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1864 (JANUARY - JULY 30th)

LETTER HeadQuarters - Convalescent Camp VA Jany. 14" 1864
Dear Sister
It is now 10 oclock P.M. but I find in looking over my letters that somehow I have made a miscalculation and owe you one and as I have just written to father I will make myslf even with my sister to, and after that I will probably sleep better. I am almost inclined to think I am not so much in your debt after all for since you wrote me I have sent you Henry Graves to give you the news by word of mouth and have also written to my sister-in-law Sally. so you are posted on what is going on here, and I also am posted in An-dover news by receiving a letter from Mrs Perry Potter and one from Mr. Sherman Crandall, so you see we are boath prety well informed persons at least in my opinion we are. Oscar Remington has written to his people about being detailed in the Kitchen has he not. I was going to get him detailed as carpenter had every thing ar-rainged when he informed me that some men had been arround to get men to wait on the tables in the dining rooms and he had made up his mind to try that and see how it went, so that is all right.
I took a squad of men down to Annapolis Md the other day just to see the place. I will describe it to you. it is the capitol of Maryland situated on an inlet of the Chesapeake Bay and a very un-interesting place. about half as large as New Burgh very old look-ing the only places worth visiting are the U.S. Naval Academy and the State house. The latter is built on the highest ground in the city. square in form the material used in its construction is brick. from the centre of the building rises the steeple to the highth of 60 or 65 feet. the view from the top is very nice would be considered splendid by any person who had never been on the Cap-itol Dome or the Bunker Hill Monument or Washingtons Monument at Baltimore, the country arround is very uninteresting nothing but those short white pines that tell but too truthfully of the steri-lity of the soil. I believe the State house is next to Faneuil Hall the oldest state building in the country. And I am glad I have visited it.
We have been enjoying for the past week (not counting yester-day & today) what has not before enjoyed in this country for sever-al years that is seven consecutive days sleighing and I assure you it has been enjoyed too in a manner that we Northerners who have months of good slipping every year would not think of. Why you would laugh to see the cousarns. I can't call them anything else that they get up over in the city to sleigh ride in any thing that has runners. two boards bent up at the ends with a box on and a horse hitched to it, or two saplings bent like a runner with boards on, in fact anything only so that they can call it riding in a sleigh. still for this very reason they take more pleasure than we do as it is more dificult to be obtained.
The Potomac has been frozen over for 6 days also so you must know it is rather cold.
Yesterday the snow began to go and to day but little is left. lots of mud in its place though.
General Hentzelman has been assigned to the command of the De-partment of the North his Head Quarters will be at Columbus Ohio. Lt. Col. McKelvy belongs to his staff and I suppose will of course go with him to his new command. who will command this post I do not know Brig' Genl' Abercrombie I suppose, I wish I could go with the Col' out West but I cannot.
You must be having very cold weather up your way now too. I pity brother Josephs straight finger he will want to slap it prety often I think. I should think he would be afraid to go near a horse he has met so many misfortunes from them. however his motto is "persever" I guess for he seems bound to do so in regard to horse flesh.
How does mother stand this cold weather. she is getting to be quite old now and needs to have all the love of her children to keep her warm. dear old lady I send her mine to help. And Janey how is she, no danger of her getting cold if she is as fleshy as when her likeness was taken, and you to my sister I look at that likeness very often and wish I was sitting between you two. Ah! if you were only down here this evening and could go back as soon as you got sleepy (for there is no place for you to sleep here) how I should like it. if I were up there you would hardly send me back if I got sleepy would you?
Susan I believe from the tone of your last letter you are get-ting melancholy. Do not let it grow on you for it is as fatal a desease as the consumption. I say this because I can see you do not know it yourself. With this happy advise I will close, sub-scribeing myself- Ever Your loving brother



LETTER (Address) Head Quarters Rendezvous of Distribution VA
Jany 31" 1864-
Dear Sister
I hasten to answer yours of the 23" for several reasons. first-ly, to inform you that father is prety well his last letter to me was dated Dec 28" he had then just returned from getting "ex'd" from the "draught" as the old soldiers say. it cost him $80" he says for he had to pay for his papers and his board cost him two dalars a day while he was absent. he was also suffering under an attack of the "neuralgia" he was getting better whe he wrote he was expecting to go on his place in the spring.
Secondly, To congratulate you on overcoming your fit of meloncholy of which I accused you in my last. I humbly beg pardon if I made a mistake I hope Joseph will make it all right for me by a kiss or two wont you Josey. By the way my brother-in-law is the most un-lucky fellow with horses I ever saw. I should think they would get tired of hurting him after a while he takes it so confoundedly cool, now if it were me I would half kill them to see if I could not make them more careful how they handle themselves arround me. I shall have no brother in a little while if he allows them to go on at this rate killing him a little at a time.
"Thirdly" I wish to inquire if Janey received a little note not worth noticing which I sent up about a week ago asking her to be so kind as to engeneer sending Oscar a box of goodies Oscar said he would write to his people to send and we would have things for both of us come in the same box what we principly need is butter Oh! you dont know how fine that butter tasted that Henry Graves brought down with him. eating it was almost as good making a visit to Allegany at least Oscar and myself had an argument to that effect. now if you could send us such a box and not prepay the Express Agent but wait until it gets here and I will pay it would do just as well.
"Fourthly" General news. The name of this camp is changed to Ren-dezvous of Distribution as you have probably noticed from the head-ing of this interesting epistle. the nature of the camp is changed as well as the name hereafter none but men fit for duty in the field will be sent to this place. therefore no more discharging will have to be done here. no more men transferred to the Invalid Corps after the men now in the camp have been thoroughly sifted. Distribution camp which has always been attached to the command will be broken up and all the men brought into the Barracks. so the command will hereafter consist of Rendz'-of Dis'- which is our present Barracks which will contain 5000 men and the Invalid Corps Barracks which will contain 1000 men. the Invalid Corps is to do the Guard duty of the command and clerks and orderlies will be de-tailed from it for the officers and offices, so you see there is quite a change. You might as well change the address of your let-ters so as to suit the other changes.
I have got Frank Basset detailed as clerk of the Invalid Corps examining board it is a good position I hope he will like it Frank is a "bully fellow" I should have thought I (probably meant "he") would have got a commission and not come out as a private, however perhaps he is not ambitious for rank. I believe it is not always the best men gets the best positions though I have done prety well.
Has "Tim Green" went back to the 85th yet? it seems strange he should be sick he was such a large healthy fine looking man, but I tell you soldiering breaks a man down wonderfully. The Govern-ment makes us comfortable as it is possible for soldiers to be, but the change is nevertheless very great from our comfortable Northern homes to the exposure incidental to an active campaign through the low swampy lands of the Slave states, not one in one hundred of those hardy men who went forth by thousands at their countrys call will return without being broken bown. I assure you after my sick-ness on the Paninsula I feel five years older. I have had more op-pertunaties of gaining experience since I have been in the army than most privates have. I have did my best to improve them also. perhaps that may account in part for my feeling so old.
You have not got over that habit of dreaming about me yet? well I hope they do not allarm you as much as they used to. is it not strange I have only drempt of home two or three times since I was up there. I dont think I ever before had such dreamless sleep as I have now my mind is so much occupied in the day time that it is glad to rest at night. you may believe that if you ..... Give my love to Mother tell her to beware of that cold tell Janey I have not forgotten this is leap year. tell the rest a lot of good things and among the rest that I love them all more than ever.
Your loving brother
P.S. I send a letter to father in this same mail. Yours Bijou



LETTER Head Quarters Rendezvous of Distribution February 5" 1864
Dear Sister
It is now 9' O.C. P.M. but I concluded to write you a short note acknowledging the reception of your box of good things, and also your letter of the 1st which preceeded it only two days, and to return my thanks to you for both. I received your letter the 1" inst and I assure you from that time till the box arrived I was fairly nervous with anticipation , every time the Express wagon went to town which it does once a day. I would caution the Agent to be sure and not overlook it at the office in Alexandria, and I would importune him untill I made him promice to be very careful The expected good things arrived yesterday, no the day before. Os-car and me went down to get it and were very sorry to find unmis-takeable evidence that there was honey amongst its contents, for it was oozing out through the cracks. this we considered a great waste of material, but concluded not to "cry for spilt" honey for if it was loose in the rest of the things it would only sweeten them the more. We took the box to Oscars Barrack and opened it, he was saved the trouble of saying it `opened rich' for that was a slf evident fact as was shown by the honey on the out side of the pack-age. the things were considerably smeared with the sweet stuff but we managed to make it prety much all count in some way the butter and cheese were not hurt for both had something arround them. the jell cake too was splendid. "Oh! how I lubie(?)" as Matie says. it was the best thing in the whole package. how is this? there is that fruit cake, but the jell was best after all, though it is ra-ther hard to decide when there were so many good things. the but-ter and cheese will out last the rest for they are the most needed after all. After we opened the thing I ate untill I could eat no longer and if you have any doubts of wheather I liked it or not just ask Oscar who was a witness of the whole proceedings. Frank Basset also came in for a share And to day at dinner we had Debs who came over from Georgetown to pay us a visit. us four made a rather gay dinner party. we had biscuits with butter and honey, jell and fruit cake, cheese and coffee, these with the jokes that were cracked during our repast made our meal fit for a King and I dare say we enjoyed it more than most monarchs do. After dining we had a cigar and walk. the latter was very much enlivened by the anecdotes of Charley Bossard which were related by Debs- We tried to get him to stay all night with us but his pass was to go back to night so back he sent just like a good soldier as he is would. we were sorry for we were going to have fun with him to night Tell Mr Joseph Potter that I should be mighty glad to accept his invitation to come up and get better things at home notwithstanding the good things you sent. You must charge the cost of the things on the "Contra" side of our account $3.34 cents besides the cost of the Express and consider me your debtor for all your kindness.
Did I tell you the name of our camp had been changed to Ren-dezvous of Distribution if I did not I will now. hereafter none but men fit for duty in the field are to be sent to the command which will make our duties much lighter and we can also dismiss some of our surgeons which will in some cases be a benefit to the men. The way the camp will be arrainged now will enable us to send all of the men of an Army corps whenever they are called for with-out having them examined by the Doctor befor they go as they have been heretofore, to see if they were fit for duty or not.
We have lots of distinguished visitors out to see us every day now, Congressmen with their wives and daughters, the former homely and the latter mostly prety. I suppose when they go back they en-tertain their friends with an account of the peculiarities of the animal called "Soldier" it makes no difference to us what they say after they go away as long as they will only enliven us with their cheerful faces once in a while it is all we care about. To crown the rest of our present blessings we are blessed with the most pleasant weather imaginable the air feels as balmy as spring time. in fact we have had but little bad weather this winter. last win-ter we considered that we enjoyed as fine weather as ever this country was blessed with during that season, but even that is beat-en by the present season for which we cannot feel too thankful- I believe if Mother was down here she would grow yong even faster than she did from the time I enlisted till last May.
I have less than eight months to serve now. it dont seem pos-sible that I have been in the service two years and four months but such is the fact. Yes two years of the best time of my life and a third is still to be given to my country and yet this long as it may seem is a small price to be paid for liberty for perfect Liber-ty we shall have befor the war is over. Once gained that great boon for the nation, then my struggle to gain a place in the world will commence. I hope it will not wear on the spirits as does the struggle for Freedom.
With much love many thanks and good wishes I must bring my letter to a close. Hoping you will excuse brevity.
I remain as ever
Your loving Brother
(written along edge)
That jell cake is perfectly grand- Very bad pen-


