Mobile, Alabama – February 8, 1863

Mobile, Ala.  Feby 8. 1863.

My dear wife

Your loving sensible letter of Dec 31. came to hand a few days ago.  I had gone to the Medical Directors Office to hand in my monthly report.  I found two letters one from you + one from the Surgeon General.1  Dont get jealous thinks I to myself.  We see what the old Dr has to say first + keep hers for desert.  Well what do you reckon?  It contained an order for me to report without delay at his HeadQuarters in Richmond!  I have been feeling chilly ever since.  Just to think of going to that cold part of the country now.  It is all I can do to keep from freezing here when we have a cold spell.  It was a bit of Dr Ross’s carelessness.2  He should have reported me to the Surgeon Genl as soon as he assigned me to duty.  As it is the Adjutant Genl neglected to sign the order.  so I was not obliged to obey at once.  I wrote to the Surgeon Genl that I was on duty here + when + by whom assigned + Dr Ross endorsed it + said he could not well spare me +c +c  So I hope I wont be ordered from here until spring any how.  I cant tell though till I get an answer.  The regular medical Staff is not like the company + field officers attached to any particular part of the army, but go + come at the word of the Surgeon Genl.  I leave the matter with providence. You say you are tired waiting to see me, I can only say have patience + trust in GoD.  HE will bring it all but right in his own good time.  This is the way I do.

Act for yourself just as if you did not expect me home till the war is over let that be long or short.

You want to know what arrangements to make about a crop.  I can only say as I have before make your own trades.  Act for yourself just as if you did not expect me home till the war is over let that be long or short.  Congress has repealed the exemption law.  All men are now conscripted from 18 to 45.  I cant think of resigning my present position to go into the ranks again.3  I dont want to leave here to go any where till the weather gets warm.  Then I will try to get nearer home.  I still hope + believe peace is not far off.  I am perfectly willing for you to have Miss Mary stay with you.  I thought Billy Williams was only home on furlough.  By the way you can send me some clothes by some of these boys passing.  I will soon need some shirts-say three or four.  I would like a couple of nice over shirts.  They are very comfortable + convenient.  I have no late news from Eutaw or Joe.

There is no late war news of importance.  We are looking for fighting at Vicksburg + Murfreesboro4 both every day.  I have no idea when we will have any here.  not at all I reckon.  I am glad to hear you are doing so well.  plenty to eat.  It takes nearly all my pay to feed me here.  provisions are so high.  If peace was made now I would not have nearly enough to get home on.  It looks like I might save a little out of $110.00 a month, but do this + victuals take most of it.  I am too busy to write more now but will write again soon.  My health is very good.  Take care of yourself + the babies + believe me your
afft Alex.

Direct your letter to me at Mobile, Care of Surgeons (FA Ross)5

The Letter:

  1. Samuel P. Moore was Surgeon General of the Confederate States Army Medical Department.
  2. Surgeon Frank A. Ross
  3. N.A. Morgan was commissioned into Field and Staff, 1st Infantry (Confederate States) on Dec 6 1862. His rank is listed as Assistant Surgeon.
  4. The Battle of Murfreesboro (Battle of Stones River) was fought from December 31, 1862, to January 2, 1863.
  5. In 1863 Ross General Hospital was under the direction of Surgeon Frank A. Ross. Alex Morgan may have been serving under Dr. Ross at the hospital or at nearby Camp Cummings.  The Ross General Hospital Building is still standing near the intersection of St. Anthony and Broad Streets in Mobile. It is now known as the Marine Hospital, and is next door to the old City Hospital.

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