pencil on white lined paper
July the 7th 1862 20 miles below
I again attempt to write to you as I have nothing else to do at present and think may be you would like to hear from me. I am still in very bad health though I am able to be up the most of my time though I have not got much [strength?}* as you had when I left home. I have chronic diarheah and think I am diseased all over. I am really out of hope about getting a discharge though if I live and am not discharged I think I will get me a substitute in two months roll over my head. I would not mind staying hear so bad if I could have my health. The sick soldiers are looked upon with contempt by the officers and well privates can be principally by so many sorry men that pretend to be sick to keep from doing duty. There is all kinds of men hear in the army. I don't think I can ever get well hear the way we are treated hear. I have been sleeping on the ground with nothing in [ ? ] to protect me from the dew and night air the trees of the [damaged] I have [not] done a day's duty since I have been here and don't think with all the good luck I could have I would get stout enough to do duty in lefs than six weeks or two months - but don't give your self uneasynefs about my welfare [damaged] take good care of yourself and [damaged] stout before I come so you can wait on me & humor me. I think I need that more than any thing else. We will go twenty or thirty miles below this place to recruit our horses as they all are run down. I don't think Julia is worth a hundred dollars [two lines illegible] can't hold out to transfer and rides very rough which is killing to me. If I have to stay here I will send her home or trade her off. I think she will trade tolerably well. It is very dry in this country though there would be fine crops of corn [word/ mush?] in this country if we can get rain enough in a few days. This is a [two lines illegible] to get back I will have me a place some where in that country and be satisfied there - health and good water is worth every other blessing in this world. Tell Wesley to attend the hogs will and try to make [ ? ] as usual - tell him to take good care of my horses also to work [ ? ] well for it take good many to fatten me if I am healthy enough ever to get home. I think I will be a different man when I get home from what I have [ever] been Write soon and direct your letter] to me care of Capt Rich(?) 2ond Ala & Mifs [Cavalry] don't want any one to beat [ ? ] there as [ ? ] Excuse dirty paper
Brother John R Anderson was shot on June 27th at the first battle of Cold Harbor and died June 29th, but at this writing WRA did not yet know. The letters end here. Check into service and discharge of WRA.