Chalker reacts to Bardin's mention of him deserting the Confederate Army
Baldwin E. Fla.
Nov. 20th 1864
My Dear Mattie, I received your kind letter of the 11th inst. and was glad to hear from you, and glad to hear that you was in good health. I hope these may reach you in good health. I would have written sooner, but I did not know whether to write or not, as you wrote that you was looking for your Father to move you. I was affraid you would not get it.
I saw your father a few hours ago and learned that you had not moved yet. I seated myself to you a few lines thinking you would get it before you left Old Middleburg. I have been trying to get off for twenty four hours but failed to do so. I will try to get on the wagon guard when the wagons go to move you. When I was down there some time ago on that scout it was my intention to come back through Middleburg but was disappointed on account of the boat being on the opposite side of the creek.
You wrote that you was dissatisfyed and troubled, you wrote that you hoped that I had no idea of deserting. I hope that it is not that that troubles you. If it is, you are letting that trouble you that you have no occasion for. I would like to know upon what grounds you form your opinion if that is your opinion of me, what ever induced you to think that I was going to desert. You must have a very bad opinion of me, it seems. I hope from this on you will not allow yourself to be troubled about my desertion for I assure you that you will have it in much plainer language than heretofore. You must place very little confidence in me, or think that I am one in whom there is but very little dependence to be placed in. Write me soon, or I may not get it before I desert, and write as soon as you move and give me your address.
Believe me to be your most affectionate
and devoted Lover,
Private, Co. H 2d Fla. Cav
Fondly love my heart is beating
With affection warm and true to thee;
And timely I would send this greeting
Where I fain would wish to be.
[Poem possibly adapted from the text of a Valentine's Day greeting card written circa 1840.]
*Transcribed with original spellings and punctuations.