Friday, December 7

A reply to Miss Waterman

My dear Emily,

The scolding of your most recent letter is, I suppose, well deserved, as I have not written as I ought. You must forgive me my dear, but my duties have conspired to keep me from writing you. There is so much writing to be done over the course of the day, with the filling out of logs, forms, reports and such, that when I am finally at my leisure to do so, I scarcely have the vigor, much less the desire, to pick the pen up again. I know that Mr. Hegwood has very romantic views of the service, but you can not imagine how much mundane business there is to be tended to aboard a ship of war. If I had been thinking when I initially employed Vasserman, I would have made certain that he was a better writer so as to make use of him as a clerk in addition to his other duties. But then I expect he would demand higher wages, and that simply would not do. I do solemnly promise that I shall make every attempt to be a more faithful correspondent in the future my love.

I was pleased to hear that Mr. Hegwood is in good health and spirits, and I shall infer by your description of Mrs. Hegwood's recent activity that she is also well. You will be gratified to know that we are reasonably well here. The weather here upon the blockade has been unseasonably warm, and thus has kept the usual cold-weather complaints and injuries to a minimum. We have been fortunate, in that, there has been little more than the average sort of illness and minor injury to deal with, things that I imagine would be common for Mr. Hegwood to deal with in his business with his farm-hands and horses.

Since I last saw you in October, we have taken several American ships, the Privateer Two Brothers on the 26th, and a little schooner called Snapper on 5th November. Both should make for pretty little prizes and I suspect they will go quite a way toward paying for any additional wedding debt that Mrs. Hegwood might dream up for our affair.

We have recently come into the company of HM Ship Poictiers under Capt. Sir John Beresford. The Acasta officers have been over to dine with Sir John and his people several times, and they set a magnificent table. 'Magnificent' by Naval standards, you must understand, is quite a different thing than what you should expect on land. Ones demands upon the quality of a meal are significantly lessened after a great deal of time on blockade. The Poictiers is very richly set up, and is easily the largest ship I have ever been on; in my mind, even bigger than the Zealous was when I served aboard her in '98.

You will be gratified to know that I have seen to it that the announcement of our engagement has been placed in the papers as it ought. It will be quite the adjustment to call you 'Mrs. Roberts' after having gotten so accustom'd to calling you 'Miss Waterman' these many years. I shall do my best to rise to the occasion. 

 Know my dear, that you are always in my thoughts, and that you are the joy of my life. I must leave off, for I have written to the bottom of my paper. Love then to all our friends, and duty to the Hegwoods, conclude me, 

Your faithful love till death,
Albert Roberts

You too can get in on the fun of writing a letter to your favorite Acasta crew members, to find out how be sure to have a look inside the MAIL PACKET.

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