My Dear Lizzy & (unreadable) children,
Uncle Johns goin down (or town) to day affords another opportunity of communicating with you, which I will avail myself of. I have not heard from you Lizzy since I came up direct, but report to do so today when I surprize some of the boys I gave passes will return.
It has been quite cold all along for this season of the year and will retard early spring planting. The sun (unreadable) having new the line & days getting longer will help some warm up our days & these cold nights in Ponticatas.
(Unreadable) us came up to this place. I've had Henry Cook out foraging one day and he succeded in finding apple butter, molasses, eggs and dried fruit for us so that we have been getting along right well- The people living (crossed out words) living right at our camp have also been very kind to us sending us one day a fried chicken apple butter fruit pickels & (unreadable) Pies to (unreadable) I do not know how long we will stay up here, probally some (unreadable) weeks or more, when I (unreadable) in will visit eastern Virginia & pay (unreadable) attentions to Mr Kilpatrick and several other "Blue bellies" whose acquaintance we have made on several occasions before. Old Abe-is in rather a bad fair at present-He had so much bad luck with his big raids (unreadable words) this spring that he has put off the draft again, being afraid that his prospects are not so dazzling to entice his crazy followers to enter his Grand Army at the present time. I hope he may have confusion & disaster and confounded units they will yield us our independance.
I wrote (unreadable) for register (unreadable) of "Cavalry Man" repeating that I wish not to be known at all but you'll (unreadable) from remarks didn't they almost tell who it is that wrote it. I would have preferred to remain incongnito but can very little as I did not say anything that I do not firmly beleive & know to be so.
I hope Lizzy you and our boys and little pet daughter are all well and will remain so until we can all muster together in Peace & independance & strive in the future to live & raise our family that they will honor themselves & their parents. Do all you can to instill this life of the good & the true into their infant minds. I will close. My love & many kisses for yourself & children.