Corydon O. Warner Collection: Letters from Corydon 'Cory' Warner to his sister, September 1861 - October 1864

Set 1: Letters From Warner (164 Pages)
Donated By Suzanne Warner Jackson
Transcribed By Sue Hotaling

Note: The museum does not have copies of the originals.

A PDF file of this set is here.


Letters and Diary of Corydon O. Warner
of the Forty Fourth Regiment New York Volunteers
typewritten by him at Beloit Wis, 1908
September 19, 1861 - OCTOBER 6, 1864


Albany N. Y. Sept 19, 1861
Head quarters P.E.R. (Peoples Ellsworth Regt.)

Dear Sister, 
    Now that we have been examined and accepted I sit down to write a few lines to you. Our barracks are situated about 2 miles from the city of Albany, in a large brick building. Henry has just come in and brought word that Milton Davis and Balas Balcomb have been rejected, Milton because his lungs are not sound and Balas on account of his size. All the rest of us are taken. Just here we are called away to dinner, and I had to hurry for my share. We had soup, roast beef, potatoes and bakers bread all very good. For breakfast we had corned beef, potatoes, bread, butter and coffee. The govt. pays $2.10 a week for our board, the contracting parties furnishing the crockery, that is a tin plate, a quart cup for drinking and the like. We have all we want to eat. We have double berths fitted up 3 in height one above the other. Adelbert Clapp is with me on the top berth. Willis and Perry Morse at our feet, Henry and Balas at our head, Sam Steele and Henry Hotchkiss under us. Steven Smith is on the next row beside us. We have received our blankets but not our uniforms. I shall keep my clothes here for the present. Write and tell me where aunt Cora rooms. The fare down to New York and back is one dollar. I think if I am not sick I shall enjoy it very much. The barracks are pleasantly situated and a good deal of care is taken to insure cleanliness. 
Direct your letters to me Co H P.E.R. Albany

Friday Oct 11 1861
Dear Sister Lettie. 
   As Henry is writing to Emma, I thought that would be her share from this place, so I would spend a part of this unpleasant day writing to you. It has been so rainy and slippery that we have not drilled any so far today. Such a day as this will make a fellow homesick if anything will. There are only six of us allowed to  go down town each day, so I have not been down since last Sunday, I have not had my likeness taken yet, and now my clothes are all packed and sent home, but I will have it taken as natural as possible, as soon as I get a chance.
   It seems but a few days since I left home though it is 3 weeks Wednesday last. All of the boys received letters yesterday except myself. I heard the news from them. You seem to have a great deal of wet there. I suppose Father will not lose his millet and beans, as I suppose he must be harvesting them about this time. I wish you would write ne particulars about how things get on at home. About the cheese, the flower garden, atc. Do you suppose the ice will get built or the barn moved, or will Grandfather settle the property any way this fall?
   Everything goes on here about the same way so there is nothing of interest to write about. You wished me to write about the things I saw along the river when I went to New York, but as I went in the night I saw nothing. While I was there I visited Barnums museum, saw the hippopotamus and a great many other curiosities. I also visited Greenwood and Central Park, both beautiful places, but I could not describe them. Indeed I suppose I saw but a small part of them. Sunday of course I went to Mr. Beechers church, and in the evening to Mrs. Thalheimers, saw Will Henry and Elsie. Taking it all around I had a pleasant time. Aunt Cordelia lent me “Great Expectation” R. Dickens last work. You remember Tralls boy, in the Mirror, that was taken from it. Henry offers to put this with his letter, and I guess I will save a stamp and envelope by doing so.
                     Your affectionate brother, Cory

Head quarters Ellsworth regt Oct 17 1861
Dear Sister,
   I was a little surprised and a good deal pleased yesterday morning to see uncle Fisk at the barracks. He came up on the night boat and got here a little before breakfast. After breakfast I got a pass from the Col and we went down town. We visited the Capital, and the agricultural rooms, and then we went to a store and Uncle bought me a rubber and some other things to the value of 3 dollars. We then got dinner at an eating room and in the afternoon we went back to the parade ground. The troops were all out on battalion drill. Soon after the Col who had been down town all day, came back and taking the men in charge led them to one side of the field and forming them in a hollow square and standing on a hillock he told them he had received marching orders and that we should start for the seat of war or Washington on Monday. Such cheers went up from the boys I think you never heard. There was a very good description in the Express this morning but they were all sold before I could get one. After we were excused from drill, Uncle Fisk bid the boys good bye and I went down to the city with him again. We called for a few minutes on the girls (acquaintances from Java attending the normal school) and then I went a piece with him to the boat, before parting he gave me 3 dollars in money. I have had my likeness taken but have not got them yet, will send them before I leave here.
   The flower you sent me is a Rhodanthe manglesi I think, an everlasting. You had better save the seed. I shall write you as soon as I reach my destination, and perhaps on the way. You, I presume have a letter on the way for me which will be the last I shall receive before we leave here, for I do not think you will receive this in time to answer it.
                     Your affectionate brother, 

Washington Oct 25 1861
          To the folks at home, I drop you a line to let you know where I am and what I am doing. We left Albany on Monday last. A little after noon we marched into state street where out colors were presented to us.  We then marched on board the boat, and about six we started. We had a pleasant trip down the river, as it was a very pleasant night. We arrived at the wharf at New York about 10 the next morning. The Col went on shore and made arrangements and about 1 we formed in ranks and marched down though the city to the park barracks (city hall park). We then took dinner, and soon aunt C came over and I had a few minutes to speak with her, and bid her good bye. We staid in New York that day and received our new Minnie rifles and about 5PM we started for the jersey ferry. We there too get the cars and about 7 started for Philidelphia. We had expected to start about 1PM, and if we had would have arrived at Brunswick about 5 or 6 where they had supper prepared for us, but it was so late we did not get it. We arrived at Philadelphia about 4 the next morning Thursday, where we found a nice breakfast prepared for us, but it was so early we did not feel very hungry. After eating we went on the cars again but did not get started till nearly 8AM for Baltimore. We arrived at [Havere] de Grasse about 1 oclock, the cars were then taken passengers and across the river on a ferry boat. The train then moved on about a mile and the engine then went back for our provisions and baggage car which had not been attached to our passenger train, and there we remained till 3 oclock without out dinners, though some of the boys made a foray on a cabbage patch. Some of the boys passed the time digging sassafras roots, and one party chased down and caught a rabbit. When the engine came again we got our dinner and started. We were about 38 miles from Baltimore but we ran slowly and did not get there till just dark.  Every little way we saw small encampments of men especially near the bridges. We marched through the city to the other depot. We were cheered as we passed but not so much as in New York, NJ or Delaware. But however bitter the inhabitants may have been against the soldiers they would not have dared to make any demonstration, for besides ourselves being well armed, there were 4 or 5 regt quartered in and about the city. When we got to the other depot we had our supper and then went onto the cars. All the way, so far, we had had good passenger cars, but here they were cattle cars with a plank seat along each side and through the middle without any backs. Besides they were wide open and the night was cool and we were quite cold before we got to Washington. It is about 40 miles from B to W but it took us from 9 till 1 the next morning to get there. The road is guarded all the way by soldiers lest some enterprising Sesh should undertake to destroy it. When we arrived here this morning we marched into a large wooden building made for the purpose and called the soldiers rest, stacked our arms, spread out blankets on the floor and laid down and I slept soundly till morning. I took some cold last night and this morning my throat was quite sore but I feel better now. We are expecting to go into camp this afternoon but where I do not know. We are not allowed to go out this morning so I have not seen any of the city yet. I would like to know what sort of a night it was at home last night. Here it was clear and a very heavy white frost.
    I send you a part of a bouquet the governors daughter gave me before we left Albany. I wore it in my hat all the way here. You may ask it all the questions you are a mind to. I write this sitting on my knapsack with a drum between my knees for a desk,

Kalamora Heights Oct 25, 61.
      Although I wrote you this morning I do not know how I can better spend this evening than in writing to you.
      Directly after dinner we shouldered our knapsacks and took up our line of march for this place. Here our baggage had already been brought. We soon had out tents pitched, for the ground had been formerly occupied, and the ditched were already dug. Our tents are about 7ft square on the ground and tall enough to stand up in the middle, they slant off to the ground like a hen coop. All around the outside a ditch is dug to keep the water from running into it. These tents are occupied by 5 persons. Ours has Hotchkiss, Rogan, Steele, Clapp, and myself but tonight Steele is on guard so there are only 4 of us in our tent. Steele has to stand on guard 2 hours and then is off 4. While off he sleeps in the guard tent so as not to disturb the rest when he is called out. I think these tents will be qu9ite warm and comfortable even in quite cold weather. This place is about 2 ½ miles from the city and a mile from the Potomac. It is getting late and I and I must go to bed.
Saturday morning. This morning out ears are saluted by the noise of drums and other martial music from all sides. I persume there are half a dozen camps within hearing, tho none fairly in sight. Everything seems lively about here. Boys are splitting wood, fixing their tents and doing other like bits of work. 
We have not yet eaten any meals cooked in camp, as we have bread and meat from the city. I had got this far when we were called to get our rations for breakfast. It is now noon. We received a loaf of bread, 2 potatoes, some meat, coffee, sugar and salt for each man.This morning our breakfast was rather poor except the bread which we received enough for the day. This noon we have gone at it in better style. I have been washing potatoes and helping for the whole company. We have swept the street in front of our tent and covered the floor with cedar twigs so that it looks pleasanter than it did.
There have been guns fired across the river a good deal but I don’t know what it is for. It does not seem as if I were near an enemy any more than at Albany or at home even. As long as the weather is fine it will be pleasant here, but if it should rain it would not be so nice. There is a band playing out in the road and the men are cheering. It is one oclock, and I must close this letter so as to mail it.

Camp Butterfield Halls Hill Va
Dear sister I am on guard to day and as I have nothing just now, I thought I would spend a few minutes writing to you. I believe I wrote you last from Kalorama Heights. We struck out tents at that place last Monday morning and marched to Capital hill, a large level piece of land about a mile from the capital, where we reviewed and then marched to this camp, which is about 9 miles from Washington on Halls Hill in Va. It is about half a mile from Balls cross roads, which I presume you have read of, and about a mile from Munsons Hill where Charley Fox is encamped/ He was over here to see us the next day after we arrived at this place and again today. He wished us very much to come over and see him, but we need so much drilling I do not suppose we shall get a chance soon. Last Monday the day we came here we marched off 18 miles and I felt pretty tired and stiff the next day, but we did not have much to do but to rig up our tents and do out cooking. We now have so much drilling that we have hardly time to cook and prepare our meals except in the evenings and as it has to be done outdoors it is not very convenient. By the way I have no rags for washing and I wish you would send me something of the kind rolled up in a newspaper. I should like to receive a letter or paper from home every day right well. I can buy the New York dallies for 5 cents but I had much rather have the weekly or the mirror. 
Saturday. I had got this far when I was called to go on guard and when I got off it was too dark to finish it. We have has very pleasant weather ever since we came here till last night. It began raining at 8 oclock last night and has been raining hard ever since.  I was on guard  from 11 to 1 and again from 5 till 7 and I had a bit of a taste of a soldiers life. While on guard we are all of us in a tent 10ft square which had no ditches cut around it and consequently the water ran under us and we had not a very comfortable place to stay in. However I had my rubber blanket which kept my shoulders and body dry and warm so that I got off quite comfortable. The boys at the tent had as bad a time as I did. The ditch got stopped up and the water ran under them and got the blankets wet, besides when it rained hard the roof of the tent drips some, and unless it stops raining soon we shall have an unpleasant night of it.
Sam is on guard today, and Dell and Henry Hotchkiss, this morning, when it did not rain so hard, started to go over to the camp of the 21st regt,  but as appearances are I should think they would not enjoy it much. It is said that our pickets brought in word that the rebels had advanced 4000 strong 4 miles toward us. I do not know how true it is, but I know they sent out a picket guard 200 strong this morning.
I guess I must tell you that I have to eat and how I eat it. We have once and [sopetipes] twice a day coffee, this is all prepared for us together, but we have no eggs to settle it nor milk to put in it, we have plenty of sugar though. Generally we receive out meat and bread in the morning for the whole day, the meat we have to cook ourselves, besides we have potatoes boiled for dinner or supper. This morning it was so rainy we did not like to go out to cook indeed we did not get our meat till late so we sent to the sutlers and got a pint of molasses for breakfast, and had bread and had bread and molasses, it was just such molasses as you dislike so much at home but we were hungry enough to enjoy it. Since then Henry has drawn our fresh meat and cooked it, so we shall have something for dinner. I wish you could see our accomadations here, our horsebarn is a palace to them warmer and cleaner. The floor, though we covered it with pine boughs is wet and muddy. We have dishes but we have so far to go to wash them that it is impossible to keep them clean so we take our bread and meat in our fingers. I think we shall soon get so we shall not be squeamish about what we eat. 
I was somewhat homesick yesterday when I began this letter but have got pretty much over it now, but I wish it would stop raining, if it does not I shall be sick of soldiering. I wish you would write oftener, I have not heard from home since I left Albany. You can now direct all letters to me to Washington D C  Co H 44th regt N Y-S.Y Write often and tell me all the news, what kind of weather you are having, how many scholars you have, and I don’t care if you tell me their names, I want something to do or read. It is raining and blowing so hard that the drops of water come through the sides of the tent, and take it all around, it is a most unpleasant homesick sort of day. But I guess I have written you everything of interest, and I am sure you have enough of my whinings, so I will close. You must excuse the dirty appearance of this paper, I am sure you could do nothing else if you were here.
                      Your brother Cory

Camp Butterfield Nov 8 
Dear sister I received you long letter written last Sunday and was right glad to hear from home. I was writing you about the same time, describing the weather and the accommodations which you have doubtless received before this time. Henry Hotchkiss and Sam Steel are out on picket guard tonight so we are not quite so crowded as usual. Henry Rogan has been quite sick since Sunday with sore throat, and we wrote Wednesday and again tonight to his folks. I must wait till morning to finish this, Henry wants the light out.
Saturday eve Nov 8 I did not have time to write this morning so I take this letter again this evening. Today we were reviewed by Gen McClellan. We started from camp with knapsacks on and marched about half a mile to the drilling ground, soon after reaching it began to rain. After waiting awhile for it to stop we took our overcoats off from our knapsacks and put them on. We stood waiting for the Gen and his staff to move around for about half an hour. We then moved around on columns before him, part of the time double quick, in the slippery mud. We then formed in squares and loaded out guns with blank cartridges and fired for half an hour or so, it was raining all the time though not very hard, it rained till nearly dark, it is not now raining but is cloudy. There was about 500 cavalry, 5000 infantry and a dozen cannon, so it might have seemed something like a battle only no one was hurt. Henry and Sam have not returned yet and probably will not until tomorrow. Adelbert received six letters last night and tonight the Mirror containing the Thanksgiving proclamation. We are having weather now very much like out September weather. Last evening was a beautiful one and I have husked corn out of doors colder ones. We sleep with our clothes on, but some nights we find it rather cold as we have only one blanket each, and now we give two to Henry as he is sick, if he does not get better soon I shall be alarmed about him. He has eaten very little since he was taken, his throat is so sore he cannot eat and he has no appetite. He seems to have considerable fever most of the time. Tonight I notice he coughs, I fear he has taken cold, he has grown very thin and weak and, although he wished he was at home he keeps up pretty good spirits. In regard to my likeness which you wish, I had 6 taken at Albany. I gave one to Lucy. One to Miss Oneal and one to a young lady who was boarding with them, and sent you two in an envelope the other I gave to Aunt Cordelia. I think yours must have been lost by some means, I am sure I directed it right. Charley Morse is quite well, is not troubled with homesickness. But I will write no more tonight. Sunday morning. It cleared up last night and this morning there is some frost, but if the wind does not rise it will be a beautiful warm day. My Sundays are of necessity spent differently from what they are at home. In the first place my gun as all rust from last nights rain and must be cleaned and prepared for inspection. We have to go out with knapsacks, guns and all such things and have them inspected every Sunday morning, to see that they are kept clean and neat. Then I shall have to wash some things, for it is difficult to gt more than time to prepare our food during the week. I presume we shall have services here somewhere which I shall endeavor to attend. Nahum Thompson was in here this morning and he thinks Henrys disease is quinsy and that he is in no danger and will soon get well. (In copying this letter I will remark that I never knew what Henry’s disease was till       when my son Arthur was sick in New York city with Scarlet fever I then looked up the disease in the cyclopedia and at once decided that it was scarlet fever, the skin peeling in convalesance following only that disease.). 
Sunday eve. As this letter cannot go out till tomorrow morning I thought I might as well tell you how I spent the day. The cleaning of my gun, getting breakfast and inspection took till noon. Even then my gun was unfit for inspection and I borrowed Henrys which had not been out in the rain and not so rusty, but it was till necessary to have my gun clean, and so after dinner I went at it again. I had been at work at it about an hour when a cousin of Henrys from the 21st regt came here and seeing how Henry was said that if one of us would go with him to his regt he would give him some farina and arrowroot to make some gruelof. So Dell said if I would go he would work on my gun. So I walked along with Jewett of Springvilleland he pointed out the ruins of houses supposed to have been burned by the rebels, but he said he thought it was done by some vagabonds from their regt. The country somewhat resembles that of New York except that the timber is oak, hickory and chestnut and the evergreens pine and cedar, but the fences have been taken for firewood and other purposes especially near the camps. The roads are simply cut through the woods just wide enough for a wagon and the houses are placed without any regard to them. I got the arrowroot and farina and a little currant jelly and started back. I came near losing my way indeed I walked near half a mile farther than I should have done. I arrived at the camp just as services were concluded, so I missed them entirely. I made some gruel of the farina of which Henry ate about a gill. We had dress parade at 5 oclock and afterward supper. We had some butter and molasses, we have to pay 28 cents for butter and then we do not always get very good, but we got half pound for supper, molasses is 10 cts a pint and rather poor at that, but occasionally get some on out hominy that is good.
For our daily food we get a loaf of bread, it is called a pound weight I believe, or a pound of hard crackers. About 3 days in a week we get fresh beef and the rest of the time salt pork or bacon. We have plenty such as it is and good enough if only we had conveniences for cooking. We have potatoes, hominy, beans or peas once a day, coffee or tea twice a day with plenty of sugar and nice coffee sugar it is too. All this is generally cooked for us but the meat we have to cook ourselves. For cooking the meat we have a sheet iron basin holding 6 otr8 quarts, which so far we have contrived to keep for ourselves though there are not quite enough for each tent. The soil of Virginia is not at all like that around us.  When it rains hard and runs along the furrows, instead of washing together little heaps of fine mud, it is fine white sand which is very sharp and good for scouring our tin dishes. Where a hole is dug 4 or 5 ft deep, the soil or sand is as red as new burnt bricks. I should not suppose it could be very rich, but the remains of the corn stalks show that it is pretty good.
I saw some poke weeds while going over to the 21st today that looked quite homelike, but few of the leaves were as yet injured by the frost and not all of the berries were quite ripe. Well I guess this letter will do for length if not for substance. Although it is directed to Lettie it is for all of you and I hope you will all write. Adelbert (Clapp) received letters from Edgar and Mary in printing in almost every letter he gets from home. Give my love to all friends I would like to write to more of them but I hardly can get time. Even Sunday is not a day of rest.
I hope you can read this, writing letters is I know a careless habit, but it is not easy keeping a bottle of ink right side up. I hear tattoo sounding and must be out for roll call.                               Cory

Camp Butterfield Nov 16, 61
Dear Folks at home,
                     I received Letties letter of the 10th last evening and take a few minutes to commence a reply. We have been enjoying most delightful almost summer weather for the last 2 weeks, indeed ever since we came here with only an occasional rainy day. Yesterday it rained and last night there was a cold wind and some frost, but the sun come out warm this morning and although there is a cold wind I think it will soon be warm.
Day before yesterday was our cay day and that evening I received the first copy of the semiweekly Times, which I had written to Aunt A to send to me. The next day I wrote to her and sent her one of my dollar notes to pay for it and told her, either to send the rest to Father, or to keep it till I sent to her for something else I might want.
The boys have been writing home to have a box of clothes and things sent to them, and I with if you have a good dark colored woolen blanket you would sent it to me, and also if you can get a dark woolen shirt cheaper than here you would send me one. I have heard say that good woolen blankets can be bought for 40 cts a pound any weight you want. Here the shirt cost $1.50, I have 2 white part wool shirts that I use for under wear, and one grey woolen which I have worn as outside shirt, if I have another it would be all I would need. As for socks I have all I need for the present. I wish you would send me a good piece of cheese, it costs 16 cts here if we buy any. Two of our boys are going to town to day and I have sent by them to buy me a hatchet of which I felt the need a good many times. There are 2 axes belonging to the company, but when I get time to use one they are almost always in use. After sending this note home I shall have only about ½ dollar left, but about the only place I can buy is at the sutlers and I can get things on credit just as cheap as for cash.
The boys appointed Mr. Clapp to see about fillings and shipping the box. If we remain in Va the directions will be the same as for letters and if we leave you will hear of it in time. I did not receive any paper last night but I probably will tonight. I guess I will go and see if I can get this letter in the mail this morning and if I cannot I may write more. As I did not get this into the mail this morning I thought I would add a few lines this evening. For all it has been sunshiny a good part of the day there has been a cold wind blowing, and tonight it continues and is certainly the coldest evening we had had since we have been here. Tomorrow morning our camp is to be inspected by the general and we have had this afternoon to prepare for it and in so doing we have prepared for the cold in a measure. We have covered the floor of our tent with cedar twigs tightened the pins, etc. but imagine an extra blanket would not come amiss. The wind blows hard enough to jar the sides of our house perceptibly. It has been quite cold drilling and I was glad enough that I made the purchase of a good pair of gloves before I left Albany.
I bought me a portfolio today for 50 cts to write upon and to keep my letters and paper in. It is a very simple concern with a figured cloth cover two pockets and half a dozen sheets of blotting paper, but I find it very convenient. I received a letter from aunt C and another Times but no letter from you. I have heard some talk about our going to Fort Royal, but I do not much expect we shall. I should like to very much, or else to get somewhere we can make preparations against the cold. It is time for roll call and I must stop till morning. Sunday PM. This afternoon was spent in inspection by Gen Butterfield, and I must say that I do not think Gen McClellans proclamation about keeping the Sabbath amounts to much. We were kept standing out in the cold from 9 oclock till 12 and I am sure I do not feel any better for it. There was a very cold wind all night and today, I slept more comfortable than I expected, indeed quite as comfortably as any night since we have been here. We had covered the floor so thickly with boughs that they pretty effectually excluded the cold. Henry is getting better but is still quite weak. I am much obliged to Kitty and Willie for their letter they must try to write longer next time and I will answer it particularly.
You wish to know more of camp life etc. We now go on guard by companies, one Co each day, these are divided into 3 reliefs, and each relief goes on 2 hours and is off 4. During the day the guard has not much to do but to prevent persons from crossing the line without the permission of officers. At night they challenge all persons who come near, with Halt who comes there. He answers a friend with the countersign. The guard says advance friend and give the countersign. He then lets him come within the length of his gun, then if he gives the right countersign he lets him pass.. Standing on guard is not very hard in pleasant weather and I have never felt sleepy. I wish you would tell me how father succeeded in getting pay for his cheese and how the beans and other crops turned out. I believe I have nothing more of interest to write and I must write Uncle Fisk, and will close with love to all friends.                         Cort

Nov 23
I was on guard Last evening and about 8 oclock Bell came out to guard the house with your long letter of the 16th and I enjoyed the reading of it much. I also received one from Olivia. There was one young fellow who received a letter from his sister commiserating him on account of his hard bed and sent him 2 feathers for a pillow.
Last Wednesday we were reviews by Gen McClellan, his staff and the President. I presume you have read an account of it in the papers which will be more correct than I can write. I should have liked to have you all seen it. I dare say it was more of a sight than you often see even on the 4th of July. There were some 60 cannon that were fired off 6 a time as fast as they could be loaded, but they did not seem so much as a single cannon at home. Not a day passes but we hear some firing. As we were coming back from the review we saw a large balloon near the ground which at first appeared to be stationary, but we soon saw that it was moving along near the ground, we passed along across the track of it and after crossing a little stream out Col halted us and allowed us to stand and watch look at it until it passed entirely by us. There were 3 men in the basket and others around it to hold it down and 5 or 6 men towing it. The top of it was about 60 ft from the ground. On one side was painted on large letters “the intrepid”. On the other side was an eagle, holding in his claw an American flag and under it a picture of McClellan, Henry saw the balloon up in the air, I suppose making observations.
Sunday afternoon
This forenoon was passed in the customary inspection which took till about 11 oclock. This afternoon we attended church service which was rather short on account of the cold. Last night it froze hard enough to stiffen the ground some and today it is quite cold, however we have slept quite comfortably every night since we have been here.
Henry is gaining strength but still looks poor. 5 have died within a week out of our regt. I expect we shall soon be called to attend the funeral of one of them, I expect we shall leave this place soon. Our captain said that he would bet his wages against that of one of the privates that we would not pass another inspection here in this pace. As much as to say we should not stay a week.
I have just heard 3 volleys of muskets fired, the last honors for the departed dead and now martial music of the band returning from the burial, I presume it is someone from the other regt lying near us.
In my last letter home I sent you or Father a 5 dollar note I want you to acknowledge the receipt of it as soon as you get it, I also sent on to aunt C which I have not heard from yet. We are all hoping we shall leave here soon, but I don’t know as we shall. I am glad you received those likenesses at last, I am sure I cannot account for the delay. I hear the call for dress parade and I must stop writing.
It was quite cold on dress parade this evening, but Gen McClellan came and took a look at us and told our Col that, we,  his regt was the best in the services, which made us feel pretty good nice I can tell you. We gave him three hearty cheers. Out lieutenant told us that the officers had received orders to pack up everything that was not absolutely necessary for them to have, and send them to some store houses soon as possible as the quartermaster could not transport them, from which I judge we are likely to move soon.
Tonight it is dark and half and snowing but very silently, and I think it is not as cold as it was during the day.
Henry Hogan says that as soon as it gets warm enough so that he can sit up without a blanket around, he will write to you. He thinks if you will send him a letter as long as my last he will be satisfied. By the way that letter was written clear to the end of the sheet and no signature unless there was another sheet, that I did not get, there were three in it. I think there is nothing more of interest to write. I have written a letter to uncle P which will go out at the same time as this. Livia said they had sent or would send me a paper, but I have received none. Dell had the Ledgers from home. Newsboys come into camp every day, yesterday I bot a harpers Weekley for 10 cts which I will send to you if I can find it. Your brother Cory
Monday morning. It cleared up last night and froze quite hard this morning is a most clear one, the band is playing, sweet home how sweet it sounds.

