You are somewhat surprised no doubt at not hearing
from me, as I have not written home for eight or ten days.
But it was not because I did not wish to, far from it. I
was prevented by sickness. I have been in bed very sick
for over a week living during that time almost exclusively
upon tea and toast made by Scott and Billy (Walter). I
am now beginning to get better though I am still very weak.
I hope soon though to recommense my regular duties. How
much I wish I could be with you all this evening though
such a thing as getting a furlough now is not to be talked
of except for those who are sick and they cannot get them
to go home but to the Hospital. Capt. Simpson told me he
could get me a furlough to go to the Hospital in F[ront].R[oyal]. but
he could not get it for over a day or two and I knew that
the fatigue going up and back for so short a time while I
was so sick would make me worse and therefore I did not ask
It would be such a pleasure to go through the
Vineyard Orchards and Corn Field. I hope the Vineyard is
doing well. It seems to me if I was home that would be
such a pretty business for me. Amos and myself sit down
and have some long talks about the Vineyards sometimes and
both of us wish that we were done soldiering. I read to
Amos what you said about his Vineyard. He filled up very
much and said he wished he could go and attend to them. I
feel very much for Amos for he loves those vines.
I don't suppose Mr. Smedley has been taken away
from you has he. I should be very sorry if he had. I
don't know how you would do without him. Give my respects
I heard that an order had been sent up the valley
for 600 wagons. I hope yours will not have to go.
Enclosed within this note which will be handed to
you by Mr. L. Bowen you will find $44.00 paid to me for my
services. Please take care of it for me but if you have
use for it use it. I wish I could send the boxes, basket
and my dirty clothes but I have no way of getting them to
the junction. They shall be sent by the first opportunity
which I hope will be soon.
Amos has just come in and requests me to ask you
about the cow. He is afraid you have forgotten to attend
to it. He says if he was there he could chat you for a
A great many of the boys were very kind to me
while I was sick.
Sam Buck has just left, he is in the Thirteenth
I must close it fatigues me very much to write.
Write soon to me. Love to Ma and all the children. Write
soon and believe me to be ever
Your affec. Son
R[ichard] B[ayly] B[uck]
Richard Bayly Buck, 1844-1888, a sergeant (later lieutenant) in the Warren Rifles, 17th Va. Infantry.