May 6, 1864
I have just finished a letter to Rosa and having a little spary time will commence one to you, not knowing when I can finish it. Your letter was received in due time. It was the first one I have read from anyone, except Rosa, since I left home. I will not go into the particulars of war news, for you will get that from Rosa, if she gets my letters. I have put three letters in the mail, that I suppose have not left here yet. The enemy, having blockcaded the river, destroy our boats as they undertake to go down the river. Our folks will not send the mail till they think it will go safe, but I shall keep writing, long as I get paper and envelopes. In finishing Rosa's letter, I wrote that the reported captain of the Transport Warner, with one of our lieutenants on board was untrue. But this afternoon the report is confirmed that Lieutenant Gibson, with about one hundred men excaped and was making their way across the country to Naches, about four days march from this place. It is also reported that they captured two of our gunboats and a transport yesterday. Well Nie, I have seen some pretty rough times since I came back and expect to see more. I tell you the times and everything looks pretty gloomy here. But they say, "bad beginning makes good ending", I hope it will prove so in this case.
The last letter I received from Rosa, she had just got to Sherburne. I hope you will all be very kind to her. She is alone in the world and going into a strange place. She will be very lonely. I know you will all help her all you can. I do so long for the time to come that I may be permitted to be with my family and friends again. I can imagine how happy you must be in your new home and I do hope and pray that my dear parents may be permitted to live to a good old age, that they may enjoy their new home. Tell Ell and Leine to write to me and not to wait for me to write. You must consider my letters, sometimes I will direct to one, then another. I cannot possibly get time to write to you all separately. What is Leine doing? Is Ell keeping house? Where is Gene and what is Nett up to? I should advise Cory to stay where he is, if he can, for all of going to the city. I find this roving around don't amount to much. I expect, if I live to get home, that I shall settle down in some place and never leave it. Tell father not to work to hard for he is getting to old to do much hard work, but he sure and get pay for what he does and well paid to. He can't charge to much in these times. Mother has got girls enough, so she need not work to hard. You must not let her at any rate. She has done her part of hard work and ought to be permitted to enjoy the balance of her life in this world. I have just been looking at her photograph, how I would like to see the original. I wonder if father has got those tools from Earlsville? If not, I wish he would the first food opportunity and what he don't want to sue to pack away some where. I should hope that someone of you might write me every week. If I don't write to you so often, I intend Rosa shall hear from me every week, long as I am able to write, so that you can hear how I am getting along. I cannot make it seem possible that Nichols is dead, It was so sudden. Rosa writes me Frank Place has come home. I was glad to hear it. I suppose he suffered very much, while a prisoner. Write me all the news you can, especially from Earlsville and vacinitiy. I shant get as much news by way of C. Page. I was quite sick this morning, but feel better tonight. If I can keep still tomorrow, think I will come out alright. Some of you might occasionally send me a paper. How is Ell's health this summer? How does Rosa and Charlie like it at Sherburne? Rosa was afraid she would not like it there, not being acquainted with many there. But I hope she will be disappointed and like it first rate. Tell father to assist her all he can about wood and coal. If I live to get home, I will see him well paid for all his trouble. I shall be pretty short of money for some time. We have been mustered for two months pay, but shant get it at present, for the paymaster cannot get here under the present circumstances. It is possible, if not probable, that we will not get paid for the next two months. Give my love to all friends, they will be glad _____ ______  (unreadable in original) probably feel anxious to write. Weiner has been quite sick, but is getting smart again. Tell Charlie he must be good to his grandpa and grandma and his aunties. I would like to see him very much. Cheer up Rosa, tell her to keep up good spirits. She's so nervous and worries so much. I know it is hard for her to be alone. But if I am permitted to live, the time will soon pass away and shall think all the more of home and friends, for having been separated from them. Well I must close, trusting that God will spare our lives to meet again.
I remain your affectionate brother,
S. S. Dunton
Write soon and direct to New Orleans as usual. Tell Leine to write.
Love to all,
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