Co D 111 Regt NYSV
Dec 7th /62
Mr Charles Stacey
As yesterday was your Birthday, I wish you many happy returns of the day. And I hope you, enjoyed yourself better than I did.
I wrote to Father, last Thursday morning Just as we was leaving Camp Chase, & Suppose you have got that. We left the Camp about 9,30 AM, & marched, South towards Fairfax Seminary, we marched past the Seminary, (a Splendid Building, now used for a Hospital) to our present Camp, but a very Short distance, from it arriving there, about 3 PM,
We had no sooner, broke Ranks, when our Co was Detailed to go on Picket, about 5 miles west, towards Fairfax Court House. You may be sure this did not set well, as we had no Rations, to take with us, & was tired out. We left the Camp & after a very tedious March, got there about 8 PM, We were assigned a post about a mile north & dragged ourselves to the Post, & worried the night away as best we could.
The next morning about 9 AM it commenced to rain & soon to Snow, Then our Troubles, began we had no Shelter, right out in an open Field.
In the afternoon I found out a Farm House & got me a Dinner, that did me a great deal of good. There I learned how to make Hoe Cake, They make a large Cake & bake it right on top of the Stove, with out Griddle.
At night we [drew] the Pickets in towards a Large Woods, there we [made] us houses of our Blankets & built up large Fires. But it was so cold we could not sleep. Yesterday afternoon we were relieved after being out 48 hours & Right Glad we were to come back to Camp.
We got here again about 8 PM, & built up some fire in a Stove in our Tent but it is so cold here, that we can hardly keep from freezing. Our Camp is on the top of a hill, about  miles west of Alexandria . But what makes things worse, our QM traded our Tents off & we got the [Sibly] Tents, holding 15, They are poor miserable ones & if this is to be Winter Quarters, a great many will not see Spring.
While on Picket, all the Rations we had was a Loaf of Bread apiece for 48 hours. This we would not have had, had it not been for our Colonel, who bought it himself & sent it to us. Our QM, has been off on a Drunk & has not been seen here until yesterday. What kind of a state of things do you call this, here we are within 12 miles from Washington & can not Draw Rations.
I will not deny that on Friday night & yesterday, I was homesick & totally discouraged. I do not like being used like this. When it is unnecsary [sic]. It is a great shame. And then to be sent off on Picket, 5 miles, without Rations & no Ammunition, Suppose we had been Attacked that night or while there, what could we have done. Our Pickets have been fired into on the Post & it is, a rather responsible one. It was the most foolish thing I ever saw.
While on Picket we arrested a Spy & sent him to Washington. He did not pretend
(editor’s note: rest of this letter is missing)