Camp near Potomac Creek VA
Thursday December 18 1862
Describes horrors of battle of Fredericksburgh and retreat: “Our Regt they say was the last one out of the City and so of course they must of covered the Retreat. I think if the Boys had of known of it at [sic- missing word?] time there would of been a great deal of Excitement amongst them. “ Because they had laid in the city so long and saw so much without participating in it they were especially upset. “Our Col was heard to say he would not lead them in the field for anything they was so excited he was afraid he could not command them.” Describes how they didn’t go into battle immediately even though he thinks they were ready. They were the next in line to go but the firing stopped and they withdrew under cover of darkness. In the morning the shelling started and they fell back in the town behind brick houses. Describes lying there Sunday and Monday expecting to go into battle in any minute. Describes building trenches at night with everyone whispering. Describes retreat. “I for one Dear Clara with some others which brought up the Rear guard was about the last that left the City We lost our Regt and we did not know that we were Retreating and we was running all over the City after our Regt so when we came to the Bridge they was tearing them up. I saw when I left the town a great many soldiers yet in town which had stragled [sic] from their Regts”. Has heard the Rebels took a thousand prisoners.
Asks about the children and if Willie is as fat as ever and walking yet. Fletch got a letter from home and says to tell all he is well and safe. Fletch found a new overcoat in the street that is splendid and he is going to send it home. Peter will send a “secesh letter” which is worth something because it is from the Rebs.