Stafford Court House
I have just received your welcome letter of May 7th-10th and now sit down to answer it. I am very glad to hear that you are getting along so finely in your School. I hope it will go as well all summer.
I suppose by this time you are satisfied that Richmond is not taken, but that the enemy have gained another victory at Fredericksburg, though it was a very dear victory for them. They acknowledge a loss of 18,000 men and Stonewall Jackson. I wish Lee had went with him. If Joe [Hooker] had held his position and kept on the fight, he must have whipped them. All the men say they could have held their own and drove the enemy, if they would have let them. All say the enemy’s loss was more than twice as large as ours. And they all think it very strange that they were ordered to withdraw from the field. The most of the men are anxious to give them another pull. The enemy kept their men up to the work by a line of Cavalry in their rear and shot every man that faltered in the least. I think we will hoe them out yet this summer.
Some of the two years and nine months men are leaving and going home. A majority of them will re-enlist soon & many of them have already. I hope they will draft pretty soon. We must put the rebellion down, let is cost what it will. I for one am willing to stay til it is done, let it be sooner or later.
An orderly was captured day before yesterday between here and Dumfries, stripped, paroled and sent into camp with his shirt flaps flying in the wind & his parole paper in one hand & a stone in the other, swearing vengeance on the Rebs.
Our Regt. has drawn some horses & expect more soon. I hope they will mount us soon for we all want a chance at the Rebs and active service. Laying in camp I don’t like. I had rather be to the front all the time.
It is very warm here now. I think it is as warm as I ever saw it in New York State. I am well and tough as a buck. You wrote that you weighed 119. I am a little the heaviest, weighing 162 1/2 lbs. You may guess by that how fleshy I am.
I received a letter from Cornelia Daniels a day or two ago. They were all well. Allen had been up to the old neighborhood & had a good time.
I have not received a letter from Hat in three weeks. I received one from Peter a few days ago. He was well. Jerome is bent on going into a store this fall. I have not received a letter from Leah in some time.
A fellow from our camp, by the name of O’Connell, got a furlow to go home & deserted rather than to come back. I hope they will catch him and give him a deserter’s punishment. Anyone that will be guilty of such a crime is not too good to be shot.
The health of our Regiment is very good. The 154 N.Y. Regt. lost about one-half of the men that they took into the field. They fought well. I suppose that you have heard that Capt. Bliss was wounded & left on the field.
Give my love to Wm. Taylor’s folks & write soon. I remain your affectionate