LETTER Head Quarters Rendezvous of Distribution Va February 28" 1864
Dearest Sister
I have just finished a letter to father and as my hand is in I think this is my best oppertunaty to answer your short but kind letter of Feby 13" & 18" 64 Now I tell you I dont approve of your writing on such small paper, you should use a sheet like this and put in all the local news, and then you may devote about half of a page to cholding me but not without, you see if you write on such small paper and devote a little of it to a little well merited scholding why by the time you are done you have no room to write any more and that makes me feel bad without doing one any good. whereas if you used a large sheet it would make me feel so good reading the rest of the letter that I would swallow the advice like a bait and the first thing you would know I would fetch myself up with a hook in my nose and give myself a regular going over about my bad habits and all on account of the long letter.
Seriously however sister, I thank you for your caution for although there is no great danger of my becoming a drunkard or great smoaker, still your kind advice shows me that my sister loves me more than any other earthly being "except Josey" and you may be sure your advice and warning falls not on closed ears or obstinate heart. I have not smoked since the 2" inst I made a compact in a joke with one of the boys that I would not smoke again this month and although made in jest my word is sacredly kept.
I was over to Washington a fiew days ago and staid till after midnight. I went to "Grovers Theater" and saw Victor Hugo's cele-brated play of "Ruy Blas". the star actor young Edwin Boothe plays "Ruy" and played it well. I saw him play "Richard III" (Shak-spere's) whil I was in Boston but the house was so crowded in B- that I could not enjoy it much. but at "Grovers" I secured a splendid seat in the "Orchestra" where I could be at my ease and at the same time see and hear everything going on on the stage. after the first play we had a finishing tuch called "The Screaming farce" or "Irish assureance and Yankee modesty" this was such an intense-ly amusing play that I fairly made myself sick laughing so much my sides have been sore ever since with the effects of it. But the finest part of the whole thing was we had to walk back after the whole thing to camp. the ambulance which took Sergt Beaugureau (Chief Clerk of Camp) and myself over to Washington could not stay as we had forgotten to get a pass for it to stay all the evening and it had to return to camp before the countersign was out. The walk was most delightful however, the moon shone brightly. the air was as balmy as spring the road dry and hard, and we are the best friends in the world so you see we had every thing to make our walk agreable and so it was.
It is very dusty indeed now, over in W- when the wind blows it raises such clouds of dust that a person can hardly see, ande here too it comes sweepin down acrost our parade grownd some times so it look like the picture of a storm of sand we see in some geography We are willing to put up with the dust however when in exchange for it we have such beautiful weather. the air is warm and has that hazy appearence peculier to the skies of "Indian Summer" the hills two or three miles off look so blue and soft that it makes me wish to go and roll down their sllepy looking sides. the river flows by in the distance and its glassy surface reflects only the still blu-er sky. all nature seems at peace and only men in discord. why is it we cannot remain at peace also. An answer is too ready. Trai-tors have attcked our free institutions our mother is in danger and her sons fly to her rescue, God cannot be angry with us when we fighting in such a sacred cause, though shame it seems to desecrate his beautiful earth with the foul scenes of carnage which are the necessary concomitants of War.
The col of the 85" has sent for me to come back to the regi-ment as I will have to go or go into the Invalid Corps which I hate to do I have some notion of going but I will think of it for two or three weeks first.
What do you think of our little paper "The Soldiers Journey" of which I have sent you a couple of copies? it is all done at camp from composing the articles to working the press and all done by soldiers too I feel proud of it, dont you?
Please give lots of love to all for me for I have a large stock on hand, and believe me ever


Your loving brother
P.S. I received those socks all safe for which receive my thanks I beg pardon for not acknowledging their receipt before. thought I had done it. Yours, LaF



LETTER Head Quarters Rendezvous of Distribution Va
March 23" 1864
Dear Susan
When I headed this letter I expected to send it to father but have changed my mind and also the destination of this letter. I received yours of the 12" inst just as I was starting for Fort Mon-roe with some men. just as I received one last summer from you when I was starting on the same trip. I had a very strong notion of going to the regiment when I started but Col McKelvy did not want me to go yet so I came back. I went and returned by the way of Baltimore while there went to the Holiday St theatre to see Mrs D.P. Bowers play "The Jewish maiden" or "Leah the forsaken" she is a splendid actress and acquitted herself admirably, still I like Miss Lucille Western much better in that play for her voice is so much more pleasant Mrs. Bowers has been on the stage so long that her voice is rather to harsh sounds almost like that of a man. both of these ladies are playing in Baltimore now, Miss W. at Front St. & Mrs B. at Holiday, they are both playing the same piece ("Leah the forsaken") and are to play it every night for a week so as to give the Theatre going public a chance to judge which of them is the best by going to see first one then the other I have seen Miss Western in "East Lyme" and one or two other pieces, I believe her the best actress in America Edwin Forrest the great tragedian has an engagement at one of Washington theatres for six weeks for which he is to receive ($9000.00) nine thousand dollars. I must see him once or perhaps more than once while he is here. I can get a pass and the countersign whenever I want to stay all night. I came from Annapolis to day I was down there yesterday with some papers and men I did not get there until dark. oh! how bitter cold it was we have had some very cold weather this winter but I have not felt so chilled since I have been in the service the wind was blowing from the North and it was snowing very fast, one of my men got some whiskey on the cars and was so drunk he would not obey my orders, while I was taking (talking?) to him the cars started from the station where my men were getting off I caught the bell rope and gave it a pull for them to stop which they did, the conducter came running to the rear to see what was the matter saying he would give five dollars to know who pulled the rope one of the men told him it was me. he started for me but my men closed up behind me and he backed out. I took the fellow who was drunk by the shoul- ders gently laid him on his back in the isle then took him by the collar and drew him from one end of the car to the other and threw him off into a snow bank, then jumped off myself and let the cars go on. the fellow began to think I was not a person to be fooled with a great deal so he allowed himself to be led up to Parole Camp which was only a fiew rods from where we left the cars when we got there I ordered him to be put in the Guard House. I turned the rest of the men over to the proper officer and the accepted the invitation of the Officer of the day to go down with him and some of officers of the 94" N.Y. Vols. to an oyster supper, we had a good time then I went with the Officer of the day to his quarters and slept with him, I wanted to come away on the first train in the morning so the Officer of the Guard who has to set up all night said he would wake me in time to take it. I was afraid he would forget it but he did not. when I got up I found the snow six in-ches deep on the level and the wind still blowing great guns. some of the guard were almost frozen. I got to camp about 10 a.m. since noon it has been very warm the snow finds the sun rather too much for it so it is turning into water as fast as possible.
I had not heard the news which your letter brought me but was expecting to, you need not fear about loosing your first place in my affections by the recent addition to our circle of relations but of this matter the least said the better. whose name did you send for the little stranger?
Father must live on his land or have some of his family on it or his claim to the ownership is forfeited. he could live on it and work some other land on shares if he so pleased, but I cant see what object he would have in that unless it was that he by this means gets a team and tools furnished to work it with. these you know would cost him deal of money which he probably has not got to spare this season.
Tell Janey that Oscar says he does not feel his loss very much but he thinks McClara will not say the same. I am sorry you are all so unfortunate about colds when I am so luckey. I dont know why it is but I have not had but one cold this winter and that did not last long. usualy I have one all winter. It must come hard on mother she is so old and feeble I hope she is better now.
My kind regards to all. Your loving brother
(written along edge of first page)
Dear sister, I have just read my letter over and find that in my desire to get a good deal on one sheet I have made it sound cold which I do not like, it needs warmth. so I will put it in. I love you all a big heap mother, Josey, Janey all, and you may be - I will have a good kiss all arround when I get home - even to the little lap dog. Yours ever
(written along edge of last page)
Have you got so you can read my running hand yet? please tell me in your next if you know how old mother was when she died
Yours, B.


LETTER Headquarters Rendezvous Distribution, April 16" 1864
Dear Sister
Yours of the 7" inst was duly received You can imagine what a relief it was to me for I thought all the time that Joseph must be very sick and you did not like to write and inform me of his true state I am sure I was much more uneasy than if you had writ-ten at once. Poor Josey I hope when you receive this he will be enough better to at leaste set up. You say is is so ..... and quiet all the time that you are afraid he is not much better, I bet if I was there and sick and you should tell me I would get well as soon as I got cross, that I would not be long in making you believe I was well at any rate. why dont you know that you made a reflection on all men when you stated that as soon as they got well they began being unbearable now of course I cannot allow you to have such an opinion without trying in some way to enlighten you on the subject, I dont know as it will be necessary to go to that trouble though, for when I consider that you must be nearly crazy watching and working I hardly have the heart to differ with you even if my reputation as a member of the race called man is at stake, so let it went. It was but little after five O.C. A.M. when I got up to write this so that I could send it by todays mail. I dont wish you to think that I seldom get up so early for I often do. very often in fact once nearly every month so you must know I am a very early riser. I seldom go to bed until after ten oclock and very frequently not till after eleven oclock at night I set up reading, writing, talking, or playing billiards or chess. when I learn a game I do hate to give it up untill I get so that I can beat any body I play with if I was content to let a game alone or at leaste only play once in a while after I have learned it would be much better for me. cards I never play, do not think I have played with them but once since New Years Eve with them I have no ambition to excell.
It is raining this morning. has been doing so for nearly two weeks until three days ago. the Potomac was never before known to be so high as it was last week, the Long Bridge which is usualy eight feet above the water was compleately covered. the plain three quarters of a mile on this side was covered making the river two miles wide, such a rise of water in a river the size of the Potomac is a very uncommon thing, we for a long time thought the bridge would be carried away but it was not, all travel for a time between here and Washington had to be done by the way of the Aqua-duct Bridge. I went over to Washington with an ambulance while the river was up and we like to have stuck fast in the mud about half a mile this side of the Aquaduct with only myself and driver in it.
We have been having a rather busy time doing work for the Criminal Court for a fiew days past, a squad of two hundred deser-ters came on a boat from New York with some hundred and fifty other soldiers. they were all turned in together and treated alike. there was only a guard of fourteen men on the boat and they were afraid to do any thing so the deserters run the whole thing divi-ding into gangs of five they went through the boat and when they saw a man among the soldiers that looked as if he had any money they quietly told him to give what he had. if he did or did not it was all the same they at once collared him pulled off all his clothes, felt the pockets and linings if they found a place where money could be consealed they cut it open at once. when they were through searching, if they took a favor to any of his clothes they appropriated them with out saying "by your leave sir". as soon as they arrived at this camp it was at once reported to the Col. he went down to see the men (convalescents) their clothes were all cut up. where ever there was a possible chance of hiding money one man showed us where he had been stabed for resisting them he hapened to have on one of those steel lined vests and it saved his life. As soon as the deserters had been put in the barracks set asside and doubly guarded for their especial benifit the Col or-dered them to be searched and all money and jewelry taken from them. what a satisfaction it was for me to see them drawn up in a line with such a guard arround them that they dare not say a word and be obliged to go through just what they had made the unarmed convalescents, and all the money and other valuables found on them taken away. their faces could grow as black as they pleased but they could resist no more than could the could the men from whom they had taken the money now being taken from them. We got over a thousand dollars besides watches, rings, chains, dirks, pistols, &c. These are to be kept in a safe and any person who can prove that they have lost such things as we took from these fellows and describe them will get them back, also if they can prove the am-mount of money they lost they will get it back, the same with any aricles of clothing in the possission of the deserters. This is not the first time we have heard complaints of this kind but every time a boat comes from New York it is the same but this is the first time we have made such a wholesale retribution for the sake of justice. It will teach these fellows a lesson at any rate.
We have not been paid since the payment for December 1863 and I am intirely out of money, I declare I will soon believe there is no such thing as an honest soldier, and never lend another cent of money to them. I have let them (detailed men) have a dollar or so until they are paid and the first thing one knows they are off to their regts, lots of times I have been fooled but I will be no more. Please tell Perry to send me a couple of dollars in your next and charge the same to my account. An order came the day be-fore yesterday to send to their regts all detailed men not belong-ing to the Veteran Reserve Corps (Invalid Corps) I dont know how soon the order will be carried out, so you had best write soon as possible
I hope you are having a more pleasant day than we are if not it will be a very bad one for Josey. oh how dreary a rainy day seems to a sick person, I pray that your next will bring me news of his improving rapedly My love to mother and Janey. also to Perrys people. Is little Charleys leg got so he does not limp yet?
With my best wishes I remain,
Your loving broather
A.T. LaForge