Camp Butterfield Va Nov 29 1861
Yesterday was Thanksgiving day. The day before while out on drill in the morning the Col formed us in square and the adjutant read the proclamation of [lov] Morgan to the soldiers. The Col then told us we should have a holiday tomorrow, and that those that had to go on guard should have it the day after. We boys concluded to have thanksgiving dinner, so we sent and bought 4 cans of oyster crackers, 1 butter, etc. The next morning I was not detailed for guard, and I thought I should have the day to myself, but unluckly I wad detailed to wait on the cooks, fetch wood and water so I missed hearing the sermon which chaplain preached. However I had time to partake on the oysters which the boys had prepared and they were very good. The day was very warm and pleasant. This morning quite a hard wind is blowing but it is so warm that it seems more like May than the 29th of Nov.
IO sent you a copy of a military map. We are about 7 or 8 miles west of Washington and about 10 north of Alexandria. On a hill a few rods from where the unfinished dome of the capital can be plainly seen, and the seminary which is about a mile from Alexandria is in plain sight. We are about ¾ of a mile from the RR that runs from A to Centerville.
Tonight it is as dark as well can be, but to stand out on the street and look toward the west it looks as if there was a clear streak down near the horizon, but it is all caused by the fires in other camps. These camps look finely to look down on them from a hill when they are all lighted up.
Dec 8th. I was on guard again last night, and was not relieved until nearly noon, and after eating my dinner, I commenced to read, but soon fell asleep, and did not wake till after they had fell in for church. So I thought the afternoon would be as well spent in writing to you. The last 3 days have been beautiful warm ones, more like Sept. than Dec. Last Sunday did not seem much like Sabbath, for nearly all the boys were engaged in 
fixing up their tents, and the noise of axes and  hammers were the only sounds heard. As I had been on guard the night before I felt too tired to beak the Sabbath, but Monday Dell and I went at it and cut down an oak and split it, and by odd times we had the sides of our tent raised some 3 ft by Tuesday night. We sent to W for a stove which came Friday night, it is of sheet iron about 15 inches long and 12 high with one griddle. It cost us $3.75. We can now be quite comfortable even in cold weather. The mail has just come and I have a long letter from uncle P and Olivia.

Camp Butterfield Dec 16 1861
Dear mother, I received your long letter of the [8th] last Friday, but have been to busy to answer it until now. Saturday our regt was on picket, that is to say 36 from each CO, Henry Hotchkiss and Dell from our tent. I should have written yesterday, but as there were but few left for guard duty I had to go though I was on Thursday. Yesterday was very pleasant though in the morning I thought we should have rain before night. Last night was a most pleasant night, the moon was full and the sky was clear, the glistening of the muskets of the sentinel could be seen for a long ways, as they paced to and fro in the soft rays of the queen of night.
Our camp looks more like a grand picnic party, than a hostile camp, the sides of the streets are lined with evergreens almost hiding the tents whose white tops peep up over the foliage, and over the center street there is an evergreen arch about 25 ft high over which the stars and stripes wave in all their beauty. It seems strange that we should have so much fine weather at this time of the year even here. It has not rained for more than 3 weeks, and the ground has been frozen but few mornings enough to prevent plowing. This is a most beautiful country, just rolling enough to be pleasant and healthy, but the desolating hand of war has shorn it of mush of its beauty, there is not a fence within a mile or two of our camp, and but few houses. The houses have either been torn down or burned up and the fences burned for fuel, many fruit trees have been cut down. Near our camp when we first came there was a fine grove of oak and chestnut trees, but it is fast disappearing for fuel and timber to fix the boys tents. 
In some respects we seem to live in a city, in others a wilderness. We see many new faces, fine horses and carriages, every morning we hear the news boys shouting heres your morning paper and the bloody battles in eastern Tennessee or western Virginia. Almost every day we can see sights which before I came here I would go 10 or 15 miles a to see, now I would not turn around to see them. On the whole I am getting rather sick of military, especially military music, we are drummed up in the morning, and drummed to breakfast and to drill and to dinner, and to drill again, and to dress parade and to supper, and to bed and to sleep. I hear the dinner call now though I am not hungry as I had breakfast late I think I will secure some potatoes as it is the first time we have had them for more than a month.
Evening, well this afternoon all safe and sound and probably none of them saw a sign of a rebel though they brought in one or two dogs contraband I suppose. This is another very pleasant evening. This morning I heard a loud rumbling sound off in the south, at first I thought is was the cars but as I thought more of it might be a train of baggage or artillery moving over long bridge but as it moved off farther to the west I could not conclude what it might be, tonight when speaking of it to the boys they said it was troops and artillery on the march and that they heard it plainly when some 4 miles off, they say that quite a body of artillery and infantry advanced to day beyond the picket lines, their object we know nothing of, but we all hope that something will be done soon, we are getting tired of our quarters and want to be on the move. I am sorry Lettie cannot succeed in getting the barn moved and I suppose nothing has been done about the ice house. Well if things turn out as some think they will, it will be some time before I get home to do it, as they say the English government says that Mason and Slidell must give up or she will send a fleet against us. I know uncle Sam is too pluckey to do this, but I do not believe that the English government will be so foolish as to enter into a war against us. We hear lots of news but it gets contradicted so often that we can hardly get the truth out of it. St. John is here and we are having a vigorous discussion about the prospect of a war with England. We just heard a boy crying Philadelphia Ledger and we scrape together out little change and send out and get one, this says that Charleston is really burned that is, a large part of it is supposed to have been done by negroes, but you will get the news in the papers before you get this I do not know that I have anything more to write so I will close good night.

Camp Butterfield Halls Hill Va Dec 23 1861
Dear Sister
I received your letter last night or afternoon when I came home from picket. I was sorry to learn that you were sick, and hope you will soon be better. I am enjoying good health and have ever since I have been here. Sam has had a hard cough for some days all the rest of us are well. Henry is growing quite fleshy, but has not done much duty yet. My experience in picket duty was quite pleasant, our quarters were on the farm of Mr. Barrett on the Alexandria and Leesburgh turnpike, about a mile and a half beyond Falls Church. My PSOT was not exactly an outer one. I was stationed right opposite the house on the road about 80 rods from the picket line. We has 4 reliefs so that I had to stand 2 hours out of 8, we stayed in a barn and at night Perry and I spread our blankets on the floor and I slept as sound as I ever did at home. I did not see any rebels but heard the cannon of the skirmish or battle which happened near Dranesville. Yesterday coming home it was quite dusty and warn waling though chilly when standing around but last night it rained all night and today it has been rainy some and near snow.
Mother need not be concerned about my having to stand on guard, I do not generally have to go on more than once a week and I am quite as well able to do it as any one, I do not consider it is dangerous in any way, more than being kept awake all night.
We have had so much warm weather lately that we have neglected to keep the cracks in our tent as well closed as we should and last night the rain beat in some we must have them closed up this afternoon and some wood got as it is likely to be rather cold this evening. We have received the box, I had got so excited at the prospect of a war with England that I guess I forgot to mention it in my last. The blankets make us a fine bed and we sleep very comfortably. We have fixed some shelves in the box and use it as a cupboard, the indian bread was in good condition and also the [puffed] corn but their place would have been better filled with butter or cheese. We have to pay 16/for cheese and 28 for butter and not always the best quality.
It is now evening, the sky is clear but the wind blows. You say you think the war will soon be over, it may be I certainly hope it will be but I do not see much indications of it here. It seems to me that if and advance had been intended here it should have been made within the last four weeks while the weather was favorable, it is not probable that we shall have much more fine weather. Mr Barret at whose house we were quartered was formerly a New York man. When he first came to Va he bought what was considered worn out land near Lewinsville for $ 8.87 an acre and after remaining on it two years sold it for $30.00, he says that before the war broke out land here was valued at from 30 to 60 dollars per acre. He was driven from his home and staid on Washington some three months almost despairing of ever regaining his property again. He has a very good home and out buildings, and altogether everything looked the most like comfort of anything that I have seen since we left N-Y. 
Much love to all    Cory

Dec 28
Dear sister. I received your letter yesterday afternoon and take a few minutes this noon to answer it. I guess you will have to be satisfied with a little shorter letter than usual for I received a letter last night from Olivia and Helen which I must answer and also one from aunt C and one in it from uncle Frank which I must answer.
For the last week the weather has been rather colder than it has been before and we have had one day of rain since I last wrote. I receive the little pin cushion safely and I thank you much fir it. There seems to be nothing going on here and we are getting heartily sick of inaction, there are some stories about, to the effect that we shall leave here about the 18th of next month far Annapolis to embark on an expedition somewhere south, I am sure I hope so but I do not put much dependence on the report.
Christmas we had quite a merry time. Our Col told us the day before that on that day we should have no roll call in the morning nor at night,  that was as much as to say we might lie a bed as late as we chose in the morning and have alight in our tent as late as we liked. He also told us that we might elect out own officers and have a dress parade in any way we chose to make fun. So the boys elected for col the fattest and droolest Dutchman of the band, he is as fat as uncle Charley and a good deal shorter. We also elected other officers in each company, and also musicians. In the morning revillee was beaten by those who never struck a drum before and a pretty thing they made of it. At half past three all of the companies came out at dress parade with their new officers rigged out in the most outlandish styles possible, the band had all sorts of instruments some manufactured for the occasion and with an ear more for noise than music.
The performance made a good deal of fun for the lookers on from other regiments and of our own who did not wish to join in it. In many regiments around here a good deal of liquor and some fighting was indulged in among themselves, in our regt there was no drinking except by one or two who got it out of the lines which they could easily do as it was not forbidden. We had some foot ball kicking in the morning which tired and made more sore than drilling would. I sent you three (?) in one wrapper, the flag was for Jennie from Henry. I do not think of any more to write. I wish you all a happy new year. Sunday PM I forgot to put this letter in the mail this morning and so it has not gone yet. I send you a sutlers check for a new years present, they are pretty much done away with as I presume you have seen the papers.

Jan 4th 1862 
Dear sister, I received your letter of Christmas time last night and was glad to hear from you. However I thought last night I should not like to have Friday come every day as you said for I should hate to write so much, indeed I have grown so indolent about writing that it is almost as much a drudge to write as it was at home. But a change in the weather last night makes me feel more like writing this morning, and as there was no knapsack drill this morning I sit down at once to write. Yesterday was a rather cold day and cleat when we went into our tents for the evening, and we were quite surprised about 7 oclock to hear a cattering on the cotton roof of our house, at 8 when we went out to roll call we found the ground quite white with coarse sugar plum snow. This morning there is about half an inch of snow which on our hard dry ground makes it quite slippery. It is the coldest morning we have had since we have been here, but it makes us feel well as we are prepared for it.
My bed is not the softest, being my overcoat and one blanket spread over some boards and my pillow my knapsack, yet I sleep as soundly as need Be and hate to get up at six as badly as ever, we are always in bed at half past 8. You have heard about our Christmas performance, well on new years day our general who was away on Christmas wished to have the performance repeated, and sent for one of Leslies to sketch it. I was on guard that day and so did not participate in the performance, but if you see a picture of it look for me on top of the log guard houses in front of the camp. As to general war news you know quite as much as I do for pretty much all we get if from the N.T papers though of course there are a good many flying reports through the camps, but no more dependence can be put on them then in the telegraph reports you receive.
As to the picket duty father asks about, I told you of our accomodations in one of my letters before. Our picket lines are now thrown out some two or three miles beyond out outermost camps. The object is not so much to hinder large bodies of the enemy from coming upon us, as to give notice or their approach, they also hinder small parties from coming out too far on foraging expeditions, they are also the only guard against spies from the enemy camp. Our camp guard is not so much to guard against enemies as to restrain our own men from taking too much liberty. 
I hear the drums beating for drill and I shall have to stop for the present. It took us some 15 or 20 minutes to get in line on the parade ground and then the Col called the officers to him and told them to march the men back to their quarters saying there would be nothing more to do today but to get ready for tomorrows inspection. The captain told us also to brush up and mark our zouave suits and bring them to him, he also told us, we had better mark our blankets and everything that belonged to us. When I carried up my suit I told the captain that I had not got the same jacket that I had at first and that the one I had had no hooks or eyes on it, he said that would make no particular difference for we should probably be 
where we could get some put on before we should want to wear them again. This I should think would seem to indicate a move, but I know nothing about it. It is snowing a little now and the sky looks wintry. Well I don’t know as I have any more news to write. Give my love to all friends. 
Please send me a few pens if you have them.
                Your affectionate brother Cory

Sunday morning Jan 12 62
Dear sister
We have just got through the customary Sunday inspection, our tent is nicely slicked up and we are waiting for the inspectors to come around and see if it is alright. And as now everything is cozy and comfortable, I take the time to write to you. I received your letter Friday night as usual. The fore part of last week was quite cold indeed there was snow on the ground from Friday till Wednesday night when it rained and took it all off. Today it is quite warm and spring like, and I can sit and write very comfortable with the front of the tent open. Camp life passes along about the same as usual, with no excitement and plenty of drilling though we do not have to drill quite as hard as we did when we first came here. Notwithstanding the dullness of camp life time seems to pass very rapidly and I can hardly realize that nearly half of the first month of 62 is passed. Although it is very tiresome lying still and we wish much to be doing something to put down the rebellism, that we may return to our homes, yet  I suppose we are doing about the best thing that can be done. 
Our regt goes out on picket tomorrow, I do not know whether I shall have to go or not, the roads are very bad and there is not much to be seen and so I am not very anxious to go. The excitement here about the prospect of was with England has entirely died away here, though I think the spirit she has shown in this affair will cause a feeling against her that will not soon die down, and yet may be the cause of war. Frank Leslies picture of our New years doings has come out but it was nothing like the scene and so I would not buy it. Our pay day has not come yet but I very much wish it would for I want to get some kind of books to study. Our Lieut Woodworth is going home Monday recruiting, he may come to S. I received a 
letter last week from uncle Fisk there was no news in it, I supposed he was going to be married before this but he said nothing about it. I seem to be entirely destitute of news here and do not know as I can get enough to fill this sheet however I hope you will try and write me as long a letter as usual. 
Evening I am going on picket tomorrow, so tonight I went to the sutlers and ran in debt for some butter and sugar to eat while on picket, and finding they had some good memorandum books I ran in debt for a dollar I also got some other things to the value of 50/cents. You can’t think how easy it is to spend money, I guess I will send you my old book which has my cash account after pay day.

Jan 18 62
Dear sister. I received your letter of the 11 last evening and now sit down to answer it. Yesterday was pay day, and feeling rich Sam went to the butchers yesterday afternoon and bought a liver , the rest of us bought some butter and we had some cooked for supper, it was first rate and we had plenty of it, this morning we cooked the rest of it but it was late before we got it ready and then we ate so much that none of us have been to the cooks for dinner.
Henry is on guard today, it is very rainy and unpleasant and so we have no drilling. I have been nearly all afternoon at work on my gun which got quite rusty getting it ready to tomorrow inspection. I told you in my last that I was going on picket the next day and I suppose you wish to hear about it. Out headquarters were at the same place they were before Barrets. We arrived there a little before 11 oclock, there were 4 reliefs so we had to stand only 2 hours out of 8. Perry and I were on the same post, and just as we came off at 11pm it began to snow and continues at intervals all night and the next day, and it was quite cold. We went down in the woods on Tuesday afternoon and built a large fire to warm ourselves by and 
cook our food, it was about as far from the barn where we slept as the sugar bush is from the house. I used to think it was pretty hard to take one cold meal in winter at the upper lot but I stood three days of cold food pretty well, I had some tea and coffee about half a pound of butter and sugar the rest of my food was pilot bread or hard tack, as we call it and salt junk. I had a quart cup which I carried with me in which I made my tea and coffee, in this I soaked my bread, I also contrived another dish which I think is the best for picket, I broke the crackers into the cup as small as I could and then poured water upon them and after they were pretty well soaked I added sugar and butter to them and set it on the fire till it was 
heated through, and then it was ready to be served up which was done with very little ceremony, it made a most excellent dish.
 I was on one out post this time, but did not fear any danger, indeed I do not think there were any rebels within 20 miles of us. Wednesday morning It was raining some and freezing covering everything with sleet. We were relieved at noon and it rained all the time we were coming back to camp, I had on a rubber so I did not get very wet, but some of them did. It cleared up in the evening and froze during the night, the next day it thawed again and there was snow enough to make it sloppy. Thursday night was as beautiful a moonlight night as I ever saw, yesterday it thawed again, last night it was cloudy and today it is raining, but the snow is not all gone yet. I have got my dairy which I got in Albany done up and directed to send to you, in it you will find a little of what I did or saw each day since I left there. You will also see how much money I spent and for what. I shall send father ten dollars in this letter which will be all I think I can spare, but another pay day I hope to be able to send more. Evening. I laid down this letter and have not taken it up again until now. This afternoon there was a young man around getting subscriptions for Miss Hudson the daughter of the regt, I do not think I have ever spoken to you about her I have seen her but once that was on Christmas day when she was over to see our burlesque parade, she is not far from Ems size and height , she was dressed in a light red dress which reached about to her knee, blue 
pants,  jockey hat and gaiters, she also wore a red sash over her shoulder and around her waist she looked quite military. I suppose that is something of the style worn by vivandiers. She came from Albany and is the writer of that Ellsworth song which I presume you have seen. They say she works very hard taking care of the sick soldiers and also provides them with many books, I gave 25 cents and although there may be many who will not give as much and some not any, yet I think they must raise her quite a handsome sum. This afternoon I bought a package of paper, it was one of those containing a gift it had 18 sheets of paper, 18 envelopes a picture of McClellan, pencil penholder, two pens and a breast pin. I will send you the pin if I can get a chance though it is not very valuable I will send you the picture in this letter. I received a letter from uncle P and one from aunt C last night which I must answer tomorrow. Our prospect of moving is over indeed I do not think we shall move from here at all and I very
much doubt our ever going into battle or ever seeing a battle ground. The mail has just come and I have been looking over the semi weekly Times. 
In it I see a letter in which the writer gives it as his that the war will be ending in a month. From what he judged I do not know but I hope it is so I am sure.
Henry Hogan is on guard today, our boys  are pretty well. I hope you will not get tired of writing. I have nearly filled two sheets but I do not know as the matter will be interesting to you. I shall be glad to hear of the little events about the farm.

Jan 25th 62
Dear sister, I received you welcome letter last evening and was glad to learn that you were all well. The pens were also safe but I do not particularly need them now, as I have been so extravagant as to make the purchase of a gold pen, I do not think you would guess it by my writing but it goes very easy.
 We have not had any drilling since we came in from picket until yesterday when we drilled both orenoon and afternoon. Last evening it commenced raining just at dusk, during the night it turned to snow and sleet, this morning the trees and bushes are covered with ice. Today it is warm and sunshiny melting the snow and making it very muddy again. This forenoon I have been cleaning my gun for tomorrows inspection and this afternoon Henry and I have been doing some washing I shall have to go and get some wood soon or we shall have no fire this evening. Henry and I are the only ones in this tent to do such work. Adelbert has been unwell for a day or two. Henry Hotchkiss is cooking and Sam has gone to
cobbling, he is excused from guard duty and drill, he furnished his own tools and had 31 cents per pair for half soling the leather and the lasts being furnished.
Sunday morning. We have got through the usual Sunday morning inspection our officers have got so they make it much shorter than usual and Inspection this morning did not take more than one half or three quarters of an hour. Last night was very pleasant and it froze hard, today the sun Is shining brightly and it is thawing but the wind blows hard and chilly. Since I last wrote you I have had a letter from our old friend Baxter Merwin, He is now at Princeton NJ studying the old school presbyterian theology also hebrew, greek, german, instrumental and vocal music. The war news just now is very encouraging the recent victory in Kentucky has given the rebels a heavy blow and there has been a report, that fearing a blow in their rear from some of our naval expeditions they evacuated Manassas. This I suppose was one of their most strongly fortified positions, and would have cost us much to have taken it. I hope the report may be correct. I am a good deal anxious to hear from the Burnside expedition, it seems that none of the news papers reporters have been shrew enough to guess at its destination, probab ly before this reaches you we shall hear from it.
Camp life has been dull lately, I suppose you think I might find enough to write about to make a long letter, but they would all be alike, you think nothing occurs at home hardly worth writing about, yet nothing happens that would not be interesting to me.
We have no alarm clock to awaken us, but at about a quarter past six the drummers call is beaten which calls together the drummers and fifers at half past six they begin to beat the reveille which continues 15 minutes and when it is ended we must be in the ranks to answer to our numbers as they are called by the orderly seargent. The names of those who are going on guard are also read, a few minutes afterward we fallin with our cups and plates for breakfast of meat and coffee we having got our bread for three meals at noon the day before, when we have not got bread we receive 5 hrad tacks for each meal, generally only two go from our tent to get the meals for all, and at noon when we have neither tea nor coffee only one.
At half past 8 drummers call is beaten for guard mounting, and directly after assembly. The guard then falls in and the ceremony of guard is gone through with, the old guard being relieved. In fine weather now the drummers call is beaten a little before ten and immediately after the assembly, when the company falls in for drill, which continues till noon, after we are excused from drill, we fall in again for dinner which is not generally much different from breakfast though once or twice a week we receive hominy or rice with molasses. At two we fall in again for drill, the drummers call and assembly having been beaten to call us as before, though for the last two weeks we have hardly any drilling and nothing to do but to fetch wood and water or something of that kind for the cooks. At five we have supper, during the evening the time is spent in reading when we have anything to read or talking or playing at checkers or chess, as I have whittled out some men that answer the purpose very well.  At half past 8 tattoo is beaten when we fall out for roll call, at 9 taps are sounded when the lights must be put out though we sometimes keep them a little longer And then we go to bed. So you can see what we go through every day almost without any change. 
Of course I know what you have to do most days but I should like to know whether Father is drawing logs to mill or not, how big a pile of wood he Has got up, do you have dry wood to burn now?
Dinner call has beaten and I must go and get mine.
Monday eve. Today I was going to have a pass so I did not put his letter in the office, thinking I might see something of interest to write you. Henry and I visited the 21 Regt in which Charley Fox is. On the brow of the hill on which their encampment is situated, there are some rifle pits and embankments which the rebels dug and also a well which they dug and stoned, some 80 feet deep. Since our troops have occupied the hill, they have built a fort, it is an embankment of earth some 10 feet thick surrounded by a ditch 8 feet wide and deep, and outside of this is an abitis of tree tops the small twigs being cut off leaving sharp limbs sticking out, making it anything but nice to get over. After we got back to camp we learned that we were to be minutely inspected tomorrow in regard to our equipment and clothing, by one of the united stated officers. For what object I do not know. This evening while we were sitting in our tent we were somewhat startled by a bright light and on going out to see what it was we found a large party of boys on the parade ground had been getting the trees which shaded out streets  and were making a bonfire of them by the light of which they were raising the flag staff, for until now we have had none, the band at the same time was playing patriotic airs. The scene was grand and worthy of a painter. The light was so great that the camp shone out in fair view, the sparks were carried up hundreds of feet and when the flag went up the band played the Star Spangled Banner. The boys called the Col for a speech and placed a barrel for him to stand on. He proposed three cheers for the flag, then for our friends the 83rd the regt that lies next to us, then for the general all of which were responded to with the strongest voices. The boys still called on the Col for a speech. He said boys you know I can’t make a speech but I tell you when you will hear me speak if the 44th gets a chance at the rebels. I then came away to write, the boys said the major made a short speech after I came away. 
The taps have beat and I must close and go to bed, good night X.

