Pvt. John Stewart of Columbia, who enlisted in July 1861 at age 23 in Co. G of the 6th Maine Infantry, wrote to "friend Samantha" Leighton, also of Columbia, from Virginia.
Stewart discussed the cold weather, then responded to apparent questions from Leighton about a soldier who had died and where he was buried.
He wrote that the soldiers were "verry careful of our guns ... we are not alowed to keep them loaded only when that we are on guard and on pickett."
The final pages of the letter are missing.