Camp near Potomac Creek, VA

Sunday February 22nd, 1863


Is well.  Cold and clear last night but six inches snow in morning and “so cold it is impossible to keep warm you see we have got these goverment [sic] shoes and the minuet [sic]we step in the snow our feet is wet.”  Tom is fit for duty, looks better but says he doesn’t feel well.  Most of the boys were on detail yesterday building forts and today the snow is so deep and it’s so far to go for wood that most don’t have wood and are suffering from the cold.  “We have to carry all our wood on our backs and go about a mile after it and lug it up a pretty steep hill at that it makes pretty hard work for us although when we first came in camp here the woods was thick and close to us but there are so many of us that they clear off a large piece of woods in a small time.”


Excitement an hour ago when it sounded like the boom and rattle of a thousand cannons and everyone thought the enemy was coming which they couldn’t believe because of the snow.  “But soon the word came that it was washington [sic] Birthday and that soon quieted the minds of them very quick they had forgot all about the 22nd entirely.


Resumes writing on Monday.  He almost froze one of his fingers yesterday afternoon when he went for wood and one finger was sticking out of his glove.  It turned all white but seems all right.  Joe Durgen from Utica came Saturday night and said the winter hasn’t been any worse up north than here.  Mr. Deming has not arrived yet.  Mr. Dennison the shoemaker was there Saturday morning and he said Deming was still in Washington trying to get transportation.  The men are still going off by sickness and death and it’s not much better than before.  He wrote a letter for Tom to Julia and will send it with this letter.  “Dear Clara we suffer from cold weather a great deal here you see our little tents are not any bigger than a table cloth and are not any thicker than a Cotton hankerchief [sic] the cold and snow blows rite [sic] through them but I must close”.  Lengthy closing.