Richmond Va October the 21, 1863
My Dear Wife
I received your letter of the eighth. the 19 of the presant
month which give me the greatest of pleasure to hear that you were all well and doing so well. I am so glad to hear that the yankees are gone from there again. but I fear they will come back again before I can get home. for it seames as thoe they will not stay away from old Stafford long enough for me to get home. when I first came to Richmond I could have goten a furlough if it had not ben for them there. I am well at presant and my wound is near about well. I hope when this reaches you it will find you all enjoying helth. I am glad to hear my deare little ones are groing so fast. but I am sorry to hear that my little willy has taken to eating of dirt my dear you must by all means try and brake him from eating it. my dear I would be so happy to see you and the children. and Farthers famly. oh yes I do long to see all of my friends. I shall start to my regt in a few days if nothing hapens. and I am agoing to try to come by home for I want to see the old place
again. if there are any chance of getting off. I am sorry to hear that you are alone why has aunt peggy and Mary left you. what made abraham leave what have becom of his things did the Yankees take his horse. where has mr arnold gon. did you all rais any corn this year. I supose the Yankees have taken your cow and all of your hogs. if I cant get home when you write again send what me word harm they have done in our neighbourhood, you must write as often as you can for we dont know how long we can write to each other. for I expect the rappohannock or rapdan to be our line this winter. but I hope it will be the potomac. but I trust this cruel war will soon be over. I am sorry to hear that Frances Watsons children are sick give my respects to them and tell to a close but shall remain your husband until death.
John W. Watson