[Camp Sumwalt, written on paper nibbled by mice]
December 17, 1862
I take the present opportunity to inform you that I am well at present and I hope when these few lines come to hand, they will find you all in the same state of good health. I received your kind and welcome letter and I was very glad to hear from home and that you were all well.
You had stated in your letter that it was so dry with you this winter. We have had a good deal of rain here this fall and winter. Last Sunday night ew had a heavy rain here. You had stated in your letter that Austin was pap’s boy and I think so too. And you said that I was the prettiest man in the world. I never knowed that you liked me so well.
The weather is middling fair but the nights are cold.
You had stated in your letter that Sarah Burkett had a young son. I want you to tell Fred Burkett that he ought to have his bollick ¹ cut off and when I will come home, I’ll cut it off myself.
I will inform you that if Uncle Sam don’t pay us what I want, I will write no more till he pays us. I would like to know whether you have settled with Isaac Corl or not, and I want you to get him to make a frame for that picture that I sent home to you and get him to make a nice one, let it cost what it will. I haven’t much to write this time. Nothing more at present but remember your dear husband, — Jacob Claar
Dear Ave, I take my pen in hand to inform you that I am well at present and hope and trust when these few lines will come to hand, they will find you in the same state of health. I love soldiering first rate. The mice are very ignorant. They would just as soon eat the paper for us.
Nothing more at present but remember your dear friend, — Jacob Claar
to Abe Claar
¹ Bollicks is an English slang term for “balls” or tentacles.