Hilton Head, South Carolina
December 12, 1861
My dear sister,
I now take my pen in hand to inform you that I received your last letter the 11th. I received a letter from you four or five days ago. I received them both with pleasure. I was glad to hear from home. A letter from home does me good. I am well and rugged at the present and I hope these few lines will find you enjoying the same great blessing.
I felt sorry when I heard that Father had enlisted but it may be for the best. I could not hardly believe my own eyes when I read about Father enlisting. I am afraid that you and Mother will have to be exposed too much to the cold. I want you just as soon as you get my money to write and let me know. You wanted me to tell you how I fared out here. I faire as well as can be expected for a soldier. If we ever meet again, I can tell you all of the particulars. God has blessed me and been with me since I left home.
I do not expect to have so many nicknacks here as if I was at home but never mind. I am in hopes that I shall be at home before long. We are a going from here soon but where we are a going, it is more than I can tell. I feel pretty well contented here. We have meetings here pretty often.
It is warm weather here now—about as warm as it is in June up there—although we have some cold nights here.
I want you to tell Henry Drew to write. Tell him that I have wrote to him twice and have no answer from him yet. Tell me where he is this winter and what he is doing. I want you to tell me all of the news. Tell Hen how to direct his letters. Give my love to Clarra Downs and Abby. Tell me if Hen is courting Clarra now.
The Milton Boys is all well but Samuel Dorr and he is pretty sick. He probably will get his discharge and be sent home pretty soon. There will be the Express to be paid on that money. You must get one of them bills broke and take that. Keep that gold dollar yourself.
I must close. Direct your letters as usual. From your brother, — Stephen F. Downs