|March 16, 1862, Bolivar, Va.
My dear Wife,
I guess you will be surprised to learn that we are back again insight of Harpers Ferry. We are now encamped on the same ground as the regt was while Co. B was on Provost Guard duty at the Ferry. We have been in such a hubbub that I really cannot remember when I wrote you last, or when in our journey we was- think however it was before we started for Winchester.
On Wednesday night about 6 ock we got orders to pack our knapsacks and be ready to march at a moments notice. In about 15 minutes after, orders came to leave our knapsacks and go in light marching order. In about half an hour everything was countermanded and we supposed we were to have a quiet night, but about 8 oclk orders came again to sling knapsacks and start for Winchester which we done, but had not gone over 100 rods before we were ordered back to camp, where we remained till 8 oclk next morning, then we struck tents and left bag & baggage for Winchester a distance of 10 ½ miles from Berryville.
When within some two miles of Winchester all of a sudden we were turned into a piece of woods and ordered to take a lunch & rest a while, and then march back to Berryville-for what no one but Gen Banks knew. It gave us a march of 15 or 16 miles for nothing. Next day at 8 oclk we march for Harpers Ferry-made about 15 miles and encamped in the woods some 2 miles this side of Charleston. Yesterday morning we marched to this point only 5 miles, but it rained for an hour before we started and all the way & the ground we are on is just like a hog pen - mud every where. I expect we are to remain here till tomorrow, when we take the cars for some point unknown to us. It is the general impression that we are to go down the coast some where-if that is the case we should take the steamers either at Washington, Annapolis or Baltimore, most likely one of the two latter points and if you have not left Baltimore I may have another opportunity to see you. They will probably hurry us along -much as possible. I think I should get me a valise and send my trunk home or get it stored in Balt. If we go there. I should not dare to run the risk of taking it along in that section of country. The Brigade Qr Master found fault because there has been so much baggage to carry. Shall take just as little as possible then if I lose it or am obliged to leave it, will not amount to much.
I am thankful we are rid of Banks-dont believe he is much of a General. Gen Sedgewicks whole Division is going with us which makes 3 Brigades of infantry (12 Regts) besides Van Allens Cavalry and 3 or 4 Batteries of artillery. I am glad you had so good a time in Washington. I think you did not tell me to ____ there-_____ I had half a mind to do so but was afraid you would not get it. Do you think of stopping Phila.? I am afraid you will leave Balt. Before receiving this from what you said in your last. Think I will try to write a note to Wm Beaman and enclose this in it.
My feet are so cold I cannot write. I have no fire in my tent now a days. Syl is pretty tough and stands the marching better than I expected, but he is not of much use as a helper on the road. __ wants a good camp "Bull nigger" to help pitch tents & c. & c. Most of the officers have a darkie who carries their blankets & c for them which makes it much easier for them. I have backed my knapsack right along. Capt Wood of co. K has done the same. Goddard only carried his to Adamstown. This paper is rather smutty but I did not notice it at first. Trust you will excuse that part. Remember me to all the folks and write me often as you can - ____ to Washington D.C. Good bye with much love and a kiss.
P.S. I have received nothing from home since leaving Poolesville except through you letters.