LETTER Head Quarters, Rendezvous of Distribution Va April 27" 1864
My Dear Sister
Yours of the 20th has been duly received and I feel very much relieved by the good tidings it contains Tell Joseph for me I con-sider myself very much his debtor for getting better just in time to send the good news to me in your letter. I was beginning to feel mighty bad for as you did not write I began to think Josey was dangerous and had half made up my mind to try and get a furlough, probably I could not have got it for there is strict orders aganst furloughing men from this command I think I have enough influence to have got one from the Secretary of War if it had been very ne-cessary, for I have many powerful friends here. you must not think that I am vain in saying so for I assure you it is all truth and I am proud to be able to say so. for they are friends who have not given me their friendship on account of my riches. I understand Frank Basset is at home Colonel North our Military State Agent pro-cured a furlough for him. Frank looked very bad the last time I saw him. I should think he would get his discharge
I see by the papers that the 85th is captured by the reb's, captured while nobly defending their flag from polution, but their bravery was unavailing. before this time they are probably incar-cerated in some rebel prison If I had joined them when I first thought of doing so I should have shared their glory and also their inmprisonment. I almost regret not being with them. perhaps if all the men had been with them who like me are absent, their defeat might have been a victory, still such reflections are useless, the duty of a soldier is to perform any duty which his superiors direct him to, if I had went to the regiment some man who was better able to stand field duty would have been put in my place perhaps, so looking at the matter in all its lights I dont see as I am individualy responsible for the capture of Plymouth and the gallant Genl Wessell, though I do feel asthough all my family were captured with them. None but those who have experienced it can imagine the feeling of a true soldier when absent from his regiment he reads of their being in an engagement, fighting nobly, and then after all their efforts to sustain themselves being obliged to surrender and be marched off to languish perhaps for months in an enimies prison he feels almost like considering himself the cause of their misfortune. (LaForge's regiment was taken to the infamous Andersonville prison.)
I hardly know what I am to do now I was getting ready to join the company, but now I have no company to join unless I go to Rich-mond for that purpose, which I in all probability shall not do. I shall send home a box of goods soon so as not to be overloaded in case I do join them at their present place of abode.
Burnsides command (9th Army Corps) which for some five weeks has been lying at Annapolis, sent there for the ostensible purpose of forming an expedition to strike some part of the Southren Coast, was last saturday ordered to break camp and march for Washington without delay. they all got here day before yesterday encamped and rested yesterday and this morning started for the Army of the Poto-mac. Now that looks like true strategy and certainly was a most successful blind, to thus hold a splendid body of men in a situa-tion where they could be easily subsisted and where they could embark and suddenly strike in any direction, to have every thing prepared for their embarkation and then to without any intimation of the plan reinforcing the army on which the fate of the nation depends with thirty thousand good fresh troops. as they are on the eve of a great battle looks more like good generalship than any thing I have seen yet. I believe if Grant (recently made general-in-chief) is allowed to have his own way Johny Rebs will be driven from Virginia before our next celebration of the Glorious Fourth.
We are having splendid weather now soft balmy days and nights, generaly a cool breeze blowing from the South West. vegetation in in an advanced state. Apples, Pear, peaches, & cherries are in full bloom. the woods are green and full of wild flowers, gay plu-maged birds are beginning to make their appearance, and "all nature looks gay".
I was coming out from Alexandria night before last about mid-night, the moon had risen about an hour, when a little shower came up and passed away and left formed aganst the Western sky a most beautiful Rainbow, it was the first I ever saw formed by the moon and I was delighted with it. how I wish I was a painter so that I could transfer it to canvas.
Do you know where mother was born? I do not. I will close by sending my kind regards to all, especially to Janey for her prety little note. Your brother
A.T. LaForge

On May 8, 1864 a son, Oscar Abiel Potter, was born to Joseph and Susan (LaForge) Potter.



LETTER Head Quarters, Rendezvous of Distribution May 22" 1864
Dear Janey
Your welcome letter containing the welcome news of the new relationship I bore to a small portion of the human family was received yesterday, and I should have answered it at once but I had so much to do that I was kept buisy until 11 O.C. at night, and, when I got through I was so tired that I sought my bed at once. I have also been very buisy today getting a squad of four hundred men off to Fortress Monroe, and perhaps I might again have delayed an-swering yours, but I felt that the weight of the awful responsibi-lity of giving a name to my little nephew, would not let me sleep another night without being disposed of, so here goes.
After mature and profound deliberation La Forge and me have come to the conclusion that, as the little stranger was ushered into the world in a time of great domestic commotion (civil war) therefore, he should have two names, and I, A.T. LaForge, by the authority in me Vested do hereby declair that one of said (chris-tened) names, shall be Joseph, the choice of the other shall rest with whomsoever the parents shall see fit, provided, the person whom they may choose shall not select for the other name neither of the following, Abiel. Teple. this matter disposed of, I must ask you to do me the favor to express my contratulations to Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Potter on the hapy event. I assure you I could scarcely have experienced more pleasure if I had been married and been the hapy father instead of brother Joseph. still I do not envy him his hapiness but wish him a long life and many returns of the blissful moment he will first be called pa pa by the little cherubs,
This is a new bond to their always warm love and if it is possible to increase such affection as theirs it will be increased by this pledge of their mutual reciprocation. You must keep me informed of the health of the mother and as soon as she is able consistently to write have her write me a letter if it is ever so short so as to convince me that the whole of my place in her heart has not been usurped by the new affection of her mother love. I dont expect so much fuss about "poor me" now, but if you will love me a little more it will make up for what I loose by my nephew. My mind has been dwelling so much on this subject since I got your letter that I can hardly write about any thing els, but I must tear my self from the pleasing reflections it has given rise to and pro-ceed to other matters.
Please say to Joseph that I could not find the kind of razor of which he spoke, but he must not buy any for I will get them and send them to him as soon as I can if he will use his old one a lit-tle longer.
I suppose father wrote to you of the death of his baby, did he not? the last time he wrote to me he was going to move on his farm and build. (The baby may have been Roselia; records of Samuel LaForge's third marriage, to Mary Wakefield, list two daughters. One was named Roselia and the second, Josephine, was born in 1865.)
I had to be up very early this morning to get a squad ready of four hundred men and march them down to Alexandria, go to the Quar-termaster and get a steamer detailed to carry them down to Fort Mon-roe. they are very anxious to get men there now to reinforce Genl' Butler. I rather think he needs them for he has fell back from Fort Darling and is intrenching on the banks of the river below.
The news from Genl' Grant is unimportant. no decisive move has been made by either army since friday. they have been doing such hard fighting for the last two weeks that they are both very willing to lay still and recruit for a time. it will not be for long however as there is soon another decisive battle to be fought unless the rebels retreat.
The weather has been very uncertain for some time either rain-ing or dreadful hot. the themometre has been up to one hundred and four and six, several times. flies, musketoes, knats, bugs, &c. are getting to thick to be agreeable.
Every night our woods are filled with Whip-poor-Wills. I be-lieve I never heard one in Allegany the climate is too cold for them. did you ever hear one Janey? they always make me feel mel-ancholy when I hear their mournful song.
You knew of soldiers pay being raised to $16 sixteen dollars a month did you not? that is what we are getting now. I probably will not get any pay until July now. if I do not I presume I shall have to send to you for some more.
Give my love to Mother and tell her not to over work herself just because she is Grand ma to another boy. And dont let Susan Kill the boy with petting him tell her I shall make a review of all her proceedings when I come home. give the dear girl lots of love also. What does Maty say to the little fellow. My love to your own dear self. Bijou



DIARY - (Some of the following sections are copied from a trans-cription made by Phyllis G. Jones in 1956/57 in which spelling may have been corrected.)
Wednesday June 1st, 1864 opened before me to day ..............distinguish myself if I am only true to my good .ea......... I received letter from Col. North who is the New York State agent, saying that after waiting so long he at length had received a commission for me as 1st Lnt. in the 106th N.Y.V. The regiment is now in the 6th A.C. which is commanded by Major Gen'l J.G. Wright. General Sedgwick or Uncle Johnny as his men familiarerly called him who commanded the corps when it started on this springs campaign, was killed at Spottsylvania C.J. the 6" is a fighting corps. Capt Crawford kindly offered to go to the city with me tomorrow to get my com-mission and also to see if I could get my accounts as private of the 85 N.Y.Volunteers I have had a very busy day preparing for the change in my condition, I expect that I shall have a very busy day tomorrow also. Doubtless I shall be looked upon with anything but favor by my new associates when I get to the regt, for doubless some young man who has fought bravely with the co. thinks and truly that he should have the promotion and not I. I have no fear but that I shall get along all right with them in a short time if they will give me half a chance Col. McKelvy gave me some good advice to day when we were alone after which he informed me that if I ever got any higer it must be by my own exertions.. of course I told him I should do my best. What pleases me most is that my sister will feel so pleased and proud of her brother officer. I sent off a squad of over six hundred men for the Army of the Potomac. They go to White House Landing. weather clear and cold

Thursday 2nd Clear & warm. I rode to town with Col. McKelvy and got my commission. I find that I cannot get discharged from the service on account of not having a Final Statement from the 85th N.Y.V. I went to the War Depart. they said that no order for my discharge had come from the Gov. of N.Y. yet and that I could not get mustered out until it was received, Returned to camp not quite well pleased, I shall not write to Sister until I am sure of being an officer. Received a letter from Miss Annie Porter she claims that she is homely and dont like to send her Picture, I am pretty sure of the object of that statemehnt, however, Mr. Loy(?) of the same place has given me a description of her

Friday 3rd Cool. I went to town with a letter from Capt. Crawford on which I got a "conditional discharge" that is I am allowed to proceed to my regament and if not mustered in as an officer, I am to return to the regt .. .which I formerly belonged. I cannot get a settlement until the 85th is exchanged ...... .re now in the rebel Prison of Andersonville, Col. North gave me a letter of In-troduction to the Col. of the 106 NY, in which he refers in very flattering terms of myself.

Saturday 4th Still cool. I borrowed $70 of Sergt. Beaugureau for which I gave him an order on Joseph Potter for $75. With this mo-ney I went to town and got a sword & belt a uniform coat shoulder straps &c. I am to go to the front. with a squad of about 1000 men whom we are organizing into a provisional brigade and officer-ing it with the officers here who are to go to the front. I went up to the Billiard room with Edmonds and beat him a couple of games while I was there an order came for the Brigade to be ready to start at 9 A.M. to morrow. most of the men had to be around before starting so we have a rather busy time. I was airing my company to night. about midnight the Col. & Q.M. came around- where I was issuing the arms Ellison the Q.M. ......... a little tight he took me by the hand and congratulated me on my promotion saying that it was the best thing Govener Seymour ever did. he wanted to know if I wanted shelter tents for my men. I told him that I had not been mustered as an officer and therefore could not draw them Col. McKelvy said the same I dont care a damn said he if he will only sign the papers he shall have whatever he wants for them even if I have to pay for them myself. I hate to leave my dear old friends at the Hd. quars. I have spent many happy hours with them they all contratulate me, but dislike to have me leave. I wish the mail would come to morrow before I go I am anxious to hear from my sis-ter. she was in delicate health when I last heard from her. She had then just became the mother of a fine blue eyed boy. I shal leave word with Beaugereau to keep any letters that may arrive for me until I write to him

Sunday 5th Fine day. The Provisional Brigade started at 9 as be-fore ordered I was bade adieu by the Col. and other officers and detained in a manner most flattering to my feelings. I had more friends than I was aware of. The officers & men of the marching brigade stared at me thinking that I must be somebody Our brigade at Alexandria was placed on board three government Transports which were lying at the coal wharf. did not start until about 4 P.M. Ran down the river until dark. Are now anchored until morning as the Pilot does not know the river well enough to venture to run during the darkness. The officers of course occupy the cabins I look now upon them there are twelve, myself included and we repre-sent six nations. All are in the liveliest possible moods and each one is making as much fun and good humor as possible The Irishman is relating the incidents of a Barnegate Fair to a few Jolly fel-lows. while an Italian is exhibiting a dancing Jack which he has brought for our amusement. The German with an immense meerchaum in his mouth is illustrating in the broadest dialect how he parted with his Frau when He came to war. loud roars of laughter testify to his sucess. The Frenchman with many gesticulations is trying to convince an Englishman that Waterloo would have been a defeat for english arms had it not been for certain reasons which John Bull of course "cant see" A Scotchman sitting by is appealed to by the excited Johnny Crekean- instead of answering he gravely draws a pocket flask and offers it for "inspection" to both parties. the contents seems to restore good feeling between the contestants for the matter is dropped. I am requested to join them at a game of Muggins to spend the evening I of course accepted ......... the rest of the evening in fun & jolity.

(Monday 6th) ........... the upper cabin more comfortable than the deck outside. Our distination is White House Landing. I am offi-cer of the deck & day so have the entire charge of boat and men for awhile. It seems rather strange to have the men salute me as I pass. I try to look dignified enough to make them think that I am only one removed from Major General of course. We are anchored in the mouth of the York River for the night, a threatening black cloud is coming up it looks like the bearer of rain, as it comes sweeping across the Chesapeake. Our other two Transports are in sight.

Tuesday 7th Rained hard last night. Started up the river at day light. had a good view of famous Yorktown, I remember well how glad I was to see her frowning fortifications sink far behind us as the boat which conveyed me a fever patient from her walls, receded from this shore two years ago. we entered the Pamunkey river about 9 A.M. Steamed up its tortuous course- which lagoon like seemed to forbid navigation to White House Landing where we disembarked at 3½ P.M. Marched ½ a mile from the Landing and camped. We were not long in getting our shelters into the shape of dog kennels. I hap-pen to have no tent so shall sleep with some of my men to night. Capt. Parker the only officer of my regiment along - and I took ..... together. The rest of the officers have made a house of hard tack boxes and are now playing their usual game of muggins

Wednesday 8th Very warm. I turned over some men in my camp belong-
ing to the 132 Ohio over to that Regt which is camped near here. About 4 P.M. received orders to escort Wagon Train to the front. 400 were detailed for this purpose. started at 5 P.M. with 200 wa-gons. I put my knap-sack in one of the wagons and took command of the company as the company as the captain got in an ambulance ahead and I did not see him until night. We guarded the train 10 miles then it parked and we left it. we only marched a little farther however before we camped also. It being 9 P.M. I got the company into a good place then went to a Wagon park near, got a drink, after a while I cooked a piece of meat holding it over the fire on a stick, like I have in the sugar bush up in old Allegany Co. N.Y.

