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Letter to Eliza Johnson, 1862 December 25

Letter to Eliza Johnson, 1862 December 25
Letter to Eliza Johnson, 1862 December 25
Written from Fredericksburg, Virginia. Letter regards the Battle of Fredericksburg and personal news.


  • 1862 December 25


From the Series: 20 items


Camp Fredericksburg
Dec. 25th 1862
My Dear Wife
I should like this morning to be with you very much but as that cannot be the best I can do is to write you and let you know how glad I would be were it so. Days and weeks seem to me much longer now than they were before your arrival, before I could not be with you if I would; now I might were it not that I would have to give up a situation in order to gratify my wishes and my feelings. I have not heard from you since I left, but hope that you are all well and getting along well. The weather here has been much colder than the spell was at Brownsburg while I was there. From all we can gather from the Northern papers their defeat was much greater than we supposed immediately after the battle. One of their correspondents estimates 3000 wounded in one of their divisions and that the wounded are in our hands. This is not so. Their number of dead is greater than their estimate. Many of the southern Regts take no prisoners especially the Louisianians - who are determined to have revenge for the outrages of Butler and his troops -. One can form but a faint idea of the horrors of a battle field without an actual inspection upon the ground. I can assure you I should feel rejoice if the war could close without such another scene as we have witnessed here - but if our foes will not cease the War which it is in their power to do then I hope that every conflict will result as favorable to us as this great fight at Fredericksburg. Porter went to see Philander and took to him the little things you had sent to him. He needs two flannel shirts also his hat. Hopes to be able to go and see you before a great while. Jackson's Army is about 20 miles from our camp. Porter carried Mr. Rapps package and boots to him, but learned that he had been wounded and taken to Lynchburg - this I suppose is no news at Brownsburg by this time. Ask what shall be done with what was sent to him. When I wrote you last my information was that the 31st and 25th were not engaged but this was not correct. I do not know how many were wounded or killed in either but do not think the loss was great. We have a very fine band in the same field we are in. Last night among others they played "Old Dog Tray." It made me think of Carlo and your description of his faithfulness. There seems to be no gloom or dreariness of thought among our soldiers so far as my observation extends. All seem cheerful and gay. The dead are buried - the wounded and sick sent off - so that the well alone are left. Victory inspires confidence and certainly a great victory has attended our armies and what is more the North feels and [ ---- ] it. When Mr. Newlon goes to Richmond let him renew our subscription to the Examiner for six months or if you prefer some other paper. Let him subscribe to the paper you prefer. Porter did not arrive here until the dead were buried so that he missed a sight. I have very much desired he should see under the hope it would lessen his desire to join the army before he is 18. Our lead was too much for the bad team we had. I left 2 barrels of apples and 65 lbs butter at Staunton. Porter afterwards left 2 barrels at Waynesboro -- arriving here with 3 2/3 bls of apples and part of his butter. The expenses of the trip were over 40 dollars - unless those left behind come on it will prove a losing business.

Repository Details

Part of the Virginia Military Institute Archives Repository

VMI Archives
Preston Library
Lexington VA 24450