Saturday, February 2, 2013

1863 January 27 Camp near Port Royal, Va.

                        Camp near Port Royal, Va.
                                     January 27th, 1863
Dear Sir:
      I suppose you think I am a great liar
in not fulfilling my promise to write to
you, but I have an offset in your failure
to pay us a visit as you promised, if we would
whip Pope.  You certainly cannot plead non
performance of contract in that case, for I
consider it one of the cleanest jobs of the war.
  Well, to fulfill my promise, which is "better
late, than never," I will simply tell you that
after whipping Pope, going into Maryland a couple
of times, taking Harper's ferry, having a whaling
fight with McClellan at Sharpsburg, and finally
threshing Burnsides soundly at Fredericksburg, "all
of which I saw, and part of which I was," for the
last month and more we have been quietly sitting
down here and watching our Yankee friends across
the river. Every ten days each regiment of our brig=
ade, the 4th, go on picket down on the bank of the
Rappahannock, immediately below Port Royal, and

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there watch the enemy's pickets on the opposite
bank, and the wild ducks swimming in and
flying up and down the river, in the day time,
and listening for the aforesaid "enemy's pickets"
in the night when it is too dark to see.
   It is understood that Mr. Burnside, "to strike
a great and mortal glow to the rebellion and gain
that decisive victory which is due to the country"
is crossing his troops over the river again, and
we are under orders to be ready to march at a
moments notice.  Whether this movement is a
feint to keep our troops here while the real attack is
made in another quarter, as some of usually
very correct judgement, seem to think, time will
determine.  But I feel well assured that if he
does bring his army across, he it will get the
worst threshing that has been given any army
during the war.  Our men are in excellent
spirits and very confident of complete success
in the approaching battle, while the forces of
the enemy are represented from all quarters as
disheartened and dissatisfied.  This report of their
condition is partially confirmed by their pickets in
conversation with ours, across the river.  For my
part, I wish they could come across and be killed

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as it seems that nothing else will do them any
good, for I want the war brought to a close.
   I have not heard directly from my family
since last February and you can image[sic] that I
feel no little solicitude on their account, - though
indirect accounts represent them as being very well
    Remember me kindly to your family, the
ladies, God bless them, in particular.  I often think
of them, and it invariably reminds me of my
own little nest at home.  but patience, patience
all will come right, in God's own good
time, I trust.
    I would be pleased to hear from you
whenever you ave the time and inclination to
write, if for nothing else to remind me of the
pleasant time I spent on Mason's Creek.  A
letter addressed me as below, would find me
if we are not ordered to reinforce Imboden's
forces, as it is rumored we are to be
                                 Truly Your friend
                                       W. P. Cooper
                                  31st Va. Reg. -- Early's Brigade
                                  Ewell's Division --Jackson's Corps
John McCauley Esq.

MSS 14953

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