Camp on Potomac Creek
Sunday Evening, January 11, 1863
Got her letter and one from Breish. Is well, was on guard all night and day at Gen. Warren’s headquarters. Fried pork then used grease and cotton rag to make a candle to write by. “Last night there was a woman by our camp fire all night she was driven by a lot of drunken soldiers to take refuge in our camp in order to save her person. Believe me dear Clara for I speak the truth she is the first woman that I have spoken to in Virginia. She belongs to the 17th Regulars and she is called the daughter of the Regt.”.
Last Thursday the whole 5th Corp went on review, wishes she could see it: “…such a black field of moving mass I never saw the men were about fifty abreast and in an oblong column it took them about an hour to pass Gen Burnside and staff. He sat on his horse with his head uncovered all the time the old fellow looks just as I expected to see him. He is a good looking man of about 35 or 40 years of age but there is no hair on the top of his head but there is plenty around his face to make up for the top of his head”.
More officers from Utica resigning including Captain [doge?] of Co. F and Capt Lewis of Co C, Lieut Stanford and Lieut Jones of C A and Lieut Alden of Co C and Lieut Wilson of Co H. “This I believe makes 17 or 18 officers that have left us since we left Rome and if they keep on the same we won’t have any that came with us six months from the time we left there”. Tell Julia Tom isn’t any better but the doctors think he is getting better. “…tell Jacob Breishs folks if you see them that I have sent quite a number of small trinkets home that belonged to him by Lieut Stanford and he may forget to give them to them I thought they would be glad to have them. His clothes I took and buried [sic] on account of the fever in them…”
More talk of attacking Fredericksburgh “but I guess it is a camp runner as usual. Dear Clara how much I dream of you and home of late I see little ida in my dreams almost every night oh god how long I am afraid it will be before I hear her little Pratling [sic] tounge [sic] and the Tip tap of her little feet again. I see now that I am away from you all how dearly I loved you. Oh I pray god stop this horrible work of death and let us return to those we love and who are anxiously watching for our safe return. Dear Clara if god spares my life to return once more to you I mean to live a better man. I see the effects of this war so much every day that it has impressed my mind with a horrible sickness of it god grant that it will soon end all the soldiers down here sick enough of Fighting to stop on any terms.” Closing, then p.s. hoping they will be paid off the 15th of the month.