Camp near Potomac Creek, VA
Saturday March 21, 1863
“The first of this week our Caverly [sic] and artillery [sic] had quite a fight on the Raphanock River and we were expecting to be called out every moment and this morning there has been Considerable Sharp fireing [sic] Close by us and we haven’t heard yet what it was we was Expected to go out Every minute but is is all stoped [sic] now”. Snowing. Skirmishing and raids all around but the 146th has nothing to do with them. Rigging and fixing up the camp as though they are going to stay but he thinks they will have to move soon,
“This morning the Regt. Was marched up by Companies to The Hospital to be Vaxinated [sic] for the small Pox theysay there is a great many cases all around us of that kind and if it once gets a hold of the armey [sic] it will sweep threw [sic] faster than the bullet can.” The Captain told Tom he was going to try to get him home because his heart has been affected and he is off duty again. Peter wants Clara to go stay with “our folks” if she can: “I shall be more Contented if I knew you are there if you and Julia went together it wouldent [sic] be but a little while before Every thing would go wrong and I have often heard my mother say she could live with you untill [sic] she died and I think if you ight happen to get sick you would get more kindness from my mother than you would get from your own sister although I know it is saying a great deal about her. But it is Tom’s wishes all the time that you will both go to keeping House together. I think Dear Clara you must be as Poor as a Crow by this time if you have nursed that boy all winter but I suppose you know best about such things better than I do. I wish he would grow fast enough to come down here and lick the Southern Giant and then perhaps I might get home I wish you would gell george if he comes home to writ to me.” Peter doesn’t know where to direct letters to George. “I suppose you would rather see me than him but with our folks it wont make much differance [sic] he has been away alongtime now and you must all be glad to see him if he is clear of the draft never to come down here because he will be sorry if he does all his life perhaps I was never made for a soldier and cant bear to be one its something else besides playing up soldier on 4 of July as you see them in Utica. It is so much excitement here from morning till night I cant take a moment of comfort that fife and Drum and the Bugle is enough to make one crazy and then [?] they are what leads you on to Death or Victory and they have become so odious that the boys swear every time they come out.”
He says her letters are good and that he used to laugh at her spelling at home so “you must not blame me if I comit [sic] the same fault now it is a natueral [sic] complaint of mine and I can’t help it.” He says he feels bad Sarah can’t find relief from her sorrows and to tell her she has his sympathy and love as a true friend. He wishes Clara were living with Sarah. “I think if Jake had lived and come with me here we should of grown more and more atached [sic] to one another…. Dear Clara I suppose you woul be very glad to see me but I wish you would give up the idea of jumping over the old marble block for fear of hurting your ) [half circle like a closed parenthes]. I wont tell you now and then what would be good for you must Excuse my Blackgarding Dear but you yourself now that would hurt and that would hurt me just the same as you self”. Give his love to father and mother and all the folks. It has been six months they have been separated. Hopes the war would settle this Spring and he would feel better about staying until then. Lengthy romantic religious closing. P.S. Asks her to send a little of each red, white, and blue sealing wax, and a little piece of sandpaper in each letter as big as the letter, not very coarse: “middleing”.