Feb 2nd 62 
Dear folks at home
Your much wished for letter came last night, it usually comes Friday night. We have got through the usual Sunday morning inspection, things are going on pretty much as usual there seems to be no indication of a move than there has been, but still I think the war is being drawn to a close as fast as possible.
Friday night we had quite a fall of snow here, yesterday it rained and thawed making it very muddy, last night it froze so that this morning it was pretty comfortable for inspection, but today it is thawing up and getting very muddy again. We have had so much mud and wet and our government shoes being very poor things, and my boots that I brought from home being worn out, I determined yesterday that I would have some boots, and so I walked over to Falls Church and bought a pair, I gave 5 dollars for them I presume I could have got a more serviceable pair for less money at home if it was not for the cost of sending them. Henry and Sam have sent home for a pair, but I thought they would be started before I could write home to order a pair. 
Coming back I passed the ruins of a farm house which together with the barns and other out buildings had been burned, it had been pleasantly shaded by trees and on the side that fronted on the RR there was a rustic frame of arbor, the yard on three sides of the house were tastefully laid out the paths being bordered with stones, and there were stone beds something like the one in our yard. The ground was covered with snow so of  course  it could not look very finely, the barns had been on good stone foundations and everything indicated that it had been the home of thrift and comfort, by whom if had been burned or destroyed I do not know, but the rebellion was the first cause.
We have not had drill for some time and nothing of interest is happening I have not much to write. Perry has been sick in the hospital for a week but he is not considered dangerous at all. All the rest of our boys are well. The orderly has just been around saying that our chaplain is going to preach his farewell sermon this afternoon and I think I will go and hear him though I have not seen much more of him than I have the Holland minister at home. 
This afternoon the sun shines out very bright and warm and I think it will be more comfortable out of doors than it has been some days. Evening, I went up to meeting this afternoon and found they were holding in a tent which was full and no comfortable place to stand out of doors, so I went on and got some wood. Charley has been in our tent, he says he got a letter from Oscar last evening, I have written to him once but have received no answer, I must write to him again for I do not think he can have received it.
I received the Times tonight, with the account of the arrival of the Burnside expedition, though it had received some losses from the storm they were comparatively small with the size of the fleet, I hope we shall soon hear of its doing something.
Monday. Today I have the great pleasure of being on detached duty, that is carrying water for the cooks. The rest have nothing to do, it has been raining very hard this forenoon, and there is now some three or four inches of snow and it still continues, I expect however that about tomorrow it will begin to thaw and then it will be terrible muddy again. St John has been over to our tent a part of the forenoon and we have been spending the time talking. When the seargent came to detail me to get water I was engaged in mending my pocket, after fetching the water I finished doing that which took me an hour and a half or so as the seams were ripped in several places and I and to rip the lining to get at it. I have had to fetch only two turns of water and shall have to fetch about as much more, don’t you think we have to work to hard.
   Your brother Cory. X

Camp Butterfield Va Feb 9 62
Dear sister your letter came to hand Friday night and was gladly received as they always are. I was on guard yesterday came off this morning. The rest of our boys except Henry are gone on picket they started this morning. The last week has been quite like spring, the sun has shone brightly but the wind has blown hard and cold most of the time. However it has contributed to dry up the roads and the going is getting now to be comparatively good. I fear we shall have another storm before the boys get back from picket, but I think the wet season is mostly ever and it will take but a few days sun to make traveling good. I suppose you would like to know what we have been doing the last week. I do not remember much before Wednesday, and that day being pleasant we were ordered to strike out tents and give them a thorough airing and cleaning. We went at it and in a few minutes our camp resembled a burned city, blankets and boxes were heaped all about in confusion, every tent had a stove with fire in it and these smoking resembled smoking ruins and occasionally a well smoked frame was left standing giving the appearance of a part of a building unburned, and then the streets filled with houseless men and boys. However after dinner the city was rebuilt and resumed its usual appearance in a very few minutes.
The same night on dress parade the Col told us that he wanted all of us to have out knapsacks packed and ready to march at any time as we should probably be called on sooner than any of us expected, and sure enough the order came that night that we must be ready to march at one oclock the next morning.  That night it rained all night a nice spring rain but we were not called out. In the morning we were told that out haversacks, which the cooks had been at work at all night to fill, must be returned, as our provisions were to be carried in the wagons, and that we must be prepared to carry two blankets and what other clothing we should want for at least ten days, and to have out other things packed up as we might not come back to this camp again. All day we were all excitement, it was reported that two divisions one down the river and one up, had crossed the river and that we were to act in concert with them. Fearing if we left it here we might loose it each of us rolled up a good ball of butter and put it in our haversacks and gave some away. In the afternoon 60 rounds of cartridges were issued to us to be put in our knapsacks besides 40 in our boxes. About 4 oclock we were told we must have on our overcoats, pants out of our boots as we were to march through Washington and our appearance must be uniform. It was then thought that we should go to Harpers ferry. We were called out, the roll called and guns stacked so as to be ready at a minute notice. But tattoo came and we were not called on, at roll call we were told we must be ready as we would probably be called before midnight, so we slept in our clothes and the blankets we wished to carry in our knapsacks. But we were undisturbed and here we are yet, and appear likely to be for the present. Yesterday I went on guard, this afternoon it has been snowing, it seems quite like sugar snow. Our regt has never been on picket but once when it did not storm. I suppose father will be likely to make sugar this spring since it is so high. I sent you the Jan and Feb mos of the Atlantic monthly on the night we expected to march I hope you have received this. You said  that Edward Skinner was in Tosiers I understand he was a lieutenant and Adelbert is very sure neither of his lieutenants has that name. He may be in the same regt. Tell me his station and to what regt he belongs. Write soon Your Brother

Camp Butterfield Halls Hill Va Feb 16 62
Sabbath morning
Dear folks at home
       This is one of the pleasantest and about the coldest mornings I have seen in Va. I suppose you are about piling into the sleigh for church. We might do it here if we had any sleigh, or any church to go to, for we had enough snow fall yesterday to make it quite good sleighing. We have got through inspection, our lieut Col who has charge of it dispensed with inspection of knapsacks and so it took only half as long as usual. We are having glorious news almost every day from some quarter or other in regard to the war last we heard of the capture of Roanoke Island the next day of the capture of Fort Henry in Tennessee and last night of the capture of Fort Donelson and some 1500 prisoners. The Cairo gunboats seem to be doing good business. I am afraid we shall not get a chance to do anything. Day before yesterday we surrounded Vienna and tried to catch some rebels but when we got where they were they weren’t there. We marched some 28 miles much of the way over heavy roads, and I was tired when I got back to camp, but felt well enough the next morning except a little soreness. I have written a more particular account to uncle Ps folks and you must get it from them if you can’t wait to hear about it. I received another copy of the Atlantic Monthly from Aunt C Wednesday night, she says that after  I have read them if I can afford to pay the postage I may send them to you to keep for her. She cannot have read the last no for the leaves were uncut. We have got a new chaplain now but I have not heard him preach yet nor have I heard his name. Henry Hotchkiss says that preparations are being made to establish the head quarters of McClellan in this division and but a short distance from us, what the object is we do not know, perhaps he expects to do something here, I hope so, I am getting tired of doing nothing. However I do not want to take another such a tramp as I did Friday without  a single rebel, I shall soon begin to think there are none in Virginia. Last week we went out nearly every day target shooting, but as yet we do not have to drill. For a few days they have detailed one Co from each regt to work in a country road they are building from Washington. 
O dear I have been since 10 oclock writing and trying to think of something to write and it is now two oclock, the drummers call has beaten I suppose for church and I think I will go out the boys have got the tent to warm for comfort, I suppose you have heard of the arrest of general Stone who commanded at Balls Bluff. Our present secretary of war seems determined not only to lose no more battles but also to account for all the defeats and disasters we have had.
Officers in the Federal Army who are guilty of treason certainly deserve the worst of punishments and I certainly hope they may all be detected and punished. On dress parade tonight, our regt was highly commended by the general in an order for their good conduct in the reconnisance of Friday. He said it was remarked by many military leaders that they had never seen regulars march in better order and with so little falling out of ranks. Quite a compliment don’t you think?
It is said that we will probably make another reconnoisance this week. I hope it will not be so unsuccessful in results next time.
Well I believe we have spun this out far enough after  I have got nothing to say, and my position is rather tiresome, here are five of us trying to write by the light of one candle and my position is decidedly uncomfortable. So I will bid you good night and go to reading.   Cory

Feb 22 Washingtons birthday Saturday morning.
Dear Sister 
Your letter through Henrys came to hand last evening and was gladly received, especially as none came directly to myself. And I had begun to think I was to get none at all. Nothing of interest has happened since I last wrote. Things have gone on as usual, we continue to receive cheering news in regard to the progress of the war from all quarters, no bad news at all.
I have received a letter from Oscar this week. All of the boys received letters last night. Sam got one postmarked Morilla, with a young ladies likeness in it, after reading it, he took out Libs likeness and put the one he received over her face (what desecration! And then commenced singing “We have met we have loved we have parted”. I should think that might be deemed significant. Today it is lovely but it is warm and the air seems oppressive. There has not been a time since I have been here there was so little to write about, or I felt so little like writing.
I think I did not tell you in my last letter, that I had got a book on navigation to study, which takes up considerable of my leisure time and is quite interesting. The book was quite costly near 4 dollars. 
I guess I will stop writing and walk and see if something of interest will turn up to write about. Evening. About noon we were called out on the parade ground and Washingtons farewell address was read to us by our chaplin, but unfortunately I was situated where I could not hear a word of it. A good deal of powder has been burned around here in honor of the day. Good news is continually coming in, this afternoon there is a report that Nashville has surrendered. I we continue to be as successful as we have been for the last two weeks we may expect to see this thing settled in a few months. 
You do not say anything about our buying the farm do you not think we had better wait until this war is settled and then take a farm in the sunny south where the land will undoubtedly be cheap, and perhaps we soldier boys may receive a part of the [camp] estates of the rebels as a reward for our services. This is certainly a goodly land and with such cultivation as we give out northern farms would flow with milk and honey.
Tonight some of the boys got a letter two rods long it was made of half sheets pasted together the postage on it was 21 cents.
Your brother Cory X

Camp Butterfield Halls hill Va March 9 62
Sunday morning.
Dear Parents and Sisters you letter was received last evening. This morning is warm and sunshiny and as pleasant s morning as one ever sees. The morning inspection is through, and now I sit down in my tent to commune with you. A quarter of March has already passed, and yet it does not seem as if we had had any winter at all.
Time passes so rapidly that it seems but a few days since I left home. Such a day as this and it were not Sunday, if I were at home I should be apt to be working in the flower garden of more likely in the sugar bush, though it is most to warm for sap to run much.
There is good news this morning, but I do not know certainly how true it is. It is reported the Leesburgh and two strong forts there are taken. This is near Manassas and helps to defend the approached to it except it will not be long before that will be taken also. If this weather continues it will not be long before you will heat of our doing something. What do you think of my going into the Navy after I get through here, if I get to be a good navigator perhaps I can get a position.  When you get to making sugar I should like a piece first rate Henry says he has sent to have some sent to him. If you should send us another box take care to make it just 50 pounds weight or else 100. It costs as much to send 51 pounds as 99 and as much to send 101 as 150. I am sorry you have the company of a stranger for a hired man it would be much more pleasant to have Oscar there. Do you know where he is going to be this summer? I have not answered his letter yet I must try and do so soon.
I got a letter from aunt Cl last week and another Atlantic monthly, and also a letter from aunt Frank and Uncle Fisk, but no news of consequence. Aunt says Bertha is learning to read. We propose to have a little extra dinner today, we have bought some irish potatoes and some sausage we have got the potatoes pared and boiling, the cost 3 cts a pound we had some for supper last night and they were good I tell you. Afternoon. I have eaten my dinner of potatoes and sausage and it was quite good as I expected. I then went to Charley Morses tent and found him writing to Oscar, and so I wrote a few lines and put in with his. The mail has come and I have a letter from uncle J, his family are all well, and one from Helen.
From Charleys tent I went to church, our chaplin did not preach but the chaplin from the 83 PA. His text was from Pauls epistle to Timothy “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course & c” A long text he said but did not always imply a long sermon. He said he never had been in favor of long sermons, much less when we were obliged to stand in the open air as we are here, but said in a few days when we get down to Richmond, and I exchange with your chaplin and we are seated in a fine church I may perhaps detain you a little longer. I have not seen enough of our chaplin to know how I like him. I do not know that I have anything more of interest to write. I should like very much to be at home this summer, to assist you in getting the barn moved and taking care of the flower gardens, but I do not expect it, though uncle Fisk thinks I will spend the fourth of July at home. I think the report of the capture of Leesburgh is correct. 12 oclock midnight. We are all awake packing up to march, to start at one we shall see something before we get back I think.  Cory

Old Dominion Mills Va March 16 1862
Dear folks at home. This is Sunday morning and I take a few minutes to write to you. I presume you will be glad enough to hear from me to excuse my soiled paper and pencil writing. The last week has been full of hard labor to us. A week ago tonight we started from Halls Hill for a march somewhere. We marched all the rest of the night and arrived at Fairfax Court House a little after 8 AM. Here we rested for awhile and started for Centerville about 11. We were preceded by two companies of Col Averills cavalry. We came in sight of the forts of Centerville about 2 oclock, here we halted in full sight on a hill and I watched the works expecting every instant to see a puff of smoke and hear the roar of cannon, but we heard and saw nothing. After resting half an hour we started on and marched into the rebel works with arms at will. I see in the Times that a New Jersey regt is credited with being the first to enter Centerville, but the 44 NY SV has that honor.
I tell you we were a tired and sore set. We stacked arms and for a little while we expected to march to Manassas, but after waiting awhile we took up lodgings in the rebel barracks. They had good log huts fitted nicely with fire places and were very comfortable. Not wishing to go to bed at once I started out to take a tour of the rebel works. There were some 8 or 10 forts connected by rifle pits and surrounding a space of 2 or 300 acres. There were no guns left but a log with one end painted black was placed at each port hole. A portion of Averills cavalry went on to Manassas and found it deserted and burning. The boys found some rebel trophies in the shape of letters and shinplasters and bowies with blades a foot long, but I secured nothing. The next day we started back and came to Fairfax CH where we spent Thursday and Friday. Yesterday we started at an early hour and marched to this place a distance of some 15 miles we got there about 2 oclock PM. The latter half of our journey it was raining and when we got here it was raining hard. We went into the tents of an irish regt which were left standing, the dirty things they are but we were glad of any shelter. In a common rain these tents are water proof but in such a rain as we had yesterday there was something of a shower inside. So here we are in these dirty tents expecting to get lice and the itch, but that will be nothing for a soldier.
There are a great many troops and batteries near here expecting to move down the river soon. I think we shall leave here tomorrow, but for where I do not know. Henry and Sam did not march with us from camp. Sam joined us at Fairfax Wednesday night and Henry Thursday, but Friday he was unwell and concluded he could not march, 
and went back to camp yesterday. I had a letter from uncle Ps last week but am afraid I shall not get time to answer it so you must let them read this and ask them to write again, I shall probably get time to real all the letters I can get. We are about two miles west of Alexandria. I think I have something of a soldiers life the past week. Good night.
PS Edward Skinner is now within half or three quarters of a mile from here but I could not leave camp to see him. Than Kellogg was up here to see Dell, he says Edward is 2nd lieut of their co and also battalion quartermaster.

Steamer Georgia Saturday March 22 1862
Dear folks at home
I suppose you will wish to know how I spent the past week. As I told you in my last, how it rained when we came into the camp of the irish brigade Saturday afternoon and that night Sunday was a raw chilly day, and also Monday. Monday we marched about a mile and had a brigade drill with knapsacks. We passed the Alexandria seminary on our way to the drilling ground, it is a fine building and is in a pleasant place. Wednesday afternoon we had battalion drill. That night it rained nearly all night and also the next day and night. About Thursday night or Friday morning we heard the 1st sargents call. They were ordered to have three days rations cooked as we should embark at 9oclock. We were ready at the time, but stood around in the mud till nearly 1 before we got started. We got onboard this boat about 3 or 4 pm, soon after the mail came and I got your letter of the 15th. A little before sundown we moved out into the river and anchored and there we remained until 20 minutes past 11 when the flag boat  the Daniel Webster passed us and about 12 we started. We have passed Mount Vernon and I have seen the house in which the father of his country lived we have also passed some of the earthworks with which the rebels tried to blockade the river.
The Potomac is a much broader river than I supposed it was, it is a good deal larger than the Hudson I should think. I know nothing of our destination nor from where this letter will be mailed. This morning when some were inquiring when and from where the mail would be sent, the Col said we should leave it at Fortress Monroe on our way to New Orleans but he said it in jest. We have not received our pay yet and do not know as we shall until we are discharged. I am out of money and stamps and I do not know how I shall send this though I presume it will go if not prepaid Sunday afternoon March 28. Last night about 11 we came to and anchored and started again this morning about 4. This morning about 9 we got into the bay by Chesepeake, and although we have not been out of sight of land we have been so far from it we could only see the tops of the trees. We have passed the Rapahaonock and York rivers and are now in sight of something they say is Fortress Monroe. We had inspection this morning as usual. We are just now passing a black looking vessel with 4 or 5 guns sticking out of each side, a blockading vessel I suppose.
4 oclock. We are now lying anchor a short distance from Fortress Monroe, less than half a mile, and the Moniter that wonderful thing [we] have heard so much about is lying in front of [us] about 80 rods off I should never guessed what it was or for what, if I had not heard so much about it. It looks like a raft 40 or 50 feet long with a black tub in the center, the tub looks from where I am to be about ten feet in diameter and 8 or 9 feet high, on one end there is something that looks like a heap of coal only smoother and on the other end a small boat lies and close to it smoke or steam rises, and close to the end is a staff with stars and stripes floating from it. That is all I can tell you about it the raft does not appear to be more than two feet above the water. There are lots of war vessels around here. I know nothing about what we are going to do yet.

Camp Pleasant March 31 1862
Dear sister
I suppose you will be more anxious to hear from me than usual. Your letter of the 24th I received the morning and was glad enough to get it. I also got one from Helen and Olivia and you must let them read this as I have not much paper left and no money. In my last letter I told you we had just landed at the fortress, we marched out a little beyond the village or ruins of Hampton (almost the oldest village in this country) there are gravestones in the churchyard dated 1701 and I presume older, here we stayed all night and the next day we marched on three miles farther and encamped in the edge of a piece of woods. Thursday we went with quite a large force to Big Bethel but I saw no rebels though  a few were driven away by our skirmishers, and it is said one or two were killed but I hardly know.
Saturday night and Sunday it rained. Sunday I was on guard, the rain made the ground so muddy, that today we moved other the road into a cleared field which is dry and pleasant. It has been quite warm today. Jerry Turner is over here the boys are talking of old times. Newport News is about three miles from here but I do not think Ed W is now there. Today nearly a thousand of our boys were on the beach after oysters when a rebel gunboat came out from behind a point and began to shell them making them scatter in great haste. We heard the firing plainly here, it is said the first shell fell within 8 ft of one of our boys but did not explode he picked it up and brought it off. All the buildings about here have been burned. About a quarter of a mile from here are the ruins of a steam saw and grist mill.
Neither Charley Perry nor Henry were able to come with us, and I do not know when they will join us.
Tuesday morning April 1st. The sun comes up bright and warm on this first of April, the trees around here are budding fast and everything looks like the approach of summer. We have heard of the battle of Winchester. It seems to have been bloody and a complete rout to the rebs. I am very much afraid we shall not be home in time for the family gathering but a great deal may happen before that time. Twice since we came here we have known what is to be pretty hungry before we got anything to eat, but tobacco chewers got the worst of it, they have no money and no sutler, and they are out and go about looking down hearted enough. I must close for it is nearly time for the mail to go out. X

On the plains near Yorktown Sunday afternoon April 6th 62
Dear parents and sisters. Your letter of the 1st came to hand this afternoon, and I now commence to answer it though I do not feel much like writing as I have a headache. Last Monday we moved our camp in the edge of the pine woods into an orchard on the opposite side of the road, which was much pleasanter. On Tuesday Henry and Perry joined us. On Friday morning at an early hour the whole force at Hampton took up the march. About 4 oclock we came to the rebel works at Howard Mills. These works were in a good place and were quite extensive, but were occupied only by a squad of cavalry which fled at our approach. Here we staid all night. The next morning we started at 7 but we did not go more than half a mile when we were detained by the baggage and artillery which could not get along until the roads were repaired. Just before we got started again a thunder shower came up and for half an hour it rained quite hard, the sun then came out and as we were marching through the wood the air was sultry, the roads bad and altogether it was to me the hardest marching I have seen. About 9 we heard cannons and it continued to be heard at intervals from the direction in which we were marching. We arrived here about 1pm and pitched out tents. We are probably 2 or 3 perhaps 4 miles from Yorktown and a mile from their nearest fort. All yesterday afternoon the firing was quite sharp and we could occasionally hear the whizzing of the shells and see them burst in the air. Our sharpshooters kept one of the forts silent all day, they dare not get up to load the guns. I think the fight will be mostly with artillery. The gunboats are in the river and the rebel are pretty much surrounded. Prof Lewis’ balloon was up half the afternoon making observations.
General McClelan is here and I think the siege will proceed with caution and very little danger to us. Today there has been a little firing but it seems the most like Sunday of any I have seen in a long time. All the boys from our place are well. Henry was pretty sick when we got here yesterday but is feeling well today. I am much obliged to you for the bit of sugar and the money. I received a letter from Warren this afternoon but will wait a more convenient place to answer it. Now then if you go to worrying because I have written that we are so near the rebels and a prospect of battle I shall be sorry I have written. Many of the boys do not write on that account. Our brigade is on the reserve and I do not think we are in any more danger than when lying on our camp at Halls Hill. Our boys pay no more attention to the firing of the rebels with shot and shell than they do to brigade drill.
Your affectionate son Cory

Camp near Yorktown April 13 62
Sunday forenoon 
Dear sister                                                            
I received your letter of the 8th this morning, and at once sit down to answer it. I had a letter from aunt C this morning and have answered it. 
Everything has been as quiet since then as it was when I wrote last, though our men have not been idle, they have been at work all the time building roads on which to draw the cannon for the reduction of the rebel forts. From Monday night until Thursday morning it rained, all of the time. Thursday we moved back about a mile we suppose that it was feared that shells from our gunboats might pass over and hit us but no operations have commenced yet. Our boys were on picket yesterday but I did not go with them. I have not been well since Wednesday, having a pain in my stomach and no appetite. But I think I shall soon be able to do my usual duties.
It is reported that the battle of Corinth was most bloody but I hope it is exaggerated. It is really spring here now, the trees are putting forth their leaves, and the peach trees are beginning to blossom. Peaches seem to be a natural product here. I should think the people might live on them there are many quantity of peach orchards here but apples are scarce.
This country settled by northern farmers would soon blossom like the rose. This seems likely to be a victory of a good deal importance to us for a victory it must be. I hope the war may be ended so that I may get home to family gathering, but I do not expect it. You must all be patient and not fell so concerned about me. I should like to be home this summer and take care of the garden and work on the farm. Soldiering as far as the work is concerned is not harder than framing but being away from home, the food and the manner of living is what makes it hard. They seem to have been expecting Perry home from what you say in your letter, but he is here tough and hearty. All of our boys are well.
Your Brother Cory

Camp near Yorktown April 20 62 
Sunday forenoon
Dear Folks at home. Your letter of the 12th came to hand last evening and was gladly received as they always are. We are still at the place from which I wrote you last. Until last night we had no rain since we camped here some ten days ago, the sun shone brightly all the day long and the nights were clear and warm, the ground had got well dried and about our camp it was quite dusty. It has been an excellent time for getting in supplies and making preparations for the siege. When we first came here the ground was so soft that it was almost impossible to move heavy guns.
The trees have put forth their leaves rapidly during the past week. Fruit trees are all in blossom. Peaches, pears, plums and cherries seem to be the principal fruits. I have seen but few apples but they were well filled with blossoms. This appears to be a fertile well watered soil and beautiful climate and if tilled in northern style must well repay the efforts of the farmer; and where there are so many navigable rivers markets must be near. I propose that we settle in Virginia. I heard from aunt C that father had bought the farm, but no word from home to that effect.
There has been a good deal of sickness in our regt since we came here, in fact there has always been more sickness and deaths in the regt than in any other in the service. For two or three days I have not felt well and yesterday I was quite sick, today I feel rather better. All of our boys are able to be on duty, but none feel very keen. Perhaps it is from the change in climate. Perry is here as tough as need be but Charley has not joined us yet. When Henry and Perry came away he was in the Georgetown hospital sick or lame with rheumatism. I suppose you think because we are so near Yorktown I might know what is going on here but although we hear some firing occasionally we only know what we learn from the papers and we do not get them oftener than you do. Our regt went on picket this morning. It rained all of last night and most of today, if it continues long it must interfere with the preparations for the siege. You seem to be very successful in making sugar, I hope I may get home to eat some of it before it is gone.

Camp Winfield Scott April 27
Dear folks at home
Your letter came to hand this morning, that of the 19th. We were paid off day before yesterday, so that now I have paper and shall pay my postage. But I wish to send all the rest to aunt Cordelia. The captain thinks we will be paid off again in about four weeks. It is said that our paymaster remarked, that the next time he paid us it would be in Albany and before the 20th of next month, but I hardly see it. There is a report that in Albany papers that we are coming there to guard prisoners, perhaps it so.
Everything we buy here costs. Paper, a cent a sheet whether you buy little or much and envelopes a cent apiece, a small bottle of ink ten cents, crackers 25cts a pound. I thought today I would like a little soft bread for dinner I had to give 10cts for a loaf about as big as one of mothers light biscuits. The last 2 or 3 days have been rather cold. Yesterday it rained all day, today it is cloudy, but I think it will clear up without any more rain. To us it hardly seems as if anything was going on about the siege. Still men are all the time building roads and bridges, planting guns and erecting breastworks. Yesterday 14 rebels were taken prisoners and 17 came in and gave themselves up, and this morning 100 more did the same, they seem to be sick of the rebel cause. Almost every day there are more guns fired here than you would hear at S on a Fourth of July, but the boys pay no attention to them than you would a bleating of calves. If 6 or 8 happen to be fired in the space of a minute it sometimes wakes them up a little but they generally hardly notice them at all. By guns I mean 20 to 100 pounders.
McClellan Does not mean to hurry things I think until he gets a good ready, perhaps he is waiting for McDowell and Fremont to advance Richmond and take them in the rear. I believe the last great blow to the rebellion will be given here.
Now then when you write let me know all about what is going on at home, how much sugar you have made this spring, how many new milch cows we have, how many calves we are raising, has there any alterations been made about the house, gardens, barns or farm. What is father going to do with that bit of garden below the horse barn. Is there any change about the Strykersville folks or their houses, or Java Village. What are the young people, are there any about, when do the people expect the war will be closed. Let me know all the news general and particular whether it is of any consequence or not.    Your brother

Camp Winfield Scott. Near Yorktown Va. Sabbath forenoon May 4th 62
Dear folks at home. Your letter with Letties likeness came to hand last evening. And I now sit down to answer it. Undoubtedly the intelligence is already in the principal cities of the union, that the rebels have left their works in Yorktown, although you may not hear of it for a day or two. For the past week the rebels have wasted a great deal of ammunition in firing at our men in the trenches, but generally without effect. Tuesday our regt was on picket out co on reserve, one of our boys names Gurnesy, from Evans, Erie co, was mortally wounded by apiece of shell. He had stepped back a little out of the trench when a shell burst in the air, a short distance from him and a piece weighing a pound or more, which the boys could see plainly flying through the air, struck him in the back of the head making a hole an inch broad and three long, from which the brains protruded. They supposed he could not live an instant, but he lingered until Thursday evening. He was buried Friday.
The rebels have been firing these shells quite rapidly, but doing little harm. There is plenty of time when you hear a rush of the shell through the air to lie down or get behind embankments which ensure safety. I have never been out yet where they have been firing shells at us, as I have not well enough to do much until yesterday. Last night just at dark Gen Porter went up in a balloon, about 20 rods from our camp, it had only got up in sight above the trees when whizz came a shell which burst before it reached it and instant after another came striking nearer and making the crowd scatter in quick time. The balloon was hauled down in a hurry. A piece of one of the shells struck in our camp not more than ten feet from one of the tents and nearer to some of the boys, During the night I heard a shell burst very near to our camp and heard a piece fly, I thought along our co street. The firing continued at intervals till nearly morning. We were routed out at an early hour this morning and after getting our breakfasts we marched to headquarters, where we were provided with shovels, with which we started out to work in the trenches. We had got out near where we expected to go to work, when we met some of the picket coming in. Who said that shovels were no use as the rebels had left. We thought we could hardly see that,  but it soon became apparent that something unusual had happened for we could see the men standing up on the works and cheering, where yesterday half a dozen men would have certainly have drawn a shot, it was apparent that the rebels had left their forts. The leiut col, who had charge of us marched us up where we could see the deserted forts with stars and stripes floating over them. We were then marched back to camp where we arrived about 7 oclock and I sat down at once to write this letter. Where the rebels have gone to we of course do not know, but I presume we shall follow them up tomorrow. The gunboats are moving up the river. Of the engagement at Lees Mills we knew nothing till we saw it in the papers.
I was very glad to receive your picture, it is very natural I think. We have got to fall in for inspection now with everything packed and I shall have to stop now. 

