ŌThey used it at Fredericksburg with good success and our Generals couldnÕt see it, and maybe they wonÕt see it this timeĶ


Camp near Potomac Creek VA

Wednesday, March 25, 1863


Dear Clara,


I am enjoying good health at present and I hope this will find you all the same at home.  We are yet at our old Camp but I think we are preparing for a move all the time.  Today we are having inspection and every man has to have 40 rounds of cartridges.  Last night our picket line was attacked all over.  The Long Road was beat and troops were sent out to strengthen the lines.  But today everything is quiet again.  There was a Brigade went out today to strengthen the lines tonight but none of us were in it.  Our Colonel laid awake all night last night.  Our Officers seem to be afraid of something, I canÕt tell what.  Everything is kept as still as the grave.  On the 27th of this month we are to have a grand Review and the next thing after that is a march somewhere.


My opinion is that LeeÕs men will fight us for a little while at Fredericksburg and then fall back on Richmond and then I think we will have to follow him up and when we have got as near there as they want us to get, they will show us what they want, that is to coax us near Richmond and then send a heavy force in the rear and destroy the railroad and cut off our supplies and fight us from both sides, and then hurrah for another great Union Victory.  I tell you I donÕt predict the future very often but if Joe Hooker crosses the Rappahannock River with the intention of taking Richmond, mark my words if they donÕt come true.  Strategy has been their plan of fighting all the time and they will use it now, they used it at Fredericksburg with good success and our Generals couldnÕt see it, and maybe they wonÕt see it this time. 


The Rebs are getting bold and seem to be inspired with hopes of success.  Some of our boys are out on picket now.  They went out to help fill up a Brigade that was deficient, 8 out of each Company.


We heard how Demming went home and reported our Regiment the dirtiest and the lousiest one in the service and more.  He has reported us totally demoralized.  I donÕt believe we are more lousy than some other Regts down here, and as for being demoralized, it is the feeling of all the men in the Army they would all gladly come home if they could.  He has just come into Camp and the Boys hooted and hollered after him awful.  I have not seen him yet.


They have just issued an order than no man leave Camp for anything whatever unless by permission of the Commander.  They act as if the Rebs were close to us.  We have not had such an order before and they told us if we left and heard an alarm to Double Quick it back as fast as we could.  So I know by that we are in danger of being attacked at any moment.


But I must close.  My Dearest Clara, I will again bid you goodbye.  Hoping to hear from you soon.  God in his tender mercies watch over and protect you and my little ones.  Give my love to mother and father, sister and brothers, and all inquiring friends.  George Bates has just heard that his mother is dead.  He feels awful bad for such a wild fellow.  Goodbye until you hear from me again.

Yours truly until death,