Thursday 9th Slept comfortably last night rolled up in a blanket on the ground Left camp shortly after sunrise. marched to Army Head Qrs. Genl. Grant he was sitting under his tent-fly and for wonder is not smoking. The captain of my Provisional Co. was here- he left us last night- and some other officers of our com...d also. Made coffee then the men belonging to my corps (6 & 7 started for its Hd. Qrs. from ther. I with the others who belonged to the 3rd Div. went to those Hd. Qrs. found the Div. Gen. & Staff lying upon the ground under tent fly. Capt Parker & I with two men of the 106 went to our Brigade Hd. Qrs & from there to Reg. Col. Hd. Qrs. this last we found to be simply a hole in the ground covered with pieces of shelter tents. Capt. Parker introduced me very coolly but I knew that I had no easy task to accomplish to put myself on a footing in the Regt. so I did not pretend to notice it but acted & spoke in the most gentleman-like manner I could command. Capt. Paine is comd of the regt. he assigns me to the comd of Co. I which he privately informed me was the worst co. in the regt. they are mostly French in from Canada. I went back to Div. Hd. Qrs. and was mustered as a 1st Lt. in this Regt. When I came back to the regiment everybody was cautioning me to be careful, keep my head down &c. the bullets however would be sufficient warning for the sharpshooters in the rebel lines were sending their compliments into our lines every time any portion of the body was exposed scarcely a moment passed but that some of the Brigade are hit. My company is lying in a ditch behind a breastwork which they have built up for their protection the upper end of the ditch is my quarters but on all sides dirt is our friend. a tree under which I am writing has been hit twice since I have set here & shells have knocked the dirt from the breastwork over this paper - to save sanding I suppose. The men if they move about at all keep their heads below the breastworks. It is a satisfaction to know that the rebs who are only 200 yards from us are experiencing the same dis-comfort for our men keep their heads down too. Wrote to sister. There is a detail from the Regt. to go out and strengthen our pic-ket line entrenchments to night.



LETTER Headquarters Co. I 106 Regt. N.Y.Vol. June 9, 1864
Dear Sister
I thought likely you may want to hear from me by this time so you have probaby answered my other letter, and as I was not where you sent it - of course I wanted to get here as soon as possible to assume my command. I was placed as second in command of a company of men belonging to this corps which was to be sent from our old place here. I had a good time with the rest of the officers coming down. the boys disliked to have me come very much for in camp. When I get up home I will tell you what a parting I had with the Col. and Quartermaster. We got to White house Landing day before yesterday no the day before that yesterday we guarded a train up about a mile of Army Headquarters camped and this morning came on. we stopped near General Grants tent an hour or so. he was sitting in front of it and for a wonder not smoking. Our squad was divided then and I came with all that came to this corps in charge of a captain of this regiment. I took command of the company as soon as I arrived. We are in a very hot place here. my regiment charged down and took this ground last Sunday with a loss of the Col, Ma-jor, and five other officers killed and about two hundred others killed and wounded. my company lost its commander and six men. We are in a very hot place, the rebs are sending their compliments into camp all the time.
Give my love to all our folks-
Lotts of love to you
I am very tired and should much rather come up and take supper with you than to go on the duty I have to tonight. give my kind regards to all our neighbors and direct your letters to-
Your loving brother
A.T. LaForge Lieut, Com, d.g.
"I" Co. 106 Regt. N.Y. Vols.
1" Brigade 3rd Div. 6th A.C.
Washington, D.C.
Preserve the other sheet of this letter as I want it as a memorandum when I get home. Lots of firing



Saturday 11th Clear & warm. At dark yester day an order came around for us to pack up quietly and be ready to move by time the moon set. It appears that our line is to be extended farther to the left, so our division is moved in that direction. our regt got everything ready and the men laid down with knapsacks on their backs and guns by their sides to catch what little sleep they could while waiting the time that we were waiting for further orders I was called to attend a meeting of the officers convened for the purpose of electing by vote some of their number to fill the vacant position of Lt. Col. & Major both of which were made vacant by the last charge on the eve of the first of June. I told the officers that I being a new comer and unacquainted with the relative merits of the candidates would take no part in the proceedings. They elected Major MacDonald who is wounded and Private for Lt. Col. vice Charles Townsend, killed in action. Their votes tied for Major between Capt Robertson & Paine, the latter is now in comd of the Reg't. About 12 midnight we fell into line without noise and moved through the darkness p to Div. Hd Qrs which was about a mile, then we halted, laid down and slept until about an hour before day, then moved a mile & half farther to the left there appeared to be some misunderstanding as to what part of the line we were to re--lieve. our Brig marched back a piece closed in mass, stacked arms, got breakfast and remained until 10 A.M. when definate orders were received and the Brig went on to the fron line 2½ miles to the left of the position recently occupied. Here we are subject to just as constant and heavy a fire as before but as our position is behind the brow of a hill we are better protected and the fire is not so fatal, two slightly wounded are all the casualities in the Regt to day. My quarters are a slightly improved on the former ones one being now abnove ground. the house is in the shape of a V the open toward the enemy. the two sides were formed of logs. the other two are open to the weather. it is covered with bark and brush. I have had to make the first exhibition of authority to day. two of my men got to quarreling and I had to reprove them sternly

Sunday June 12th Pretty warm. my boys and I covered my chebang with bark entirely and made some other improvements which were much needed. It is rumored to day that our "base" is being changed to the James river. The Div. orders to be ready to march at a moments notice. we are always ready however for it does not take long to pack up the small amount of luggage we carry. I was out four or five rods from the breast work (rear of them) when four of the re-bel sharpshooters made a mark of me several of their bullets came so close to my head that I concluded the most prudent course for me to take was the course to the breastworks

Tuesday June 14th The grand movement of the army has been success-fully accomplished. Grant has changed his base from White house Landing on the Pamunkey to the banks of the James. Just after dark the 12th orders were rec'd directing us to fall in, abandon our works and march back to a line of works a mile in our rear which had been constructed so that in case we were suddenly followed by the enemy we could defend ourselves from this point. So as to co-ver the noise which we necessarily made the bands were directed to strike up a lively air. this did not excite the suspicion of the enemy as the bands always perform at dark. We double quicked back to the rear line here finding the troups in sufficient numbers to defend the works without us, after lying about for a couple of hours our corps was directed to take up its line of march to the Chickahoming. The movement was by the left Flank. when we started off the rebs were shelling our abandoned front line, how pretty the morter shells looked. they formed the arc of a fiery circle in the air, bursting among the trees and lighting up their verdure so beautifully. however those shells broke no heads. Marches all night with regiment parts and at sunrise filed off into a field and halted to get breakfast. we had not advanced more than six miles in all night although our road was very fatiguing. After taking coffee we again resumed the march making for our old crossing of the Chickahoming by the way of Cedar Grove Church. Crossed the ri-ver at 10 P.M. and encmped on the Richmond side and recd orders to make ourselves comfortable for the night. Such an order was needed for the men had been without sleep for forty hours, and twenty se-ven hours had been on the march. The 2", 5" & 6" corps bivouacked close to each other on an undulating plain. Their fires were burn-ing brightly all over the plain, through the woods and fields the same, those fires marked the spots where our tired veterans were stooping over the supper there in course of preparation. All this presented a scene that one cannot expect to behold but once in a lifetime, I went out to a hill a little distance from our bivoucac, and tired and sleepy as I was the view presented was so fascinating that I quite forgot the lapse of time and stood gazing on those ga-thered multitudes wondering what fate mnight be in store for us in the future, we were bound on an uncertain and difficult move in which the lives of many must certainly be sacrafized but how little those busy light-heared fellows down there thought of that. When I returned to my company, I found that my servant had prepared my coffee, hard-tack and port. after partaking of this frugal meal I rolled up in my overcoat and went to sleep. This morning was awa-kened to get breakfast and continue our march at 2:10 o'C. Yester-day was very hot and dusty, last night we were unable to get enough water to wash with so slept without washing this morning I hardly think that anybody would have pointed us out as examples of clean-liness. after breakfast we started on and reached this place near Wilsons Landing about 11 A.M. Charles City is a ruined school-house, Blacksmith shop and four houses is about a mile south of us. we are a mile from the farms (?) I can hear Besides steamers going up & down. the corps is in Line of Battle and expect to remain as they are for the night. the boys are shooting sheep, hogs, hens, geese and everything they can get. No Rebs can be seen or hear, it seems strange. I have been detailed as officer of the picket am on duty in a pleasant woods a mile from camp very pleasantly si-tuated. Capt Chanberlin is also on duty here

June 17th Camp two miles from Point of Rocks. Weather still plea-sant. I was relieved from duty about sundown, the 15th (Wednesday) then took my picket to the Regt which had changed positions during the time I was on duty I was not relieved then but directed to bi-vouac my men a piece in front of the Regt for its protection from surprise. my feet from this rest, began to feel better they have both been dreadfully sore, They hurt me so on the 14th that I should certainly applied for a pass to the ambulance if I had not been a new officer and too proud to complain to any man on endu-rance. where my feet were galled they have festered and Broken, and are now easy. Relieved from duty and rejoined the company. About 10 on the 16th Thursday. Resumed the Route again at that hour, but it was only change the division so that our line was in the form of a semicircle with both flanks resting on the James this line we entrenched in two hours with a Breastwork 7 feet thick. The object of the work was to protect the crossing of our troops from Williams Landing to Bermuda Hundred. Just as we got our work completed a negro Div, marched in and relieved us and our Div. marched down to the landing to embark. 3000 of us were put on one steamer and brought up to Bermuda, badly crowded, we were too tired and the weather hot it was awful. the steamer rocked from side to side like a cradle. we reached the place of debarkation about mid-night and were marched until daylight this morning in order to reach Butlers Fortifycations acrost the Paninsula formed by the James and Appomattox rivers. this line is just above Point of Rocks. we heard the gun boats on the James slowly shelling the enemy below Fort Darling. Butlers pickets were firing also which makes things seem as familiar as possible. stacked arms and made coffee and were just about to lie down to catch a little sleep when the Rebs made a charge on the 18th corps pickets line. tremendous volleys of musketry followed each other in rapid succession and our Brig fell in and hastened to the scene of action with a strong desire to punish Johnny but before we got there the enemy retreated before the determined valor of our pickets. again we Bivouacked and slept through the heat of the day. It was very hot. at 1 P.M. changed to a position half a mile in rear of the line. the rebs saw us come here and sent a few compliments after us in the shape of six inch shell. I must mention the kindness of the officers in boarding as I did not quite understand how officers subsisted and have been learning the rules

Saturday 18th Last night the Div was ordered out to the Picket Line when it was being released as a support in case of attacks. Laid down 200 yards in rear of said lines and most of our men were soon asleep. I had just begun to doze when a heavy volley of mus-ketry put me on my feet in an instant. our impression was that an advance was being attempted by the enemy and we laid just behind a narrow road in line of battle so as to check any such move if made. the balls flew around our heads making their peculiar music too close to our ears to be agreeable. the rebels batteries now opened and the shells bursting among the trees and men some few were car-ried by on stretchers either killed or wounded; we were too sleepy to mind this if the Rebs didnt come themselves. so were composing ourselves to sleep again when the order came to move back to the entrenchments. we thought our duty over for the night, but were mistaken for we only went behind the works to emerge in another place and formed by the moonlight behind our Picket line in another place (our Brig 1st in the front line) to make a charge on the enemy works charge ordered to take place when the moon went down which would be at 5 A.M. (19th) this left some hours for sleep and nearly all the men soon availed themselves of it, altho we had or-ders to the contrary. some of the men who had cowardly legs made excuses to go to the rear but most of them were brave enough. It is a matter of surprise how men can get so accustomed to facing death that they can quickly sleep when he is hovering so close above them. I walked up & down in front of our sleeping braves for a short time then went to our Picket Line about 200 yards in front of them. I saw the rebs working like ants strengthening their lines. I could get a faint view of the works we must storm and I must confess was not very sanguin of success against their strong lines. Just then the two lines that were behind our Brig. began to move off and I thought that we must make the charge alone. the rebs heard them and opened with cannon & small arms. after they were clear of the field, we also were taken in moving by the right flank. a few of our men were killed and wounded. I have not learned why the charge was not made, moved inside the works and camped for the day as day began to break when we got in. A heavy fire has been kept up toward Petersburg all night. Expect to move again to night somewhere probably across the Appomattox.



