On Picket 4 miles South East of Centerville
Jan 7th /63
Perhaps you may be surprised to see where this is from, but as moving is the order of the day, you will have to get used to that. Yesterday morning. Co D & H were ordered to be ready to strike our Tents at 9 AM. And to be ready to march to Centerville, with all their Baggage.
About 11,30 we started & of all the [ ] [things] I ever saw, this beats all . Very soon after we got started it began to rain, & then our Fun Commenced.
On our way, we passed some Forts built by the rebels, that they used Wooden Canons1 in, Also long lines of Earthworks, used at the Battle of Bull Run.
We are at C, about ,30 PM, & after a little delay, Pitched our Tents, on the wet & muddy Ground. We then as Soldiers always do when camping on a new Ground went off to see what we could Draw, we soon found some Staves for a Floor, & an old kettle, with which we made a Stove. It was an awful cold night, but we managed to keep warm.
This morning we left Camp about 10 AM after a great deal of Marching & Counter Marching, we arrived at our Post. We are now on a part of the old Bull Run Field, I can see all around me now, old Gun barrels, Knapsacks, Shells & every thing belonging to a Soldier. This is the Ground where Jackson lay last winter. I see a great many things laying around here that I would like to send home if I could for Relics.
We did not succeed in sending home the Box, we expected to. I do not think we shall be able to send any now. I can not tell how long we shall stay out here, at C, probably not more than 2 weeks. Lieut [Green] told me we should yet go [back] to Washington to Guard there. I hardly think this will be so, I think we shall stay at the Mills all winter. We are in the Barrack now with 39th NYm 125 NY, 126th NY & the 151st Pa. all under De Utassi.
I have not heard from home in over a week, I am getting very anxious to hear from you. We shall get our Mail every other day, if not every day. We are on the road where Stewarts Cavalry cut themselves through our Pickets a week or two ago. The day before New Years, we heard a great deal of Firing towards the Point of rocks, if there was a Battle there,
I wish you would send me a paper with an account of it. Hoping to hear from you soon, and will write as soon as we are relieved.
Love to all
We have got to stay one day on Picket & be relieved two days. We have two Co’s from each of the Regts with us to relieve us.
1Wooden cannons or “Quaker guns” from the abandoned Confederate camp near Centreville (National Park Service photo):