Camp near Centerville
Jan 18th /63
I have just got you letters from home one with Emery Paper, in & one with a sheet full of news. Everything is quiet here, everything [moving] off all right.
we have now got a new Brig Genl AB Hayes. His going to be very strict with us as we can tell by his orders. This PM we had Dress Parade, & a very long list of Orders & a Chaplain of the Bible & a Prayer, from the Chap. I would like to know what in the world, Chap has been doing, mighty likely he has services, & I know nothing of it.
I do not hear anything about the Color Sergt the Col, will make the Appointment in a few days, then I shall know. I write a letter to you about every other day, I think some of the Letters must be lost. Though they are Directed [plain]. I am afraid it is played out, our going to W, things look now like our staying here now.
I do not think you need worry about me, so much, I am getting along first rate, never so healthy in my life, & in no Danger, but from an attack [from] 6000 cavalry, that’s all. no danger of an attack from Infantry here. All we are afraid of is cavalry. the rebs, are Picking off the Cavalry, & do not bother the Infantry Pickets. We have got a splendid Position here, on a hill, our Artillery has mounted their Guns, in two or three forts here. We are now on the Defensive not the Offensive. That makes a difference. I should not, be surprised if we had some Fighting here, we are ready every night, night is the time to look for trouble here, not days. we are ordered to have our Canteens filled with Water every night, so to be ready, for anything. there was a rumor in Camp this PM, that we were ordered near Fredericksburg & were to leave tomorrow. I think there is no truth in it, as we are held for the Defence of W.
I was glad to get that emery Paper though I should prefer emery Cloth, to paper. We hear nothing about Pay, I do not think the Officers have been paid off, & not us. I am afraid we shall not yet get our Pay in two months more. Should not be at all surprised. I am afraid the Capt, will not let me have the Color sergt place Just like him, if he does not, I will go to the Colonel.
I cant write a letter to night so much confusion in the Tent, this is nothing like Sudays at home. I am sick of Sundays in the Army. we can not tell the Difference here. I would give a good deal, to be home to night. It is now just 7,15. you are just going to Church, I think I should be willing to sit with Mother to night. I long to go to Church to night. I think there will be no chance to get a furlough, to come home, no one gets a Furlough, except he is sick, & I cant be that.
I wish we would do something, either Fight or settle this some way, I am sick of this way of doing business. this looks no more like being settled than it did a year ago. By order of our new Brig Genl, Saturdays is set apart for Washing day, no Duty to be done on that day. This will be a little better for us. It is very cold weather with us now, though no snow. I will be glad when winter is over, Soldiering is a great deal better in the Summer.
Capt is thick with the Col, from Present. I think he will be the next Major, if so then Sodus will reign supreme. Of all things I dread that the most.
there has been a great change in Billy waters, he has since we left Chicago, stolen over $40 of our QM. I do not know whether this is right or not, taking back some that he has robed [sic] us of.
I wish we would go to Washington, so that you could come there. You could see a great deal there, You then could see something how this war is carried on. In my next letter, I will send a Small Cross, made from a Man’s shin Bone, found in bull Run creek. There is lots of things I would like to send home, but I never can carry them from here.
There is no News to write, now so I can write nothing. Tell Mother not to worry about me, I am trying to do about right. Kiss Maggie for me & tell her I will send her something in my next. Tell her I never forget her & would like to see her very much. She must be a good girl, & I shall be home to see her before long. I will write to Rosa in a Day or two.
So much much love as this Letter will carry, to Mother & all
Write as often as possible & I will do the Same