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Editor's Note: William Follett misuses lots of capital letters, particularly "S," which are not marked by (sic). His punctuation is often non-existent.

Lexington, Ky January 7th, 1863

Sister Hortense,

I am going to try to write to you this afternoon. There is not much to write but then it wont take So long to tell it. I have returned to my regiment as I suppose you knew long since. I returned the Eleventh of last Month and have stood guard every third day Since. Untill (sic) Monday when I was detailed to go with a howitzer battery I reported Myself ready to go to work but the officers had nothing ready So that I came back to my company again They had no tents for 20 battery boys to sleep in or any rations for us to eat. I heard from John Some little time Since and he Said that he was well and hearty. God grant that he may keep so I was fearfull when I was at your house in G. (Galesburg) that he would not get well enough to go back much short of one year from that time. I was glad to hear that he was So Stout. He wrote just after making a march of fifty miles from Ironton. The letter went to Nicholasville Where I had been Staying. I got back to my Reg the same day that the letters went from here (one from home also) They Staid Some where about eight days then come back So that I got them and one from Mell at the same time. Mell was well when he wrote. I answered his letter right away and expect one from him in return Soon if he remains uninjured after that Great and glorious Victory "Almighty Father" what a loss of killed and wounded. I hope that Mell has come out all right but what a narrow chance. And then Vicksburg I Suppose has gone up too though as to that I have not Seen the termination of that conflict yet but hope for the best. Truly the God of Battles has looked down and smiled at last. We do not hear any news of movement from Richmond or vicinity and yet I hope and trust that things have not come to a Stand Still. How long, O" How Long O My Soul Shall Mine Enemies triumph. How do you and the little ones get along through this trying winter. Soph Says that She and Frank are well. Tell Jennie (?) that I have never had a letter from her yet though I took So pleasure in the thought of receiving a letter from Her. I guess She has forgotten it as it was a while we were in Covington. Tell Frank S. that I will write to him in a few days. Cousin Mary too I Owe a letter and must write to her for I know She will answer it Tell BF & Lady that I am getting along first rate if they want to know and also Send my best respects and good wishes for their future welfare. When you write to John tell him that I weigh 182 Pounds with out the overcoat ask him if he can beat that. Tell our Folks above when you write that I am doing well and no prospect of any fighting. When you write to me again Direct to Lexington, Ky 112th Ill Vol Co C I belong to the battery but I also belong tot he brigade and had rather my mail would come to the Regiment With much Love to yourself & little ones I Subscribe my Self Your

Aff Bro

Bill