Alexandria Library, Special Collections Document of the Month: Downey letter, page 1

Richmond, Va.
May 15th /98.

Dear Brother John
I thought I would write you a few lines to let you know that we arrived all saft and sound.

All of the fellows are kicking about their eating. You get nothing but hard-tack & coffee and have to sleep on a bench about 8 inches wide.

We do not expect to be examined until next week. All the boys that hav any money are goining out side and buying their meals. and I wish you would send me some money if you have it to spare. While writing some Officers out of the Navy came in