11 September 1862


Camp Forbes
Somewhere near Leesboro, Maryland
September 11, 1862

Dear Parents,

Since my last I have seen a little of the rough of soldiering. Tuesday morning early we struck tents and started for somewhere. Our tents are large enough to hold two persons and we have to carry them on our backs. They are not very heavy, each one soldier carrying one half. These with our knapsacks, belts, roundabouts, cartridge boxes, &c. make a pretty heavy load on one’s soldiers.

We rested several times and at last halted in this place about 4 o’clock P. M.—the distance being 12 Virginia miles which in our opinion are equal to 15 Yankee miles. Many fell out (and the largest men too) from exhaustion but your humble servant stood it like a brick and felt about as we as when he started.

We all learnt a lesson broth from practice and from the many soldiers we passed on our way. It is this: “to carry too much baggage is acting like a fool” and consequently I shall send home everything except my blankets, shirts, medicine, and sewing apparatus. Knapsacks we don’t need.

There is one thing I am thankful for and that is that we are agoing to Gen. Burnside’s Division (Bully for him) and expect to start early tomorrow morning. I am going to steal—-or in more polite words, “forage” all I can before starting so as to have plenty to eat on the march. I don’t know how far we are to go. As for Col. Bowman, the men think he a little God. They all most worship him. Cause why? He treats us as men and not like brutes as some colonels do.

I am feeling first rate and if you feel half as well as I do, you are all right. Give my love to all my friends if you know who they are. I don’t.

Write soon. Hoping you are both well and of good cheer, I remain your son, — Charley

Next Letter: 13 September 1862