Yorktown. Sunday afternoon.
I little thought that when I stopped writing the forenoon, that I should continue it within the rebel works at Yorktown, although I might have thought it of more probability than yesterday. But I am really writing inside the fort that surrounds Yorktown, and dipping my pen in an excellent bottle of ink made and sold by M A Parr Richmond Va. Instead of going on inspection, when we got our knapsacks packed we started for this place, where we arrived about 11 oclock, and after resting a short time we went on guard. Yorktown is not so much of a place as Java Village. A few buildings have been burned. A good wooden barrack has been built. Quite a good many tents are left standing. The works here are quite extensive, well built and mounted with a good supply of guns I presume they are spiked but we have not had a chance to see. They will not let us go about at all to gather trophies. The first regt which came in here found plenty of them. There are torpedoes planted in the walks most likely to be passed over and it is not exactly safe to go about much till they are removed, 6 men were wounded here this morning by the explosion of one. One it is thought mortally.
A negro who lives near here says the rebels commenced to move from here Thursday, they had not got all of their stores away yet. The negro says they thought we would not find out they had left today and tonight they intended to burn everything, but our coming in so quick put a stop to that. Our gunboats captured two small schooners which could not get away in time. The negro says the rebels have gone to Richmond but we will soon be there, the troops are following up as fast as possible. I saw a correspondent of the New York News with a polished skull which he found in a house here, probably it was from one of the victims of Bull Run. I send two rings of laurel root that I have whittled out at odd times, one for Lettie and one for Emma.                   Cory

Gloucester Point, Tuesday morning May 6th
As I have not had a chance to send out my letter, I thought I would add to it a little, so as to let you know all till I get a chance to send it. This point is across the York River from Yorktown, and here is a large nicely built fort, pretty well furnished with guns thought they are now useless as they are spiked. Just at night Sunday three companies were sent across to guard the point. Our Col then seemed to think that our regt would garrison the fort at Yorktown, and that Monday another regt would be sent here. I commenced to rain Sunday night  and continued all day yesterday. We had plenty of good quarters to stay in, three of us have a room about ten by twelve. We cleared it out and found a nice little cook stove and we are enjoying ourselves. Plenty of fresh pork and meal found here and this morning we have got a contraband cooking for us, so quick we conform to the peculiar institutions. I think we shall live high.
All day yesterday there was heavy firing in the direction of Williamsburg, but we on this side do not get the news.  The report this morning is that t, there was a battle in which we were victorious and took a large number of prisoners, also that Richmond is taken, but how true it is 
I do not know. Well I have eaten my breakfast perhaps you may think meal mixed up with water and a little salt and baked would be nothing nice, but I have eaten nothing so good in a long time. Ships were coming up the river all day yesterday and the river is about full now. Last night they all had their lights out it looked like a city. Wednesday. And this letter had not left yet. Wednesday we came back to Yorktown and took up quarters here. At first we did not like the place at all, they were awful dirty, but after getting them cleared out we made the quite decent, and I think I shall live quite comfortable. There are 5 of us in a shanty about 10 feet square, bunks with straw on one side a fire place, two tables, one for writing on and one for eating, very comfortable seats, these things we hunted round and found in other places. We have got 2/3 of a barrel of as nice flour as you ever saw, and some 15 pounds of meal, this morning we made some hasty pudding and today we had all we wanted of as nice flour pancaker as I want. Two brothers named Phillips who tent with us are quite chemists and they know how to put it to account in cooking. Sam, Henry and myself are the others. We found a nice large bake kettle, inside smooth and flat, and it will bake pancakes to perfection. We have also quite a supply of beans and rice we found here. I have looked around the works here this morning, if the rebels could not stand here they will not find any place where they can. Such guns I can easily put my head into them and almost crawl into them. I begin to think we shall get home before the fourth now. Henry and I are going down to the river to take a swim. I found a bill here or part of one which I will send you.

Yorktown. Tuesday eve May 13th 62
Dear parents and sisters. Your letter of the 6th came to hand last evening having I suppose, gone to West Point, where our Brigade had gone. They let us remain in the rebel shanties which we had cleaned out until Saturday and then we had to move into tents nearer headquarters. We pitched our tents Saturday afternoon. Sunday morning we had inspection and at 11 divine services, all the rest of the day was occupied in moving the furniture we had gathered.
Our tents are not as comfortable as our shanties were as they are hotter but they are larger and more comfortable than those we have had all winter. They were some that the rebels left, and today I went out and found another which we joined onto the one we had and now we have plenty of room.
This has been a week of success to us. Norfolk evacuated, the Merrimac blown up, the navy yard in our hands, McClellan close upon Richmond if not in it. All the buildings in this place are converted into hospitals, and the sick are being sent home as fast as possible, but many a poor soldier will find a grave here.
There are quite a number of prisoners and some deserters here. One captain a fine looking man, tonight he was talking with some deserters who came in today, the deserters said they thought the place could not have been held if they had tried, the captain replied we could not have held it a day, I have looked at their works. Contrabands are coming in everyday, there must be over a hundred and I don’t know but two, they are set to cleaning rubbish and receive rations and I think some pay. The town is beginning to have a neater look than it did when we first came, it also has quite a lively look, a great many are all the time passing, and so many vessels in the river and steamers going by. We still live well in addition to the other things, oysters are only 50 cents a bushel, this morning after making a hearty meal of pancakes I made dessert of some dozen of them raw, simply splitting them and putting on a little salt and pepper and vinegar. Let those who think keg oysters are good raw, come and take them from the shell and I think they will pronounce them fit for kings. A bushel will only make five of us about one meal, and that is said to furnish two gallons of clean oysters. We have to go on guard here every other day but that is about all that we have to do. Night before last while on guard I first heard a whiporwill, but there was nothing about its cry so beautiful or mournful as I expected, it was repeated over and over rapidly all night long. Summer is far advanced corn would be ready for hoeing if planted in time. About the only flowers I have seen are roses and they are picked close. Good night.    Cory

Yorktown, Sunday morning May 18th 1862
Dear Folks at Home. Your letter of the 15th came to hand last evening. We are still at Yorktown doing garrison duty, but it is said we shall go on to join the army tomorrow morning and it is said that the regt that is to take our place is already here. Still we have had no orders as yet to prepare to march. This place is getting to look quite decent, the streets are cleaned out and all the rubbish from torn down buildings removed and the ground leveled up, so that it begins to look more like a village. The principal street is named McClellan ave., the first cross street Porters, the 2nd Ellsworth, the 3rd Van Allen. Gen Van Allen is governor for this place and vicinity.
Prisoners are brought in and sent off almost every day. Yesterday I went down to the wharf to escort some prisoners, there was one boat that goes up to West Point and one that comes down each day. There were 6 or 8 coffins put on board the down bound boat and as many landed from the other to be filled and carried back. The next day I saw a lady dressed in mourning carrying the sword and pistols of a young officer just in front of her were tow negroes supporting him, and when the crowd became too thick one of them took him up and carried him, he was so poor that he made but a light burden, still he seemed to be convalescent. We still continue to live well. Last night we opened a bushel of oysters, and cooked them for supper. There were about a gallon of clear oysters, our eyes were a little too big however and we had enough left for breakfast. We are off guard here only 48 hours when we have to go on again, I went on guard last night, mine was the third relief which goes on at one and stands till five, but the last night for once I was lucky the guards on my beat were excused and allowed to go to our quarters, so I shall have to stand only from one till five in the afternoon. Yesterday I took a ramble off in the direction of James River and then came back about half way between the fort and out trenched, and then as we came back toward the fort we saw the torpedoes which had been dug up there were as many as 50 or 60 of them. Phillips is one of the greatest hands to get the darkeys that I ever saw. He has one here now who came in to get some shoes to black, and has asked him to sit down to breakfast which is now ready and so I will have to stop writing and eat mine. I must finish this letter and get it into the office before the mail goes out. Letties account of what is going on on the farm is interesting to me. I hope I may get home to family gathering though there is no telling how long we may be kept. The sweet flag is nice and I thank you much for it dear mother.
Your affectionate son and brother    Cory

On the road to Richmond Sabbath afternoon May 25th 62
Dear folks at home. Although I had not received my usual letter from home yet I have no doubt it is on the way and I now take the opportunity to again communicate with you as I may not have so good a chance again. My last letter I wrote from Yorktown and although I then had heard report that we should leave on Monday I did not credit it and said nothing about it, but Monday afternoon we had to pack up what we could carry, leaving all the comforts we had gathered during our stay, and march on board the boat. That night we went up a little way and anchored and at an early hour we started up the river. The York River is very broad more like a bay than a river and salt to its head the junction of the Pamunkey and Mattapony rivers at West Point. The scenes along the river are very beautiful much finer it seems than the Hudson. There are some very pretty houses all of course in the old style with chimneys outside. It is said that when the boatmen see a house with the chimney inside in the northern style, they immediately go on shore and ask the proprietor what has got into his house. 
We proceeded up the Pamunkey to the White House. This river is the crookedest stream I ever saw it is very narrow, the steamboat would very near reach across if it were turned that way.
We arrived at the White House landing as it is called at 10am, but I say no house. The Richmond and York river RR crosses at this point. We did not disembark till 4am meanwhile we lay out in the river watching the boats, swimming in the river, and the like. There were two large ocean steamers lying in the river as hospitals, filled with everything for the sick and wounded. After landing we marched along the RR some 3 or 4 miles to where our brigade lay and encamped. The next morning the whole division was on the move, we marched some 6 miles and encamped before noon. The next morning we started early and marched as far as any of us wanted to, how far I do not know. We encamped in a pleasant place where we yet remain. Nearby is a nice large mill pond where we can take a good bath whenever we choose. Wheat and oats are heading out, strawberries are ripe, green peas would be plenty if gardens were, it is really summer here.
How far we are from Richmond or the rebel lines I do not know, we shall very likely be nearer before I write again. The RR is in running order from White House landing to near our camp and two engines are place on it. I expect we shall move again tomorrow. The report has come this evening that Richmond is taken, the leiut col of the 83d Penn had been into the city today, he was officer of the day, one of our boys heard him say so himself.

May 31st Camp Gaines one mile from the Chicahominy
Dear parents and sisters. Ere this you have undoubtedly heard of the battle of Hanover court house, and perhaps that the 44th was engaged in it, and you may be anxious to hear from us.
We left the camp from which I wrote you last on Monday morning and came here only about two miles from out other camp. That night I went on guard. It commenced raining just at dark and rained all night. The cooks were called up about 11 oclock and ordered to prepare rations. The boys were called at 4am (it being still dark and raining) and marched. It continues raining till 10 oclock. In the afternoon it cleared off pleasant, about 4pm we heard a good deal of firing. The next afternoon about a dozen of the boys came into camp badly scared and said the 44th had been out flanked and all cut to pieces and what had escaped were running in disorder through the woods. It is evident it had been a Bulls Run to them, as the battle ground was some 20 miles from camp. But towards night the postmaster came in and said the 44th was lying on the battle ground and the order came to send out provisions. So I and two or three others who were in camp determined to go on and join them so that we might share the fatigues and dangers of  our comrades. We got started about 6pm and marched till 10 when we stopped and spent the rest of the night in an old school house. The next morning we persued our journey and came to the regt about 10am. About a mile and a half before we came to the camp we passed the battle ground, near the road twenty of our boys lie in one grave, among them Warren Crook, aunt Dolly’s nephew. I was not acquainted with any of the others. Besides him 8 of our co were wounded among them were Willis and Perry neither of them dangerous though they will be unable to do duty for some time and will probably be sent home. 27 of our regt are dead and 57 wounded. I of course can give no account of the battle. Henry was written 4 sheets to Jenny and you must get it from her. The boys who ran away get bored most awfully except one, and he makes no excuses, he says he was as cool as could be under the fire until they were ordered to fall back into the road and then he disappeared. The rest try to excuse themselves saying they were helping off the wounded and got lost. I told you a little back, that I arrived at the bivouac on the forenoon of Thursday that afternoon we were told to prepare to march back to camp, we started about 4 pm and did not arrive there till 3 the next morning. I was tires and have not got entirely over it yet. A painful occurrence happened here yesterday, a terrible thunder storm came up about 3pm it seemed to pass over and then come back I never saw such lightening or heard such crashing thunder, the lightening struck one tent, killing our quartermaster, seargent and severely stunning several others in another tent. It exploded a box of cartridges  severely burning one person, with this exception all have recovered, one had his shoe entirely torn off but hurting him scarcely at all. The deat by lightening seemed more terrible than all we lost in battle because it was so unexpected. The thunder and lightening did not leave us but continued half the night but I slept through it as I always do. We have two days cooked rations on hand and are liable to be called out at any time, even now I hear the reports of cannon not more than a mile or two from here. Perry and Willis are in the hospital about two miles from here, I should like to go and see them if I can get permission. The mail in which your last letter was, did not come to camp, but followed the regt, my letter leiut W put in the pocket  of his overcoat and that on the adjutants horse, the horse ran away and lost the coat and my letter. Our adjutant major and one leiut were wounded and one leiut is missing he was at the hospital when it was attacked and is supposed to have been taken prisoner.

Camp near the Chickahominy June 8th 62. Sunday afternoon
Dear parents and sister. My last letter home if I remember right was written a week ago yesterday and I presume by this time you may be anxious to hear from me. I think I may have spoken of hearing heavy firing on that day, but from all we heard we had no idea of the magnitude of the battle of Seven Pines or Fair Oaks. On that night we were called out with our brigade, and indeed I do not know but our whole division was aroused, but we only went down to the banks of the river, to support a party of bridge builders. The first two companies were deployed as skirmishers in the field and then were to advance to the river. We were ordered forward and I started to push my way through the bushed and weeds, I had not gone three steps before I came to a ditch, some two feet down to the water thinking it could not be deep I stepped off and plump I went into the water to my waist. As I was now well wetted I thought I might as well make my way across but when I got to the other side I could not get up the bank it was so steep and the bushes and briers so thick so I had to go back and one of the boys took hold of my gun and pulled me out. The river had risen and filled the ditch and the water was close to it on the other side so that I should have been no better if I had got across. We remained there all night expecting that as soon as the bridge was built we should cross, in the morning we went back to camp to get our breakfasts and prepare for a longer stay. When we came back we found the river had risen so much that they had been obliged to abandon the idea of a trestle bridge and were hauling boats to build a pontoon bridge, we stayed there a little while and then were sent back to camp with orders to be ready to march at a moments notice, but we were not called on. The river bank was found to be so swampy that a good deal to corduroy must be made before the artillery could cross. We now have quite a force over the river at that point. 
Tuesday we went on picket out co was stationed in a large tobacco barn near the river the water having risen so high as to come nearly up to the barn. We had nothing to do but lie around and be as comfortable as possible. There was quite a quantity of tobacco leaf there and I tried my hand at making cigars and succeeded very well, I made about 50 that day and one mammoth one, when I went to camp I took along mote tobacco and made up quite a box which I sent to uncle Philetus by Perry, he and Willis started for home day before yesterday, they may be home before this reached you. I sent twenty dollars by them to father. Tell uncle P the cigars will want drying awhile before the will be fit for use. The tobacco belonged to a rich old secessionist and so was subject to confiscation, the boys that use it have not wanted for the article since we came to this camp, when they came back from Hanover they brought a bag weighing fully a hundred pounds for this co in plugs. Since hearing the glorious news from the west I begin to hope I may get home to the family gathering but the other editor must take care of the paper, perhaps I may be able to write something of interest for it. It is now summer here cherries are ripe and the stones of peaches are hardening, wheat will have to be cut soon if at all, but a great deal has been harvested by mules and horses or trodden down by men. Our camp is on a field of some kind of grain which when we came here was 4 or 5 inches high but now you would not know it from the hard road.
Does Father take the Tribune yet, I hardly ever see it but I see a good deal in other papers condemning it for saying so much against McClellan either directly or indirectly, and lauding one General for proclaiming the slave free and condemning McClellan because he does not. I think he is talking about what he is ignorant of and has no business to meddle with, thousands of slaves come into our lines and I never heard of one being returned yet, the slaves know they are free when they get into our lines as well as if we proclaimed it while great mischief would be done by making such proclamation, I sometimes think that what Greeley wants to do. The soldiers have all faith in McClellan and his presence on the battle field would do more good than a dozen fresh regiments.
Good bye for this time. Cory

Camp near the Chicahominy, Sabbath afternoon June 15th 62
Dear sister and folks at home. Your letter of the 10th came to hand this afternoon, that of the 3d I received last Tuesday, I am still enjoying good health unharmed by rebel bullets. By this time I think Willis and Perry must be home, a letter came for them this afternoon and I took the liberty to open it, it was from their father and mother and as it contained nothing of importance I shall not send it on to them.
Nothing of interest has occurred about here since the battle of Fair Oaks, we were called out in haste last Friday afternoon but after going a little way we were sent back again. On that day a party of rebel horse made a dash upon a train shooting the teamsters, setting fire to the wagons and killing or taking away the mules. Where they came from or where they went I cannot imagine. They must have been gurillas and as out cavalry came up in time to put out the fires before the wagons were much injured I think they could hardly have escaped, I heard today that twelve of them had been shot. Three of our regt’l teams were among the lost and it is said one of the teamsters from our co was shot, at any rate we have not heard from him since, we hope he may yet turn up.
It is now nearly night, my writing was broken off by a storm of wind and rain and after making things as snug as possible as the rain beat through the cotton roof, I put off for awhile, it is still raining but not very hard. Henry Hotchkiss joined us day before yesterday. Steven Smith has been unwell for some time back but is getting better now. I hope the advance on Richmond will be made before long, and the southern skedaderly smashed. It seems to take a great while to get ready to make a military movement, but of course I am well aware there are a great many impediments to be overcome before we get into Richmond. Monday. This morning is pleasant and cool. I must close this and put it in the office as I have to go on drill. Your brother Cory

Camp near New Bridge June 22 62
Dear parents and sisters
Although I have not received your usual letter I sit down this pleasant Sunday afternoon to write to you.
Very little of interest has occurred the past week. Wednesday we were on picket, the day was pleasant, our posts were on the further bank of the Chickahominy, we had to cross a bridge at which the rebels have a battery of cannon pointed, ready at any moment to sweep it, so only 3 were allowed to cross at once, some of the posts farthest out were not more than ten rods from the rebel lines. About half of the regt was least a few rods down the river and back in the field as a reserve, the other half went up to the bridge, and half of it sent across for the first relief, out co was in it, we staid on from about 8 am till 12 pm. Soon after we came off and were eating our dinner behind the trees (which stand thick on each side of the river) one of our batteries which stands a few rods below opened fire on the rebels, they then returned the fire with spirit and precision, the shots striking in the battery or just going over and glancing up among our reserves making them scatter in every direction. After firing a dozen shots out battery stopped, and shortly after the rebels did. After the excitement had died away and all were lopping behind the trees, reading, smoking or talking we heard a sharp crash directly behind us and the whiz of the pieces of shell, we sprang to our feet and the smoke and falling branches of a tree showed where the shell had struck and exploded, thinking that if the rebels were going to make a target of the bridge a safer place might be found, all who had not a large tree to get behind started for the breastworks some two rods in the rear, we had hardly got behind it when another shell exploded in nearly the same place, no one was hurt and the rebels favored us with no more that day. At 8pm we were relieved by the reserve and took their place. The night was so that sleeping in the open air was not uncomfortable but for the mosketoes they were worse than the shells. 
During the night two companies were sent to throw up breastworks for the reserve to get behind the next day. About 4 the next morning our co was called on to shovel we were relieved about 8. 
Friday hearing a good deal of firing in the direction of the bridge I went over to see what they were bout, I found rebels were throwing shells at the battery and bridge altogether to fast to be pleasant, but for all that a shell would hardly strike before the boys would be after it for trophy, they occasionally threw on at the Gaines mansion, and one or two came almost into out camp.
I have not heard that any one was hurt, yesterday we moved our camp about a mile to be more out of the way of the shells. 
Last night we heard cannon and musketry across the river it lasted only 20 minutes. I heard last night that Willis and Perry instead of being at home are in Philadelphia so I presume the money I sent by Willis is not home yet. When we were paid off last I sent for the continental monthly a copy of which I had seen and was interested in moreover they offered to send it to soldiers at half price, it is a new magazine devoted to literature and politics, I have received the first six numbers, I shall send them home before long. The mail has come and brought your letter of the 15th, I think you will find the report of the death of William Daily a mistake. Cory

Richmond July 13th 1862
Dear Parents. As I hear that a flag of truce is going out tomorrow I write a few lines to let you know that I am alive and well, though a prisoner. We are pleasantly encamped on Belle Island near the city so we have plenty of fresh air, water to bathe in and enough to eat, so we are quite as well off as in camp, except that we are deprived of communing with friends by letter with [?] O presume you thought me dead but I hope to see you all yet. Steel I think is dead, our orderly seargent who is a prisoner with me saw him wounded he thinks mortally, just before he was taken.
Now throw off all anxiety in regard to me I should dearly love to write and receive letters from home, but I presume  the opportunities will be limited. You had better write to the publishers of the continental to have it sent to you. Give my love to all friends.
Your affectionate son Cory

Thursday Aug 7th 1862 Camp near Harrisons Landing on the James River Va
Dear Parents, sisters and friends at home.
It is now some time since I have heard from you or you from me, and I doubt not that after so long a time you will be glad to hear that I am again in my regt, in good health and ready to resume my duties as a soldier in Uncle Sams army. I presume you will like to know of my adventured for the last five weeks Adlebert tells me that Henry wrote an account of the battles which I presume is better than I can give and so I will not say much about it. Just before dark the regt retreated in disorder, in fact the left was out of sight before the three right companies knew anything about it, as soon as we saw that they were gone we of course started. I first could not imagine for what they had left, and indeed I thought they would soon be back. The rebels were pouring in to a shower of grape canister and shell upon them as they ran and for a moment I halted in the ditch to avoid it, and then followed it along sheltering myself as best I could, after going a few rods I saw Grannis out orderly seargant some 3 or 4 rods to the right of us and I called out to him to know what we should do, I don’t know I am sure he said it don’t look right to be running away in this style. It was now nearly dark the smoke having settled down so that nothing could be seen distinctly. Just after Grannis answered ne I heard someone call out to him. “Charley cant you help me I am wounded” just then I heard some of our boys to the left of me call out to a line which could be dimly seen, “what regt is that” and so I went that way to find out. I was soon joined by Grannis and Dugal another member of our co, in reply to our calls we heard 44th 83rd, and thinking our regt s has again formed we started towards them, we had gone but a few yards when we found ourselves in a line of skirmishers and were ordered to throw down our arms and got to the rear. We were prisoners the regt that took us was the Palmetto Sharp Shooter South Carolinans. We were immediately place under guard and started for Richmond where we arrived just at daylight the next morning. We were pretty well tired out I can tell you. All the way we were well treated by the guard who conversed with us on all subjects with pleasantness. As soon as our names were taken we were placed in a large brick warehouse near the canal, there were some 350 of us in a room 100 x 40 feet, there we staid for two weeks when we were removed to an island in the James River and placed in camp, our rations have been ½ loaf of bread and a piece of meat or a little soup each day. Sometimes I was very hungry and sometimes I got a little extra by hook or crook, once or twice we got our half loaf in the morning instead of a quarter and the rest at night, and thinking we might get more at night we ate it all and then had no supper, once or twice we got only ½ loaf for the whole day and about as many times we got a whole loaf. However I had good health and so was better off than those who were sick and wounded.
In regard to our life on the island I will not say much, we passed the time as best we could. Last Monday night we were kept up all night to have our names taken down, Tuesday about 10 oclock we left the island and started on the march for our lines, we arrived at a landing on the James river about ten or twelve miles this side of Richmond about 9 at night, the day was very hot and if I had not been coming the way I was I could hardly have stood it, when we came to the landing we threw ourselves on the ground and spent the night. 
On Wednesday about 10 oclock we went on the boats and started down the river, we arrived at Harrisons Landing about 1 oclock and anchored, toward night we moved up to the wharf and debarked we were directed to our regts. Our regt was but a short distance from the landing and I soon reached it, there I found Adelbert who was unwell, the regt had gone on picket. Hotchkiss and Henry were both in the hospital, today I went over to see them and found they had gone off on the boats, day before yesterday. St. John is getting better.
In the fore part of my letter I told you I heard someone call out to Charley for help, after we were taken I asked him who it was he said it was Steele that his thigh was broken by a shell, this is all I know about him he could not have lived long for shell make terrible work. While on the island we speculated much on what should be done with us, we supposed that our gov’t would not exchange and that we should be paroled and discharged and I had hoped so thinking I would let someone else do something for their country in my place. However since I have got back and heard the news all around, I am not unwilling to go into the ranks to serve my country again I had hoped I should get a furlough but I do not expect it now though I know nothing as yet of the terms on which we were discharged. I would like much to be home to the family gathering & will try and write some for the Annual. Give my love to all I send a ring of bone I made during my imprisonment and a stiletto for one of the other girls. Please send me some stamps. Cory

