Cumberland Hospital 1864
Dear Father And Mother
I thought being as this was cristmas I would write you A fiew lines to let you know that I am well.. I hope this will find you all the same. Their is nothing mutch going on here now once in a while they take a mans leg of or pull a lot of boans out of a mans arm it is nothing to see them cut a man up. we dont think any more of it than we would of killing a hog at home. You have no idy how things is down here it is an awful sight to go through this hospital you can see men shot in every shape you can think of. their has bin 5 or 6 men died in this ward two of them was rebs one of them had his leg taken off. we did git plenty to eat for A while they have cut us down so we hardly git enough.. I havnot herd from the regiment yet I suppose they are down below Columbia some whare Will Stockton [i.e., Pvt. William H. Stockton, Company K, 84th Illinois Infantry] has a very soar fingure he is well every other way.. I would like to know how the boys come out. I fear their is more of them hurt before this their has bin some very hard fighting done this time they say they have to make room for 800.. more they are to come in to day. I would like to be at home to day I think I would git some thing good to eat and drink I think this is the last cristmas I will put in the army for A while when it comes my turn I will come a gin with out being drafted I think they will draft this spring. a great many they did draft was not fit for the servis so the last call was not all mad up I see in the paper
if the call is not mad up a gin the 15 of February their will be a draft mad their is lots that will go out of the servis this summer and they will have to make their place good.
Call Harrah [i.e., Pvt. John C. Harrah, Co. K, 84th Illinois Infantry] is in the Ohio floting hospital Newalbany Ind the last I herd from him he couldnot walk he was gitting better I dont believe he will ever be with the Regiment a gin if all of them does as much as Call has done they will do enough for one time.
I suppose their will be a big dance some whare a bout this time I would like to be at it I recon the old banjo hangs up behind the door as it use to with nothing but the base on it. well you will git tired of reding this slang so I will quit write often to your hopeful in the army
H H Maley.
Wm M and
E A Maley
Source: Univ of Notredame