Camp Hayes Centerville
June 22d, 6,30 AM
I received your letter of the 17th yesterday & will reply this morning. I thought you would be in great deal of excitement at Home, so I wrote every day.
Thus far Hookers move has made but little difference to us, but my oppinion [sic], is there will be an awful Battle Fought, here on Bull Run. Everyone seems to think the Decisive Battle will be Fought There. Yesterday morning at 4 AM we were called up, to pack our Knapsacks, & get two days Rations in Haversacks & be ready to move at 6 AM. We left about 6, with 2 Days Rations, all of our Picks & Shovels, & our Ambulances.
It turned out that we were to Build & protect the Bull Run Bridge not the one you saw, but a Stone one, on the Warrenton Road. After laying there 2 or 3 Hours, we were Ordered back to Camp, except Co A, they were to stay & protect the Pioneers who were Building it. While we were laying out there, the Chap & Quartermaster, went out around to Reconoiter a little, & were driven back, We have got a big note on them, their making a charge on the Rebels. 5 Reb Cavalrymen, came up on top of a hill, not more than 3/4 of a mile from us, & watched us through their Glasses, Just as Cool as you please. There was some awful Fighting at Thorofare Gap yesterday, we could hear the Canonading, very plain, We are anxious to hear the particulars, as there is any quantity of Rumors in Camp. This Gap, is only 15 miles from us, so you can tell, how plainly we could hear it.
About 12,000 Cavalry & mounted Infantry, passed through, here, from Washington, In my Opinion, there will be an awful Fight this week & we shall have a hand in.
Our Corps, the 22d, is now the Reserve for Hookers Army, so if he meets with no Reserves, we may not get in the Fight. I will write every day, as long as there is any excitement, The Ladies are all in Camp yet. I am glad to get, your Rock Dems for the Socal [sic] news, if nothing more
Love to all