Newport News Va Aug 21 62
Dear Sisters and Parents. It is now some two weeks since I wrote you at Harrisons landing & although I have received no letter from you, you will no doubt be expecting to hear from me again by this time. I think I told you in that letter that I had been to the hospital to see Henry and learned that he had gone north but after sending my letter one of the other boys who was at the hospital came over and said he was still there but had been removed to another ward but Hotchkiss had gone, so the next day I went over to see him and spent nearly all day with him. Sunday I went to see him again and found he had been quite sick on Saturday and was looking worse than Friday. In the afternoon the regt came back and soon after orders came to have knapsacks packed and sent down to the river to be place on a vessel as we should march soon. Orders also came to detail one man for the ambulance corps, and as I was well rested and the rest of the boys were tired the seargeant said he would send me, I was told to report. The next morning we signed the pay roll and I took an order over to Henry to sign so that he could get his pay but found that he had gone on the boat the night before. In the afternoon we received our pay.
On Thursday night just at dark we were ordered to strike tents and get ready to march. I laid down and had quite a nap as orders to fall in did not come till nearly 12, we then fell in and after waiting some time we marched about ¾ of a mile and then laid around till daylight we then started in good earnest and marched all day crossing the Chickahominy a little after dark and there we spent the night. The next day we marched about two miles this side of Williamsburg and encamped the next day, Sunday, we marched to our old camp this side of Yorktown & spent the night on the same old camp ground. On Monday we marched to Hampton & Tuesday we were ordered here, which place is about six miles from Hampton. So we have had four days in succession of long marches besides the last six miles. But fortunately all of these days were cool compared with those we have had before, if it had not been so a great many more would have fallen out then did and there were enough as it was. I was pretty well tired out but have got well rested again. The regt left here Tuesday night, and now I must tell you why I am here. I told you that I was detailed in the ambulance corps our duty on a march is to go with the ambulances, take care of them and the sick, there are two men besides the driver to each ambulance, on the battlefield it is our duty to carry off the wounded an no one else is allowed to do it¸ so that we shall be in as much danger as the rest and I think we shall feel it more. The ambulances are still here and we shall not go till they are shipped, which may be today or tomorrow, perhaps still later. Enclosed I send $15.00 to Father. I had commenced writing for the annual but this march has broken me off, and I do not know when I can finish. I presume the family gathering is already past. I forgot to say Henry received Letties letter Sunday, he wanted me to speak of it as he was unable to answer it. Cory

Aquia Creek Aug 28th 62
Dear Sister. We are now at Aquia creek having come here from Newport News. When we shall join our division I do not know, I hope we shall before long for I want my letters I think I must have some there as I have received none as yet. I commenced this letter (to the Annual) at Harrisons landing. I wrote you from Newport News and sent some money. Your brother Cory

Sept 8th 1862
Camp near Alexandria
Dear Parents and Sisters
I suppose you will be expecting to hear from me again by this time, and now that I have a chance I will write you I wrote you last from Aquia creek. On Saturday night we went down to the wharf and loaded our ambulanced onto the steamers and Sunday morning as soon as it was light we started, it rained all the forenoon but we had good quarters on the boat which had been taken only two weeks before, engaged in contraband trade on the Potomac. We arrived at Alexandria about noon and before we had unloaded we heard there had been a battle at Manassas and that Pope had taken 26000 prisoners. We landed a little before dark and went a little outside the city and encamped. The next morning at two oclock we started for Centreville. When within about six miles of that place which we reached a little after noon I saw someone coming toward me whom I thought I knew, at first I thought it might be someone from the regt, but on coming up with him I found it was Walter Steele. He informed me that his regt had been in the fight of Saturday though he had not and that George Stryker was wounded and Edgar Fancher missing, I have since learned he was taken prisoner and paroled. I found our regt near Centreville and learned that our brigade was in the thickest of the fight and had lost over half of its men. In our company one seargeant was missing and Dougal who was a prisoner with me had lost a leg. We took on as many wounded as our ambulanced would carry and started back, we had not proceeded more than a mile when we stopped and it began to rain very hard and during the shower we heard the noise of battle, the rain ceased a little after dark and the train soon moved on. We learned that the rebels had attempted to cut off the train and there had been a severe battle and Gen Stevens killed, the train which we were in of wagons and ambulances was 4 or 5 miles long and two abreast., we got to Farifax CH about midnight and there stopped till morning when we went on to Alexandria and there left the wounded/
At 9pm we had orders to hitch up and start, we proceeded to Fort Cochran and the next morning went on to Miners Hill. We passed our old camp on Halls hill and I went and looked into the enclosure of logs that formed the foundation of our tent. While there I found I was near the 104th and I went and saw Mr. Barber and the two Thomas boys. The next day I went over to the regt which occupied its old quarters but the whole brigade (5 regts) did not occupy as much ground as one regt did last winter I got a letter from Adelbert. The next day I went again and got a letter from home one from Minerva and on from Mrs Hogan, the next day I received you last of Aug 24. At 9 oclock we had orders to hitch up and start but we made so many stops that we did not go more than 4 miles before dark. We arrived on the heights near Alexandria about 8 oclock and stopped to feed. We were then ordered to hitch up again but we remained there in the hot sun until afternoon when we went about a mile and again stopped. At night most of the ambulanced were ordered to go up the river, where I do not know I did not have to go.
I expect we will have to leave here tonight, they seem determined to keep us on the move. Last night 4 of us went foraging, we got a big fat hen and 8 or 10 quarts of milk so we had a fine breakfast. I did not lose my diary but everything else, however Uncle Sam will make that up to me. I wish you would send me some more stamps.
Your affectionate brother Cory

Fort Cocran Va Sunday Sept 15th 1862
Dear Parents and Sisters
Although I have received no letter from home since I wrote you last, I suppose you think it is time to hear from me. I wrote you last Monday from near Alexandria. On Tuesday we came back to Fort Cocoran and encamped near it, the regt had encamped right back of the Arlington house about a mile from the fort. They went to work, cleared out the bushes and stumps expecting to make something of a stay, it was reported that the brigade had been detached from the division, but on Friday they started on the march again a new regt of 1050 men having been added to the brigade.
Reuben Fox told me when the regt passed that Mr. Lewis was dead. In the last letter that I received from home you told me he was very sick but that they thought he was getting better, it must be a severe blow to Aunt Orpha. Today we can hear the church bells ringing, I have not heard a sermon preached I think since last March and for some weeks have hardly known when Sunday came.
Last Wednesday I went down to Washington with some of the ambulance to get them repaired. And visited the patent office and the Smithsonian institute, I also went up to the capital but it was closed to visitors as it is being fitted up for a hospital, the basement for a bakery. The capital is as yet unfinished, the pictures of it which you see are as it will be finished. The center of it is the original building of stone painted white. The pillars of the portico are of one solid piece of marble 20 or 25 feet high. In the patent office and institute I saw many interesting things but I cannot describe them. The rebel raid on Maryland and Pa seem to be exciting a great deal of fear in those states but I believe it must be their last, I hear that the regt in which Warren Reed is, is on this side on the river but I have not heard where it is. I have just finished eating dinner we have fresh bread now instead of hard tack. Stevens Smith was left sick at Alexandria. I hope I may soon get where I can receive my letter I think I must have some due
Your son and brother Cory

Fort Cocoran Sept 21st Sabbath afternoon.
Dear parents another week has passed since I wrote you last, and a part of the ambulances are still at this place. Nothing of interest has occurred to us here though we have been having a very easy pleasant time. I have found during the week that the 10th NY cavalry are lying under the hill close by us. I have seen Saunders, Casey, Jud Edmunds and one of my scholars in the Wales school, Warren Webster. Casey told me that he saw the 130th regt at Washington, the regt stopped for a short time near their encampment, he said they had gone to Fortress Monroe.
Wednesday Nahum Thompson and myself went over to the seminary hospital to see Stephens Smith, we found him much better, able to be around but unable to follow the regt. I also saw Dugal who was a prisoner with me and who lost his leg at Bull Run (Manassas), he is doing well, his leg being pretty near healed over. We have been having good news from the army for the past week, though not quite so successful (as we now learn) as we were led to expect the for part of the week.
I hope we may be completely successful and this war soon ended. The time spent in the army seems wasted, though since we have been here I have had all the magazines and books to read and study that I wanted. I have been much interested in Rollins Outlines of History a book that came from Ruffins house opposite Harrisons landing. Some of the boys got the books and sent them off on the beat, when they came here they got their knapsacks and when they came to march they could not carry then and threw them away and I picked them up. I have also a chemistry and a greek lexicon worth at least 5 dollars, I shall send it home if I can get a citizen to express it for me for they will take no packages from soldiers. Going into the ambulance corps as things have turned out has been a fine thing for me. I would not care if this affair could be settled without calling on us at all. I shall be glad when I can get to the regt and get my letters, write and tell me all the news.
Casey tell me that William Rogers is dead I can hardly believe it, were he in the army we should hardly be surprised, death is as certain to those at home among friends as to those far away.

Camp near Fort Cocoran Sabbath afternoon Sept 28th 62
Dear parents and Sisters
Another week has passed and I am still at this place doing nothing. The weather has been very pleasant the past week though the nights have been cool very much like fall, but the days have been warm. Last Wednesday with three companions I visited the patent office and Institute. As nothing of interest has occurred perhaps what I saw will be of interest to you.
In the outside appearance of the patent office there is not much of interest like all the public buildings it is built apparently of marble and has many marble pillars supporting the roofs of the porticos the only room open to visitors is the model room, Here are deposited models of patents, also treaties with other nations, presents of the Japanese embassy to the president, many of the old relics of Washington and many other things of interest. At the Smithsonian institute are stuffed beasts and birds of all countries, also statues and pictures and a large library. The visit was very interesting but I could have made it more useful if I had money enough to have bought a catalogue which would have described what I saw.
I have yet got no letters from home or elsewhere, but as we got some more ambulances yesterday I think we shall soon join the division I suppose the presidents proclamation must have created some excitement at the North although I suppose it could be nothing near as great as it would have been a year ago. I believe I may as well close this letter, until I get where there is something going on I cannot make out a long letter, this is a lazy kind of like and I am getting to indolent to even think very hard,

Camp near Sharpsburg Oct 5th 62
Sunday afternoon
Dear Parents and Sisters
I have at last got to the division and have received my letters, and find them full of interest, in one of them Lettie says that she wishes I would tell more about what I am doing but as at that time I was doing nothing I could not very well write about it. However since we have been on the march the past week perhaps it will be of interest to you. Well on Thursday we started on the march for this place, we crossed the Potomac at Georgetown and after rising the hills of the Potomac we came into a very pleasant country cultivated and looking pretty much like the northern states though the houses are older fashioned. About noon we came to Rockville, here I should think the people were short of land for the houses are build close upon the streets which is very narrow, it is situated at the crossing of two roads, the buildings are of all kinds, brick, stone, and logs, and shingled, as most houses here are with shingles laid about 4x8 inchers to the weather lapping from left to right like clapboards in courses like shingles. We stopped about 5 miles beyond this place for the night the next day we proceeded on the march about noon we stopped at Hyatstown for dinner, in this place the houses as at Rockville are close upon the street, the houses are very old fashioned and the place altogether behind the times, the only modern building is a brick Methodist chapel built in 1856. The next place there were about a dozen houses and on a brick building there was inscribed Urbana Wesley Chapel 1853. About 6 miles from this place we came to Monocacy creek and just above where we crossed is the RR bridge burned by the rebels but now rebuilt. Two miles from this is Fredericks city, this is a very pretty place of about 12000 inhabitants it is situated in a pleasant valley and is surrounded by a good farming country, about two miles beyond Frederick we stopped for the night. The next morning we crossed over a range of hills and then into the valley in which Middletown is situtated, from this we passed over the range of South mountain. Here the battles in Maryland first commenced. The rebels were situated on a hill or mountain quarter of a mile to the right of the road and extended along the range of hills to the Potomac a distance of 17 miles. The place was an excellent one for defense one man being as good as three in the position of our men. The battle commenced in the morning and before noon the rebels were driven the whole length of the line by a General whose skill and bravery the North seem unwilling to reward only with curses. After descending from South mountain we passed through the village of Boonesburgh, then passing over another range of hills we passed through Keysville and then we came to Antietam creek, here the hardest part of the battle was fought, still there are not many marks of it (except what is generally left by the army) until you get to Sharpsburgh about a miles from the creek, almost every house has the mark of bullets or cannon shot, in the end of one I saw 5 cannon shot holes. However I presume this does not seem to me such an aweful thing as it does to you so far from it. When a cannon shot goes through the roof of a house it is apt to make it leak and if through a window it breaks the glass and if through the side of it it will be apt to let in the wind and perhaps knock of the plastering but unless a person is so foolish as to try to stop it with his body it will not hurt him though it might scare him.
We are now encamped about a mile west of Sharpsburgh. Immediately after we got into camp I started for the camp of the regt where I found six letters 3 from home, one from Grandfather, one from Dell and one from Lizze. Dell tells me that the people are all down on McClellan they had better keep their mouths shut when his soldiers are around or it will go rough with them. The other letter I will answer when I get time and paper. I wish uncle Ps folks would write I think I wrote them last. I hope we shall not stay here long, though I think there is a movement being made to the rear of the rebels to cut off their supplies and retreat and I think we will not move till that is complete.
As I have nothing more of interest to write I will close.

Sunday afternoon Oct 12 62
Camp near Sharpsburgh Md
Dear parents and Sisters. Your letter of the 5th I received today, the ambulance corps still remains I camp about half a mile from the village of Sharpsburgh. But the regt has moved back of Antietam two miles and a half from here.
Nothing of interest has occurred here the past week. Last Wednesday I went over the battlefield where the hardest of the fight had been. Nothing shows the terrific shock except the leveled fences and trampled ground and the mounds of earth showing the last bivouacks of from one to 150 men. Of all the shot and shell and bullets that must have covered the ground only occasionally can one be found all having been carried off by relic seekers.
All of the boys agree with Dell in regard to McClellan. I do not have much opinion in regard to the war, I think we have taken up a harder job than we at first supposed, but it must be done. The rebels have again crossed the river and are now in Penn but I hardly think they will accomplish much.
I think I would be quite as glad to get home as you would be to have me but I do not expect it yet awhile. However the darkest time is just before day and the end of may be much nearer than we expect. I do not think the country will be so much injured as you imagine but the part in which the war is carried on will be almost ruined. Sickness and death seem to be on the march at home worth almost greater power than here. I do not believe there can be a healthier country than this. My other correspondents will have to wait till I get paid off as I have no money nor paper, I begged this sheet give my love to all Cory

Sharpsburgh Hospital Sunday afternoon Oct 19
Dear Parents and sisters
Now do not be frightened because this letter is dated from a hospital. Last Sunday when I wrote you I was not feeling first rate but I thought nothing of it. Monday I had a terrible bones ache and head ache and kept my bed all day sleeping most of the time. Tuesday I felt much better, Wednesday I had bones ache and fever again. I took some pills and the seargeant thought I had better go to the hospital the next day, as I would be apt to get well much sooner. But Thursday I felt so well he said I need not go. I kept around all day Thursday feeling quite well, I slept well that night, and the next morning was out early and began to walk about. But pretty soon I began to feel sick and cold. I laid down and covered up, and such a shake I had it almost seemed as if it would tear my bones to pieces. The seargeant went off at once and got an order to take me to the hospital. I had not been there long before I got over being cold, and began to be hot but I kept closely covered and in the afternoon I began to sweat. I sweat freely for two hours so that my woolen shirt was wet through. I took that off and wiped dry with a towel and put on a dry shirt. I slept first rate that night and the next day (yesterday) I felt quite well again though weak. I ate quite hearty and in the afternoon walked up to the camp of the corps. The Dr. gave me 4 doses of quinine and capsicum to take during the day and I hoped that would break it up, but this morning a little after daylight I began to grow chilly and for all my covering up I had another shake, it did not last long however, and the fever if was not so high, so I hope to get over it soon. My windows are of the dark kind as the glass was knocked out by shells and it has been clouded up, so I will wait and finish in the morning.
Monday morning. This morning is cold I am feeling pretty well again. I have been down and took a good wash in cold water without shaking. 
I expected to have received my usual letter yesterday but it did not come. The boys in the corps since I have been sick have been very kind to me, quite as much as they could be in the company.
You said in your last that you hoped the rebels would hold out until the first. I am very much afraid that if they hold out until that time that they will have a very strong incentive to hold out longer and I am afraid they have the power. 
Cold weather is now approaching and we can hardly expect such a pleasant Nov and Dec as we had last year. I dread passing another winter in camp. But I must close

Camp near Sharpsburgh Oct 26th 62
Dear Parents and Sisters
Another week is passed, and the time has come around again for me to write the weekly letter. Your of the 12th I received last Monday. I am out of the hospital and again enjoying good health. I have had no hard shake and but little fever since last Sunday, almost every day I came up to this camp during the past week. Friday I went over to the camp of the regt which is 2 ½ miles from here, Gardner Nichols has just got his discharge he is in the hospital which is some distance from the camp and I was too tired to go over there. Stevens Smith is in the hospital again, he did not seem to gain much in the Alexandria hospital and thought he would do better to come and join the regt, but he soon got down again.
There is not much of interest to write about.
I think Sharpsburgh was never before so good a market town as at present, the farmers come in with their queer long wagons with high boxes turned up at each end, with 2, 3 or 4 horses riding the near horse and driving with one line, old fashioned harness with straps 6 inches wide nearly covering the horse. Potatoes and apples are from $1.00 to $1.50 a bushel, butter 30 to 40c, we can buy much loaves as you make for 25c, if you have the money, but as I have none I have to live on hard tack and salt port, except occasionally when we can catch a pig. Yesterday I was down to the village and got all the apples I wanted to eat by going around to farmers wagons and asking them to give me one as I had no money, I generally got one when I asked for it.
Today is very unpleasant, a cold rain is falling making life in camp with our uncomfortable tents anything but pleasant. I cannot imagine what the army is waiting here for so long, it seems to me there must be a screw loose somewhere. 
The boys at the regt are not allowed to have their knapsacks, and are required to keep three days provisions on hand and they seem to think there will be a movement before long, I hope so for it seems as if nothing was being accomplished while we are lying still. But I must close mu letter. Cory
Monday morning, I received you letter of the 19th yesterday afternoon, also one from Uncle PO but I cannot answer it now as I have no paper, not Lizzies for the same reason.

Camp near Snickers Gap Nov 4th 1862
Dear sister I suppose you will be somewhat disappointed if you do not get a letter this week, but I am afraid you will not. I must now tell you what I have been doing since I last wrote and why I did not write last Sunday as usual. We remained in camp near Sharpsburgh till Thursday morning and as there seemed no prospect of a move, I with one of the boys went over to the regt, when we came back about 2PM we found the all harnessed up to leave. After eating dinner the seargeant told me I had better go back to the regt and go with the ambulance which was there, although it had been ordered back that morning as we did not expect to leave, but when I got there I found it had gone and I had not met it. The regt had everything packed up and ready to move. I thought if I started back I would meet it and if I did not I would go up to the old camp where the seargent and one of the men were waiting for some of the ambulances that had gone to Frederick. But when I got there I found the ambulances had returned from Frederick and they had all gone. It was ten oclock and I having walked about 16 miles in my two trips to camp felt too tired to follow them, so I determined to stop in an old shelter that remained there and stay till morning as I had a blanket and plenty of bread. I had not got to sleep before I was joined by another of the corps who had been down to the village and got left. The next morning we started early for Harpers Ferry, where we supposed the troops had gone. After going some two miles my companion bought some milk and we had breakfast of bread and milk. After going six miles we found we were as far from the ferry as when we started, which was 9 miles. We however arrived there about 2pm and found long trains of troops and wagons crossing the pontoon bridge. From our commissary seargeant we learned that our train was some 2 or 3 miles to the rear and it would be sometime before it would come up, so I crossed over to the village intending to wait for them to pass through. This village which we have heard so much about lately, is situated between the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers where the latter emptys into the former. The rocks here are almost perpendicular on both sides of the river and 3 or 400 feet high. The government buildings which were the principal ones were burned down, the machinery was driven by water power from the Potomac river. The surrender of this place when he had his artillery in position on the Maryland side was certainly an act of treachery on the part of Col Miles, he could have held it against any force as long as his ammunition held out and it is said the rebels took 5 tons. The train crossed the river about 10oclock and I got into one of the ambulances and rode. We crossed the Shenandoah and wound around the base of the mountain into Pleasant valley, and encamped about 4 miles from the ferry. Saturday was pleasant and we remained in that camp and the troops were mustered for pay, as they are every two months whether there is any prospect of getting it or not. Sunday we marched all day, the ambulance I went with followed a battery we had in two sick men, I rode all day it was warm and pleasant. We were ordered to come back to the corps at night but as it was dark when we stopped there was no use in looking for it, so we got our suppers and went to bed in the ambulance. The wind rose and blew hard and cold all night but we were very comfortable. In the morning we found the corps and reported, we were sent back to the battery again but as we did not move. The wind blew very cold all day or should have written yesterday. In the forenoon my companion and myself went out and shot a nice pig which weighed about 50 pounds dressed, some of the others helped dress it whom we gave half, so we had nice fresh pork steak and liver for dinner. We went back to the corps to spend the night. We were awakened about 4 in the morning and we were told to get ready as we should march at 5. We were sent to the battery again but I see no signs of movement yet. The sun is shining brightly but it is not very warm. We are lying opposite a gap in the mountains which I suppose (the gap) to be Snickers and through which a road passes to the Shenandoah.
Today is I suppose one of great interest in York on account of the election, I am anxious to hear the result. You must send me paper if you want letters I am ashamed of begging.
My love to all Cory

Camp near Warrentin Va Nov 7th 1862
Dear Parents
The day has come around when I write my usual letter and although I have had none from home for two weeks, yet I do not imagine you have forgotten me. I received Henrys letter written at Shadow Nook, this morning. I am glad he is home though he says it is lonesome there, but I imagine he does not want to come back very much. Now I must tell what has occurred since I wrote last. 
That afternoon as my companion and myself were out walking and had gone about ¼ mile from camp a cavalryman rode up and said he should have arrest us for being outside of camp. The provost marshall (a captain Allen of our regt) was but a few rods distant and had sent him. We tried to explain but the capt would not hear us and we were sent to headquarters under a cavalry guard with quite a squad of others. Here we were to be turned over to the provost guard a part of which consisted of Co F of our regt, and by a little of their help we both escaped and returned to camp.
Wednesday we remained in camp and in the afternoon I was sent out to get forage for our teams. At night we were ordered to report to the battery as we should march early in the morning.
The next day we marched about 4 miles beyond Middleburg and encamped t, the day was quite cold and that night ice froze ½ inch thick on a pail of water. The next day we marched about 6 miles to White Plains a station on the Alexandria and Orange RR. Soon after we got into camp it began to snow and continued all day. Toward night I went over to the regt and saw Dell and St John who had just got beck. The next day (yesterday) we marched about 3 miles to this place near Warrenton. The whole army seems to be near here, what is going to be done I do not know but I hope something that will count for the reduction of the rebellion. Tell Henry I will write him soon and tell him about the Co. From what I can learn it seems that Seymore is elected. Monday morning. Last night there were all sorts of rumors in camp that McClellan had been superseded. That generals had resigned. This morning McClellan reviewed all the troops some say he is to take Hallecks place but we know nothing.

Camp near Warrenton Va Nov 16 1862
Dear sister another week has passed and it is time for me to write another letter, but I have little of interest to write except that I am well. We still remain in the camp from which I wrote you last Sunday. Fitz john Porter left here last Tuesday and we are now under Hooker. Sumners corps left here yesterday and I think we shall leave soon. I suppose the people of the north will be satisfied now for a time since Mc is removed.  I only hope that Burnside may move on and be successful. 
Last Friday we went out three of four miles on horseback for hay, all the rest of the time I have remained in camp except to go to the regt occasionally as it is only a little way from here.
Yesterday the division was reviewed by Gen Hooker. 
I suppose I might nit fill out my sheet by moralizing on the elections but really I do not think I could make it interesting and so I will not. All else of interest that I have got to say is, that I am out of paper and envelope, and there is no prospect of being paid off, so if you want to hear from me you must furnish me with writing materials or something to get them with.
Monday morning Nov 24 Camp near Falmouth
A whole week has passed and this letter had not gone yet. I presume you were disappointed that you did not get a letter Friday and I must tell you why I did not put the letter in the mail Sunday and the next morning we had orders for an early start. We passed through Warrenton and to the junction where the sick were left to be sent to Alexandria, among them was Dell who was not very sick but unable to march. We did not get into camp till after dark. The next morning we were awakened very early but did not get started till 9 oclock. We however encamped in good season. 
Wednesday morning we were not routed out very early and encamped early. That night I found a man belonging to a Penn regt lying on the ground, I thought at first he was merely tired but going near him again I saw he was very sick. He said he had been lying there all night I procured him medical attendance and got him into an ambulance for shelter but he died that night. All the week so far had been lowery and that night it rained hard. Friday we remained in camp it was rainy and unpleasant. Saturday morning we had orders to start at 8 oclock but before we were harnessed it was countermanded, in the afternoon we got orders to start but finally went into cam and waited till morning. We started in good season and everything bid fair for an early completion of the six miles that lay between us and Falmouth, but we were hindered by trains and six oclock found us ¾ of a miles from our camping ground on the wrong side of a slough hole which took us till 12 to get across. I slept very comfortable the remainder of the night though it was very cold. We shall probably stay here a few days as the rebels are in Fredericksburg and will have to be driver out before we can go any farther. Thursday I had a hard ague chill and fever but by quinine and cayenne pepper it was driven out and I am feeling pretty well again. 
I suppose it is nearly time for Thanksgiving I would like to take dinner with you. Give my love to all Cory

Camp near Falmouth Dec 2nd
Dear parents and sisters. Your letter of the 23rd received today and now I take the time to answer it. I have been thinking for some time of sending for a box and had made up my mind to send for one and it was not at all changed by mothers letter.
In the first place I want a pair of boots. Tell uncle P to make them a little longer than my foot, I want them broad on the bottom with broad heels thick bottoms and nailed around the toe. I want a can of butter, say 10 pounds, some cheese and a good lot of dried apples. I think there is a prospect of our staying here sometime, at any rate by the time you get it ready I may be able to tell I will see Stephen St John perhaps he will like to have something it too. The butter, cheese, and apples will save my buying stuff here. Yesterday went to Potomac creek bridge for grain, we did not get it and so staid all night, I got onto one of the trains with two others and went down to Aquia creek and staid all night and came back on the train in the morning(this), I have got to go down to the bridge again tonight. My supper is ready and I must eat it and go and leave the rest till tomorrow.
Wednesday morning. Went down to the depot and unloaded cars last night and this morning loaded hay onto the wagons and came back to camp. I heard the presidents message read during the evening and I liked it much, I wish the people of the north and south would act upon his proposal of emancipation. From appearances I do not believe much more will be done this winter. We shall move our camp tomorrow and we have made up our minds to fix up a log hut we have a good piece of canvas for a roof. I wish you would send me a pound of ground pepper in a tin box, the butter had better be in a can then if we should move soon after getting it I could carry it. I wish father would get me a good stout pocket knife with two blades, I cannot get one here without paying three times as much as it is worth. If you have a pair of socks you can spare you may send them. I have contrived me quite a comfortable pair of mittens out of the legs of an old pair of socks I picked up. I do not think of anything else that I need and shall write again before you get it ready to send. St Johns family will send some things to him.
Dell is in the hospital again, I got a letter from him yesterday.

