Camp at Falmouth half a mile from Fredericksburgh

December 12th 1862


Well except back hurting a little.  Got letters from her and Joey.  Witnessed 2 days of shelling Fredericksburgh and “sot it all on fire”, some troops crossed the river after dark and had an engagement with musketry until about 7 o clock.  Trying to cross today and rebels are shelling the towns to keep them from landing.  The 57th and 66th NY were badly cut up this morning.  He and Fletch went to Falmouth to buy something to eat but shells were flying and they had to run to camp.  Describes battle with Rebels firing first on men who were laying pontoon bridge.  Thinks he will have to cross the river tomorrow.  Asks her to care for the children if he falls in battle and she has to bring them up fatherless.  Tell family his last thoughts will be on all of them.  Tell Julia Tom is well but feels bad he may never see her again.  Describes how awful it is to see “the shells and cannon to work at the destruction of human life”.  P.S.  Fredericksburgh is still on fire and cannonading at 6 PM