Folded letter by US Navy Surgeon David Shelton Edwards
The letter was carried privately to New York City, where it was posted to Sing Sing, New York. It was probably carried as a favor by either Lt. Young or Doctor McSherry who were about to leave for New York City as mentioned in the letter text.
The letter was sent unpaid from New York City to Sing Sing and marked for 5 cents postage due. This is the amount that would have been seen in the poor strike of the red circular date stamp in the upper right corner, the correct amount for a letter weighing less than 1/2 ounce going a distance less than 300 miles.
While on duty in Mexico, David Shelton Edwards tells his wife Harriet of the new locations of all of the Naval officers they know and instructs her to write to him at Pensacola, Florida in the future. He expects to be there awaiting further orders from the Secretary of the Navy but hopes to be back in New York by July.
This letter is part of the correspondence of David Shelton Edwards between the years 1835 and 1848. The 48 letters from this period held by the National Postal Museum are primarily addressed to Edward's wife Harriet; in 1830, Edwards married Harriet Eliza Henry and they had two children, William and Harriet. They kept up a frequent correspondence when his naval service kept them separated. Between 1835 and 1848, Edwards served as a Surgeon at the hospital in the Pensacola Navy Yard, Florida; Fleet Surgeon to the West Indies Squadron; and Surgeon aboard many vessels engaged in the Mexican-American War. His naval career spanned from 1818 to 1861 and his last sea cruise ended in October of 1859 after which he retired to his family home in Connecticut except for a brief time spent at New Bedford, Massachusetts recruiting for the Union Navy during the Civil War. He died in Trumbull, Connecticut on March 18, 1874.
Head Quarters U S Marine Regiment
Alvarado Mex.o 1848
My Dearest Wife,
I have but a few moments to tell you that Lieu.t Young & Doct. Mc Sherry leave us this morning to go home with the Sick of the Regiment. & Squadron to N. York
A part of our Forces go to Laguna (Yucatan) 3 companies altogether - Doct. Oakley goes with them. & the Balance with Major Haris & Surgeon D S. Edwards go to Pensacola in 3 or 4 days - there to wait the further Order of the Secretary of the Navy probably in the course of another month to go to New York. So write me at Pensacola. I am in very good health & hope to see you in July - my love to all at home.
ever your own dearest
D. S. E
[written sideways in margin]
Comr Perry will be on his way home in a few days he is in bad health. Dr.