Headquarters Ambulance corps in our new cabin Dec 8 1862
Dear mother and sisters
Your letter of the 30th received last evening. My last letter home was written last Wednesday. I then told you we expected to move our camp. The next morning we began to prepare to move soon after sunrise, but as we had a good deal of hay and grain it was nearly noon before we got started. We had sent out a squad of men in the morning to put up a picket rope to hitch the horses to, it was only ½ or ¾ of a miles from our other camp, in the thick pine woods small trees (I remember these trees were second growth the land had been under cultivation and the old corn rows could be plainly seen among the trees). After our grain was unloaded and our horses taken care of, we set bout looking for a place to build our house, we pitched upon the side of a hill not far from the horses looking toward the east. We pitched our tent temporarily and then went to work to level the ground and cut logs for our building. We however did not get much done before it was dark. The next day we went at it again but were broken off by rain, we however got the ground leveled off and some two or three logs high. Toward night the rain turned to snow which fell to the depth of 2 inches, it cleared off during the night and froze hard, and we could not sleep very comfortably on that account. The next day it was clear a part of the time but did not thaw much, the pine and cedar trees loaded down with snow looked dreary enough. We got our tent logged as high as we intended. Saturday night we slept poorly it was so cold, I believe it was the hardest freeze I have seen in Va. Yesterday although it was Sunday we banked up the logs put on the canvas finished the chimney doing it roughly so that we might sleep more comfortable if possible. We were pretty comfortable last night although ice was half an inch thick on a pail of water in our tent. Our house is about 9x12 feet in the inside about 4 feet high at the eaves and some 7 or 8 feet higher in the center, so that we can stand upright very near the eaves. I will give a plan on the last page which will explain it best. We have two bunks one above the other, two in each, the fire place is 5 feet wide, being on a side hill the back and sides are dug out of the ground about 2 feet, the rest is formed of pine logs notched together and banked up with earth on the outside to the height of 6 or 7 feet and on top are two barrels that carry it a little above the ridge of the roof. Our door is only about 3 ½ feet high so that we have to stoop coming in, our chimney smokes some and a good many improvements can yet be made for our comfort.
Last Monday the boys when they went to the depot for grain they stole some bags of grain from the cars, they intended to have have some extra feed for their horses, but Wednesday they had a chance to send it to a mill it made nice meal and since we have been living on hasty pudding and water, johnny cake entirely neglecting the hard tack. 
My chums are Charles Sigourney of Co C, George W Arnold of Co E and George H Arnold of Co K, I like them all very much.
I think there is pretty good prospect of our spending the winter here. Arnold has just come from the regt and says Gen Burnside has given orders to have all the express boxes sent here so send mine as soon as convenient, send me an account of what is in it and the receipt. I wish you would send me a couple of straight and crooked awls, I can make handles and get whatever else of the kind I want here I do not think of anything else except my book “The Constitution of the United States”, I wish you would send that.
I have come across another book which I think I shall find interesting, it came from Ruffins house opposite Harrison Landing, it is entitled “The History if the Progress and Termination of the Roman Republic” by Adam Furgusson LLD. Send me some paper and envelopes. Henry must read this and excuse me from writing to him I only have the paper I get in your letters. I think I have given you a long letter this time and I will close. Cory

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Camp near Falmouth Dec 17th 62
Dear parents and Sisters it is now Wednesday and my last weeks letter is not written yet, but when you hear what has happened I think you will excuse me. A week ago today we were employed in fixing up our tent, when we heard that orders had come for us to march, at first we did not believe it but it soon became certain that we had. Thursday morning as early as5 oclock a heavy cannonade was commenced which continued till afternoon.
We left our camp about 9AM but only went about 2 miles and there remained the rest of the day and night. Friday we moved onto the ridge within about a mile of Fredericksburg, there was but little firing during the day. Pontoon bridges were laid for the troops to cross upon. About 8 or 9 AM Saturday a scattered fire of musketry commenced which soon increased to a perfect roar accompanied with frequent discharges of artillery. Describe the sounds I cannot but they are such as accompany every hard fought battle, and were continued until night covered the combatants. The ground on the other side of the river rises abruptly and then there is a gradual rise back from the river for from ¾ to two miles and then there is another abrupt rise and on the top were the rebel earthworks, from which our men were trying to drive them. The first stretch was easily gained as it was covered by our artillery and protected by the city. Our men were met at the edge of the city by the rebels and the battle began. Our men drove them back until they came under the protection of the earthworks when we were met by the storm of shot shell and grape which mowed them down. Our division was ordered across the river about 4PM. The ambulances them moved down to the bank of the river, after a little the corps was rent across the river with part of the ambulances, some of the wounded had been helped in from the field had their wounds dressed and were sent across the river, but about 8 oclock the ambulances came back across the river fetching these with them as it was the intention to make the town a hospital. About 11 we had these all taken care of, and then we went out onto the field. The moon had just risen and by its pale light we sought among the dead for those in which life remained. The cries and groans of the wounded filled the air as they called us for aid. The ambulances were quickly filled which nearly cleared that part of the field. A part of us remained to gather together the remainder while the ambulances went to unload. The appearance of the dead scattered all over the ground was not such a terrible scene as you might imagine. The dead so much resemble the living soldier asleep that you can hardly believe he is dead. Our men were lying upon their arms on the field, ready for the mornings encounter, and occasionally we would ask is that one alive and we would answer for himself, unhurt. On one part of the field was an old pit or cellar some 10 ft deep, which had partly caved in, into this some 6 or 8 badly wounded men had crawled to escape the shells and bullets, getting them out was hard work and out last on the battle field. After getting these out and into the ambulances we returned to the city and unloaded and then recrossed the river. The next day I expected would be a more terrible one but it was very still, though we could see fighting going on farther down the river, the battle extending the first day some three miles or more.
In the afternoon a squad of us went over and cleaned out some houses for hospitals. Such a sight as the place presents one must see to know, the houses in the lower part of the town were much shattered by shot, the rubbish had been thrown out into the streets which were filled with soldiers engaged in cooking pancakes from flour found in the houses. Monday we cleared the wounded out of the city. Yesterday the troops had returned to this side of the river and returned to our old camp, and we are now comfortable as can be. There were two wounded in our Co, Goodman and Moyer.
Our loss in this affair has been great. I think the rebel loss was small. Our dead were left for the rebels to strip and bury.
Your letter was received in time I am much obliged for the money.

Camp near Falmouth. Sunday eve Dec 21 62
Dear sister
Your letter of the 11th I received this afternoon, and I am now sitting in our comfortable cabin writing to you by the light of the oak wood fire, as we have no candles. Since we have returned to our camp we have got things very comfortable again. My last letter was written Wednesday. Thursday we went to the hospitals with some of the ambulances to remove wounded to the depo, but there were none removes and at night we returned to camp. During the day I saw a surgical operation, the amputation of a mans leg at the thigh. The poor fellow had two bullets through the ankle and one through the flesh and one through the bone above the knee on that leg and one below and one above the knee on the other leg. Since I wrote we have become more acquainted with the extent of that terrible affair, nothing I think so disastrous has happened since the beginning of the war. Our men never fought more bravely but such bravery would soon prove their destruction, unless better directed. I suppose Burnside was ordered to do it and so was not to blame, but I believe McClellan would not have done it on any account. The people have been clamoring for an advance, Halleck has ordered it, we have tried it and have been repulsed with a loss of 15000 men and have not gained the slightest advantage.
What will be done now I cannot tell, and I care but little. I am sick of the war, I think our soldiers have been abused, they gave themselves for the cause and their efforts to suppress the rebellion have been rendered useless by the imbecility of our leaders.
Friday I received a letter from aunt C and answered it, I sent to her for a diary but if you send me one I can easily dispose of one of them. Is the school you are teaching select in the old school house opposite the Drs I have just read the examples you gave me to the boys and one of them is puzzling his head over Uncle P’s, but I am not to be caught by that. As to the other I believe I have forgotten all the rules and tables for calculating the contents. We have been living lately on hard bread, pork and coffee, our commissary in the ambulance corps is very slack, or we might have fresh beef 2 days in 5. We hardly ever get any vegetables except beans and rice. This morning we had inspection, we do not have much to do generally. I find Fergusons Rome very interesting. I also have had one year of the Columbian Magazine brought from Fredericksburg to look over. I have not received any more numbers of the Continental I think they must be laid over in the post office, there is so much mail matter. I have nothing more of interest to write and will close.
Your loving brother Cory

Headquarters Ambulance corps. Sunday afternoon Dec 28th 62
Another Sabbath has come around and I suppose the folks at home will be disappointed if they do not receive a letter next Friday so I sit myself down on this beautiful afternoon to write.
I suppose you will wish to know how I pass Christmas even if it was not different from other days. So first I will tell you what we had for breakfast (as it came very near being dinner) for we did not get it ready till between 9 and 10. In the first place we had some beef which we boiled till nearly done, then we borrowed some potatoes pared and put them boiling we had also about 3 pints of flour into this I put 4 table spoons full of vinegar such as we draw from the commisarys, it is not more than half as sour as yours, I then dissolved a teaspoon full of soda in some water wet the flour and made a stiff dough, this I made into balls and placed on top of the potatoes and covered with a plate, they swelled to twice their original size and when the potatoes were done they were as light and dry clear through as any bread not in the least bit sour of bitter, a perfect success. Mother with all her experience could not have done better. After eating our breakfast the boys who tent with me having received their extras pay as drivers went to the commissary and bought a bushel of potatoes for 90 cents, 10 pounds of dried apples 9 cts per pound, 2 qts molasses 11 cts per qt, they looked around almost all day to find some flour so that we might have some apple dumplings but did not succeed. Friday, William Daly came into our house and wanted me to come over to the regt as there was some one there that wanted to see me, who should I find but Demetrius Smith and Arthur Clark. The boys in the co gave them a real soldiers meal of fried pork, hard tack and coffee. D came over and staid with me and yesterday R Fox and I went with them to the camp of the 254th., we staid there till 2pm and then we went down to the river and Falmouthhand opposite Fredericksburg, Fox did not go with us he said he must return to camp for dress parade. It was nearly dark when I parted from them opposite F, D and Clark to return to the 154th with Capt Cheny, I went over to the RR and took the cars back to the station near the regt. I went up to the regt and Fox had not returned, what hindered him I do not know. Today they intend to visit the 33rd. they will come here again as D left his overcoat. 
I think I shall send my diary home with him. You must see him he can give you a fine description of soldiers life for it is novel enough to him. I am going over to the regt now and when I return may write more. Monday morning. I went over to the regt and found D there and he returned with me and staid all night, he has gone over to the regt to witness inspection. I got your letter of the 21st last night with the receipt for the box, I hope I shall get it soon. I think I will send this letter by D as you will get it quite as soon as by mail as he goes tomorrow.

Headquarters A. C near Falmouth Va Jan 5th 1863
Dear folks at home
Your letter of the 28th and also the box came to hand yesterday, and glad I was to receive them. Everything in the box came through safely and nice as could be the very boards it is made of smell natural and I can plainly see the nicks in the old plane, I hardly believe it has been ground since I left. The butter is delicious and the cheese excellent. I suppose Lettie when she put in the lumps of sugar remembered my love for them when I found them in the bowl, but when I saw sugar on the bill I expected maple. The berries and other fruit I have not opened yet. The boots are large enough for an insole and I think will keep my feet dry in the worst of places unless wading the Rappahannock as I did last week, which I must tell you about shortly. One of tent mates also received a box yesterday which was sent to him while at Sharpsburg, it was mostly clothing but some dried fruit, a peck of walnuts and some apples, some of these had rotted but most of them were sound and delicious. I had sent to aunt C for a diary to be sent by mail which I received Friday but shall use the one you sent as I like it better I sent my last one home by Demetrius and also a letter which you may have received before the last. Tuesday, nearly all of our ambulances were called out and I had to go with one of them. We did not know when we started as we should come back and so took nearly all of our effects with us although there were two left in our tent. We started about 4PM and as the troops had started some time before we went along quite fast. At first it was cloudy and raining a little and looked like being a bad night though but little rain fell. We caught up with the troops a little after dark and then we went much slower. I suppose we traveled till 1 or 2 the next morning but as I rode and slept most of the time I did not mind it. At daylight the next morning we were ordered to take stretchers and follow the first brigade. There were about 16 of us with 6 stretchers. After going about a mile over an obstructed road  we went down a steep bank to the river. There had been a few of the rebel pickets on the other side of the river but they had been driven away and out men were crossing the river and we must follow them. I took of my socks and rolled up my pants and drawers above the knees and succeeded in getting across dry except my shoes. The river is about 30 rods wide and the water very cold, but after getting across and putting on my socks again I felt quite comfortable. We went back a piece from the river and then up it about six miles to another ford, but only drove away the pickets capturing 2 cavalrymen. I got across at this place as well as the first. It was now about 3 PM and we were back about half a mile from the river into the woods and made up some big fires to dry and warm by, many of the troops were wetted a good deal, one regt was left at the river as picket. All of the stretcher carriers had left their blankets at the ambulances and haversacks also. The ambulances could not follow us and do we were in rather bad fix, but I begged some crackers and raw pork from some of the troops and made out a supper. We then went up to a little shoe makers shop about 8 x 12 feet which had a fireplace in it and there spent the night I slept a little but not very comfortable as there were 15 of us. The next day the first of the New Year we were awakened in time to get something to eat, and as soon as it was light we started back to camp, we came to the ambulance before we got clear back and I rode till I was rested. I walked that day some 16 miles and carried the stretcher half the time. I must close this letter as the sheet is full.

Headquarters A.C near Falmouth Va Jan12th 1863
Dear mother
I have been doing my washing this morning and just after I came up Reuben Fox came over with some letters for me, one from uncle P and yours of the 5th. Very little of interest has occurred the past week. We have had very fine weather all the time till Saturday afternoon, we then had quite a hard rain, and I certainly thought the end of the good weather had come, but it cleared up during the night and we have had no rain since.
During the week I went over to the regt several times to see St John who has been quite sick. He is a little better now and is able to hobble about with a stick, but I doubt his getting fit for duty for some time. Perry came to the regt during the week, he looks fleshy and well. You seem very much concerned lest I am under Democratic influences. Mt tent mates all of them voted the Republican ticket and all of them believe slavery to have been the first cause of the war. For papers we have the Syracuse daily Standard a radical abolitionist republican journal. Occasionally we have the Washington and Philadelphia dailies, but oftener The New York Herald. This is altogether the favorite paper of the army, and I think it has many good claims for it. It has upheld the administration and always worked for the soldier. You think that because Burnside take all the blame upon himself that the administration is not to blame. Would you consider a man blameless who should place a small boy to manage a fractious team. Besides when Burnside owns he is to blame why do they not dismiss him. If as Republican journals assert McClellan was incompetent and guilty of disobedience of orders for a long time before he was removed, did not the president do wrong in nor removing him long before. The blame for the advance on Fredericksburg was first laid on the administration but when it was likely to break up the cabinet Burnside sends in his “manly letter” and saves it from dissolution. The people who had not lost a near friend or relative were satisfied. I think the letter was got up to save the cabinet, and I believe it would have been better if it had been dissolved. I think Seward is the only man who is competent for the situation, and perhaps if it had been broken up we should have had someone in competent. The president call the disaster an accident, I do not think it ought to be called an accident any more than the death of Sam Patch should be. The soldiers do not consider Burnside to blame, but his appearance on parade fail to awaken cheers. I have read Seymours message and like it much though I do not agree with him in everything. Since we have received the box we measure everything by the constitution and accept or discard it according as it comes up to the  scratch. Of the late battles in the west we were at first much elated over, but they seem to turn out almost defeats, still we are hoping from that quarter. As for this army I have so little confidence in the leaders, that I have been wishing for rains and mud so as to make it impossible to move. Now dear mother do not trouble yourself about my being a democrat, I mean to be for the right if I can find out what it is. But I must close this letter and put it in the mail, and go and get some wood as it is getting toward night. 
We have had an excellent supper or dinner of boiled fresh beef, potatoes, biscuits and apple sauce. Give my love to all friends.
From your loving son Cory

Headquarters AC near Falmouth Va Sunday eve Jan 25th 63
Dear folks at home
Your letter of the 17th and 18th came to hand this morning and I now sit down to answer it. The “Army of the Potomac” has again move, and is again back in tis old quarters not having had any serious losses. Last Tuesday as soon as we had eaten out breakfast, we had orders to prepare to march. We did not however leave our camp ground until about 3PM. We then moved only about a mile and then went into park just before dark. Soon after it commenced to rain and rained all night, as we had an ambulance to sleep in I was quite comfortable. The next morning about 9 we again started and about 2PM again went into camp about 3 ½ miles farther on. The whole day was rainy but as we had no sick to carry I rode dry inside and read Chateaubriands travels in Greece, Palastine and Turkey, and old book which I picked up as we were leaving camp. It rained all Wednesday night, Thursday was rainy most of the time and we did not move. Friday we had orders to leave all the grain which we had but one feed for the use of the batteries which were stuck in the mud, and go back to camp. The troops had to stay and corduroy the roads for the batteries and ammunition to get back, when we got back to camp we found it had been plundered and every board and stool which we had left, by the dead beats who had remained behind, even the barrels which formed our chimney were gone. We had time to get the canvas roofing on the walls Friday night, yesterday we were at work all day rebuilding the chimney and bunks and door. Today we are quite comfortable again. Yesterday the sun shone out some, last night it rained a little, I think we are not likely to have good weather for some time now though we may, it is impossible to move now.
Someone called out to a little fellow trudging through the mud, “have you seen anything of Burnside?” yes he replied “he is out here stuck in the mud, they have sent Mac to come with pick and shovel and dig him out.” Paymasters are now in camp, and the troops are receiving 4 months pay, I think we shall get ours the first of this week. I do not know anything else of interest to write and will close. Cory

Camp near Falmouth Va Monday Feb 2nd 63
Another week has passed and I suppose you will expect the usual letter from me. A very interesting occurrence took place last week namely the appearance of the paymaster with the green backs, we got our pay for 4 months last Tuesday evening. I shall send $20.00 in this letter. I wish you would receipt it as soon as you get it. I would like to know something in regard to how Father stands in regard to money matters, are taxes coming hard and did he have any trouble in meeting them. Has Father any written agreement in regard to the farm. It generally appears to be the opinion that before long there will be a general smashing of banks, and although government bills are greatly depreciated, still I think it is the only safe money to have as gold is out of the question.
We continue to live comfortably, we get potatoes from the commissary for 75cts per bushel, onions 2 ½ cts per pnd, flour 4cts. We draw plenty of pork and fresh beef, coffee and nearly all the sugar we want, we have very good success in making biscuits and fried cakes, everything sold by the sutler is enormously high and we generally steer wide of them, however I gave 25cts for 4 apples not of the best quality. All of the eatables of my box are gone, but one of my cheese. I may wish you to send me a box before long with some pickled cabbage and pickles generally mincemeat and sausage and dried corn, a good supply, but I will write when I want it.
Last Tuesday it rained all day, during the night it turned to snow which fell rapidly all day, Thursday morning there was full 6 inches of snow, but since it has been thawing and has nearly all disappeared. I had a letter from Henry during the week which I shall answer soon.
Corydon Warner Co H 44th regt NYSIV

At the regt, on coming here I found your letter of the 22nd, and so I add a few words. You have heard of the change of commanders before this. I do not know whether the army will place any more confidence in Hooker or not. You wish that I would measure acts by the law of god instead of the constitution. If two people agree to any measure, one of them has not the right to go contrary to that agreement because he thinks it is against the law of god, without releasing the other. Anyway I do not object to the proclamation because I think it is wrong, but because I fear it will divide the North. I have always considered slavery wrong and do still, but its end was accomplished without that. Father wishes me to tell my feelings in regard to religion. I do not know as I can express them, I do not think I have changed at all since I left home. I suppose you would consider it careless. I used to think that a soldier must certainly be a Christian, but the more death I see the more careless I become. We now have no chaplin and Sunday is hardly known from any other day. We do not work on that day nor in fact on any day. We have done our washing this morning, we have plenty of soap, tubs, hot water and sometimes a board, I always get the stamps safely.

Headquarters A.C Feb 9th 63
Dear Sister
Your letter of the 1st I received this morning, and now sit down to answer it. Nothing of interest has occurred the past week the fore part of it 3 days was very cold them we had a day of rain since then it has been warmer. During the week I whittled out a set of chess men and have played a few games. I got a long letter from Uncle J this morning which I shall answer soon.
The 8th and 9th army corps have been leaving here I suppose to go farther south. I shall send Father $20.00 in this letter I sent the same in my last, have him send a receipt. I was very much pleased to have Emmas likeness but I think it is not as good as yours. I shall send another dollar in this which I intended to keep for myself, and I want you to have Kitties likeness taken and sent to me. I was very sorry to hear that she had been sick. She says she has written to me a good many times and I do not answer them, I intend all of my letters as much for her as for you I suppose if I close here you will think it a short letter, but as I have nothing more to say, I shall. Give my love to all.
Corydon Warner. Private Co H 44th N.Y.S.V

Head Quarters AC Feb 17th 63
Dear folks at home
Your letter of the 9th was received as usual on Sunday but I put off answering it on that day, and yesterday I had a pass and went to Aquia Creek. Everything goes on as usual nothing of interest occurring. At Aquia creek there is a good deal to be seen and it is getting to be almost a city, and there is certainly business enough done for one. The wharves are at all times crowded with men and stores, the vessels in the river, 5 or 6 locomotives with steam up pushing the cars about, almost everything can be bought that is  for sale in a city, but prices are very high. I got all the nice greening apples I wanted to eat for a quarter.
Last night it was warm when we went to bed it was clouding up, this morning there was 2 inches of snow, and it has been falling all the forenoon though now it is pretty wet. For some reason they are now at work throwing up forts on Potomac Creek. What the object is I cannot imagine as it is in the rear of us. There seems to be nothing of interest going on in any of the armies at present.
We contrive to pass the time pleasantly in reading, playing chess and talking of pleasant time we have had. The boys just now have been having an animated discussion on the merits of various agricultural journals, subsoiling, raising fruits and so forth. One of the boys says, take such sprouts as you use for grafts, cut them the same as you would currants and sear the cut end with a hot iron and stick them, he says 2/3 of them will grow and make thrifty trees, better than the usual way of grafting. Try it this spring and see. It is now afternoon and still snowing though it is nearly half rain. We shall have to turn out before long for our wooj is nearly gone. With love to all Cory

Head Quarters AC Feb 23 63
Dear Sister
Your letter if the 14th was received yesterday I was surprised and grieved to hear of the death of Deacon Reed I was not aware that he had been unusually unwell, they will sadly miss Warren now. But I presume there will be no use to try to get his discharge as long as he is likely to be able to so duty.
Last Tuesday and Wednesday it snowed all day Thursday, Friday and Saturday it was sunshiny nearly all the time drying up the mud fast, but yesterday morning when we got up we found 6 or 8 inches of snow and snowing and blowing hard and it continued all day about sundown it stopped snowing and the wind lulled somewhat but the night was very cold. I was on guard but it was not as bad as it used to be last winter, as I had no musket to handle and we kept up a fire in our tent all night so that we soon warmed when we came off, we now have snow enough to make good sleighing, if there was not so much mud underneath. Sleighs are a scarce article here, and I presume this snow will not last long enough to make one. The sun comes out bright this morning and it is beginning to thaw already. Mothers letter in which she says she acknowledged the receipt of the money I have not received yet. Yesterday the birthday of Washington was acknowledged by a salute of 31 guns from the gunboats on the Potomac and the batteries here. The correspondent of the Philadelphia Enquirer says that the sale of the New York World has been stopped by the order of the provost marshall, and it is also said of the Herald. I have not seen one for nearly a week. I see Perry quite often, he is feeling well. Love to all Cory

Head Quarters AC March 2nd 63
Dear folks at home
Your letter was received yesterday as usual and I now sit down to write to you. This is the most beautiful spring day, the sun is shining brightly and the air is mild and pleasant. The snow all disappeared during the week and only one day of rain. Time has passed with me much as usual except that I have been unwell with a sort of billious fever, I have however recovered except that my head feels a little unpleasant.
One of my tent mates received a box last night with a six quart pail full of butter 15 or 20 pounds of cheese a lot of dried apples & C, so we shall be supplies with some of the luxuries of life again for a while. You say you wish I would come home. Would you think it worthwhile for me to take ten days furlough and come home, would you not feel more dissatisfied than ever when I should return, it would cost about 30 dollars. Perry was quite sick last week, I was over to see him before I was sick. Reuben Fox was over yesterday and said he was better. We are patiently waiting to hear of something being done by the southern and western armies. We hope to hear of the taking of Vicksburg and Charleston and Savannah before long.