LETTER Hd. Qrs. "I" Co. 106" N.Y.V. 1" Brig. 3rd Div 6" Corps
June 18th, 1864
My dear sister & friends
I have not heard from you since I came here but that does not surprise me as we have not had a mail in over a week. I will write you a letter every Saturday when I can as you will want to hear from me at least once a week and I certainly want to hear from you that often, so you must write to me that often too. You must not be surprised if my letters are not regular as we may have to move on that day. we have moved every day excepting two since I came here have marched four nights all night in that time. this you must know is very tiresome to us. Alive well enough, carry very little with me so as to march easy. I often think of you and the little one and all our friends up there and wonder what you would think if you could see the dirty jolly way in which we live. You would scarcely know me. I look so black and soiled. I sleep on the ground with nothing between me and the sky but a Rubber Blan-ket. this is well enough in clear weather such as we have here ever since I have been at the front, if it rained matters would not be so pleasant. We officers have to buy our grub of the commissary when he comes up to issue rations to the men. we get Hardtack, beans, sugar, ham, dried apples, coffee, beef, pepper and pickles when he has them, which he seldom has all at a time, and if he had we could not carry all but must pick what we like best of his as-sortment. he also has whisky calley commissary but of that I have not bought. I was out of money when I got my commission and had to Borrow $75 of a friend up at camp to get an outfit with. I gave him a note on Joseph for that amount which I should be obliged to him on Perrys if they will pay when it is sent to them, if I do not get paid so that I can sent it to him by July 15th at which time the note is due. If I pay it I will let them know. I shall have $300 coming to me by the first of July, $200 I cannot get until my former Regt (85th) is exchanged and perhaps not the other $100 un-til our fighting is over I thought I would send you word so that you could be ready if I was not. The weather is very hot, but the nights are cool enough to sleep in the open air comfortably. Give my best love to mother and Joseph and dont forget me in your pray-ers. we are to move to night so I must close by sending lots of love to the boy & all the rest Please say to Sherman (Crandall) if you speak to him - that I am very busy marching and fighting day and night, and that he must send me a common towel by mail, do it up and put a common wrapper around it.
Your loving brother,
A.T. LaForge 1st Lt. "I" Co. 106" N.Y.



June 20th, 1864 In camp two miles S. of Petersburg, Va. I had only just closed my letter of the 18th when a roar of artillery in the enemies breastworks ½ mile distant quickly followed by a storm of Sphericle case, canister, and shells warned us that our dog tents which our men had put up inside our breastworks as a shelter against the burning sun, and which the enemy had not seen until the sun got in the west so that it shone on the side next to them, had finally been caught sight of by our neighbors. Our men were quiet-ly snoosing away comfortably to make up for the weary marching and watching of the past few nights, but this ungracious salute sent them to scambling for shelter which was fortunately near at hand in the shape of bomb proofs & breast works, most of the boys grabbed their tents & dragged them with them, I was assisting my servant to take mine off the guns on which it was spread, when one of those little irregular iron bullets with which those confounded Spherical case are stuffed struck me in the left side, it was so nearly spent that it did not go through my shirt, but hung in it until I picked it off, it left an uncomfortable dent on my fifth rib, however strange as it may seem but few of the men were hit. none of them seriously. Our cannon soon began to reply and the Rebs were speed-ily dried up. Just at sundown the Div. was moved into a line of empty bomb proofs and for a wonder allowed to rest undisturbed all night, the first entire nights rest we have enjoyed for a long time. We luxurated in quiet until 3 P.M. yesterday (Sunday 9) when our Div. was moved to this place crossing the Appomattox on a pon-toon bridge at Point of Rocks. Arrived at our present camp at 10 P.M. after a very hot & dusty march, made coffee, which, disposed of, we laid ourselves to rest in the sand, with the order ringing in our ears to be up and in line of battle by 7 A.M. this morning in order to repel an expected attack, the sleepy god was gracious and so were the Rebs, for no attack was made. in lieu of that how-ever, we had a bombardment at day light. our forces are just in the edge of Petersburg and could take possession of it at any time, to do so would be poor strategy, for the city is completely comman-ded by the rebel batteries on the right of Pocahontas on the oppo-site side of the river, until we can take those also we do not want the city. Our camp is just in the edge of a wood, which crowns a hill overlooking the Appomattox valley the situation is pleasant, one little draw back exists however in the shape of certain sub-stances which at home would have been left in places designated as privies. this is accounted for by the fact that last week this ground was occupied as a Confederate camp About noon I walked out to the works captured by the colored troops under General ........ evidences of hard fighting were numerous. In one of the forts was a gallows on which was hanging a negro teamster, the fiend had raped a white woman at or near Coal Harbor. From the ramports of this fort the view was splendid. It embraced Petersburg and miles of rebel work. the first appears to good advantage from here, but the rest look far better when in our possession.

Thursday 23rd Camp on the extreme left of the Army. Test came in front of Petersburg on the P.M. of the 21st and moving through the outer line of the defences of the city, moved to the left flank of the army. an engagement had taken place there in which our troops - Birneys old Div. - had been driven back. we arrived on the field just at dark, formed line of battle and charged for half a mile without meeting resistence, halted then and with our bayonets for picks and our cups, plates and hands for shovels we soon threw up a very good breastworks for defence purposes. my boys were tired so to encourage them I jumped over our works and went toward house 30 rods to get rails against which to pile the dirt. while I and Corp. White were loading up, a fellow with five canteens over his shoulder came out from the swamp in front of us and asked how our lines run. the Corp. told him and then Yankee like asked him what regt he belonged to. he said the 54th Georgia Hills Div. your regt is just up here on our left said the Corp. come with us. the fel-low readily obeyed and was very much astonished to find that he was a prisoner in the Union lines. I took his canteens which we needed very much as some of my men had none. I took him to Hd. Qrs. & turned him over. In reply to our questions he said that he had been detailed to bring water for his company, in looking for it in the swamp he had got turned arround and and came out on the wrong side. he thought we were Rebs, being dark he could not see our uniforms. His Lt. he said had taken his gun "saying that he would carry it until my return" I am sure that Lt. will be sick of his bargain before Mr. Prisoner gets back. Yesterday morning the order to "Form line and charge" was given, over our temporary breastwork & through swamp and woods we went for half a mile. then we struck the Rebel line & halted. our men at once commenced entrenching themselves. no order was given for us to do so, however the enemy were just in our front with nothing but a skirmish line between us and them. men saw the need of works without orders. The skirmish line was finally attacked with such vigor that they had to fall back to the line of Battle. One of my men Corp. S. Carton was bad-ly wounded in the thigh and died in a short time. the bullets flew thick & fast. Still the men continued to work on our defence. they would lie flat on the ground and throw the soft soil up in front of them with their hands at the same time replying to the fire of their foes. the Rebs by a flank move on our left succeded in capturing part of the 57" Pa. their further success was checked by the resistence of the rest of the line and they were driven back. our skirmish line following & taking their former position in our front. we had succeeded in making a very good Breastworks when an hour before sundown orders came to abandon this and fall back to our line of the night before. we did in pretty good order but with a great deal of grumbling for we thought the Rebs would take possession of our works and we should have to fight for them in the morning. we had scarcely reached the line built last night when the order was given for another advance the whole corps char-ging in two lines, (our reason for falling back & advancing again was this, the Rebs this morning made a sudden advance and captured two lines of works from the corps on our right this, just then partly in our rear. as we were advanced beyond the corps with which our right should connect hence the order to fall back, which had scarcely been executed when the lost ground on the right was recaptured & left us free for another advance of which Genl. Wright at once advanced himself.) In our forward movement this time no stop was made at the works which we had thrown up in the fore noon but on over them we went, then directly at the enemy with a yell that would have astonished a troop of Indians, drove them out of their works and through the most impenetrable jungle of brambles through which our progress was necessarily very slow. Our left made a big swing upon the right as a pivot; this charge was made with the guns uncaped, we depended on our bayonets entirely. it soon became so thick that progress was next to impossible & a halt was called. ordered pickets thrown out & we laid down for the night without our coffee for building fires was prohibited as it would inform the enemy of our position. we slept under arms this morning at 1:32 O.C. and were in line expecting advance again but are not to do so. the men are now 3 P.M. slowly building a small work the third in two days. The enemy are attempting a Drive on left flank from the Petersburg & Weldon Railroad which that flank is destroy-ing. I hope that no advance in force will be made in that direc-tion for it would imperil our whole line.

Friday 27th Again back occupying the line of works thrown up on the evening of the 21st. The enemy which were in so strong force on our left flank yester day finally attacked us. Our line until yesterday noon was in this shape __/. the left going nearly to the Weldon R.R. the Rebs charged with their line running at right angles with our left which caused our line to be double back in this wise

in such an uncomfortable shape as that we had to fight until long after dark. the 106" was in the part of the line marked * which made our breastworks of no use to us unless we got over them for the Rebs Shells came from almost directly behind us. It was an anxious moment, nothing could save our brigade from being cut to pieces, or captured if the line behind us gave way. The men kept on strengthening their works but our anxiety was not for our front. We considered ourselves able to defend ourselves from any Rebs that might come in that direction. behind us lay our uncertainty. Just after dark the order came for a charge, we were to advance our right, strengthen our out line so as to front the enemy and then charge and try to capture them. I tried to feel very confident that this would be a successful move, but somehow I could not see its feasibility as the force of the enemy was evidently much stronger than ours; our pickets were driven in pell mell to the main line. several of the officers including myself jumped over the breastworks and rallied them, then formed them in a line advanced in front of us, perhaps an hundred yards. About 9 P.M. we noislessly withdrew from the works we had thrown up and retired to the line. the movement was a dangerous one to be executed in the presence of a superior foe. our pickets renmain out in our yesterdays line. Today we have orders to strengthen the defences here as it is to be occupied at all hazards- this we have done by thickening the breastworks and making an abattis in front of it. Some of my men are putting me up compa-ratively comfortable quarters. Some of the Rebs we captured yes-terday say that when we made the charge the day before they thought the whole Army of the Potomac was coming. Such tremendous yelling was kept up. The losses of the corps by these charges has been about 400. The heaviest cannonading I ever heard took place this morning. I thought a general engagement very probable it must have been at Petersburg and Bermuda Hundred, the roar was continous and awful. I received a letter from Sergt. Beaugureau inclosing one from my sister.

Saturday 25th We have enjoyed a quiet day but not one of rest for it has been too hot, almost suffocating. I placed my hand on the ground and found the sand so hot that to touch it was painful. my servant has cut small pine saplings and stuck them in the ground around my tent, so as to shade me somewhat. still the perspiration pours in streams from our bodies and "all the cry is water, water" I do not suffer as much from this as might be expected. I wonder if sister has received my letter notifying her of my promotion yet. I have recd no answer to any letter written since my joining the regiment.



LETTER Hd. Qrs. "I" Co. 106" N.Y.V." South of Petersburg Va.
June 25, 1864
Dearly loved sister
I expect if you should go to the extensive city of Andover ex-pecting a letter and should not find one when it was due, you would feel rather badly. well that is just the way with me here when I expect a letter from you and do not get one. this is the third weekly letter which I have written to you, none of which have yet been answered. But I will not scold, for you may have written and I not received it or you may not have received my communications. for fear this is as may be the case I will write two things that I did before, one is that I will write once a week regularly (Sabbath day), and desire that you will do the same that we may be in commu-nications with each other. the other is this. I borrowed $75 of a friend at Camp Distribution and gave him an order on Joseph for the same will be obliged if he will meet it when it becomes due July 15" 64. I have but poor prospect of getting my pay before that time or I could pay it and not half try. If you cant read my memorandum (which I doubt) you will see that we are having a pretty rough time of it. I am so black and dirty that even with all the love of a sister I doubt if you would know me. It is so very hot and dusty that whenever we march we are covered with mud, yes mud. for we of course are wet with prespiration and the dust which the movements of a regiment causes to fly in clouds so thick that you can not see the length of a company until it collects on our face & hands and clothing ¼ of an inch thick. It is now the 18th day since we have had a drop of rain and you can hardly imagine the condition of the soil, when I was on the Peninsula with Little Mac, the difficulty was too much rain, now it is the opposite. we some-times have difficulty in procuring enough water for positive neces-sities. soldiers will get water however where other Persons would not think of it. The last time I wrote you our Regt. was in the fortifications near Bermuda Hundreds where we shelled so skillfully ...... the Rebels. We moved from there however to Petersburg where we stoped for a day and then moved to this place 5 miles South of that city on the Weldon R.R. of which we have partly destroyed the track for which we paid dearly by our heavy loss. This is the fourth day since the 8th during which I have not been under fire. it seems funny not to have the bullets flying about ones head. I have become so used to it that I miss the music. I am in excellent health and full of jollity in spite of Hardships. I have a servant who does my cooking and takes care of my equippage while I am fighting, which of course takes much of the anxiety off my mind as the extensive character of my household goods causes me many per-turbations of the mind. the articles consist of my haversack, can-teen, writing materials and an extra pair of socks &c. the rest of my wealth is in the regimental Baggage wagon which comes to us whenever it has a chance. I must close by sending lots of love to all. Say to mother that I will be carefull and to little Joe that he must grow to be a soger



