Tuesday, February 5, 2013

1863 February 1 2 miles from Fredericksburg

                         Camp 2 miles of Frbg.[Fredericksburg]
                                  Feb. 1st 1863
 My Dear Mother
                        We moved up here nearly a
week ago. I suppose we will re-
main here until the enemy
by some active step causes us
to move. So you had better di-
rect your letters hereafter to
Hamilton’s Crossing., Spotsylvania Co.
Care Camp. E. S. McCarthy. 1st How-    
 itzer Company. The last letter
I received was father’s dated the
20th of last month. The same
day Ys. of the 19th came. I suppose
one is now at Chesterfield Depot
for me, sh: will be up probably
in a few days.
     A friend brought up the box you
sent me – I drove a wagon down
to Hamilton’s crossing five miles, last
evening & got it. Every thing
is in a fine condition. The pants

[page 2]
fit me very well – They are now
a little long in the legs but will
draw up I reckon in taking
shape. I am quite sorry I gave
you so much trouble but am
very much obliged to you for the
clothes & for the eatables you sent
me & to father for his trouble in
getting the horse [?]. The shirts too are
very nice, rather too much fancy-
red about one of them.
     We have put up a chimney at
the open end of a square; the other
three sides of the square consist
of pine logs five ^ ‘six’ on a side &
over this we have thrown
a fly. It is very comfortable
but when the wind is south-
east – the side of the chimney – it
smokes too much; so tomorrow
on the first opportunity we
will stop one side of the chimney
by weaving cedar boughs between

[page 3]
stabs. This makes a very com-
fortable & picturesque protection against wind &
is a good deal used in the army.
     Planks and cloths are almost the only
protection against rain, occasi-
onally huts with dirt tops are used
but they are not in favour
with the soldiers & are rarely water
proof; either because soldiers are
too careless or don’t understand
how to fix them. We make cheap
backs to our fireplaces, by putting
plank or gluts of wood in the chim-
ney, as high as we wish to make
the back of the fireplace, about
three or four inches from the wood
work of the chimney, we the[n] ram
dry clay between the plank or
gluts o[f] the logs which form
the chimney others then make a
hot fire which burns the plank
& leaves the earth dry & a little
hardened which successive fires
[page 4]
soon convert into a fine hard
back. Some very pretty ones
are made. I made formed our present
one with barrel staves – quite fanc-
ifully. There is no army news
that would interest you which
I can give that the papers do
not furnish you – We are pleased
to day to hear of the success
of our steam rams I suppose in Charles-
     they are rams
ton ^: harbor – I hope we may be
able to keep it open sometime –
I suppose Ironclads of the Monitor
are unseaworthy so that the
enemy can’t get more than
one or two stray ones there. I
hope our rams can whip
any thing else. I must close
twice since I have been
writing the wind has blown
my candle out – one of those
candles which my good mother
was kind enough to send me.

[Written in side margin:]
Dear Mother farewell . Give my best love to father

[Written upside down in top margin on page 4:]
George & all; Most affectionately yr. son
                             W. H. Perry Jr.

[Written upside down in top margin on page 1:]
You need not send me any paper in
your letters. I have some – but send enve-
lopes – I have none.

William H. Perry, Richmond Howitzers

[transcript by Mary Roy Dawson Edwards]

MSS 7786-d

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