March 5th 63
Dear Sister. Although I have not yer received the letter which I usually get Sunday, I sit down to write to you. This is a beautiful spring like day. I have done my washing and have been at work cleaning up camp. Last Tuesday I went to the camp of the 154th and had a pleasant visit with a Springville schoolmate. The next day I was on detail fixing up hospitals. Perry is in the hospital he has had some fever but they have broken it up and hope he will soon be well. Within the last two or three weeks I have read 3 of Sir Walter Scotts novels, and one which I have I think I will send to you. I was not attracted by the title The Pirate but the fact that is was by Scott, whose writing I wished to become acquainted with. I found it much different from what I expected, his novels are altogether different from what I have ever read.
I have been thinking whether I shall have you send me a box or not there are some things that I want but whether it will pay to have them sent or not I don’t know. I want that felt hat, if that one which I had is not worn out it will do, if you have to get another I would like a wider brim than that was. I want also very much an atlas one of Mitchels latest. With one, I think I should learn more of geography than I should by going to school a long time. Names of places are continually coming before me in my reading which I wish to know more of in regard to their situation. It will not cost much more to send a box weighing 100 pounds than one weighing 25, I would like a lot of pickles, if you could get a couple of those gunpowder kegs and fill one with cucumbers and the other with cabbage or beets, I would also like a couple of quarts of green corn dried if you can get it, some butter, cheese, and dried apples, a good sized can of ground mustard, some maple sugar and molasses, and whatever else you think will taste good and will not spoil on the way. You of course cannot start it before you hear from me again. If we should move we are so situated that we can carry considerable of such stuff, and I am inclined to think we shall not move soon. It is now coming spring and I want to hear all about the improvements in garden yards, buildings and the like.
Your brother Cory

Saturday afternoon march 14th
Dear folks at home
Your letter of the 7th I have just received and now I sit down for a few minutes while my supper is cooking to commence a letter to you. The past week has been real March weather cold rains, snow, and cold raw winds. WE have been quite busy getting out manure, that must seem to you something like spring work. We have something over 200 horses in this corps, and all winter the manure has been merely thrown back, but now the general has ordered it to be hauled away. There is now a report that the 5th army corps will remain here two months longer than the rest of the army. Yesterday I was at work getting wood for the division hospitals, which they have been fixing up very nice, and enclosing with wattle fences of green boughs, with arched gateways of the same material. This forenoon I was engaged in cutting brush for that purpose, to enclose out camp. This afternoon I have been making fried cakes. We draw lots of fat pork and we eat but little of it, this I try out for the lard. In the can in which you sent the butter we mix some flour and water with a little salt and set it in a warm place this ferments when we want pancakes we simply add a little soda and bake. When we want biscuits we add more flour and a little lard, and fried cakes the same way. Is that the best way? We can make them with what we have? The last time we drew rations we got 4 days soft bread out of five, today we drew again and got two. During the week we bought ½ bushel of potatoes, a 17 pound ham and a gallon of pickle, the ham is splendid but the pickles are most too sour for supper tonight we have boiled potatoes and onions and gravy made of boiled fresh beef cut small and a little flour boiled with it all it wants is milk. We occasionally buy condensed milk this is simply milk boiled till it is thick and mixed with a little white sugar, it is very nice to put in coffee, I do not know whether it could be boiled in a common kettle or not, it costs 50cts for a half pint can. Perhaps you will think that we live so well I will not care for a box, but it seems a little that like being at home to get one. I want a good mess of maple sugar so that we can have some warmed and a good mess of corn. Besides what I mentioned last week put in my Sallust and latin grammer, a pound of green tea, some pepper. I do not know as you can get it, but if you conveniently, send me an ax with a broad thibit, (not a hatchet) and not more than 1 ½ pound weight and two or three gimlets. Lettie wants longer letters, I think I have spun this out pretty well though it may not be interesting, I am glad the boys have got home before another winter. Sunday morning. The teamsters are already called out to hitch up, and I will soon have to go on inspection, but I thought I would add a few lines to this, and send it to the mail. This morning there is a cold March wind blowing again making a fire very comfortable. Lettie says she has partly engaged to teach school as assistant next summer. I think the wages you have been getting this winter are altogether too small, if you call board anything, only 50 cts a week, I will give you more than that to stay at home and help mother, who I fear will work too hard unless you do. I have not had a letter from uncle F in along tome I wrote him last. How is Grandfather does he cut wood and work as much as usual this winter. I will close with much love to all Cory. Lest the other letter should be lost I will repeat what I want sent which I spoke of in my last. A soft felt hat, a Mitchells Atlas, butter, cheese, dried apples, ground mustard, a small tin pan, two or three large sized sewing needles, a darning needle and some linen thread.

March 23d 63
Dear folks at home. 
This is a warm spring morning and the birds are singing finely, though they had a rather unpleasant time Friday and Saturday. Friday some two inches of snow fell and Saturday it snowed again quite lively, but in the afternoon it rained and a warm day yesterday took off the remainder. Everything seems pleasant and everything is promising that the war will soon be ended. The Herald thinks that with such a man as Jackson in the chair the war will be ended on 60 days. The people of the north seem more united and even Van Buren is for carrying on the war. I however shall be quite satisfied if the regt is disbanded by next New Years. There is no immediate prospect of a move here for some little time yet. My water is hot and I may stop and wash my dishes.
Evening. This morning I did my washing and made half a bushel of doughnuts, and this afternoon I was called on to do some work in the corral. I had tiptop success in making doughnuts they were as light and nice as need be. There is a report about camp today that the enemy is evacuating Fredericksburg, and that Charleston has fallen but it is probably rumor. They are getting more strict with us here we cannot leave camp to go to the regt without a pass, though it is not usual difficult to get one, some of us go over every day to get the mails. Willis is back to the regt. Perry is feeling some better since he came, Willis is not very strong. As I have nothing more of interest to write I will close this letter. George is anxious to play a game of chess
Your affectionate brother Cory

Head quarters AC March 29th 63
Dear sister, your long letter of the 23d was received last evening and read with much interest, I should have liked to have been there very much. Last Tuesday I received a letter from mother dated Feb 11th with the receipt for the money which I sent, mother says there has no writings been drawn in regard to the farm. I do not like the idea of going on making improvements and paying inters tans no acknowledgement of it. I do not think going west would be such a hard job as we used to think. If I were going I would take no crockery, bedsteads, stoves or chairs if I had to give them away. Food tastes just as good off tin plates and coffee out of tin cups as out of china, and they are much lighter and no danger of breaking. I would take tents and make all the furniture we wanted, still I should hate to leave the old place. I shall be glad when I get the box I know it must be nice. I wish mother would send me the cost of each article and the expressage.
There seems to be a general impression that the war cannot last much longer. Our latest account say that Farraguts fleet has passed Port Hudson and a gunboat has below Pemberton on the Yazoo. It seems as if Vicksburg must soon fall. There seems to be no prospect of an immediate move of the army of the Potomac, but the men are all in excellent spirits and ready for it at any time, when the weather will admit. Perry is getting along quite well now. I feel a good deal flattered by Mothers remarks on my fried cakes and biscuits. It rained hard all day yesterday, today the wind is blowing very hard. Two weeks ago we drew two small rutabagas, turnips and 6 or 8 small carrots, these we boiled with potatoes and the leg of a ham I thought that the best dinner we have had all this winter. We draw plenty of soft bread now but it is baked in Washington and is rather dry when we get it.

April 5th 
Dear folks at home
Your letter of the 28th was received yesterday but the box had already come I got it Wednesday night everything came through safe and nice. The pickles and butter are beautiful, the apples were as nice as could be and also the sausage. Thanks Wille and Kitte ever so much for the butternut meats and currants. The hat fits me well I began to fear I might not get it, it was said all citizens clothing would be confiscated. The box came just in time our butter was all gone and we had stewed the last of our apples that afternoon. I knew the box at once, it looks as familiar as can be and takes me back to old scenes. Friday was a bright sunshiny day, yesterday the wind blew cold and just at night it blew very hard and began to storm, this morning there was 6 inches of snow and still storming. It has stopped now but it is cloudy and the wind blows cold. I believe I will melt some sugar this afternoon and we will have some waxed. I thought the last snow had fallen in Va, I am glad we are not on the march.
Willis was over and I gave him some apples and pickles and cheese for himself and Perry. Perry is gaining slowly but I do not believe he will be able to do much this summer. Yesterday one of the boys picked up two pieces of shelter tent, they are of heavy cotton cloth and I am going to make some shirts of them.
The wedding cake I put in my pants pocket and put them under my head for a pillow I dreamed but what I dreamed I have forgotten. Is Emma crying on her 18th birthday because she expects to be married so soon, while you are trembling at the fate of an old maid and not yet 20? But take courage, if you are ever married it will be after you are of age if not before. I have had a great deal of pleasure from the atlas already, and hope to know as much of latin when I am discharge as when I enlisted. It is a ling time since I heard from aunt C or uncle F. Give my love to all

April 12th 63
Dear folks at home
This is a most beautiful Sabbath morning the sun is shining brightly and the air is soft and pleasant, we have been having just such weather for 3 or 4 days past and the dust in front of our camp is beginning to fly terribly, but some of the boys were out to the picket line yesterday and they say the going is still very bad. We have had the report of the committee in the conduct of the war, and it has greatly shaken the confidence of the soldiers in McClellan, notwithstanding The Heralds remarks to the contrary, we are sorry to find them man we have had so much confidence in is unworthy of it, but the report cannot be very well got around. We have not seen the report on the Balls Bluff affair but understand it lays still more blame on Mc. We have had fine times these pleasant days playing baseball. Our regt has been inspected personally by President Lincoln the past week. It has the reputation of being the neatest regt in the army, I had a fair look at the president Monday or Tuesday, anyone could recognize him by his portraits.
The attack on Charleston has been commenced and last night it was reported that one of our iron clads had been sunk. We had Butlers excellent speech in New York a few days ago, I hope you have had it, it was first rate. Your letter of the 5th was received yesterday was so sorry to hear father had been sick, I hope he may soon be entirely recovered. I suppose you will soon begin operations in the garden, if we had sown lettuce seed here 4 weeks ago we would have plenty of it to eat now, I remember now we had quite a fall of snow last Sunday. They have called “fall in for inspection” and I will close this letter so as to have it go out in the mail today.

April 16th 63
Dear sister your letter of the 12th was received this afternoon and I now sit down to answer it. I am glad you are able to do the washing and cleaning without calling upon. We have been having quite warm weather and peach trees are in bloom. Last Tuesday the cavalry started and all the fore noon long lines were passing in view of our camp. We had orders to go to division hospital and haul away the sick and it was thought we should march Thursday but that night it commenced to rain and rained all night and the next day. In the morning the ambulance and men reported at the hospital and were ordered back after getting well wetted. In the afternoon six or eight of us were ordered to move some 60 sacks of grain about 10 rods, it was a useless piece of business, for any man of sense would know that such a rain would prevent our marching, but sense the commander of this corps does not possess, today the sacks had to be all toted back again. 
Yesterday some 50 of us went about 4 miles down the RR to fit up some ground to move the hospitals upon, when we came back I stopped to look at the new bridge across the Potomac creek which is now nearly finished. The former bridge was built of round poles set on end and braced with poles nailed to them. The bridge was over 300 feet long and 90 feet high so there had to be three poles set on top of each other, the old abutments of stone were left standing though somewhat injured by the fire that destroyed the first bridge, in putting up the last bridge the cars have been running across it all the time, it is in three arches 120 feet long each. It is built somewhat after the style of Wales bridge. The planks are 1 ½ inches thick and there are not near as many as in the Wales bridge, but besides that there are two arches on each side of the bridge about a foot square, made of inch boards bent to a circular form and nailed with ten penny nails. The track runs on top of the bridge like the portage bridge. We are ordered to go tomorrow to take the sick to the new hospitals, we shall probably march before many days. The ax was not just what I wanted but it was my fault in describing it, it however answers well. 
It is bad for you Lettie that you look so old, I would pass for your younger brother, none of the boys take me to be over 18.
Sunday Eve. This morning a squad of us were detailed to go down to the new hospitals near Brooks station, and another squad to go to the division hospital to bring the sick down. After we had fallen in, our lieut who was in command asked me to ride his horse down, as he would have to go with the men on the RR where a horse could not go. Of course I did not wish to refuse and I had a very pleasant ride, I rode slowly and got there some half an hour before the squad did. We worked at putting up the tents and clearing the ground, but not very hard. About 3PM the ambulances with the sick came and with them the Leuit commanding the corps. As soon as they were unloaded he sent them back out of meaness so that we could not ride, but some Govt wagons came soon after and by the time they were unloaded we were ready to go back and so we piled into them. You must get Henry to describe them to you. These were drawn by 6 mules, the driver sitting on the near wheel mule and guiding them with one rein. How they do it I have not yet found out. There were ten of us on one wagon, they drove along rapidly and the road was rough, and we sitting on the bottom were bounced about finely. When we came to Potomac creek we had to ford it and had to go some ways upstream to get out of it, our driver went a little too much to the right and struck a stump or tree and we were stuck, the water came up to the box , we did not want to jump out onto it so the next teamster drove to the left of us and we succeeded in climbing into his wagon, both of them had on their canvas cover and that made it more difficult as we had to climb out and into the hinder end. Just  as we got into the second wagon the driver who was not paying close attention, allowed his head team to swing around and come along side of the wagon and he could not get them back, so one of the boys climbed upon back of one of the mules to get them around, just as he had nearly accomplished it the mate to the mule he was on became entangles and fell down, the boy upon the back of the other mule afraid of getting entangled jumped off and waded ashore., the chances for the poor mule looked rather slim as nothing but his head was out of the water that being held up by the bridle, 4 or 5 of us scrambled back onto the first wagon and all but myself jumped off onto some brushwood and got ashore, the driver jumped off into the water and got hold of the heads of the mules and succeeded in dragging the fallen mule until he got his feet. The other team then started and got out all right, we had a good deal of sport. Tonight is warm and pleasant I am on guard the sergeant has just come for me and I must go. One of the boys has offered to go in my place if I will take his turn, and as I feel somewhat tired I accept it, he is certain of a pleasant night and I shall not be. This letter will do for length I think whether it is interesting or not.

April 25th 63
Dear folks at home
I have not yet received you letter, but I thought I would write this so as to have it ready to send out in the mail tomorrow. Wednesday night after we had gone to bed and were nearly asleep, we received orders to be ready to march at a moments notice. It was already beginning to rain and continued all night and the next day and half the day yesterday, so it will be apt to prevent our marching for a few days yet. Today the sun is shining brightly and the wind blowing hard so if it does not rain again the mud will soon be dried up. Thursday we signed the pay roll and yesterday we got our pay. I shall send $40. in this letter, please receipt it in your letter.
Nothing of interest is occurring here. The latest news from the west is gratifying. I thought I had forgotten all the Latin I had learned but I find it returning so that I can translate a page in an hour I will wait and see if I get your letter this afternoon before I write any more.
Evening. The letter from home did not come. This is a most beautiful evening, the moon is shining and brilliant Jupiter in the east and Venus in the west. It seems farther north to me than usual, it must be nearly over Qs barn as you stand in the back yard, tell me if it is not so. We had succotach for supper tonight, corn and beans, it was first rate, we do not get much soft bread now as it is expected we shall move soon and soft bread cannot be carried very well.
Corydon Warner Co H 44th N Y S V

Headquarters A C Thursday afternoon May 7th 1863
Dear folks at home
I suppose you will feel somewhat anxious because you have not received a letter from me at the usual time, and more so as you without a doubt have heard by rumor at least that the army has moved. I am now sitting in my old quarters but the ambulances have not yet arrived, and so I have no pen and ink and nor paper except a sheet that I had in my pocket, but I hasten to write you a little on that. A part of the army moved a week ago Monday, and since that time we have received no papers or mails, and I understand none have gone out farther than Aquia Creek, or I should have tried to write you sooner. Last Friday we left this camp and went to U S Ford above Fredericksburg. The next afternoon we took stretchers and crossed over to the battle ground. There had been some fighting the day before and that afternoon, but not much consequence******** It was about a mile from the river to the point where the road we went in crossed the road we came out on when we had gone about a mile from that point we came to a ravine and took a road to the right which ran along the top of it. The boys of our division were building breast works of logs and felling trees to make the woods and ravines difficult to pass through. We passed by the first position and went on turning to the right, we came to the first open field and up almost to the house. We then went back to near where the 44th lay and staid there till nearly dark, when we went to the division hospital, this lay directly back of the 44th about ½ mile and we had to cross three ravines. We had no blankets and two of us lay down on a stretcher and went to sleep. We were awakened about 11 by sharp firing and after that were too cold to sleep. The firing commenced as soon as daylight and then we went to where the regt had lain but that place was occupied by the 11th corps which had been pretty severely handled on Saturday. We turned to the right and passed along until we came to the headquarters of the 3d brigade the country was nearly all woods except two open fields the fighting was mostly in the woods that skirted these open fields. Sometimes the rebels would drive our men back but a few charges of grape and canister would drive them back. The firing of Sunday forenoon seemed to me the sharpest I ever heard but I was close to it, there was no firing in the afternoon of any consequence. At night we went down to the corps hospital and I slept very soundly with a plank for a bed under a little shelter of boards and a piece of cotton tent for a blanket, was aroused only once by firing. Monday there was not much fifing, we heard the guns of Sedwick, who had crossed at Fredericksburg and taken the heights. In the afternoon it was thought the rebels were retreating and a brigade was sent through the woods to see, they drove the rebel skirmishers before them till they came to an open field, when the rebs opened on them with grape and canister and our men fell back. That night I slept quite comfortably in the woods, was awakened only once by firing. The next day about 5 oclock it began to rain, one of our boys is sick and I took his knapsack and went to the hospital with him. All of the ambulances were gone, and the Dr. said I must carry his knapsack across the river and go with him. Everything showed plainly that the army was going to recross the river, why we did not understand, but thought that as Sedwick had the heights that was all we wanted, and we must make that secure by sending our force there. When we got to the river it was dark, we found it had risen so that it overflowed the bank and we could not cross, all the wagon trains were across but the artillery and troops were beginning to arrive. There were three bridges across intending to make the evacuation as quick as possible, but the river had risen so that none of them were accessible. The engineers went to work and took up one of them and lengthened out the other two, my companion and myself got across about 12 midnight. It had been raining all the fore part of the night, when we got onto the heights on this side of the river. We made a fire in the woods and dried ourselves and made it as comfortable as possible. In the morning all the troops were across. Our division covered the retreat and it was done without loss. I brought the knapsack of the sick man back to camp and he walked, he had the ague. It rained a good deal during the day we got into camp about 4PM, but the ambulanced have not got here yet, they have unloaded the wounded this afternoon and are now in sight. Our boys have been as brave and enthusiastic as possible and they do not make much fuss over an arm or leg gone as some folks would over a sliver. They were a good deal disheartened when they found that Sedwick had been driven across the river and we had apparently accomplished nothing, but it is now said that the cavalry under Stoneman has broken all RR and destroyed every bridge from Fredericksburg to within 5 miles of Richmond. And that we are again laying pontoons to cross at F. Our boys have orders to march and are as enthusiastic as ever. I do not know whether you will get this letter or not but hope you will. Do not be anxious if you do not get letters regularly it is sometimes almost impossible to write. Our regt had only one killed and 3 or 4 wounded, none from our Co. Give my love to all.

Headquarters A C May 10 63
Dear Sister
I now take my pen to write my usual letter but it will be short for I have not much to say. We are still in our old camp, the last move of the army of the Potomac has not accomplished all we hoped for it, but we think it has not proved wholly abortive. The men are all in good spirits and we shall undoubtedly move again soon. Yesterday 5 ambulances went to U S Ford for some wounded rebels. I went with them the roads were very bad going but coming back they had improved some. Much of the way was old lumber roads through the woods that had not been traveled on lately. We had a native of the country as a guide. We got back within 4 or 5 miles of camp by dark last night, then we stopped and made coffee and bivouaked for the night. This morning went on to headquarters with the rebs where they were paroled and then took them to Falmouth station and sent them to Washington, we got back to camp about 2 PM. I got your letter with the pictures this afternoon. Ems I think is very natural, Latties flatters, Kitties is nice as can be I think I shall keep all the pictures as I can carry them in my memorandum, I would not care if I had those of my acquaintance. Thank you for the flowers, I had a spray of white lilac yesterday, but they do not smell so nicely as the pink. The woods are now getting well clothed in their robes of green and also the fields where they are not trodden to death, I will close this letter with much love to all. Cory

May 17th 1863
Dear folks at home. Yours of the 10th was received last evening. This is a beautiful sabbath morning and we have no inspection and no noise except the occasional hoot of a locomotive whistle. There was some loud cheering this morning from a regt that started for home. Our ambulances left here Tuesday morning for U S Ford, to cross the river under a flag of truce for our wounded which were taken prisoners, all of the ambulances from the army were there and ours were the last to cross, so that we did not get back till yesterday, There were not enough wounded to load all of the ambulances. Those that crossed the river say it is a dreadful looking and smelling place, the ground in some places bring literally being covered with dead horses. The men were bound by an oath not to divulge anything that they might see that could be of harm to the C S or of advantage to the U S. As I was out all day Saturday and Sunday before I was left in camp to look after things, and had a pleasant time I had plenty of time to read and study. I got over 4 or 5 pages of Sallust during the time. While we were out we came across a big new hospital tent, and that it might not be left for the rebels to get we went at it and cut it to pieces, I got a piece 9 or 10 feet wide and 30 long and several of the boys got pieces as large. This we throw over our other tent which has gotten quite rotten, and it keeps out the rain and sun much better. Since we have come back we have got things fixed up quite nicely again. We have made a table about 3 feet square at which 4 of us can sit down and take our meals comfortably. I am glad you like the likeness, the ring I made of bone in Richmond. By the way, did you ever get the stiletto for Lettie and the ring for Kittie that I sent soon after I came to Harrisons Landing? I wished very much to get some box before I came away, I think the man offered it reasonable I don’t know but it would be difficult to make it live so late in the season. I will send you a couple of dollars for that or anything also you may wish to use it for.

Headquarters A C a Sunday eve May 24 63
Dear sister
Your letter of the 17th received this afternoon and now I sit down to answer it. We are still in the quarters in which we passed the winter, but the regt has moved some three miles from their old camp, I have not been to it yet but those who have say it is in a very pleasant place. All troops are required to move camp as it is conducive to health, so much filth gathers about a camp. 
Yesterday a squad of us started at an early hour for the hospitals which are about three miles from here. We worked hard all day policing up, I was tired when we got back to camp. The hospitals are in a pleasant place, and are kept very neat and clean, there are not many sick in them at present. The news today from Grants army is excellent, he ran past the Vicksburg batteries, landed at the mouth of the Big Black, beat the rebels at Port Gibson, Raymond and Jackson, and where the RR from Vicksburg in the rear, they have taken Haines Bluff and the first line of works and has doubtless taken the city or been beaten. The report of tonight is that he has taken the city, he had taken 57 cannon already.
The day has been very warm, this afternoon so smoky or cloudy we could not see the sun but not for all that, I hope we will have a shower before long to make it cooler, It is getting so dark I cannot see the lines. The ambulance corps had been cut down and three of our men sent back to the regt, one of them was from our tent. It is the intension to form a reserve ambulance corps for the army, they have formed a reserve artillery corps.  I am glad the flower garden is getting along so nicely. I hope you got the money I sent in my last letter. I expect we will be paid off again soon. Cory

Bentons Mills Va May 31st 63
Dear Folks at home
Although I have not as yet received the usual letter from home, I sit down to write to you hoping it will soon be forthcoming, We have moved our camp as you see by the heading, I will review the week to let you know how we came here. Monday there was a cold mist falling but not enough to call it rain. Tuesday, cloudy, no rain. Wednesday, variable. Thursday pleasant, in the afternoon I went over to the regt I had not been there long before they received orders to pack up for a march, so I started back, thinking we might have to go. When I got back found them packing. We started about 4PM and went out as far as where the brigade had lain, found they had moved out somewhere in the vicinity of U S Ford.
In the morning we laid out the 10 days rations of grain and took in the sick and took them to the new camp. I staid behind to guard the grain, they came back again in the afternoon, and the next morning took on the rest of the sick and our traps and went on to the regt, it is encamped near Banks Ford. The ambulance corps is divided up into brigades. Ours is lying near brigade headquarters about 2 miles farther up the river then tout regt is, one regt lays near us and the others are farther out near U S Ford. The mill for which this place is names is a primitive concern, an overshot wheel with wooden gearing only one run of stone and a hand bolt. The miller had taken off the nut which raises the stone so that the boys should not have it going all the time, but I was down there and put a pry under it and raised it, the water was running on the wheel at the time and off it started with a groan, however when it got going I found it ran very well. We are not more than 60 yards from the pond where we can go in swimming as often as we choose. Close by is an inhabited house which I must describe. It is about 28 x 24 feet built of squared logs, it had a door in each side directly opposite, also two windows or holed rather, about 18 inches square, these are covered by a board hung at the upper edge. The chimney is in one end it is built of squared logs, is about 6 ft square and runs up the same size to the eaves when it is drawn in smaller for two or three feet, it does not go up within 4 or 5 feet of the ridge, of course it is on the outside. Inside it is lined with stone on sides and back, the stones about 8 inches thick and 3 ft high the rest of it is plastered and left full size. The house is divided across by a partition just beyond the doors from the chimney. The house is occupied by two females and I believe are old maids, one of them is sick and I have not seen her, I was in the house for a few minutes, the floor is covered with a rag carpet, the sides and back of the chimney are whitewashed as nice as can be, on one side is a bed and in the other corner is a bureau and against the partition a table well stocked with book, among them I saw two greek and two latin grammers, a copy of Virgil, Byrons poems and several others. Who had read them I did not find out, there were ladies names on the fly leaves. I believe I have spun this letter out long enough, and will close with love to all.

