|March 31, 1862 Chesapeake Bay
My dear Wife,
I donít expect I shall be allowed to mail this still Iíll be on the safe side and do so if possible. We left Alexandria on the 29th inst about 3 oclk p.m. amid a driving snow storm and only made some 12 miles, at least we anchored for the night at "Mathias Point",
About dark the storm changed to rain & continued quite severe through the night. We are on the steamer "Argo" which formerly ran between Boston & Nahaut (?) & is the one which ran the rebel Batteries at Cock pit point a few week since and had 14 shot thrown at her.
She is quite a small craft for the freight she has got. Companies A. B. & D. with the band & horses of the field & Staff officers, besides having in tow a schooner containing the 2nd R.I. Battery which makes our progress rather slow. I think however we are in advance of the rest of the 15th. The New York 2nd & 3rd are a little in advance. I did not suppose we should be so long on this trip, but the river is very crooked. Yesterday it rained a part of the time & was cold & disagreeable being on deck which compelled all that could to remain below. Co. A are quartered on deck & most of them had to remain there night & day through the storm. That was decidedly severe. The only amusement they have was shooting into the flocks of duck which were very numerous, believe they succeeded in breaking the wing of one. There are very few points of interest on this river. Mount Vernon & Fort Washington being the only two of much ___ except the rebel Batteries that were. It was snowing hard when we past Mr. Vernon so it was impossible to see it as it really is, of course it is the most desirable time in summer to visit that spot.
Last night we anchored just "inside" as they call it, that is before coming out fairly into the bay, it was quite rough outside, and one of the Gun boats hailed us as they come in & said "we better not go outside", they are stationed about here for the purpose of watching the weather &c. &c. for the benefit of our transports.. Our capt said this morning if the weather was gone we could reach Ft. Monroe by 4 oclk this p.m. We are liable to remain on board another night if the weather is not amenable.
I noticed where the Patapsco River branches off to go to Balt., the way you came when you went home by steamer. I imagine it was very much such weather then as we are having now. The Capt of the steamer tells one we shall probably land at Hampton, (the town which was burnt by Col. Magruder last fall). It is some 3 miles from Ft. Monroe. We have got to touch at the fort for orders, said we may possibly land there and march over to Hampton.
Yesterday was Sunday but it seemed little like it. I assure you. After supper (we got our meals on board the boat) Capt Simonds invited me to play "Euchus" & I went to take my place- I had business out. Syl, Herbert and Frank are all doing as well as can. We are so thick settled that all cannot lay quite straight at night. I got a good nights rest last night but before it was awful- worse even than when we came to Washington in the freight cars. I am going to write Alfred too, so if you happen to be at home you will see his before you get this. Hope you got the pictures safe wish they were better. Remember me to all the folks whenever you can. Good bye with much love to kids.
It has cleared up fine we are in sight of the Fort & the ____ but some 8 or 10 miles from stream have had a fine sail since 10 oclk this am.
Good bye again with love & kisses