Tuesday, February 12, 2013

1863 February 13 Norfolk, Va.

             Camp 7th New York Battery
                   Norfolk, Va. F 13th 1863

                         My Dear Wife
Yours of the 8th received and perused
And as there is not time like the
present for improveing opportunity
I have embraced it And although
there is not much News to write
to you in regards to the war Yet I
think I can make out a Letter
of City doings For the last 3 or 4 weeks
more or less every Night we are startled
from our slumber by the ringing of
Bells and the whole firmament lit up
as if in one Blaze of Fire This of
course accounts for the Bells ringing
soon we told that a large Fire
is raging in the City - and that it
is the work of the Incendiary
Night before last 10 Buildings where[sic]

[page 2]
laid in ashes  Last night again another
the particulars I have not yet heard
This is what the Secesh call Lincoln
work  But my idea is that this
property is owned by the Secesh
and heavily insured at the North
for ever and above its value they
then set fire to it to obtain the
insurance  Two of our Boys have
Deserted us and gone over to the
Rebs their names are Caleb Bush
of Dutchess County and one S Kelley
one we have heard from He is in
Fredericksburgh in the secesh army
In a few Days Rufus H King will
be in power then may we expect
something new The Weather is
again growing Cold  Alas what
changes we have seen one Day very
warm the next more than cold
well never mind warm weather

[page 3]
for us will come soon enough
and some how or other I dread
it  All is Quiet at Suffolk as far
as we can learn But the most of
our expedition are [centered?] now
on Savannah & Charleston if they
fall then may we expect something
else soon Keep me posted if Jim
goes to the C[?] let me know
the full particulars As yet I
know have had no opportunity
of getting my picture taken when I
do you shall know Remember me
to mother Father and the rest of
my friends  My Love to you and
my boy take good care of yourself
and him  Your Loving Husband
'                         Edward Shepard
when the 19 regt get
to Fortress Monroe I
intend visiting them

[letter written for the barely literate Sheppard of the 7th New York Light Artillery by another soldier]

MSS 12631

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