After his final recovery and return to service John was made the company Wagoner and he spent most of the war driving team between battle line service. His injured leg made this a better option vs. long marching. It did not, however, preclude his participation in battles and other operations described in later letters.
The photograph above is a "likeness" taken as some unknown period in the life of John W. Derr. The original photograph has no date indication. More than likely it is a post war image, but I include it here as a reference to his image and "likeness" that he mentions in this letter. I find his interaction in this letter very touching...as he shows his true feelings for his parents. This is, I imagine, a common emotion felt by many lonely, scared and tired soldiers during all wars.
Georgetown College Hospital
Monday September 29, 1862
My Dear Father and Mother,
I take my pencil in hand to inform this few lines to you to let you know that I am very well today and I hope that this few lines will find you in the same. Further I let you know that I received your letter today and I was very glad to hear from you and to hear that your are all well. You said that you did get my likeness what I did send home and you would like to know who is to have it. My Father and Mother are to have it of course. They are my oldest friends what I have and if you do get a chance to get it in a case you would better do it because it won’t get so dirty and it will cost only 25 cents. So I must come to a close and say good by this few lines from your dear son.
John W. Derr
Don’t forget to answer soon. Direct you letter to John W. Derr., Georgetown College Hospital, Ward No. 2, Washington, D.C.