Friday July 1st In such fearfully hot and dry times a rain becomes an item of the utmost importance so I will mention the fact that we had a slight shower last Sunday P.M. several times since we have been threatened with a repatition of the pleasant phenomenon but each time have been disappointed. Continued behind our works quite inactive until wednesday 29th when we were removed by Genl. G. A. Wright and in the P.M. received orders for the route. Three hours before sundown we moved out of the works, our destination was Reams Station on the Weldon R.R. to make a demonstration in favor of Wil-sons Cav, which had been on a raid and was being hard pressed by the Rebs, and also we were to make a more thorough destruction of the R.R. so that with the damage which Wilson had done the communi-cations between Richmond and the South would be pretty well demo-lished. Did not get to Reams until 11 P.M. although it was not a long march, the utmost circumspection had to be observed in making our advance for an encounter with the enemy might be expected at any moment. as soon as we got into position at Reams a strong pic-ket was thrown out, the rest of the night making coffee and sleep-ing on their arms. Early yesterday morning (June 30) two of our Divisions formed a line acrost and at right angles with the R.R. and threw up strong breastworks. the remaining division fell to work tearing up the the railroad ties, burning the latter and heating and bending the former &c. making utter destruction as far as possible for some miles. After dinner my servant Mr. Griffis my servant put up my tent and made me a table upon which I at once placed my Company Pay Rolls and fell to work finishing them which I had nearly accomplished when Major Day, our Mustering officer came arround and mustered the company for pay on the partial rolls, every military organization has to be "Mustered for pay" on the first day of every alternate month that is they are formed in line and all men whose nomes are on the rolls has to be accounted for. that is whether they are present or absent, if absent how, and where all who have died since last muster must be named &c. Pay-ments are not received as soon as the mustering is over. the rolls are sent to Washington and given to the Paymaster of the respective Brigades, who are not ordered to pay the army sometimes for four months. Directly after, being mustered, orders came to "pack up" and "fall in" and the corps was marched out of the works which had been erected and started back towards its position of yestermorn, start made about 5 P.M. we have only come about four miles on the back track and yet it has taken us all of five hours to march that distance the delay was caused by the wagon train had one or two bad mud holes to go through which is always a matter of no little time. Camped on the side of a bare sunny hill, made coffee and threw our-selves on the ground, went to sleep and did not stir until late this morning. Today has been an extremely hot one, the bright sand on which the Brigade is camped threw the suns rays back into our in a dreadfully painful manner and to add to the rest of the suffering very little water could be obtained. I went to a well which had been dip'ed nearly dry and as often as a bucketful of water could be obtained I would beg a swallow, so after awile I succeeded in obtaining enough to slack my thirst. I could not fin-ish my rolls in the hot sand, so I took them and climbing into an old house which was occupied by a lot of broken furniture and a brood of very young chickens. they were motherless and without a doubt it was owing to the fact that their ma was at that moment be-ing digested the strong stomach of some soldier. the extreme youth of the chickens was all that saved them from the same fate. I spread my rolls on a box and seating myself on an other, soon fin-ished them (not the boxes but the rolls) finding only one mistake which was the adjutants and not mine. That job done I proceeded to pull off my garments and examine them for certain little animals which I found had begun to make their unwelcome appearance and al-though they were very common in the army- not a man probably being without them - still I treated them - crushed heads as fast as I found them. This evening looks like rain again hope it will.

Saturday 2nd Back in our old works of the 18" alt. again. Last night, after dark the corps was formed in line, the 3 Divs advanced ½ a mile, then stacked arms and rolling themselves - those that had them - in their blankets went to sleep, at 5 A.M. to day fell in line again and marched to our present posish where we are rigging ourselves up in good style. I discoverd a curiosity on our return in the shape of an apple orchard in the midst of a pine forrest, The apple trees looked very sickly and as if they would soon suc-comb to their more thrifty neighbors, which were already far over-topping them and depriving them of all "their sun". I also saw some noble oaks, the branches of a single tree covering a space of over 100 feet in diameter, If I had a home up North how I should like to have a fiew of those noble trees in my lawn, under which I and my family might enjoy the beautiful sunsets. I was down to the swamp to wash, and on the way lost my gold pen & case, as hundreds of soldiers were continually passing over the same path I expected I should never see it again. I took a bath after which I wet my shirt thoroughly and put it on, this I consider a grand idea this hot weather as one feels much cooler, the thermometer is 110Ε in the shade. On my way back I found my pen where it had been step'ed over by hundreds of men since I droped it. "better be borne luck than rich". I shall have to postpone my letter to sister to night as it is too dark to write, and candles are luxuries which we do not at present possess and could not use them in the wind which now sucks thro' our tent any way.



LETTER (very faded and difficult to decipher)
........ of the 106 N.Y. Vols july 3' 1864
Dear Sister
for a wonder in campaign life I write this letter in nearly the same place I did the one a week ago to you. Not that we have not moved in the meen time for we have as you will see by my memorandum if you can read it but the ....e of being at the end of the week near where you were at the beginning is accepted as a wonder by Grants soldiers. I have not heard from you yet and it seems so strange you are usually prompt to answer and yet to none of the three letters I have sent you from here have I received an answer.
..he .... if I do not get an answer to this I willsend another if I live to the end of the week. I hope that one of ..... so that you cannot write if he is such a fine fellow I should think you would want to write and tell me all about him so that I could join my joy to yours ......................... for a wonder I dreamed of you last night ........ I found you away from home somewhere and that I had an opertunaty to speak to you. I saw the baby but forget how he looked. You motioned for me to come and ......... where you were and appeared to have something to tell me and for some reason I could not come. shortly after-wards I was sent for .................... and I woke up. a heavy cannonade was going on ................ the noise of which probably was my recall to the ...y. Did you get the letter in which a re-quested you to send me a bowl(?) by ...... send a light one, do it up just as you would a ....... and it will come through in ....... all right.
.................. in the paper how hot it is. but no one ....
............ the heat is 110 ................. still we are a jolly set and all are wishing for rain and making the best of life as it is. if you have any news from father write it for I have not heard from him since the middle of May (several lines indecipherable)
blackberries are getting ripe ......... we shall soon luxurate I suppose. I will close by sending love to all. I dare not be par-ticular as to .......................... you will get the letter.
Your loving brother
Mrs. Joseph Potter A. T. La Forge
Andover Address - 1" Lieut. "I(?)" Co. 106" N.Y. Vols.
Allegany Co. 1" Brig. 3" Div. ?" ? C.
You need not put the Washington
on for they may stop there.



Monday 4th This has been the most quiet and orderly national birth day I ever spent, there has been no cannonading along the lines in hearing of this place, the only difference from the ordinary rou-tine was the playing of all the bands at sunrise, Indeed I quite lost sight of the fact that it was the Fourth until I heard someone about sun-down remark "what a quiet Fourth". I at once determined on a celebreation so took my revolver and went out side the works and fired two shots then came back feeling fully satisfied that I had did my duty. I feel in excellent spirits for last night I re-ceived a letter from my sister the first in more than a "good while" Our people are in pretty good health, Joseph being better than when she last wrote me; I was amused at her question asking if my pay was any higher than when I was a private, she also wants to know how it is that I am in command of a company, is there no Capts. &c. all of which I must answer in my next. Both yesterday & to-day have been comfortably cool, a slight sprinkle of rain - I got my Co-Descriptive Book to-day and have been busy making up accts. sending descriptive Lists to my men who are absent sick and wounded, and in fact discharging the duties of which I feel so proud.


Tuesday 5" Cool & pleasant. my occupation same as yesterday, I was detailed this evening to go on duty to-morrow as officer of the pickets. At five A.M. that will be my first duty of the kind, as an officer.

Wednesday 6th Orders sent arround at four A.M. to "pack up and be ready to move at a moments notice" - Our (3" Div.) part of the 6" Corps is to be sent to Western Va. to meet the rebs who are advan-cing in a strong column down the Shenendoah Vally under Genl. Enell (according to Bruce Catton's book "The Civil War" page 534 the southern general was Jubal Early), who threatens to cut off the retreat of Genl Hunter, the latter Genl, was defeated in front of Lynchburgh and is now retreating down the Kanewa (Kanawha) Vally before a victorious foe. The day has been very sultry and the march to City Point a very trying one but the men feel so rejoiced that they are going to exchange the arid sands and pine forrests of Lower Virginia, for the mountain breezes and fertile fields of the Blue Ridge & Shenendoah Vally, that the swealtering heat and suffo-cating dust are endured without a murmer. During our march today, at times the dust flew so thick that for 10 & 15 minutes at a time we could not see 20 feet from our selves, this added to the heat was dreadful. However we are now on transports, steaming down the James River and feeling almost as good as though on our way home. Most of this Div, for months did duty in W. Va. and the place was found so agreeable that they are rejoiced at their return to it.

Friday 8. Reached Baltimore at 5 P.M. yesterday, not allowed to land but had to wait for Genl. Rickets who was on a slower boat, waited until mid-night when we were ordered ashore by Genl. Lew. Wallace who commands this Department; cars were ready upon which we at once embarked for Frederick city Md. which we reached at 10 A.M. today, Leaving the cars we marched through the town to the South Mountain (west) side, the people received us with joy giving water and provisions freely; bivouacked in the fields, took dinner mostly on soft bread, the first in a long time. About 2 OC we learned that a column of the enemy were threatening Monocacy Bridge an Iron structure of great value about three miles east of the town, back through the town we went, and closed in mass on a hill where we could overlook the city and plain. About 4 OC a cloud of dust on the side of South Mountain indicated the approach of the enemy on the Sheapardstown road; When the cloud of dust (for we could see no enemy) got within 1½ mile of the city the cannon on that side opened with shell, apparently with good effect for we could see them burst just over the road, we soon fell in and marched to that side of town again, before we got there the rebs concluded to re-tire up the mountain again, so we were not needed. I therefore take advantage of our Idleness to write up my memorandum, the citi-zens seem to vie with each other as to who shall show us the most kindness, a very strong contrast between them and the people of Eastern Va.

Saturday 9" After dark last night we again marched through the town to the East but did not stop, for a column of the enemy were already between us and the Monocacy R.R. bridge; the direct march to the bridge would have been but 3 miles, but owing to the pre-sence of the enemy we were unable to choose our road so we had to cross the river away above here and follow down the east bank to this place, there was no road intended for wagons so our progress over the steep hills and through the woods and fields making our progress necessarily slow, in fact the way was bad enough to be a disgrace to Allegany Co. the route we came was fully eight miles and over such places, we got into posish on the bank of the Mono-cacy at midnight, I threw my self on the ground so completely tired out that I slept without covering - thro' a hard rain. woke up completely soked, wonder that no bad effect should come of it, I went to a brook near camp and took a good bath the first in a long time; then had breakfast. We larn that a small party of Rebs marched into Frederick last night meeting no resistence, if I was in the habit of swearing I should call that a ____ disgrace; I can hear firing in the direction of Frederick now, probably they are engaging our outposts; an aid just rode up and ordered a picket of one hundred & fifty men from the 106", I am to go on as officer of the picket: The order is countermanded I am not to go; The coun-try through here is splended, in fact far the finest farming coun-try I have seen since our passage through Pa on my last trip to the North. The wheat crop which has been just gathered seems to be a good one. (The firing on the Line has just ceased) How strange it seemed yesterday to see our soldiers in Line of battle and our bat-teries engaged, while arround us in every direction farmers and farm maids were peacefully although rather hurriedly gathering their crops and performing other rural duties: The rain of last night was much needed- Some reffugee negros are going by, also several loyal families- many of the ladies well dressed- are seek-ing protection behind us as they dare not stay in their homes so long as the Rebs have possission; They account for their good clothes by saying that so long as they had to leave some to fall into the hands of the enemy, they might as well be the poorest, so they carry their best on their backs and that is probably all the worldly goods that this days work will leave them.

