13 September 1862


“Camp Forbes”
Brookville, Maryland
September 13th 1862

Dear Father,

In my last letter I told you that we expected to move to join Burnside’s Division. Well, yesterday morning we started with a mighty heavy load on our shoulder because it rained hard all night and our tents, blankets, and so forth were completely soaked. My knapsack weighed as near as I can judge about 60 pounds. The weather was cloudy and very warm and we had a tough time of it through the mud. We at last halted and pitched our tents in this place but no Burnside here. He is a busy body and started away about the same time as we left Leesboro.

My clothes were soaked with sweat so much so in fact that my knapsack was wet through. You can make up your mind that I slept well last night. I will describe the principal towns or rather villages I have passed through. Washington and Alexandria about about alike. You know what I have said about them. Leesboro consists of one church, three houses, and 8 or ten haystacks—big town.

Mechanicsville is a pretty little place. I am not joking. There are about ten houses in the town and a few good barns which are uncommon things in this forsaken land.

Brookville, three miles from the last named town and twenty-one miles from Washington, I have not seen a great deal of, but they say that there is a tavern, post office, a few good houses and cabins in it.

We are encamped a little south of the town on a side hill—good water in abundance and very handy. It belongs to a good Union man who offered Col. Bowman the use of it and furnishes us wood at his own expense. We don’t trouble his cornfields or poultry in the least.

There is a good deal of heavy skirmishing going on about a mile from here and as there are but a few troops here, we expect to hear the long roll at any minute. I feel all right and am itching to have a shy at the cusses. The boys are all on taps.

We will have to take another march before long in order to catch Gen. Burnside but by the time we get where he is, he won’t be there. I’ll bet two to one we don’t see him for a month.

I am all right. Have not been troubled with the camp distemper and have not had a cold and in fact, feel as well as I ever did. How are you all at home? Write as soon as possible. My love to all, — Charley

P. S. This is my third letter. — Charley

Next Letter: 14 September 1862