My very dear nephew,
I would say a word, be of good cheer, look up for strength in the trying hours for success to our arms that this foul enemy may be crushed. Never move to rise to cause dissolution and bloodshed. You will have privations and hardships to endure and no small share either for a soldier’s life. Henry Rigby says it is a hard life. I wish the end of the war was here. It is a dark hour. Our city is threatened to be laid in ashes. Enlistments are being made thick and fast. Military drilling is everywhere in the streets. I am told our home guards are now filling up the union ranks and drilling every evening. Governor Curtin has ordered them to be ready at an hour's notice. John, whatever you have of value, leave with your parents to keep for you. They are the safest to trust. When you receive your money, send it to them to keep for you. Your family sends their love to you, and Uncle William joins in.