Camp at Falmouth 2 miles from Fredericksburgh
Tuesday December 16th 1862
Sixth day of fight at Fredericksburgh, horrible sights but he hopes it will make a better man of him, looking higher than earth and hopes to make his peace with God. Details battle starting from Saturday. “We then laid down on the battle field for the night and oh the dead and the cries of the wounded made me feel sick enough of war to never see any of it.” Dead were all around and wounded passing through. Sunday shelling and Co I [?] Grimley was only one wounded. Col took them further house and they laid behind brick houses. Laid under fire 3 days. 146th escaped pretty well.
Went out 8 or 9 last night to dig entrenchments and at 4 AM made a grand retreat. Whole army is back on this side of the river. Enemy has possession of town, gave 10 hours to remove wounded. “Gen Hooker had said that this is the 2nd Sebastipol [?] and that it was awful to place men in front of such Formidable works as the Rebels have got behind Fredericksburgh.” Describes dead and terrible slaughter. Almost impossible to take Rebels because so many rifle pits.
“Dear Clara when you read this don’t think that I am weak but you know that I always was tender hearted and I cant stand such scenes…” Asks her to bring up children well if he dies and wishes all well. P.S. not much fighting today, talk of being paid off after this fight. Tom is sick with diarrhea.