3 November 1862


Bivouac near Philemont, Va.
November 3d 1862

My dear Father & Mother,

I take this opportunity to write you a few lines. Yesterday morning we had three days rations given us to put in our haversacks and everything indicated an early march. At half past eleven we started in the direction of “Snicker’s Gap” where we heard heavy cannonading. We passed through the towns of Harmony Church, Hamilton, Goose Creek, and Philemont and at nine o’clock  P. M. halted just outside of Philemont in the woods where the rebels were driven from in the morning by our battery. There are a few of their carcasses laying around in different positions—some on their faces as they fell when skedaddling, others on their backs with their tongues lolling out and their eyes protruding and staring at you. We shall bury them soon.

Our brigade is now in the advance. We are within four or five miles of the rebels who are at Snicker’s Gap in large force and may possibly attack them today. But it is “stated in official circles” (as the papers say) that we are to stay here until a large force passes us and then act as a reserve. The think the last story looks most reasonable.

Yesterday was as hot as any day I ever saw in July in Massachusetts, but today it is just such weather as you have in the first of October. It would be very comfortable to sit down in the kitchen and toast shins and see the washerwoman work. I think she would complain when she hung out the clothes.

I want you to tell Mrs. Bragg that I am greatly obliged to her for her kind letter and will answer it as soon as possible but my time is very precious just now. Write to Jerome. Tell him that the army is advancing and I can’t find time to hardly write home. My thanks to him and Eddie for the letters and papers. Tell him and Mrs. B to write again.

We expect to get paid soon, we having been waiting some time. I will send father the ten dollars I owe him and more if I can spare it but everything is so dear and our rations so short that we need considerable spondulicks in order to live. I wonder how the soldiers manage to send home any money at all.

Nat wants you to tell his mother that his money is at Harpers Ferry and he don’t know when he can get it. She had better draw it back and when she sends more, to send it by mail which is the safest way. My fingers are cold and I must stop.

My love and best wishes to you all. Write soon. Until then, goodbye. — Charley

Next Letter: 8 November 1862