Sunday, February 3, 2013

1863 January 28 Camp near Fredericksburg

     Camp near Fredericksburg
             Jan 28, 1863
              Dear Sister Harriet
                      When I wrote
to you last we were under
marching orders for what
all of us supposed would
result in a great battle
We marched about 3 P.M. and
took the position assigned to
us in the line We reached
the place on the banks of the
river about 9 P.M. and expected
to attack the rebels, as soon
as daylight the next morning
We were all ready: but the
great ruler of all had de
termined otherwise The fiat
of the Almighty had gone
forth there could be no
battle: About 10 P.M. it began
to rain and by 12 the storm
was upon us in all its fury

[page 2]
and for 24 hours it seemed
as though the elements had
combined at the direction
of their divine master to defeat
all our well laid plans
You may be assured the object
was accomplished We were
wet to our skins, Our rifles
were rendered useless by the
water: Our amunition was
soaked so that a large part
of it had to be thrown away
Our Pontoon Bridges got
stuck in the mud and
could not be moved. Our
artillery was rendered
useless from the same
cause: To give you a little
idea of the mud I would
simply say that 28 horses
were put on to one of our
cannon and could not
start it, and 80 horses

[page 3]
were required to draw
a load of crackers up to
the camp. the united strength
of a whole Brigade 5 regmts
was not enough to draw
one of our Pontoon trains
down to the river bank,
although it did not weigh
more than 5 tons: Such as
our condition; we waited
three days and finding
we could do nothing. Sigel
ordered us back to our old
camp, where we now remain
Another storm has set in
the mud is getting worse
I wish I could describe
this Virginia mud to you
but I cannot do it, you
must see to appreciate it
Gen Burnside has resigned
and Gen Hooker takes his
place. I do not believe he

[page 4]
can do any better than Genl B
Indeed I do not see how any
body can do anything here
with such going and such
weather: There are places be
tween here and Gen S quarters
where our horses cannot
touch bottom but have to swim
with their riders on their
backs you can judge for
youself how fast you can
move an army of 300,000 men
I cannot at this time write
any more I wish you would
send this to Phebe as I do not
get time to write to her
as often as I would like to
Meantime keep up good
spirits all will yet be
well. God rules in a
mysterious way his wonders
to perform: let us wait
and be patient. From your
     Affectionate Brother

                                Jan 28 1863
No 7
Camp near Fredericksburg
Dear Phebe
The government
has paid us for a little over
one months service which is
better than nothing although
it seems rather small bus-
iness considering that they
owe us six months.  I
enclose to you ten dollars
I wrote to Mr. Winship about
my boots, and directed him
to present his bill to ..P...
I do not know but you have
paid the bill.  If you have
not please ask P if he had
heard anything from Mr W
about them. I will not write
any more this morning all
well, it is snowing and is very
cold, yours always, Josiah

Josiah Perry, Co. K, 33rd Massachusetts

MSS 2215

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