Camp near Harrison Landing
July 26th, 1862
My dear darling Wife
I continue to write once a week, for we are where I can, but I have written you three letters counting this, since I have had any from you. I think you must have written to me, but that the letters are delayed, & will probably arrive after awhile. I feel anxious about it for fear that you are sick or something has happened. I wrote you a letter about a week ago mentioning some things that I would like to have you send me, but I have been thinking of it since and fear that it will occasion you too much trouble to get the things & get it packed if so you may give it up, & not send it my dear. I can get along some way, I know.
Through the blessing of God, my health is pretty good now, though there are a good many sick, & the weather is very hot. If you have received my letters you will notice by the date that we have had no marching lately. We are camped near a crick that runs up the river, which is near, & the snakes are plenty. They are poisonous too, deadly. One or two men have been bitten lately & they die in about twenty-four hours after. We bathe in the creek, the snakes frequent these places near night after sun-down,though they are sometimes seen through the day, but the most dangerous serpent that visits camp, & is least dreaded is spoken of in Rev. 12th Chap. 9 Verse. He is around at all hours, “Seeking whom he may devour”, 1st Peter 5-8. I have read the New Testament through & part of the old since I came back. This morning one of the men in our company said he had heard of people becoming crazy reading the Bible, & he thought I was in danger. I received a copy of the “American Union” a few days ago, but there was not a piece marked in it & I could not tell who sent it, did you, my dear? Uncle Sam has sent me another knapsack & blanket, & tent so I shall be more comfortable now, but O how I long for the society of those who have “washed their robes” Rev. 7:14. We can hardly tell now what the future will develop, but we hope that the final stroke will be made this fall. I wish you could see this army & get some idea of camp life; see the long trains of covered wagons, the wide plains covered with troops, here & there a long line of canon & cavalry then at night the country dotted over with lights as far as you can see. When it comes near breakfast, dinner or supper time see the squads of men around the fire with a piece of meat on a sharp stick roasting in the fire, or some more fortunate one, that had found a pan or bason to fry his. Another may have found a handful of onions & is boiling them in his pint drinking cup. Then at night he crawls under his blanket; which is spread on some poles, if he has no tent, lays down with another around him, and goes to sleep. But my dear I must close. You need not put yourself to any trouble to send that box, but if you do please put in a little two-quart pail with a good cover, I can cook in it, but you need not send the box remember unless convenient which I am afraid is not the case. God bless you & the children, & may we meet soon is the prayer of your affectionate husband.
J. C. Sunderlin
Give my love to all our folks your mother & the rest.
Tell Joseph to pray as before & be a good boy.