Camp near Potomac Creek, VA
March 13th, 1863 [letter says 1862]
Going on picket tomorrow and doesn’t know when he’ll be able to write again. “We have got Orders to lay in our arms now all night they say the Rebels are all around us they have tried to break through our picket lines quite a number of times. I think before long we will have a fine time of it or else a hard one Every thing begins to look like a move they have been giving [sic] us an Extra supply of Catriges [sic] and we are to have a general inspection in a day or two.” The 4th Oneida has orders to join the Army of the Potomac, they have been trying to get there all winter but he thinks they won’t want to be there long “… they dont realize I think what actual service is I guess one or two battles would satisfy them for a while and they would soon wish themselves back in washington again.” Many are being discharged “amongst them is old fordis phelps he got as lousey as he could before he went away.” Is waiting to hear if she got the pipe.
“I would like to know what the people say about the Conscription law it will go very hard with some of them I think espesialy [sic] with the poorer class you had better believe the 14 boys feel good they have onley [sic] got one month more to stay”. He’s only been gone 7 months but it seems like a year. He hopes she isn’t short on money “…if I thought you would suffer on that account I would be tempted to desert and run my chance and come home although Them that goes is most sure to get catched and brought back”. Tom says the doctor told him his heard was affected, he loaned Tom money for tobacco.