August 30, 1864

Camp near Petersburg
August 30th 1864

My Dear Wife:

Your letter of date August 18th I received August 24th and was very glad to hear from you and that you were all well as it leaves me at present. Hoping these few lines will still find you still the same and the little ones also.

Sarah, you can see by the papers that we have had a hard time of it the last 18 or so days. So you need not blame me for not writing sooner as we have had no time neither night nor day.

We had a great battle at Ream’s Station when we were destroying the Weldon Railroad. The Rebels charged 4 times on our two small Divisions. There was all of Longstreet’s Corps and 1 or 2 Divisions of Wilcox’s against our two little ones. They lost very heavy. Our losses is few in killed and wounded; a good many taken prisoners, taken on our side. The Johnnys left their dead and wounded on the field, but they drove our boys out of their breastworks.

I do not know of any more news now. So you need not wait for me to write, as I write when I can get a chance. But I think you can get more time to write a letter oftener than you do.

We have not got paid yet. They owe us 6 months pay. So you can guess that I am out of money, that is sure. You can send me some if you like. You can please yourself in regard to that.

My love to the little ones and all inquiring friends, and accept the most of it yourself from your,

John Bryden, Jr.

P.S. Write soon. Don’t wait for an answer to your letter from me as it is very uncertain when I can get a chance. 

John Bryden, Jr.

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Written in ink on white, portrait-ruled 8.5” x 10” rag paper. Round, illegible watermark. The top of the page is printed with the following legend in coldset type.

United States Christian Commission

Individual Relief Department

The United States Christian Commission seeks to afford a sure and effective medium of communication between the wounded or sick soldier—whether in the Camp or in Field or General Hospitals—and his home friends. This is done by furnishing facilities for writing and by writing for those who are not themselves able. Soldiers, for whom special inquiries are made of us, will be sought out if possible and relieved and their condition made known to those asking. All letters of this character should give the Corps, Division, Regiment, and Company of the soldier, as also the Hospital in which he is supposed to be. Address, United States Christian Commission, 500 H Street, Washington, D.C.