Brigade Hospital Ironton(?)
Mo. Nov. 13th, 1861
As I am sergeant of the guard again today, I have charge of the guard at the brigade hospital. My business is to relieve the guard every two hours with other men. It is not hard work by any means. I am two miles from our quarters and will not be relieved till morning just 24 hours from the time I came on. There are quite a number of sick in here about twelve more died since I came into camp. It is a nasty place but it is the cleanest hospital any where around so they say. I came in here occasionally and take care of the boys of our company. There are only five of them. I was in there all day(?) once in a while. I have ____ with them all night once. I am very healthy, take a good wash off twice a week and am very careful about my eating. The Col has ordered(?) the sale of fries, cakes, bees, cider, wine, brandy, lager, and all such stuff stopped in the towns of _______, Ironton and Pilot Knob under heavy penalty So you see there is no chance for me to get sick. I air my bed clothes every day as all do by order of Col Hovey(?). We are obliged to sweep our rooms every day and mop once each week. Our pickets last night took four sesesh prisoners. They will be kept here for exchange. Geo(?) Jacks is out on picket guard today. Ike and Abb were on yesterday and I was on the other day and had lots of fun. I was sergeant so I did not stand but have to see that the rest did. The boys brought an old Missourian(?) upstanding (?) and came to me to know what to do with him. I asked him what business he had around our(?) camp. He said he was going in with sweet potatoes and apples. I told him I thought he was a spy. That scared him _______. So I told him if he would give us a half a bushel of sweet potatoes and a half a bushel of apples he might go in. One of the boys wanted some lager and told him to fill his canteen in town so as to ______ _____ easy and he did it. I tell you we had a good time eating chickens, sweet potatoes ect (sic). Well Hortense how do you get along? I tell y ou it is hard for me
be away from you and Fanny and Flo Aint they nice girls. I am real proud of them I tell you and you too Hortense I love you (all the time.) We must get along as well as we can till I come back and then we will have a jolly good time. I will write to you twice a
day week at least.. Well I (haven't) time to write any more to day. Will write to you again Sunday(?). I am as ever your aff husband.
John M. Follett