Tuesday, January 15, 2013

1862 December 26 Camp near Fredericksburg

      (No. 7)

Camp Near Fredericksburg
              Friday Dec 26th
Mrs E.B. J. Riley
   Dear & Affectionate Wife
I wrote to you last mon-
day but I again seat
myself to drop you a
few lines as it seems
impossible to me to let
but few days pass with
out holding conversation
with my only true
friend xxxxI am still
in good health, anx-
ious that this may has-
ten its way to the object
that absorbs my whole
thoughs, finding her
as she was when I was
restrained to leave

[page 2]
here p. 2. i nthe best
of health but on the
other hand, not afflicted
with grief as was the
case when we parted.
last monday (Dec. 22) while
writing to you, I had
the pleasure of Receiving
your first favor, written
Dec 5, which I partially
Ans'd on  at the day of rece=
ption; & which I hope
to do more justice by
in this.  I want you to
write to me as often as
possible. this is the seven
th letter I have written
you since we parted.
In order that you may
know whether you get
all my letters or not, I
will number each one

[page 3]
from this on, at the
head of the letter, please
No. yours likewise as you
write them.  I am going
to run a big risk by in-
closing some money
in this. the am't that
I inclose is $50 I see
no other chance to send
it; & it is only in my
way here, therefore here
it goes, "Sink or Swim"
If you need anything
that my present situation
will allow me to accom-
modate you do let me
know it, & I will take a
delight in supplying your
wants, so far as my
ability extends, though
I do not consider you
cruel enough to ask

[page 4]
for more than I am cap-
able of furnishing, which,
on my part never has
nor never will be ask-
ed of you.  I have not
drawn any money yet
from the fact that our
Quarter Master is not
in Camp, nor has
not been since I arriv-
ed here, when he comes
I will draw 8 months
wages (qt $11 per mo.) & $50
Bounty.  I wrote you
in a previous letter
that D.D. Benson had
paid the note ($50 & in-
terest) that you hold
against him, but fearing
that you have not nor
will not & the letter, I
introduce it again
(see page 5)

[Page 5]
Page 5, asking you,
            according to Dorch's
request, to hand the note
immediately to Mrs. Nancy
Benson.  We have not
got our knapsacks yet,
they are at Gordonsville.
I could have gotten
mine as I came through
there, but the cars did
not stop long enough.
My Mess is composed
of the following good look-
ing beef-eaters, Viz. Capt.
Smith, Lt. Walker, Sergt.
Dampeer (& waiting boy Sam)
Sergt. Bishop, Rob. Morris
& Mr. F. L. Riley.  I believe
the boys all called yesterday
Christmas, but the mere title
is all that distinguished it
in camp from any other
day, we are putting up very
temporary winter quarters
I & Bob Morris (we sleep together)

[page 6]
completed our Winter's habita-
tion yesterday with a bout
one hour's work. we built a
pen about 8 ft. long & five ft.
wide, 5 poles high, leaving it
open at one end, & covering
it with a blankets.  I am
now sitting in our tremen-
dous building writing & my
head reaches to the top of it.
but it is very comfortable to
sleep in, i.e. when compar-
ed with our former fare.
we have no chimneys yet.
we do not know how
long we will stay here,
consequently we consider
it useless to make great
preparations unless we
knew how long we
will be allowed to stay here.
Direct your letters as before
until other wise informed.
With sentiments of the highest
esteem I remain yours forever.
F. L. Riley to Mrs. E. B. J. Riley

MSS 7786-f

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