Sunday July 10th I will commence my memorandum where it was sud-denly terminated yesterday by an order from Brigade Head Quarters again ordering me to take out and establish a picket line, Capt Parker of Company "F" was the senior officer on picket, but he kept himself in a safe place leaving everything that required exposure to me. Our batteries had already been engaged about half an hour with some force in our front how large we did not know, I crossed the river with my pickets and at once found that I should have to fight for a posish, so I moved my men to a knoll where we slightly infiladed the reb- pickets & giving them a fiew shots we gained a starting point, I then deployed my men as fast as possible under fire, conducting them on the run through a corn field where our flank was constantly reciving the reb-fire, I would leave a man at every two rods, who would at once commence returning the fire, we ran in a stooping posture so as to gain all the concealment pos-sible from the corn which was 4½ feet high. Everything progressed favorably until about noon, when with my glass I could see a column of the enemy crossing the river 2 miles below us, this heavy force I saw would strike our line of battle on the flank and rear, still I felt confident, some of the men who came out in the morning with me were dead, others wounded, but we held our first position. The force which crossed the river soon came up and engaged our troops in such a manner that they came right behind my line on the left. I then bowed the left in, and finally had to recross the river to avoid capture, this was done by fording as our troops had burned the bridge as a measure of safety. my men were careful to keep their ammunition dry. A Reb- Lt. Col. cap'd at this time said that we had until an hour before been engaged with the Cav- alone, but now the whole of Ewells Army 30000 strong had came up. said he "as near as I can find, you have but 6000 men" (wich was the fact) "and unless you dig out of here you will rue it" An hour after this they charged our line and were finely repulsed, and held back for some time, then they again charged with a double line of battle against our one, and with a line so long that it bowed arround both our flanks, even then our boys held them nobly for a long time, but mortal courage could not stand against such odds, they they gave way slowly at first, then rapidly, and finally ran; the retreat soon became a general route, I rallied a fiew of the pickets and held our line for a fiew minutes, but they melted so fast that they

could not be forced to remain in such a position. I finally gave the order for the picket to fall back, and I took good care to be the last from the line, when I started I ran as fast as possible thus zigzaging for I found myself a mark for more of the enemies sharp shooters than was at all comfortable; I had a brook to cross, several wounded men & dead also lay in it, their cries were piteous but no halt- I got acrost the R.R. and here found some of our union troops 8, or 10. I stoped to breathe & we deterined to bother the Johnnies a little, and commenced firing at those who were fording the river & crossing the iron R.R. Bridge, one of the men called my attention to a reb 300 yards distant who was running toward the river to cross, bringing up his gun he fired, the man went down; the "shot" at once commenced expressing the most extra-vagant joy at the same time reloading, by this time some of the enemy were in 30 feet of us. I had just aimed my revolver at the foremost when looking back I sawe a lot of them in our rear, I thought my weapon might do better servise fighting through them, we all started on the retreat, going to the right of the enemy who were deploying to capture us, the bullets flew like hail stones, the boys fell all arround me, I shall never forget the short- Oh! Ah! Dear Me! and such like exclamations which was all that gave us to understand that one of our number was wounded. I overtook Genl. Wallaces retreating column on the Baltimore Pike- the officers were making every effort to bring some order out of the chaos & even while rapidly retreating the old veterans formed in column so as to resist any further demonstration the enemy could make on through New Market we came, No halt at dark for making coffee, but those that had hard tack divided with their comnrades & they ate as they walked At 2 OC this morning a rest of an hour was ordered; but the men were so fatigued that they could go no farther so they were al-lowed to lay until day light when the retreat was resumed. What misery the men have endured to-day, feet sore as boils, tired, hun-gry, but above all defeated- still no murmering. We have finally reched Ellicotts Mills 36 miles from the scene of action, and are now bivouacked in a beautiful wood for a rest & I think probably to stay all night.

LETTER Hd. Qrs. "I" Co. 106" N.Y.V. 1st Brig. 3rd Div. 6" AC.
In the field Monday July 4" 64
My dear sister,
Do not think by the date of my letter that I shall send it to day, for I shall not have a chance for a week perhaps, when I do I will add more & forward it. My object in writing to night is the romance of the fourth, and also to answer the questions propounded in your last, least I might forget them, as I have to burn your letter as fast as received for want of transportation for them. 1st I am in com'd of the co because the capt. was captured on May 6' at the battle of the Wilderness, the 1" Lt. went home on a fur-lough last March and forgot to return, the 2" Lt. was killed at the Battle of Cold Harbor June 1" so I am not only in com'd but also the only officer in the co. My Co propperly is "F" being however that there was already two officers preasent with that co- I was placed in command of co "I"- My pay is now $108 rather higher than before you see. out of this I must buy my provisions clothing and arms- one dollar a day pays for grub in the field, in camp it would be more as we could get more to buy. So I have a little more than $2,50 per day for other purposes.
Saturday July 9"- According to promise I finish my letter to you, but in a far different place from what I had anticipated. We are now about 4 miles from Frederick Md and I am sitting on the bank of the Monocacy River. And delighted is every man in the command to be able to breathe the pure mountain air of these regions again, The Loyal Citizens of F- were glad to see us come marching into town, they thought that the very name of the Veterans of the Army of Potomac was sufficient to protect them. what must have been their feelings last night when to save ourselves from capture we had to abandon the city, which was soon occupied by the enemy, I grieve at their disappointment. I will not finish this letter un-til night as we are likely to have a brush with rebs just now and I shall want you to know the result.
Monday July 11th 64- Ellicotts Mills, 10 miles from Baltimore. Dear friends by the blessing of God I am spared to finish this let-ter. Immediately after closing this Saturday I was detailed to go on duty as officer of the picket, this was 9 A.M. the enemy at-tacked at that hour & from that time until nearly sundown we were ingaged in in a battle as obstinately fought as any of the war; we however were pitted against such fearful odds that the defeat which I sorrowfully chronicle can be considered no disgrace to our brave Division By reading my mem's- which I enclose- you will get a faint idea of the fearful nature of the struggle; Amid such dread-ful carnage it seems almost impossible that any person could escape unharmed as I did, & for which I feel truly thankful- The fertile fields of the Monocacy must have been satiated with human gore, and her waters was discoloured with the life blood of many heroes who will know no other grave than that afforded by her cool wave which is to-day gently caressing their marble brows.
Prisoners report the Rebs 30,000 which would make them over five to our one, still we held them back for eight long hours in spite of all they could do, this I consider a tribute to the bra-very of the Div which may well make them feel proud. I cannot describe my heart-sickness when after such a resistence we had to give way, and the last rays of the setting sun saw our routed & retreating army flying acrost the Maryland Hills. I must abruptly close on account of duty. Much love to all



Monday 18th Halt of the 6" Army Corps in Snickers Gap Shenandoah Mts of this halt I take advantage and shall write up my neglected memoranadum. also if I have time write to sister. I wrote a let-ter to Miss Porter at Baltimore and have it in my pocket yet, not having had a chance to mail it. On Sunday- 10" Our brave but de-feated little army under Genl Wallace reached Ellicotts Mills- 10 miles west of Balto- were marched into a beautiful grove near the town & camped, My servant who had been behind & was I feared cap-tured came up with my provisions & blankets the arrival of the three gave me much comfort both mentally & physically. Remained all night luxuriously sleeping among the thick leaves & obtaining in large doses the much needed rest, after two days of excessive fatigue.
On Monday 11" Geo. Powell- Lt of "K"- and I went down to the vil-lage without our shoulder straps- we never wear them on a campaign- and had a deal of attempting to make the liquor venders believe we were officers. they were prohibited from selling to privates, and insisted on classing us among that order, probably having never seen officers just from the battlefield before- we were looking ra-ther rough. We went into a place for a glass of ale- t'was "no go" "we were not officers, could not sell them" &c. were our only re-plies, while we were parleying an officer in full uniform came in with whom I had been an picket at Monocacy. I laughingly told him my difficulty, He soon set matters right by explaining to "mine host" that it was not the style of the officers of the Army of the Potomac to put on many airs or extras, & most of them dressed the same as privates; After this I got what I wanted. I also got some lime water to dress my face which had been badly burned by a fellow spattering red-hot greese upon it- accidentally of course- the day before. Three hours before sundown broak camp and started for Bal-timore- the Q. M. stores in town could not be saved, there was dan-ger of their falling into the hands of the enemy so they were des-tributed gratuitously to the men. Proceeded to Balto- by rail arrived after dark and bivouacked near the upper Balto- & O- R.R. depot, remained there all night and all
Tue- 12". Lt Powell and I went into town and got some Ice cream & cake.
Wed- 13" Moved arround to the North side of the city & camped in a beautiful situation in Druid Hill Park, where we luckely found plenty of boards to put our selves up in good shape. Capt Robert-son & I went through the park on an exploration trip, pitching into all sorts of out of the way places discovering all that was admira-ble and lamenting that war should make it necessary to desecrate such holy quiet by the clash of arms. In the afternoon the blanks came from the Ordnance Office and I at once went to work making out my ordinence report, this has to be done four times a year, when a full account has to be given of all arms and accoutrements, and Ordnance Stores that have been in our possission since last return, every officer in the service has to make this return. This after-noon communication between here and Washington by a body of Rebel Cav. which has passed on towards Annapolis.
Thursday 14" At M. took cars for Washington as communication had been opened again & the RR repaired, the enemy did but little dam-age, merely burning a fiew cars & cutting down some telegraph poles tearing up a fiew rails &c. arrived at Washington just before sun-down desembarked from the cars, took supper at the Soldiers Rest, camped near there. Next morning "Thurs 15" breakfasted at Soldiers Rest then marched to Georgetown by way of Pennsylvania Av. the citizens received our scarred veterans with demonstrations of joy. I saw many of my old acquaintances in the city and had many gay salutes from all sides, the Div gave three cheers for Lincoln as we passed the White House, bivouacked near Tennally town until 4 P.M. then marched about six miles further towards Poolsville, then stoped for the night in a field of tall timothy, what luxury to streatch out on that soft bed of grass.
Saturday 16" Very hot. still we made a long hard march, fording the Potomac near Edwards Ferry, the men were allowed to take off their clothes and carry them on their heads while fording, the wa-ter came up to their breasts, and was ¼ of a mile wide, It was de-cidedly a strange spectacle to see 5000 men with their lower person naked & the upper clothed marching down the sloping bank on one side and wading across in a long line four abrest emerging on the other side, then marching in that garb ½ a mile and fording a branch of the river before dressing, some young ladies came from the farm-houses arround to watch the troops cross, but when they saw the primative garb which was to be worn during the operation they concluded to retire, out of sight of us at least. It was dark before the whole Div was across, still the route for Leesburg, se-ven miles distant, was taken up. Three miles through the heat and dust we went, and at rapid marching to this occasioned many men who were footsore and thuroughly exhausted to fall, and finally convinced the General that he would have but fiew men with him if he continued on so a "Halt for the night" was commanded; I was very much fatigued, my servant was not up either with my blanket overcoat or provision, so I put my rubber arround me and threw myself on the ground already wet with dew, and was soon fast asleep, my repose was of short duration however for I awoke with the cold and slept but little thereafter.
Sunday 17" On towards Snickers Gap, passing through Leesburg, a pretty little city nestling cosily among the hills of London Co, something like Elmira N.Y. on a much smaller scale; Stoped near the town for dinner, then marched some three miles farther and joined the rest of the 6" corps which had arrived on the ground by another route the day berore. The Chaplain of one of the regiments preached a sermon in the grove where the Brigade was bivouacked, it was decidedly impressive, to see the weather bronzed veterans of many a hard campaign gathered arround beneath the royal old oaks listening to the words of devotion put up by the man of God, over the whole of them the Ruddy glare of the camp fires was playing, and lighting up faces which showed no less interest in the words there spoken than in the words which had called them forth to do battle for their country.
Monday 18" The whole corps took the road for the mountains, we have many evidences of the hastey manner in which the Rebs fled along this road, wagons burned to prevent their falling into our hand were scattered all along the route, dead mules and horses, swollen by the heat and looking horrible interrupted us every little way, the smell too was awful, our cavalry pressed them closely yesterday, We arrived at this place (Snickers Gap) about 11 A.M. and as I before said I take advantage of our halt to write up my mems. The Rebs are on the other side of the Mountain and a Div. of Hunters 8" Corps are close upon them.

Tuesday 19" On picket East side of the Shenandoah; Crossed the Blue Ridge yesterday afternoon, when coming down the west side of the mountain we could see a Div of the 19" Corps forcing a crossing at Snickers Ford, they were sharply engaged; our corps marched to a posish where we had a splendid view of the engagement being about three hundred feet above an ½ mile in rear of the combatants; One Div of the 19" got acrost but were driven by a splendid charge of the rebs back into the river again, when the enemy made that charge battery after battery opened upon them, some of the shells bursting right in their ranks, still they kept on nobly, and finally Drove the 19 from a good posish behind a stone wall, and acrost the ri-ver; Those troops do not fight like the soldiers of the Grand Army. I shuld like to have seen those rebs attempt to drive a Div of the A of P. from that stone wall, The Div just at dark received orders to sleep on their arms, at the same time a regiment of one hundred days men, was being marched through a ravine in our rear to do picket duty below us on the river when suddenly a reb battery 1½ miles off commenced throwing shells at random in our direction, se-veral of these, all at once fell into the 100 days men doing consi-derable execution, and scattering them like chaff, fortunately the enemy were not aware of the service their battery was doing & it soon ceased firing altogather, No 100 days regt came to time for picket duty however, so the 87 P.V. and 106" N.Y. were detailed for that duty and a disagreeable time we had getting on post, wading streams & climbing fences forcing our way through the underbrush &c. in the dark, however we are very comfortable just now, I slept very nicely on the porch of a mountain cabin last night, feel none the worse for it now.



