[27 October 1861]
My dear friend,
I will endeavor to write to you a few lines to let you know how and where I am. I am as well as usual. I am here in the Atlantic steamer off against Fortress Monroe. We are going to start from here soon. We have been on board of this steamer since a week ago last Friday. It took us a little more than one day to come from Annapolis to here. This is a very large steamship. I have been very seasick. My head aches now. I wrote to you some time ago but Lydia said you told her that you had not heard from me. We shift from place to place. I wish you was here with me. I want to see you and all of the rest of my friends but I cannot.
Perhaps you would like to know how I fare but it won’t do for me to tell you. If you was here, you would know all about the affairs of a soldier’s life. I want you to tell me all of the news. Tell me how and where you are. The Milton Boys is as well as usual. We are the staff company and our regiment is the staff regiment in the brigade.
We have had good meetings on our campground. There has been a revival in our regiment. I will tell you a secret. We expect when we go from here that we shall have to fight but do not tell our folks for your life. Folks say that we shall be at home by Christmas time but you and I will do as we please about believing of it. I forgot to tell you the date. It is October the 27th 1861.
I must close. Direct your letter to Stephen F. Downs, 3rd Reg. N. H. V. in care of Col. D. D. Tompkin [?], No. Six State Street, New York. Now I want you to write as soon as you get this.
— Stephen F. Downs
Will you be so kind as to give my sister these few lines that is in your letter?