Fort Raymond Alabama August 4th/1862

Dear Mother!
I received your worthy letter some time since but did not answer it for I expected to heare from Brother John but did not until now, and to my great Joy, he came to see me yesterday. I had started already to go and see him but met the cars that he was on, so I turned back. He looks healthy and in good spirits. His com[pany] is only about 8 or 10 miles from here. He is here with me yet and intendes to go back this evening with the cars. He is in the 19th Reg. Ill. Vol. Com. E. They are stationed on the other side of the Tennessee river, guarding the same Railroad that we are guarding, namely the Memphis & Charleston R.R. He has given me 40 Dollars to send to you, but it is not safe to send it now. I hope that we will get paid before long and I will send it all together. By that time I trust the road will be cleare so there won’t be any danger in losing it.

Dear Mother, being that we so accidently met here, you can see that we may come home just as unexpected to you, and be all safe. We don’t think of any danger and expect to be both of us home, before long, therefore Dear Mother, we hope that you will cheer up and be of good spirits. There is one above us that will watch over us and bring us home safe. Live as comfortable as you can, and don’t be in want for anything as long as you have money, and if you have no none, let us know it, and you shall have some immediately. By doing so, you will oblige both of us.

If you can sell that cow for any reasonable price, and you like to part with her, you can sell her, before she comes in, for I think she will sell better now than after she comes in.

I don’t like to be troubling John Cull so often to take the letters to you. I wish you would send me the Nos. of some other Post Office Box, and that would be on Patt’s way, so he could fetche them to you.

I want you to buy the best pair of Boots with red tops for young Jack.

We left Camp Big Springs July 21st and arrived here the 28th a distance of a hundred & ten miles, we passed some verry steep Mountains and some verry fine Plantations. The weather was hot and dusty, but we got thru all safe and found the Railroad bridges on fire at Courtland about 10 miles from here and two here also on fire that was set on fire by the rebels. We have fortified ourselves and feel all safe. We have plenty of Peaches and apples and plums, close by on a Plantation that the owner is an officer in the Southern Army. The Reg. that Jack belongs to burnt his house down sometime ago because he had set some railroad bridges on fire.

I will now close by hoping that this will find you in good health.

From your Affectionate sons,
Thomas Hayes
John Hayes

P.S. Give our respects to Mrs. Cary [?] and familie and not forgetting the Girls. Tell them, their Doctor will be home purty soon.
Direct your letters as usual. It will follow the Reg.