LETTER Camp near Snickers Ford Va July 17th 64
Dear Sister.
I do not know when I shall have an opertunaty to send this letter to you, but as one may occur when leaste expected, I will have it ready. The life of a soldier is "constant change" if the saying "there is no rest for the wiked" applies only to sinners, then all this Grand Army must have a large account to settle; The order to "Forward" has just been given & I can write no more now
Bank of the Shenandoah. July 18". I will continue my epistle, from yesterdays interruption; In pursuance of the order which caused such an abrupt pause in my letter, we marched through the Gap, from the summit of which I obtained such a lovely view, such as one is allowed only once in a lifetime, during a halt on the top of the mountain, I ran off and clambering up a cliff succeeded in obtaining a m... eligant position, for from this summitt of the Blue Ridge could be seen the whole of the London Vally which we had just left, and much of the world renowned Shenandoah Vally, In looking across the first, I could trace far back toward Washington the road pursuied by the army in chasing the flying Johnnies, to the S.E. the view was interrupted by the Hights of Mannassas; how-ever that part of the country I knew tolorably well, the perticular charm lay in the Vally into which we were marching, far off across the beautifully undulating plain could be seen the dim outlines of the Alleghanies, these lay to the N.W. to the North the vision was abruptly terminated by the frowning fortified summits of Maryland Hights, then looking to the S. I could follow the Vally far past Winchester, until its extension in that direction seemed to be sud-denly stopped by a hill which had evidently been droped in there by mistake. That hill is what was once Stonewall Jacksons stronghold and was considered the key to the upper Vally. Inside of these boundaries, all was lovlyness; cities, hamlets & cottages nestled cosily among the green hills, waving woods and meandering strems; to use ones eyes alone, all seemed peace and quiet, but the organs of hearing told another tale, for there came rolling back on the breeze, the boom of artillery & sharp crack of rifles, already the advance guard of the army which was slowly winding its way down the mountain, had met a defiant foe who felt disposed to dispute its farther progress. One more look at the beautiful and historical plain from which it is our proud purpose to drive foe, and I sprang down the cliff & hastended to join my company which had passed on quite a distance. I refer you to my memoranadum for the descrip-tion of the fight & the part which we took in it. Last evening when we came here to do picket duty in the place of the 100 day Regt which ran away, we accidentally ran upon a lot of bee-hives which had been hidden by their owner in the woods, the said owner and ourselves entered into an arraingement whereby five of the hives of honey pass into our hands on condition that we allow no more to be taken while we are here, We had a splendid honey sup-per,- Honey & hard-tack- on the strength of this dicovery, there was enough in the five hives for both of the regt on duty here. when some other regt comes out to relieve us, old secesh will loose more of his honey I presume. We are on picket on the extreme right of the army on the South bank of the river, expect to move to night. Love to all



Tuesday, July 19", 64 Our regiment with the 87 P.V. were on picket duty on the mountain roads to the right of Snickers Gap. the duty is very pleasant. there is a man lives here who has some 20 hives of honey, he gave us 5 hives last night on condition that we would put a guard over them and prevent any more being taken which we did we had all the honey we wanted. We officers also took supper and breakfast with the man, we had hoe cake, butter, rye coffee and ham. there has been considerable firing along the river to-day but from the clouds of dust rrising along the roads back I should judge the main body of the enemy were falling back.

Tennally Town D.C, Saturday July 23" 64 Last Tuesday night we were relieved from picket & marched back to the hill where we witnessed the fight of the 19 Army Corps the night before and bivouacked for the night. Wednesday July 20th About M. got orders for the route, were soon packed up and started. We crossed the Shanandoah at Snickers Ford by wading it it was about two feet deep, then star-ted on the pike for Berryville. After going a mile a heavy thunder storm came up which gave us a most thorough wetting. we marched a mile in the rain then turned into the woods and waited for it to stop which it did in about an hour. We still staid however, there was a lot of hogs in the woods and the boys went to shooting them and we soon had fresh pork enough for two days. At eight news was received that a heavy column of the enemy were approaching Washing-ton, that those in our front had only fell back in order to draw us farther from that city, that nearly all those who had been before us two days before had went up the vally and recrossed the Blue Ridge at Ashbys Gap and were also marching for our city. and had the inside track. the danger was eminent. Our orders were that we should start for Washington and march night and day till we got there, what rrations we had must last us the whole distance. We started on the return at 10 P.M. recrossed the Shanandoah and up through Snickers Gop. we marched all night- it was bright moon-light, we would go about two hours then rest half an hour, we got to the place we started from the twesday before about 8 A.M. Thursday 21" here we halted for breakfast then started on towards Leesburg. we passed through that city and went into camp on the East side of Goose Creek four miles East of the town at 2 P.M. hav-ing marched over 30 miles since starting the night before. This with the men with prety heavy loads and over the rough roads of the mountain, fording the Shanandoah twice, marching at night with a wagon train five miles long by our side to bother us, was accom- plishing a miricle, this forced march gave us the inside track of the rebs so that we could be more leasurely in our movements here-after. The Corps rested here until 4 O.C. A.M. Friday 22" The 3" Division to which the 106" belongs, was detailed to guard the wagon train this day. we started at four OC. our Div had one hundred wagons to guard making ten for each company. I had ten, my men put their knapsacks and haversacks on the wagons and marched prety easy to-day. I left the train once to go to a house and get a drink when I was coming back I ran on a Black berry patch the like of which I never saw, they were large as plumbs, thick as Cran Berries and sweet as sugar. I could have picked a bushel in half an hour, of course it did not take long to fill myself which I did to reple-tion then joined the train. ever since we have been up here we have had all the berries we could eat there is plenty of them in all directions. my boys caught five hens to make a soup of at night we camped this night ten miles west of Chain Cridge. the boys have got a lot of cows and horses on the march which they bring to the city to sell. some of them make a pile that way. the boys made their chicken soup then we went into camp getting a lot of rye straw to lay on. During the night I had a heavy chill after that a hot fever so that this morning when I got up I could hardly stand. I could not eat which is a prety sure sign of sickness in me. When the regt fell in and started for this place I staggered with weakness it was evident I could not march. Capt Robinson had a pass to ride in the Ambulance he gave it to me and I got into one and rode to the Chain Bridge we came through one or two little burgs the names of which I did not learn. Some of the country we passed through was very fine but I did not take much interest in it. About a mile from the Bridge we came to a regiment of Veteran Reserves on duty, how mighty nice they looked with their straps all polished up and arms so bright and such enviable quarters. I al-most wished I was in their places. After we crossed the Bridge (Chain Bridge) they started the ambulances down to Washington. I asked where we were going. They said to the hospital so I jumped out as I could not see going to Hospital. we came up here to camp- I joined the Corps at the bridge- Our orders are to have inspection to morrow, to send in for all the clothing, arms and ammunition we want and to prepare our selves for active duty in the field, I won-der what they call the duty we have been on. The opinion appears to be that we are to go to Petersburg next week. Our Pay Rolls were brought up and the Paymasters say if we will have the Rolls signed they will pay us to-morrow morning. The Rolls will be signed I have learned that Sergts Campbell and Hawley whom I thought captured are up at Frederick City. The Orderly Sergt how-ever is captured and one private.

Near Georgetown. Sunday July 24" The regiment was paid off to-day. Major Martin this P.M. said he could not pay me owing to some in-formality of the rolls. He showed me what it was but I could not see why he should not pay. I made up my mind if we stay here to-morrow I will take my retained roll down to the Pay Master Genl' and ask him why I cannot be paid. I received a letter from my sis-ter to-day all are well. Some of the boys have got considerable whiskey down them and are having a lively time of it. Geo Powell and I took a walk into the edge of Georgetown one and ½ miles from here. came back prety tired I am feeling much better than I did yesterday.

Monday July 25" Last night a heavy wind and rain came up and blew our tent down upon us. Lt. Powell & I sleep together. Our ser-vants got up and fixed them and laid down but the tents were down nearly as quick as they and so it kept them going. We succeeded in passing a rather uncomfortable night. We got up gretty early and about 8 O.C. although still raining went down town. The first thing was to go to a bath House and take a good cleaning then I went to P.M. Genl. and told him why Maj Martin had refused to pay me. He said there was no reason why I should not be paid, and en-dorced to that effect on the Pay Roll which I gave him. I went to Martins office with it but found he was out to our Division paying. I saw Sergt Beaugureau and Hauser from camp we went to Mitchells and had a gay dinner then I had a game of billiards with B. we parted and I went to the A.G. office and put my paper in for a dis-charge from the 85" M.Y.Vols. afterwards came back to camp. Maj. Martin had finished paying and gone back to the city so I did not get my $80ΕΕ dollars.

Hyattstown Md. July 27th 64. On the night of the 25th we got marching orders again to march early, the 26th we packed up ready but did not move til noon marched up the Frederick Pike to a mile west of Rockville. here we bivouacked for the night in a little wood. This morning were up and started at 4 AM. Passed through Locksburgh about 11 AM, made a short rest and then came on to this place which is about eleven miles from Fredricks Burgh and we will stay here all night. The wheat is harvest and is in the barns the hay cut and stacked. Green Corn plenty. Blackberries still abun-dent every thing bears the appearance of peace & plenty, but what means the appearences of all these camp fires a foe to conquer and driven Back

Three miles west of Harpers Ferry. July 29" 64 Marched up from Hyattstown through Urbana and bivouacked on the old Monocacy battle field where we arrived where we arrived about M. the 28" We went to looking for the body of Capt Hooker the 1" N.Y. Cav. had dug trenches and burned our dead permiscuously in heaps. we knew where the body was left however and after considerable digging found his body. the only thing by which he could be recognised was his clothes and the wound through the head. his body was to be put in a rough coffin and again interred and word sent to his friends where to find him. we had to leave two men to perform the duty as we were ordered away before we could finish it. The corps proceed-ed to Jeffersonville about eight miles from Frederick. we forded the river in the same place I had to with the picket the day of the fight and making a circut arround Frederick started for the moun-tains which we had to cross before getting to our destination. it was dark before we got to them and the toil of marching over the mountain roads at night was immense more than half the men gave out and stoped by the side of the road at length we reached the top and the men gave a cheer, as far below them on the plain in front was seen the camp fires of the Division which had crossed be-fore us. we knew we should stop near them hence the joy of the boys to see their journeys end. we got down the mount and camped about 11 P.M. very tired. This morning (29") we marched on up by the way of Petersville, Berlin, Sandy hook and Harpers Ferry: the week has been excessively hot and caused the men much suffering. no doubt as many as ten men have fell from sun stroke each day in this Brigade. We are now lying in line of battle and dispositions have been made as though we were to be attacked. the rebs are re-ported eight miles from here. Maryland Hights are near enough to us to send shells from their 100 pounders over us. I dont see how it would be possible for any force to capture that place with its present fortifications. it must be imnpregnable. strong works on the very top of a rugged mountain with heavy ordnance, lots of wa-ter and food and a good garrison they could defy the rebel army I should like to have the chance to fight behind those works. As I have a chance I will write to my sister to night. Although I dont know when I shall have a chance to send it.



LETTER "Army of the Shenandoah" Near Harper Ferry July 29" 64
Dear Sister
Through constant imployment I have been prevented from writing to you on the usual day and it is while again on the march looking for the enemy that I take this opertunaty. You will see by my me-morandum that our programme is constantly changing. we are a fly-ing army certainly. this is the third start we have made in this direction. twice we have fell back to the capital only to start again. I hope we shall not have to go back so fast this time. I saw the gentleman of whom I borrowed that money while I was in Washington. he said he sent you the order I gave him on the "13" if you have no got it please tell Joseph to express the $75ΕΕ se-venty five dollars prepaid to Sergt A. Beaugureau. "Chief Clerk" Rendezvous of Distribution Va and write me as soon .........sending me the Express (reverse of letter is very faint and only a few excerpts can be read) .......... the clothes I forgot ............ your letter of the 19" while on the march. I am glad you are so much ..... with the baby for as long as you .....................
.......................... to see if there was any .............. telegraph before I come home so you can have a lot of them made up for me. Tell Miss Martha the Rebs are not so easy Killed they die hard, and not .... to work hard to get the advantage of .......... will do it after a while. ............ to Janey & Perry and tell the ..... I'd like to capture and send a contraband up to them to help at the farm. Give my love to the Children also and all our friends. I have not got a letter from father since I came to the regt. I must schold him. Supper is ready so good by for the present. Bijou



Camp Near H.F. Saturday July 30" 64.
Dear sis. as I have some time before the mail goes out I wiall write you some more. I have just got a letter from father dated June 22" it has been laying at Redz' of Distribution for some time which caused the delay. They were all well at that time. he is very bitter against John. C. thinks he is telling me lies about him, which is reason I dont write. I have sent a letter to him disabusing his mind of any such idea. we are taking it cool just now, resting after our fatigue. the only firing I hear is some of the boys shooting pigs. Fresh meat will not be much of a luxory to me when I get home for we get it nearly every day here. pies will be however. Love to all.
A.T. La Forge



Camp near Harper Ferry July 30" 64
We have had no orders to march yet but probably shall move to-day. We have just received our mail. I got a letter from father one from John Clemence $10.ΕΕ one from W.W. Hibbard one from O.L. Barney. all of which are well it was very warm this morning but a fine breeze has sprung up now and cooled the air.

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