Wednesday, January 23, 2013

1863 January 10 across the Rappahannock from Fredericksburg

Camp Fifth Maine Cols. Near the Rapphahannock river Va Jany 10th 1863
Dear Father -- I now set down to answer your letters of the third & fifth
which I received & was glad to hear that you had received that fifteen doll
ars which I have been waiting to hear from & of yours & Mothers good health
but there is one thing in yours of the third that I do not understand & that is you
say there is but one thing in my Soldering that I have not done so well & you want
to know if I cant guess, no I cant & I should like to know because I have tried to do every
thing to please you that I knew how & if you knew one thing that I have done out of
the way that has hurt your feelings or Mothers, I want to know & as for your good advice
I think that it is proper that you should so write to me, & I think if there was more
written by parents that  have children in the Army it would be the best thing done
by them; you say that you think that the Boys of the Potomac Army had done as
well as any part of the Union Army, I am with you as far as that goes & I can tell you
Although the Western part have not met with any defeat they are not any better
fighting than the old Army of the Potomac because the whole Army of the Potomac
has  had everything to contend with, the removal of one General to another now you ever
see that the government has given the command to A Man that owns that he is not
capable to command the Potomac Army & says that he is willing to take the command
of his old Army corps at any minute now the more that I see of General Burnside I like
him & what is the reason Just because he comes right out & owns that he is not fit to
command such A large Army & says that General McClellan is the only one that
can Command but I cannot see why the Government gives the Command to A General
that comes right out that he is not the one Fit to Command you say that you always
have given your opinion of General McLellan I know that you have but it is not
them that his Children or relations in the Army that he has so much to say about him
but A few of these Black Abolitionists, as you say you was pleased to hear that I
would do my duty whoever was in command, so I will that is if I am able, Father I sup-
pose it seems A long time to you since I left Home but it does not seem so long to me I
will now close these few lines by saying that I wish you would send me some papers
as I have not received any of late excepting the Transcripts from Henry who I am
much obliged to as he has been A Friend to me indeed & I hope he always will cont
inue & keep such A good place as he now does give my love to Mother & all of the
Folks From your truely & affectionate Son Joseph Leavitt
P.S. I received A letter from Ellen & she writes that she has sent me A box
which I shall be glad to receive, I receive a great many letters from Ellen I
want you to tell Henry that the next letter that I undertake to write
it will be to Him, & I have not forget Him quite.

[Letters of Joseph Leavitt of the 5th Maine and his brother George of the 5th New York were copied in a journal by their father after the war as a remembrance of his sons both of whom died in battle, George at 2nd Bull Run, 1862, and Joseph at Spotsylvania, 1864]

MSS 66

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