Dear my beloved wife Alexa,
If you are reading this I have been captured by the union in the Battle of Gettysburg. As usual, It has most likely been a very bloody battle and many of my comrades have fallen. If I was captured, I have not gone down without a fight and I am most likely shot or injured. Please tell the kids I love them. If you hear back from me again it will be a coded message of how to get me out of this hell hole of a prison the union is keeping me in. Till then, stay safe and have the slaves serve you well.
Major Stephen B. Madden