Letter to Chauncey
to his friend James Petitt September 9, 1862

   

                                              Washington, D.C.

                                               Sept. 9, 1862

Dear Friend Chauncey,

            Yesterday for the first time for months I received positive information of your situation and whereabouts.  Since my letters to you ceased to elicit answers I have tried every method I could pursue to learn what had become of you.  But owing undoubtedly to the almost entire suppression of letters from the army during the last weeks of its sojourn on the peninsula I could learn absolutely nothing save that you were sick somewhere.

            Yesterday by way of Versailles, I learned that Sylvia had recíd a letter from you elected Craney General Hospital.  And I hasten to write hoping soon to hear from you.  I cannot undertake to describe the suspense and anxiety that has been suffered by your friends during this long night.  There are many besides your own relatives who regard you with feelings stronger than friendship and some of us can never forget how much we owe you.  ĎTis a great relief to me to learn that one to whom I am indebted for life itself is alive and I hope soon to hear of your entire recovery, and if possible discharge from the army.

            I am again boarding at the Misses Thompson Cor. 9 & H. Strs.  I reported at the Convalescent Camp, Fort McHenry, Baltimore about the 1st of August.  And remained there until a week since when I was detailed to take charge and assist in bringing over some prisoners to Washington with orders to rejoin my Regt afterwards but the labor, slight as it was, about used me up.  And I am now here, able to be about but under medical care.  I fear I shall be obliged to leave the service though I hope not.  That run of fever shattered what there was left of my constitution.  Itís galling to think of resigning when we may anyday hear the emenyís cannon on our own side of the river.  Probablly 60 to 80,000 rebels are in Maryland up towards Harpers Ferry, marching towards Pennsylvania.  I hope they will have a happy time getting back again.  McClellan, Burnside and Sumner are on there way from here to attack their rear with 75,000 old peninsular troops & 25,000 recruits to join them from Baltimore. & the states of Pennsylvania and New York are rising en mass to meet them.  If they mean to stay, doubtless another 100,000 will cross the Potomac to join Jackson and Lee, but Iím inclined to think theyíll strike westward and recross the Potomac beyond Harpers Ferry after scouring three of four counties for supplies.  There are still 75,000 old troops and 50 to 75,000 new here yet.  Bye the bye!  Our town has filled up its quota under both calls, over 20 from Versailles alone by enlistment.  Joel Irish, Joel Williams, Jimmy North, George Ticknor, Jonas Stafford, Sile Bunce, Cid Hines & e. among them.  I could get a Captaincy in the 9 months service but believe I donít want it.  I hear I am on the list for a 1st Lieut in the 64th but donít know how it is.  Uncle Wright is again in the woods.  Mr. Hall is with him.

            The Misses Thompson wish to be remembered.  Fearing you may be out if money I have directed Barker to send you some. 

            Hoping to hear from you soon I am

                        Your Friend

 

                        Jas. M. Pettit

P. S. George Van Vlack, I hear, will return to duty this week.  I expect that Henry is by this time discharged from Hospital Annapolis, Md., on account of deafness caused by his sickness.  Donít know how the boys with the Co. are.  In writing to me at Washington leave off Co. letter & no. or Regt.