? I think you will when I let you know that I haven’t any excuse except being busy building quarters & writing for Capt. Hall. I forget how long it is since I last wrote but know it to be two or three weeks. The last letter I had from you was dated Aug. 29th in which was 4 stamps some envelopes &c. A day or two previous I rec’d a paper containing tobacco, beeswax, scotch snuff and writing paper. They were all very acceptable particularly the paper. I was at a loss to know the use of the snuff until in your letter you spoke of making a paste of it & lard for lice. But I suppose you didn’t know that lard was a scarce as snuff. But no matter, I am not afflicted so just now but will keep it till I am, for if we get on a campaign again I suppose they will be as thick as ever & then I will apply it with bacon grease which I think will answer every purpose.
Well now I think I will take your letter and review it so as to get it all. You say you think I have not rec’d all that you have written Maybe but your description of the fourth of July I read & it was the first that came to the co. & was a great treat, I tell you. You say you are anxious about my receiving them because you send stamps and envelopes. I have rec’d envelopes & stamps in almost every one & still do so if I have not spoken of it you must not think I did not get them for I hear your plea in answer to my charge of forgetfulness is perfectly satisfactory.
As one of the arguments you ask again if I have rec’d my bible & diarrhea medicine, but I think I told you in a letter which you had not then rec’d, that I had & that my bible was all covered with grease having come through submerged in a pail of butter. I am sorry to say that it is a total ruin. I did not know but it might be cleaned some way, but it cannot so they all tell me. Some think turpentine would take it off, but I guess not. Moreover I have none to try the experiment with. The medicine was all right but you have never told me how I could sell it for you, did not state the price you paid for it.
You speak of Alex getting home from the West, but having a fever for that country. If I were to guess at the result, it would be that he and Uncle Henry were going out there to speculate. Is Uncle Henry all right or is he a little tainted with copper? John Marshall says he has talked about him since he came in the service meaner than any man in Wash. Co. If this is so, he is lower than a pismire. This, of course, is for no one, only yourself to look at.
Jim Sherman says he has actually heard men in C. say they hoped none of the boys gone from that place to fight would ever live to come home again. This is infamous, & if I was to hear one of them say so in my presence he would recall it or I would blow his brains out with a revolver. I know of an occasion where Ab Shiland drew his revolver (he was a soldier then) and bringing it down on a table said that if any man uttered those sentiments in his hearing again he would blow him through. When behold Mr. Copperhead left with not another word. I heard that he did this to John Watkins & guess it is so. He at least would have been justified in doing so.
You speak of Lem’s visit home which is just about as I supposed it would be & I think just as you do, that it is best not to come home till my time is expired. I could have had a furlough while laying here, but, I think, wisely refused one.
I took great interest in your account of “Poor Kitty” but suppose I must get along without her. I have had a presentment in my mind for some time that she was dead. You must feel lonely indeed without a single “lives stock” on the premises. I was glad to hear you speak so encouragingly of the prospects for some crops. I suppose you sold our hay for fifteen dollars standing, or was it cut? I heartily approve of your bargain with Skiff. It was the best thing you could do.
You must not attribute scurvy to any negligence of one’s person, for it is certainly not so. Some of the cleanest men in the regt. have been its victims. I do not think it worth while to undertake to send any dried fruit as you spoke of, It would be rather “too much oats for a shilling.” You had better wait and when I send for my boots you can send it then. I think if boots are raising any you had not better wait any longer & besides they will be all the better for a little seasoning. For fear you have forgotten the description I will let you know again. I want both pairs made exactly the same size as those last winter & of good french calf, double soles & Napoleon tops besides, with good heavy steel plates on the heels and nailed all over the tops in good shape. These plates on the heels are everything for me for without them I would turn them over in a week. I expect they will be very high but I think they will be cheaper in the end & far more comfortable & conducive to health. I have not drawn any shoes of the government since I got my other ones, which, if I had not got them, it would have cost me ten dollars to keep in shoes & I have not went with wet feet all summer as formerly. The other pair is for a friend & he is at his own risk in sending for them and pays all expenses & a profit thinking he will get a better pair than elsewhere. He is perfectly good.
You can see now that 4 cents postage is just as good as 40 & I have more tobacco too. I knew that it might come cheaper. Guess McClellan is accommodating.
You say to tell Ab Shiland not to play flirt with Min. I have since received a letter from Min saying that if nothing happened it would come to pass &c, Ahem! Keep mum.
My paper that Uncle Zina sends me is marked paid to 5th of Feb. ’65.
Jim Hall, 1st Lieut., Co. S, has gone home. He got dispatched soon after his father’s illness and was in for a furlough at the time. It was quite fortunate.
Tell Aunt Sarah I appreciate her wish to tell me about George S. & Lib Weir very much & that I think of her every day & send much love.
The paymaster is paying some in our div. Guess we’ll get it certain this time. I will draw 20 per month from first of July.
Brig. Gen. Knipe has left us to take chief of cav. in Army of Tenn., i.e. Gen. Howard’s army or McPherson’s old com’d. Guess Thomas Francis Meagher, the celebrated command of Irish Brig. in the Army of Potomac is going to take com’d. of us. Gen. Slocum commands the corps. We have had some reviews of late & lots of inspections. We generally regard these as signs of a move.
I shall not be behind much of any on clothing this year. I do all the Capt.’s business now, draw and issue clothing, ordinance, rations & all & do his writing. Think by this time he has a great deal of confidence in me.
Much love to Lib for her long welcome letter, also Jim Sherman, Min and George. I ain’t heard from John only by you this summer, wrote the last letter, I don’t know where he is even. He has friends here in the regt. who enquire for him every day but what can I tell them?
A great deal of love to all, such as Aunt Sarah, Uncle N. & Z., Courtland, Aunt Rodha, Maria, Eliza, Julia, Uncle S. Had a letter from Aunt H___ this day, she is well.

I am your loving son,