1861 June 28 Camp near Winchester


My dear Pa:-
I intended writing you a long letter
on yesterday but was invited out to dinner
and met with such good cheer that I did not
get back until late yesterday evening. And now I’ll
be able to write only a short letter as I’ve been
on the tramp all the morning and feel now pretty
tired and stupid. We recd. on yesterdays orders to
move our quarters and we marched this morning
to this place – a mile and a half from Winchester
and about seven miles from our other encampment
. Our company and one other in the regiment had
had their Knapsacks to carry and as it was our
first experience at the business it went pretty
hard with us for the first mile or two – we
got used to it, however, and most of us made
out pretty well. Soldiering is not so bad after
you get used to it. Our present camp is
nothing like so pleasant as the one we
have just left and Col. Hill was very much
opposed to the move, but I suppose that
Gen. Johnson wishes to concentrate his forces
so that he may be ready for any emergency.
Our forces here are receiving daily acccess
-ions from the East so that it is hardly
possible that we shall be ordered to Manassas
. Of course we can form no correct idea as
to our next move but things look somewhat
as if we are to be Kept here for some days
at least. It may be that the plan is to con-
centrate a very large force here and move
into Maryland at the same time that

[p. 2]
Beauregard advances on Alexandria -, I have found
myself fortunate in being a friend of Ryland’s
as it has secured me some pleasant visits
and some very nice eating. I believe I have
not written home an account of my visit
to one of his churches last Saturday and
Sunday. I had a very nice visit indeed
-the brethren were very Kind & their eating a
decided improvement on camp fare; and then
it was a real treat to me to spend [a] quiet
sabbath away from the bustle of the camp. I
preached twice to large and attentive con-
gregations and a good brother sent us
to camp in his carriage – so that besides
the pleasant visit we rode about 26 miles
wh[ich] the other boys h[a]d to foot. Our last
camp was near one of Ryland’s churches
and he took me out to dine or sup with
the brethren several times. The best time I’ve
had yet, however, was on yesterday. The day
before I met at camp a young Baptist Bro.
whom I Knew well at the University – he gave
me an introduction to his mother and she
went to “Head-Quarters” and got leave for Ryland
and myself to take dinner at her house
yesterday. Col. Hill and several other officers
were there and we h[a]d a real nice time
of it – the dinner was one of the most elegant
ones I ever sat down to – a gr[ea]t variety of
meats, vegitables &c well served up – ice –
cream & cake and cream and peaches for
desert. You may be sure that I did full
justice to the feast and that beef has

[p. 3]
seemed rather insipid ever since.. Our fare
has not been as good or as abundant
since we left H. Ferry as it was there, but
it has been owing our frequent moves and
we will doubtless fare better in future.
Our mess, however, under Kit Walthal’s effi-
cient management has fared sumptuously
on milk, butter, molasses &c albeit it has cost
rather more than we shall be able to afford
in future. –

[letter stops at this point and will pick up on the 29th]

MSS 13407

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