1863 January 23 Camp near Corbin’s Neck

     Camp near Corbin’s Neck
                      Jan’y 23 1863
Fried Reed:–
                     I believe I wrote
you last, but it has been so long
ago I suppose a few lines more
will not be amiss.  I am again in
camp & surrounded by all the
“pomp, pride and circumstance
of glorious war”.  I arrived here
on Tuesday & found nearly all
the boys on picket. Old Jim’s as
fat as a bear and has as much
fun in him as ever. The yanks
appear to be very well satisfied
to keep the other side of the river.
I haven’t heard even a cannon,
something that used to be an
every-day occurrence.  Our pickets
and theirs seem to have made
peace with each other, as they
have ceased to shoot at one another

[page 2]
They did converse and trade with
each other but that has been prohibited
When our regiment was on picket,
a Yank hallowed across the river
to one of our men that he would
give him a gallon of Whiskey (which
by the way is only worth $80.00 in camp)
for a plug of tobacco; but the fellow
was not allowed to make the trade.
Another, I understand, called to
one of our men to know if we
had a sorry corporal.  He said
if we had, he wanted to swap
Burnside for him.  We have the
best position here in the world.  Our
fortifications are on the side of a
hill, so that we could form two
distinct lines of battle in our
breast – works and have our cannon
in rear so that we could just
throw them down as they cross
the bottom which, I believe is
upwards of a mile long.

[page 3]
It is thought by some that the
Yankees will advance here, but
I think, surely their Gen’l, if it
is no body but Burnside, will have
more judgement than that.  I
believe, we could whip all Yankeedom
with the position we have here.
Well, Reed, what do you think of peace.
I wish I were able to roll back the
misty vail of futurity, and see our
destiny as a nation.  I do not
doubt our final success, but how
long & to what extent do will this
havoc, this butchery of human
beings continue be carried on!
Reed, you can’t conceive of the horrors
of war, without you could go over
a battle field.  It is horrible!
Were you at home when I left?  I
would like to have seen you before
I left.  I stopped at Mr McCauley’s
as I passed, — only a few minutes.

[page 4]
Reed, the time has come when necessity
compells us to ask a favor of you.
We are entirely destitute of cooking
utensils, and know of no way of obtaining
them without out sending home & employ-
                     to bring them for us
ing an agent and ^ know of no one so
well suited for the task as yourself.
We all intend writing home to our daddies
to make up these things and we want
you, that is if it dont “discommode” you too
much, to bring them to us – we bearing
all expenses. If I knew of any argument
that would induce you to come, I would
willing employ it.  suffice it, to say,
we are very much in need, and desire
your services very much.  Jim says if
you do undertake it which he hopes
you will, you must freeze to the
box until you get it to us.  You
had better come by Charlottesville
and be particularly careful at Guinea’s
Station.  Well, Reed, I must close.
Please present my regards to Misses
Jinny & Callie and all enquiring
friends.  Write soon.
            Your true friend
                                 M.P. Frantz
Mr James
       Sir, it is not only for the
great necessity compelling us to call upon
you, as Pettie has related, that we thus
address you, but more particularly be-
cause we are anxious to see you.  I have
just reproved him for it.  However I am
a witness of the fact that we are in a hard
place and do hope you will pay us a visit very
soon and just do this little business as you come Houts

Marshall Petty Frantz and James Philip Houtz ot Co. E., 42nd Virginia the “Dixie Grays”

MSS 14953

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