|E. D. Keyes|
Capt. Co. H
"It has been a long, long time since I wrote you, and it has been long time since I have seen hardly a chance as I have busy most every moment when I have been well. I will try and write more frequently hereafter. I have been well most of the time.
About 3 weeks ago I tryed to have a little sick spell but did not make out much as I was sick only about a week. I had a fever to start with but my good boys came in and took real good care of me.--gave me a sweat --some physic--soaked my feet and everything until they broke it up.
"This was while we were at Fairfax Court-House. We are now 3 miles from there in a Souther direction as you will see by the heading. We moved here last Tuesday morn. I was not well at the time but came through with the rest, put up my tent built my bunk but I was sick all day coughed all the time most. I piled into rest as soon as much and the next morning Mr. Measles had just peppered up my face good.
"I have not got fully over them yet but am doing well. Yesterday was the first day that I sat up any. I had very good cure considering the place we have. ... I hankered after some of that good cider most of anything. I write this letter by odd jobs as I sit up at different times through the day. Guess that you have heard enough about measles.
"I see by the papers that you have been making Sweet again in the winter. What in fury are you all doing there at home. I have written to you Laura and all most and not a letter have I received. I have not heard a word from home since Lettie left there in the fore part of the winter. What is Mrs. Fay doing these days? I should like to see her much. Give my love to her and tell her that big blanket was just the nicest thing in the world to bring out the measles. Kept me warm and comfortable. Have not been cold since I got it.
"I remember that when we were at Windsor you laughed that our Capt would never make much you guessed right the first time. He never was good for anything for a Capt. He and the 2nd Lieut. were called before the Col for examination and was advised to resign and they did. They would have been obliged to if they not accepted his advice so the command fell wholly on me until another should be appointed.
"I worked day & night almost for about a week settling the affairs of the Co with him. Every thing belonging to the Co (which we had to take account stock to find out how much) had to be turned over to me and I receipt for it. You have no idea how much writing I have to do. I had rather keep two sets of books in Fays store than keep the Co. Books here.
"As you no doubt have heard I was fortunate enough to be called to the Col quarters to get my commission as Capt. of the Co. I am doing all I can to make it appear well. The Col said the other day that my Co had improved 100 per cent since I took command. A compliment I thought. More soon Elmer" ~ E. D. Keyes, Captain, Company H, Sixteenth Regiment, Letter of January 27, 1863
"Fairfax Station, Va. January 27, 1863
"I have somewhat overrun my usual week but still I hope for pardon as I have been quite busy of late. Yesterday and the day before I was in the Capt.'s office helping to fix up accounts preparatory to payday and tonight the Paymaster is in camp and has commenced work. We are to be paid from Aug. 29th, the day we organized, to Nov. 1st, ($27.30).
"I shall endeavor to send home the quarter part of mine as I shall have enough without it. ... I have been detailed at the quartermaster this afternoon and am to go again tomorrow. Whether the detail will be permanent or not I do not know." ~ Hezron G. Day, pvt., Company C, Sixteenth Regiment, Letter of January 27, 1863