Camp near Potomac Creek, VA

Monday March 23th, 1863


[rough sketch of eagle with banner]


Thinks they are on the verge of a Battle because they’ve been ordered to be ready with 8 days of rations.  Every one who didn’t have a knapsack has been ordered to get one and carry his grub on his back with no tents or clothes and take nothing but a blanket.  “There is no wagons going with us and but two pack mules to cary [sic] the Officers things.  This morning the Docter [sic] would not excuse anybody he has ordered one man that walks on crutches his name is bright to report for duty.  We have got lots of cripels [sic] some of them pretty bad and they have all been put in the ranks again.  Some say they are going to Fredericksburg.  “…excuse this short letter oh my Dearest and onley [sic] one on Earth that I love.  I shall Confide the keeping of you and my little ones in the care of god and if it is the lot that god has set aside for me to be shot on the filed of battle then try and live a true and Christian Wife and bring our children up in the fear of the Lord I pray every night just before I go to sleep for your welfare and safe keeping…”Continues closing.  Says his arm hurts from being vaccinated.