Tuesday, January 29, 2013

1863 January 23 across the Rappahannock from Fredericksburg

   Head Quarters 15th Conn Vols
                                 Camp opposite Fredksburg
                                      (No 12)    Jany 23rd [1863]
Dear Brother George..
                                       I ought to have
written you before this but have a
little some thing to do all the time
so that I could not write..  but no
matter now..     We are still here in
camp but have been under
marching orders for almost a
week but as it has rained hard
all the time we have not got off.. 
and shall probably stay here
now until Spring or some where
near here but if it had not been
for this rain there would have
been some hot work here this
week, but I guess the whole –
move ment is given up now as
the roads are in such a bad –

condition that artillery & baggage
can’t get along – but there was quite
a few troops ordered ahead for
they have been comming [sic] back all
to day & yesterday – Infantry – cavalry
and artillery and some lancers passed
camp to day but it is awful –
traveling     I saw 20 horses on 1 gun
that had got set in the mud
     but it’s strange that the rebels
know all that we are going to do
about as soon as we do and to
day the rebel pickets were yelling
across the river to ours “How are
you Burnside stuck in the mud”
                    It is dreadful muddy
down here now and I guess that
the rainy season has set in finally
it has rained and blowed very
hard for 4 or 5 days now and
we had a great time the other
night    our tent got loosened at
one corner and came very near  blowing
over but we got up in the rain and
dark and fixed it finally but
the Major and I lost our hats
and got wet through before we
got through..   Had a letter from
Elbe yesterday   he is all right    is
going to send me a sketch book
and I may take some interesting
sketches before I get back..    I guess
I have lost that pipe that he sent
me    don’t expect to ever see it
guess it was stolen down to the depot
here at Falmouth for they smashed
into and stole a good many boxes
down there..        We have been fixing
up the tent to day, floored it
and made every thing comfortable
for the winter.   How is every thing
in Meriden   tell me all the news
every time you write all the little
things that transpire as I like

very much to know what you are
all about at home..   How is
Biddy?   Tell her to “Pug me horn” [?]
be a good girl and Keep her nose
clean..        I am getting real fat
will weigh myself the first chance
that I get, guess I can bring down
140 lbs.        There is nothing strange
down here    there was a big fire in
Fredericksburg the other night but
I diden’t run to it..
                     Write me often and
Give my love to all at home,
                                J H Howard

James H. Howard, 15th Regiment, Connecticut Volunteers

[transcript by Mary Roy Dawson Edwards]

MSS 12668

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