Camp Hayes Centerville
Co D 111th Regt NYSV
May 8th /63
I recd your letter of the 30th this PM & was glad to hear you had not entirely given up the idea of the Visit to Centerville. I think if you intend to visit the Army, this is the place, of all others. I hope you will succeed in getting over the River, which I think you will have no trouble about it. Be sure if you come to get Transportation from Alexandria here, as you can get it from here then.
If you come, I think you can get the Chaplains Horse, to ride around the country here. If you can get hold of a small Map of Virginia, please bring it. I would like that very much. The old man at the Stone Mills, is a good Union Man, though he is a little suspicious of the Soldiers, they have destroyed so much for him. If you go around this Country, you will be Thankful the war is not north. You will see but little until you cross the River, then you will see the effects of the war.
Yesterday we had quite an exciting time in Camp. The news came here in the morning, that Hooker was driven back & had lost 4,000 men. We then got orders to pack up everything & in case we were attacked, to fall back to the Defences of W, that is if we could not make a stand. While we were eating our Dinner, the Long Roll Beat, & we fell out, in a hurry. Col Williard had a Dispatch from the President, saying there was no truth in the report, about Hooker. That relieved us, we then could cheer heartily. We get the news every day here, the W morning Chronicle, there is always a great rush for Papers.
Today all has been quiet in Camp, though all anxious to hear a good account from Hooker.
May 9th /63 All quiet during the night. This is a lovely morning warm & pleasant. We Drill this morning in Firing at Target, This I like & yet I do not as we have to clean up our Guns for Inspection in the Afternoon. Ed [McI..ain] staid all night, with me last night. Lieut Moon is expected today.
Love to all