7 of May 1775
My Dearest Wife Charlotte,
I know you must hate me more than anything on Earth, more than plague or pestilence or even the King and all his men. And I would not, nay I could not begin to bring myself to blame you, for I know what I have done has left a scar on your heart you will carry with you unto the grave, which, with the Gentle Lord's blessing, will be many score years away.
I write this in the lodging of a new acquaintance in a place in Connecticut it would be less than prudent for me to identify. I have joined a Provisional Regiment here that needs the services of an industrious and clever smith. My rifled musket has won the admiration of the men in this company, and our Battalion Commander has said he will arrange for a nearby forge to prepare one dozen barrels with my specifications to be fitted to new Charleville muskets for a Brigade shooting competition.
Under different circumstances, my dear beloved Charlotte, you would, I am most certain, be proud that you did take Willie Isaac Hosner as your loving wedded husband.
I can not say when this letter will be delivered to you, if circumstances should ever allow that it shall, and so I am writing it more to myself, to that part of me--my wounded heart--where you now live and where I will hold you dear so long as this heart shall beat and the smallest breath of my life remains to be extinguished.