Camp near Richmond, Va.
Hunter, Dear Cousin
I wrote a letter to you & Volney a short time ago and sent it by mail so I don't know whether you got it or not so I'll send one by hand.
We all feel quite gloomy here now. We heard that Beauregard had evacuated Corinth and fallen back to Ocolona. If that is true you are surrounded by the enemy. I wish to God I was in that army. I could fight with more vengeance. We had a fight here on the 30th & last. We drove the Rascals from every position and strewed their dead over the field so we made them travel. We drove them out of their Camps, got all of their Baggage Provisions & they left their Breakfast on the fires cooking. Wasn't that a good joke on the Yankees?
We are expecting a fight here every hour. I hope that we will get every one of them and that Beauregard will gain a great victory then may be we can have peace. We are having a hard time. We only get half enough to eat and that is only Stale Bread and Beef. Add is still up at Mr. Austin's. We got a letter from him the other day and he is improving.
We drew Tent Flys today & we will keep out of the rain except when we are on Picket.
If we live to get Home we will appreciate the comfort and luxuries of a peaceful Home. We have learned by sad experience to be Satisfied or thankful for anything that we get. We must fight bravely & trust to God that we may gain our independence and then we will be worthy of our great aim.
I hope that we will know the fate of our country by next fall.
Hunter it is getting dark and I must close. Make good use of your time. Read useful Books and become a smart man. And when the War is over we will live together. You must write to me often. Give my kind regards to all and remind all of the negroes very kindly of me.
As ever your sincere Cousin
This letter was written about a month before the death of Albert's older brother Pvt. Thomas J. Peel. This transcript was produced from a typed transcript, presumably made from the original letter which was in the possession of Virginia Austin Stegall, during the 1980s. The transcript was provided to me by Marie McGraw from her late sister's research.