Thursday, January 17, 2013

1862 December 30-31 Camp Dumfries, Va.

Camp Dumfries, Va.
Dec. 30th 1862
Dear Mother
I have
a chance to to[sic] send
a letter to Washington
this evening, So I thought
I would write one to you
I suppose you are en-
joying holidays at home
while I am busyly en-
gaged performing the duties
of a soldier.  My health
is very good and I have
been in my saddle nearly
all the time since Chrismas [sic]
morning Well Mother the above
was written yesterday morning
I was called to duty so I could
not finish writing this letter

[page 2]
So to-day is the 31st and to-
morrow is New Years-day.
We have just mustered
for pay and have four-
months coming to us. My
duties are principally that
of a Picket, -- "Guarding
against the enemy."  On
Christmas I was Seargeant
of a Patrole Guard and
I was very busy all that day
patroleing the roads of
the surrounding country
I arrested a man that
day by the name of Redman
and he is a second cou
-sin of mine I had to quiet
on a fist -fight that even-
ing among my men  I did
it with great difficulty
but with entire success

[page 3]
the 26th I rested and on
the morning of the 27th I
went out in the country
with a squad of men to
guard a forageing wag
gon. and we just "Saved
our bacon" for 30 of our
pickets & men captured but
20 minutes after we left
them about 6 miles from
here.  But we came in all
right and found the enemy
shelling our camp.  All our
infantry and cavalry here were
in line of battle and a
brisk cannonading had
commenced and was
                             2 oclock
kept up until in the ^ P.M.
when all our cavalry
dismounted and went to
fighting on foot.  The
enemy charged and recharged

[page 4]
upon us but we repulsed
them every time and we
lost not a single man.
One of our captains was
wounded - not badly though.
A continual "yell" was kept
up during the whole engage-
ment. The Rebels would hallow
to us "Run thenyou damn-
-ed Yankee Sons of biches
and the like : while our
boys would return like
compliments to them.
That night we all lay on
our arms with the bridle
reins in our hands but
the Rebels concluding they
had enough of our carbine
shooting skeedaddled during
the night. On the 28th
Co. C was detailed for
to go on picket at the
same place where the 30
of Co. G. was captured - 6
miles from here.  We went
and after getting there
I was ordered to take a squad
of men and patrole the road
towards Fairfax Station 6 miles

[page 5]
Continued I did so of I went
five miles on the road and there
coming upon the ground where
the enemy camped and which was
just left by them I captured
one of the enemies stragglers and
returned to the head Quarters of
our picket.  The prisoner was
captured was a cavalry man
and I got his horse, saddle,
and arms  On the morning of
the 29th we were relieved from
picket and we came in the camp
That night we retired to
rest in our tents but about
mid-night the Telegraph ceased
to operate - the wire was cut
both between here and Washington
and Burnsides Head Quarters --
Hence we were ordered about one
oclcock to Get up pack and saddle
up, and to rest on our arms.  So as

[page 6]
to be ready should an attack
be made.  Yesterday I commenc
ed this letter an[d] a detail came
for a Lieut. one Seargeant
and 29 men to make a
recognoicance to-ward Fred-
ericksburg.  We went and did not
return til last night.  We were
not disturbed last night and
all is right this morning.  We
hear cannonading in almost
all directions. Perhaps we shall
be attacked before long, and
have a little more "fun"  I shall
be on picket to-morrow.   Now
you may judge how I am
spending my holidays. The weath
er is not very cold and we have a
plenty of blankets. Mother write often
and tell me all the news and all
about your business  With much love
I am every Your Son W H Redman

[cross hatched on page 5]
I shall write as often as I can.
Love to all W. H. Redman

[upside down in top margin of page 5]
PS I had almost forgotten to tell you
that the General gave me the sword I cap
tured it is a nice one I shall bring it home with me

William Henry Redman, Co. C., 12th Illinois Cavalry

MSS 7415

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