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Post-marked: Washington, D.C.
March 19, 1862
Miss Rachel Peck
Mayville Chautauqua Co.
Redirected to Westfield March 22
Alexandria March 17-62
My very dear Sister
If the sorrowful news of Samuel’s death has not already reached you, it probably will ere this will. We crossed the River day before yesterday and march to Alexandria yesterday. I visited Fort Ellsworth and learned that the 44th Regt. was within one mile of there. With feeling of joy I immediately set off for there. I soon found Company H and was sorrowfully surprised when told by one of his tent mates that he died last week in Georgetown Hospital with the fever. He only had been sick about two weeks.
Dear Sister, I know to lose such a friend as I have reason to believe he was will be keenly felt by you. But you must look to God to help you in this hour of sorrow. You must put your trust in Him and pray for His divine grace to assist you. Dear Sister, I would gladly bear all your sorrow for you, but that is impossible. But as a brother I can and do deeply sympathize with you. Bear up under your loss as well as you can for he is far better off in heaven than he would be in this world of sin and wickedness. Yes, ere now he is happy in heaven, free from all pain and sorrow and if you are only faithful to your maker you will, at last, meet him in that happy land of rest, where pain and sorrow never enter.
Rachel, don’t let his death cause you to feel uneasy about my safety. I am well as I ever was and have stood our two marches better than one-half of the men. We have got Austrian Rifles and are to go with a fleet that is soon to leave here. We don’t know where it is to go but expect to Burnside.
We are going to guard an ammunition train. I shall not be in any danger of any battle for we go in the rear of the rest generally from two to three miles. So you need not feel anxious on my account. It may be that we will not go, but probably will. The train that we guard is 115 mule teams which are now loaded with ammunition and waiting to go on board the fleet. There are probably sixty thousand men here to got on the fleet. The 44th Regt. are among them.
I will write every week when it is so I can, but you must not think it strange if you do not hear from me in two or three weeks. We are now in a good secesh house and are very comfor- table. Have a plenty to wear and more than we can eat.
I had a letter from Hat and Peter a few days ago. Hat, Jim and Chet had gone to Panama.
I will pray for you for heavenly comfort and hope you will continue to pray for yourself.
Your ever affectionate brother
Daniel to Rachel
Direct as before and it will be forwarded to me.
I will wait til the mail come to see if I get a letter from you.
I received your letter this morning. I see by the reading of it that you had not heard of Samuel’s death at the time, and may not til you receive this. I will answer your letter next week. I don’t know as you can read my letter for my hand was very unsteady when I wrote it.
Daniel to Rachel