This is a partial letter and is, therefore, undated. I’m guessing it is October 1862.
…We are under marching orders now but where we are a going, I know not. We are now in a place which the secessionist occupied last spring but almost all of them has fled. There is one but they took him twice and made him take the oath of allegiance. He lives just across the river from where we are encamped. I suppose according to folks tell I am over seven hundred miles form home. They say that we shall go to North Carolina the next move. I want you to tell me if Old Thomas Corson and Benjamin Randall and Israel Corson has enlisted. I want to hear all of the news. Tell me where Henry Devin is and how Drew’s folks is getting along.
Our chaplain’s name is Mr. [Henry] Hill. He is a Methodist preacher and a very good man. I guess we have meetings four nights in a week. The most of them we have outdoors. It has been pretty warm weather here till within a few days. Tell me how the weather is there and whether the apples is ripe or not. I give my love to Uncle Daniel’s folks. Tell me how all of my friends is. I must close soon. I will give you the direction.
Mr. Stephen F. Downs, Annapolis, Md., 3rd Regt. N. H. V., Co. K
I have been waiting until tonight in hopes that I might get some money. They say we shall be paid off for one month and ten days soon.
Tonight is Friday night. I should have waited longer but I thought you would be worried about me. My dear sister, I must bid you goodbye. You must write soon. Your own brother, — Stephen F. Downs