Letter #13 on May 24, 1862 is a typical JWD letter. Filled with personal concerns regarding money and requests for packages. This letter, amongst others, highlights how difficult communication was during this period of time. Today, we take for granted the ability to rapidly and effectively communicate with any person around the globe. Not so, in 1862. Many letters were repeated since a guarantee of delivery was not always possible. You can see the frustration in both parents and JWD as they try in desperation to tell each other information and respond to questions. For a people who never traveled far from home...the inability to rapidly communicate in person must have been extremely frustrating.
And now...Letter #13....
Camp near New Berne,
May the 24th, 1862
My Dear Father Peter Derr,
I take my pen in hand to inform this few lines to you to let you know that I am well at present time and I hope that this few lines will find you in the same state of good health. Further I let you know that this is the third letter that I wrote to you and didn’t get no answer yet from you. I wrote one letter home with ten dollars in and I wrote for some shirts that you should send to me, and I didn’t get no answer yet but if you didn’t sent them yet you don’t need to send them now or later but I am sorry if them ten dollars didn’t come home. Now I wish you would answer me this letter and let me know whether you got them ten dollars or not and let me know whether you did send them shirts or not and if you didn’t send them you don’t need to send them. For I must come to a close. Answer me this letter.
Your respectful son,
John W. Derr
Direct your letter to John W. Derr, Co. “D”, 48th Regiment PA., Burnsides’ Expedition, North Carolina, in care of Capt. W. W. Potts.