Camp near Crittendens Mill Sabbath afternoon June 7th 1863
Dear fold at home
It is now two weeks since I have received a letter from home. But as I have no doubt they have been written and hoping you are all well I now take my pen to relieve you from suspense on my account. I hope I may receive a letter from you tonight. We remained in camp from which I wrote you last at Bentons Mill until Thursday morning when we started for the old camp for some sick of the 20th Maine, but had not gone more than 2 miles before we met the troops and trains of the 2nd division, which detained us some time, and before they got past an order came for us to return. The troops had come to take the place of our brigade and we were to go further up the river. We took in the sick and started, the road was very fine and about half the way through the woods where the trees were close up to one side of the wagon, and so thick that we could not see more than a rod or two into them. We went about a mile beyond Grove Church and encamped an hour before sundown.
The next day we moved about two miles and encamped where we now are, some 4 miles from Ellis ford and about 12 miles from the Alexandria and Orange RR. Yesterday the ambulances went again to U S Ford for the remainder of the sick, but all of the rest of us staid here, and had orders to march today or rather to be ready. It is said now that we shall have to go and haul all of the sick back to Stonemans switch. Yesterday we heard firing in the direction of Fredericksburg and it is reported that two corps have crossed the river, but do not know anything about it. Day after tomorrow is Letties birthday if I remember rightly, but I have nothing and can only wish her many happy returns.
Love to all Cory
Monday eve Orders came last night to make ready at once and take the sick to div hospital. We got loaded up and started about 11 ½, just moonrise. We traveled all night, stopping  ½ or ¾ of an hour for breakfast. We arrived there safely and got back here in time to get supper before dark. I meant to put this in the office when down there but forgot it.

Gum Springs Va June 18th 63
Dear Folks at Home
I do not know but you will be troubled at not receiving the usual letter in time, but on receiving this you know the reason, and I hope you will not be anxious if you should fail again, for appearances seem to indicate that we shall have enough to do to keep busy.
Last Friday two of us went to the hospital at Brooks Station with some sick, we returned to our camp near Ellis ford, the next day about 2PM, about 5 we had orders to go to the regt with ambulances, and from there we started about dark, about 2 the next morning we arrived at Morrisville. We had a little shower just before dark which settled the dust so that it was pretty comfortable marching. The next morning we started on the march about 9 oclock and arrived at Catletts Station just at dark. As I was eating mu supper someone came inquiring for me, and who should it turn out to be but Dennis Sullivan.
The next day we followed along the RR to Manassas Junction all along the road were the remains of cars destroyed on Popes retreat. The day was very hot and dusty quite a number were sun struck. We expected to march the next day from Manassas, and were expecting to start at any moment, or I should have written from there. It was a terrible dry place we had to go a mile for water. Yesterday,(Wednesday) we started from there quite early, we crossed Bulls Run some 3 miles below the battle ground, about 9 or 10 AM  and arrived at Centreville at noon and this place about 4PM. It was terrible hot and dusty in the forenoon but quite a breeze in the afternoon, though the sun beat down very hot. Last night we expected to march this morning, but are going to stay here. It has been very hot this morning but a cool breeze is now springing up. This place (it is not a village) is on the RR between Alexandria and Leesburg, there are no rails here as yet, I think the road has never been finished though. I do not know as there will be any chance to send this letter now that I have written it, but there will be in a day or two. I hardly know what to do about writing for the annual it is most too hot to do anything, however I think I will commence it today. I shall leave it to be corrected and dated put in by Lettie from my diary. June 20th. Yesterday and day before I wrote some for the annual, and this morning I finished it.
Night before last it rained some and last night still more, today it is quite cool. Yesterday afternoon we moved along this road (the Winchester and Alexandria Turnpike) about 5 miles nearly to Aldie. There was a fight here in which a number were wounded on the afternoon of the 18th we heard the guns at our camp. There has been no mails here and no chance to send this away, but I shall fold it hoping there will be soon.

Camp near Frederickstown Md June 28th 63
Dear sister
As we seem to be stopping here for the day I take the opportunity of writing you. I got off my letter for the annual last Tuesday by some ambulances that were going to Fairfax C H with wounded. When I last wrote in that we were in camp near Aldie, on Saturday night our div left its camp and marched in the direction of Middleburg. All day Sunday we heard cannonading  gradually retreating. In the afternoon our ambulances went to Middleburg and brought in 9 wounded from the 16th Mich and one from ours. The next morning 16 ambulances were ordered to go to Upperville, this is close to Ashbye Gap in the Blue Ridge. We started about 5AM and got there a little after sunrise. There were a good many wounded rebs in the place and our officers were paroling them. We staid in the town a short time and then started back. We stopped at a farmhouse and took in a couple of rebs, and most of the others got loads of rebs or cavalrymen. None of them belonged to our division.
There were some fine farms and houses on that road though it was very hilly, the rougher the country is the richer it seems to be. The farm houses were fitted up with finer outbuildings than you often see even at the north, still there were not near as many of them. Friday we left Aldie, marched through Leesburg and crossed the Potomac at Edwards Ferry and marched about three miles on this side, we did not get into camp until sometime after dark. There was a little rain falling nearly all day but it was cool and comfortable marching. Before we got to Leesburg we passed two particularly fine mansions, one of them was ex-president Monroe’s  and the other an old man told me, belonged to the widow Carter, but a boy told me that a man told him that the owner was a general in the rebel army. It was a three story house very large, painted white of built of white stone, with porches supported by tall pillars. There was a very large brick barn, and a conservatory and garden house, and all surrounded by fine trees. It was as beautiful place as you could imagine.
Yesterday we marched from our camp this side of the river to this place. Our march was through a beautiful country, fine substantial farm houses, and such beautiful fields of wheat nearly ready to harvest, on both sides of the road were fields and fields of it as far as we could see, and the best I ever saw. Troops are passing here marching as fast as possible making I suppose for Antietam or Pennsylvania. The whole rebel army is supposed to be in Maryland and marching for Pa. Possibly they may try to get as far as York state. But if Lee does get his army into Pa I do not believe he will get out with it again though he may do a great deal of damage. It is two weeks today since I got a letter from home, I got two of them but it was still one behind. Perry got up with the regt before we left Aldie, he had been stopped at Centreville till they found out which way the corps had gone. I have not been to the regt since we got here. I will close this letter with much love to all.

Middletown Md July 8th 63
Dear folks at home
I suppose you will be disappointed that I did not write last Sunday, but without making any excuses I will go at it now, and tell you what has occured the past week and a half. Well we left our camp last Monday and marched to Liberty a town in Md the next day to Uniontown, the next to Hanover York Co Pa, we got there about 3 PM and stopped there till nearly dark, and then marched on 9 miles farther in the direction of Gettysburg. We had heard some firing and it was reported that a fight was going on at that place.
The next morning we started and marched on some 3 or 4 miles farther on a out-of-the-way road, we finally came out on the Baltimore pike some three miles from G. The troops stopped on the side hill to rest.
About 3 PM, the bugle sounded for our corps to move, we took stretchers to follow them. Another stretcher carrier and myself did not notice that our brigade was ahead, we supposed it was behind and so waited till the division was nearly past before we found it out. We walked along as rapidly as possible to overtake them but found that our brigade had taken a different direction. We turned off the road to the left and passed through a wheat field in front of a battery that was planted in it, we passed into a narrow strip of woods and inquired for our brigade. They thought they has gone farther to the left, we went out into a cleared field, it was very rocky and right in front of us as we were going in was a high hill or mountain it might be called. It did not look as high as it was as we were on part of the range. To the right of us at the foot of this just in the edge of the woods the firing was commencing quite sharp. Near that point our brigade went in, we could not see anything of them and went toward div H Q  where we found a wounded man and took him on  and carried him to the rear. The firing both of musketry and artillery was now heavy and shells were flying round promiscuously, while we were carrying this man off, we saw the Michigan young lady of whom you no doubt have read, she was on horseback and seemed to have no fear of anything. We kept at work till dark carrying off any of the wounded we came to, when we fell in with another man who was with the brigade when it went in. The firing had now entirely ceased. We went toward that point and soon after the ambulances came up and we went onto the field where I remained till nearly morning, Our loss was severe they came near flanking our brigade, if it had not been for their splendid fighting the rebs would have gotten possession of the hill of which I spoke, which would been bad for us. Our regt lost 129 in killed, wounded and missing only 18 of the latter.

Camp near Williamsport Md July 14th 63
Dear folks at Home
I have put off writing a couple of days, partly because it was letter when I wrote you last and partly because I excepted a great battle would be fought and I did not wish to write till it was decided, but the rebs have got out of this state without a battle. I suppose the papers have raised your expectations of the capture of the whole rebel army but that was more of a job than you think for. Some think the rebs were short of ammunition and if we had attacked vigorously they would have had to succumb. But if they had ammunition I think they had the advantage of position and concentration and would have inflicted severe loss if not repulse upon us. I will not pretend to decide, but I had hoped we should have been able to have given them battle, whipped them and virtually ended the war. Our troops caught them before they had all got across and made some prisoners, how many I do not know. It is getting dark and I must wait till morning to finish.
Wednesday eve. I will now commence to tell you what has passed since I wrote you last and where we are. I wrote you last from Middletown. The next day we marched over the mountain about 6 miles. The next day we crossed Antietam creek. We were now some 8 miles from above Sharpsburg and 6 miles from Williamsport and Hagerstown. The next day we moved in battle line some two miles farther up the creek and encamped. The next day we went in line of battle am a mile and a half from the creek we came upon their skirmishers and a few shots were exchanged but we made no attack and I think nobody was hurt. Our brigade went to the rear the others remained in front. Late the next afternoon our brigade moved to the front. Our men had been throwing up breastworks and we went front of them. The Pa reserve corps was in front of us. The Col of the 10th regt his our name and I suspected it was Judson, I had inquired his given name but could only learn his initials, A J, so I determined to find out. So I went down to the front and when he was disengaged I asked him if he was not formerly from western NY, he said that he was, I told him where I was from and my name. He greeted me cordially, invited me to his tent asked me about all of the folks, wished me to give his respects to them, and invited me to come and see him as often as I could. He said that he had been to my regt and inquired if there was anyone that he knew but failed to find anyone. He had a brother-in-law in the regt who had been killed at Yorktown by jumping out of a window in a fit of insanity caused by fever. He is so lame that he can only walk by the help of a cane, caused by a wound received at Antietam. He said that as soon as this campaign is over he was going to Washington to have it operated upon, as there was a piece of bone that kept separating and made him lame. It is dark and I will have to wait till morning.
Thursday afternoon. Camp between Berlin Md and the Potomac. The next morning after I saw Col Warner we advanced toward Williamsport but found that the rebs had completely gone. The next morning we started very early and marched back almost to Middletown, and then turned to the right and marched along parallel to the mountains some miles farther.
We got into camp a little before sundown. It was a very hard march some 25 miles I think. I was very tired though I had nothing to carry. This morning we started early and marched here some 6 miles. I do not see the need of marching us so hard for it looks as if we would have to stay here a day or two.
We have the official report of the surrender of Port Hudson and 13000 men, also another attack on Charleston. Everything looks bright for us except the disgraceful riot in New York. The police and military are too much afraid of hurting somebody it is foolish to waste blank cartridges on such men, sweep the streets with canister shot and they would not long stick out. 
I will close this letter with much love to all

Camp in the valley of Va 8 miles from Ashbys Gap July 21st
Dear Folks at Home
As we are lying still today I take this opportunity of writing to you. When I wrote last I said we were between Berlin and the Potomac, but I was mistaken, we were about a mile back from the river and Berlin is close beside it. The night after I wrote you it rained and a good share of the next forenoon. I the afternoon we had orders to march. We went down to the river passing through the place (only a small village) and crossed on a pontoon bridge. The river here I should think is 1000 feet wide. It was formerly crossed by a bridge of ten spans the piers of which still stand high above the water, it was burned since the rebellion commenced. I think both the Baltimore and Ohio RR and the Chesapeake and Ohio canal pass through Berlin which I should think would make it more of a place than it is. After crossing the river we passed up the pike some 2 or 3 miles to Lovettsville and encamped the next day started early and marched some six miles and encamped.  We had all of the rest of the day to recruit in, the next day we did the same. The next day we marched I should think about 14 miles but got into camp midafternoon. This is an excellent place for a camp, a fine stream of water which the boys are using plentifully. It is reported around camp that we are to march only 6 or 8 miles a day on this jaunt. They boys do not dislike the idea but they could stand a much harder marching than the artillery horses which have to live mostly on grass.
When we were going through Va going to Pa sherries were ripe and I got all I wanted to eat two or three times. When we were in Maryland there was any quantity of them, trees 2 feet in diameter were loaded with them, I never saw anything like it in York state. Now that we are in Va again I have had ripe apples once or twice and lots of blackberries, we have picked messes of them two or three times. We have had sugar and condensed milk on them you would not know it from cream. The berries grow on low bushes, and some fields are almost black with them.
We miss the houses and barns which stood thick along the roads in Md and Pa, here we march all day and pass only two or three. This morning I got your letter of the 11th which I was very glad to receive. Things look very encouraging for us and I hope less than a year will see this war ended. Meanwhile be of good faith that all will come out all right. Give my love to all friends at home

Camp 3 miles south or Warrenton Va July 28 1863
Dear sister
I now take the opportunity of writing to you and I will commence with the next day after I wrote you last. The next morning our mess went berrying, there were 5 of us, and we got a water pail full and each of us his cup full. A little after noon we received orders to march. We went about 7 miles and encamped near Rectortown. The next day we marched into Manassas Gap within 5 or 6 miles of Front Royal, there was a little fighting by the corps in front of us but what it was we did not learn. The next morning we went a mile farther but were then ordered back, the 3d corps having cleared the Gap and advanced through into the valley. The next day we turned back toward Warrenton and marched 20 miles. It was a warm day and a hard march, that night we had a heavy thunder shower. The next day we marched within 3 miles of Warrenton, a march of some 10 miles. We got into camp in good season I thought we thought we should have rain we could see it falling on the sides of the mountain as plain as could be, but all of the showers went to the left or right along the mountains. The next day (yesterday) we marched past W to this place. We are lying still today, the troops are getting clothing. We may stay a few days in Va this time we have had all the blackberries we wanted every day, this morning three of us went out and got about 8 or 9 qts, but they are getting thin right around here. In regard to the question about gearing, the size makes no difference the speed is in proportion to the no of cogs, for instance the small wheel will make 5 revolutions to the large ones 1.
In regard to politics if you call it that, I can let you know my position. I am for law and order, the suppression of the rebellion, the downfall of slavery, the enforcement of the draft, and the putting down of those who oppose it (with violence) with grape and bayonet. I hope there will be no one in our town foolish enough to make a fuss about it, it will only result in hurt to themselves. The soldiers in this army have suffered too much to see the rebellion triumphant, and its chief corner stone, slavery, exalted, by the shirking cowardice of stay- at-homes. I know of none but say, let the draft be enforced, and I am ready to assist in putting down riots that arise from it. Now above all times, when our forces are victorious everywhere, to give the rebels such aid and comfort, from the very heart of the north.
I understand the 130th is with the army of the Potomac (provost guard at H Quarters it is said) I shall try and find out for certain, and if it is the case will try and visit them.
 It is a sad case, of Sloans it would have been better to have died on the battlefield.*
I will close this letter with much love to all
*Sloan committed suicide, either because he was drafted or for hear he would be.
C O Warner

Camp near Warrenton Va Sabbath afternoon Aug 2nd 1863
Dear sister
I have very little of interest to write and it is so warm I shall make a very short letter. We are still in the camp from which I wrote you last. We expected to move yesterday but the General could find no better camping place so we remained here, how long I do not know but I think very likely 2 or 3 weeks. The last few days have been very warm, and now as I stir writing the sweat runs off my chin on drops.
The next day after I wrote last, I went to the 130th Edson Barber was  the only one I saw from our place, warren was left sick at Washington. I saw Lysander Willey, Joel Slater and Mary’s husband. I suppose the family gathering has passed and I hope you had a happy time. The news from the West is still encouraging I have some hopes that the war will be ended before my time is out. I don’t see but I will have to wind up this letter. We have done nothing the past week but cook out food and eat it, and the weather when it was not raining has been too hot to do anything. It is too warm today for small talk when you have to write it or moralize, and so I close.

Camp near Rappahannock Aug 9th 1863
Another sabbath has come around, a pleasant day but very hot. I sit down to write you the weekly letter. Last Monday we went to work to clear up the underbrush to put up the picket rope for the horses. In the afternoon we put up bough houses to keep off the sun. About six oclock we received orders to march, so that amounted to nothing.
We marched some 9 miles but it took us till 2 oclock the next morning to accomplish it. When we did stop I lay down under a tree and slept soundly till daylight. Tuesday we did not do much. Wednesday we moved s short distance and began to fix up camp. Thursday and Friday we cleared up and got quite a nice camp fixed. That night we had a heavy shower and about 12 orders came to march at six the next morning. We started about that time and after a short march arrived at this place about noon.
There were reports last night that we should march from here this morning, but we have not left yet. For some reason unknown, none of the NY troops in this corps have received any mail for the past 3 or 4 days, whether it is so in other corps I do not know. I received yours of the 25th last Monday. Mother says Harvey has bought the Quinlin farm, I did not know it before. Where did they Quinlin’s go? I remember seeing Miss Hayden with Lucy in Albany. How much longer does L attend school there? It is said we shall be paid tomorrow, but the first and second brigades were paid off two months ago, and have got their pay again now. Ours is a different paymaster and I suppose has been speculating with our money. We have had two days rations of soft bread the past week if we stay here long we shall get more. When we were in Md and Pa we could buy all we wanted but here it is impossible. Last Thursday I had a hard ague chill and did not feel well Friday and Saturday, but quinine broke up the fever and today I am feeling as well as usual. I am sorry Kitty got hurt, she must be growing if she has got big enough to be hit.
Give my love to all

Camp near the Rappahannock Aug 17th 1863
Dear folks at Home
I did not write the usual letter yesterday as I was waiting to get yours. But as it did not come I go at it this morning. Last Monday we got our pay, and Tuesday I sent you a letter with 49 dollars in it, I hope you have got it by this time. On the same day we moved our camp into the woods. We have a nice place in an oak grove on a dry knoll. On Wednesday I got a box of cake by mail, it was very nice, but I do not think it was worth the postage. Wednesday night or Thursday morning we had a hard thunder shower. The boys said the lightening and thunder were almost incessant, but I scarcely noticed it, sleeping soundly all the time. About all we have done the past week is to clean up and fix camp, but I do not think we shall stay long. The regulars of the corps, 2 brigades left during the week, and yesterday it was said the 12th corps and pontoons were going off on the cars. From appearances I should say that part of this army is being taken to reinforce other points, and that we shall fall back to the defense of Washington till reinforced by the conscripts. WE are now looking eagerly for news of the grand attack upon Charleston which was expected to come off the 13th.
I hope the people at home begin to think better of the draft. The sooner a large force is thrown into the field the sooner the rebellion will be crushed, and the more lives saved. If instead of the first call for 75000 it had been 3 or 60000000, it might have been done long ago, but not so effectively, I think. The cause now will be removed and this warturn out a blessing to our country.

Sabbath afternoon Aug 23d 63
Dear Sister
I now seat myself to write the usual letter. Yours of the 17th I received Friday, but that of the 10th I did not get till yesterday. It had been to the 94th NY, be a little more careful of the 4s I have had one do so before. We are still in the camp in the woods very little to do and no excitement, although we are all interested in the news from Charleston. We get pretty much all of the dailies, everything seems to be progressing favorably, and I have the greatest faith that it must fall.
The rebel loan seems to have completely collapsed in England, and I believe the capture of Charleston will have a great effect to hasten the termination of the war. We only want the conscript hurried along, so that we can give Lee another good beating, and the thing is done. Unless England should choose to be obstinate about paying our merchants for the damage they have done to our shipping, we may soon hope for peace. The fore part of the week was quite cool, indeed the mornings were almost chilly, but the latter part has been warmer. Nothing of interest occurs, we have a little policing to do each day, and cook our food of which we have but few dishes. We have soft bread part of the time, fried pork and flour gravy, we feel greatly the need of vegetables.
We had inspection this morning. Fox is at the regt and well. George S is a greater fool than I thought to take the means ho did to get rid of serving his country. I am sure I know of no particular thing you ought to study if you go to school. You know best in what you are deficient. Has father contracted his chees yet this year? And how much does he get?
I close with much love to all

Aug 30th 63
Dear Sister
This is another beautiful Sabbath afternoon, and I again seat myself to write to you. Your letter of the 24th I received last night, and whether through its influence or not I was dreaming all night of being at home on a furlough and when the bugle blew this morning I thought it was up to Mr Qs. The visit did not seem to do me much good for I do not remember of seeing any of our folks, and I got up with aching bones and have a touch of the ague. However I do not intend to be sick. I should like very much to be at S, but for the present the army is my home and I do not mean to be as homesick as mother seems to be every time she writes. If I was at home I would return Nellies kisses with interest but they do not seem to be of much interest through a letter. By your letter you do not seem to have received the money which I sent the 11th it is high time you had got it, I hope it is not lost.
The past week has been cool and pleasant. We have had nothing of particular interest until yesterday, when 5 men belonging to the 118th Pa were shot to death by musketry. All the regts of our corps were ordered out to witness the execution. The troops were formed in lines on a side hill, on the other side of a little brook the graves were dug in plain view, the procession moved from the guard house headed by the band playing the dead march. Next a guard of 60 men with loaded guns, next a coffin borne by 4 men and followed by one of the condemned men with blue pants and white shirt, with hand tied behind and a guard on each side then another coffin and another criminal, behind them all  a squad of 50 men the executioners. They marched through the lines of our division then along the front then crossed the brook and marched along in front of their graves, the executioners in front of them, the coffins were placed at the foot of the graves and the condemned men seated on them, they then had some conversation with their spiritual advisors, the death warrant was read, a black cloth was tied over their faces, the order, ready, aim, fore was given and they were launched into eternity. It is a solemn thing to pout death human beings but they met with very little sympathy for they had repeatedly enlisted and deserted and then came out as substitutes and again deserted.
Last night we received the glorious news of the capture of Sumter and Wagner. I shall not need boots at present as those I got last winter are not worn out yet, I have been wearing shoes this dry weather. My pen is so poor, and as I do not feel well I will close this letter, I hope you will be able to read it.

Sept 13th 1863
Another week has passed and I sit down to write the usual letter. Things have been going on as usual in camp, nothing of interest. Friday night I got the home letter of the 6th, we also received the cheering news of the capture of Chattanooga and Forts Wagner , Gerry and Sumter. Yesterday the cavalry, flying artillery, and some infantry advanced in the direction of Culpepper, we have heard firing in that direction and we are under marching orders to support them, till I do not think there is much danger of our moving, unless the rebs have fallen back from the Rapidan. We continue to live very well for soldiers, we have several times bought beets and made nice pickles of them. The last of last month we went to New York and bought a case of condensed milk and last Monday we got it, it only cost us 18cts an can and here we have paid from 60 to 75 cts a can and used a good deal of it too, it goes good in coffee and bread puddings, our oven bakes things of that kind very nicely.
You have had considerable to say about cousin Nellie since she has been there but you have said nothing of how she looks or how old she is, I should think if she wanted my likeness she might have sent me hers, you speak to her about it.
Since we have had a new officer in command of this corps (I do not know as I have spoken of it before) we have had things carried on a little more strictly than before, we have bugle call for watering, for feeding horses, we have had more clearing up camp and fixing and strict roll calls, still it is not hard at all. I do not go to the regt very often as they are half a mile from here and I don’t know as I should go oftener if they were nearer, there is no one there but Fox from our way, he was well Thursday, Willis and Perry have not got back yet.

Camp near Culpepper Sept 20th 63
Dear folks at home
Another wee has passed, and I sit down to write the usual letter. Last Tuesday evening we received orders to be ready to march at six the next morning. We were up early and a little after daylight started. Most of the ambulances went to Bealton with the sick, so all of the trains got between us and the troops. We crossed the Rappahannock about noon on a pontoon bridge and there being so many trains ahead of us we did not get into camp near this place until after dark. The next morning we passed through Culpepper and about a mile and a half beyond it, here the troops encamped, our train went back toward the village about half a mile and encamped. We are in a nice place and have a fine view of the Blue Ridge mountains, I think they are beautiful, when we first came they looked dull more like clouds, but yesterday it rained and today they look much nearer, we can see the bare spots on them. They always appear a dark blue, I do not know but all mountains appear so. Mother says there was a man there soliciting money for the Christian commission to buy reading matter for the soldiers and wants to know if I see any of it. I have seen some from that source but hardly any worth reading, one would think from looking at it, that they thought only half witted persons had enlisted and bought child books and papers for them. If they would only get standard magazines even if they were old they would be read.
I commenced reading The Pearl of Orrs Island yesterday and have nearly finished it, I like it very much. I have not studied Latin at all this summer I have not felt like studying. Yesterday and last night were quite cold, today it is warmer but a chilly wind is blowing. I am sorry Kittie cannot study geography because I have her map, I think when I get my pay I will send some money to get her one. I hope it may go safer than the last I sent. We are going to have a nice pot of succotash for supper, we had got the corn and beans in and it had just got to boiling when an unlucky rail burned off and over it went and spilled nearly all of it, we had some more corn and got on another pot of it but the corn was harder and so not so good, but  we have drawn some soft bread and so shall do very well for supper. Your letter of the 13th was received Friday night I am glad the girls have had a chance to see the falls I should have liked to have been with them. I will close this letter and attend to my supper.
Love to all Cory

Camp near Culpepper Courthouse Sept 27th 63
Dear Sister
Your letter of the 20th was received Friday and was welcome as they always are. This is a very pleasant day just warm enough to be comfortable. Yesterday there was a strong cold wind blowing and last night came near being a frost. I have very little to tell about how the week is passed, one week is like another unless we are on the move. But I am always interested in you review of the week.
Last Monday we went to a brick kiln which is near here and got a load of bricks and built us an oven, it is quite a large one large enough for the ambulance corps of this brigade to bake in, we used mud for mortar and got a very neat arched roof to it.
The news the past week has been very interesting, we felt considerable anxiety for the fate of Rosencranz, but at last accounts he considered himself able to hold Chattanooga. We expected last Tuesday to march but now there does not seem much prospect of it.
Last Friday we heard from reliable sources that the 2nd corps were at Alexandria shipping, where to we did not know. Today we have a report that a large force from Grants Army is at Fortress Monroe, which is to join with the 2nd corps from this army and Pecks forces and move on Richmond by the peninsula, if that is true, when the army in front of us is drawn back to defend Richmond we shall probably move forward. 
I think the prospects are bright for closing the was in good time. England has put a veto on the sailing of the rams evidently thinking she had better not get into was with us. The people at home must do their duty at the ballot box this fall, and if they do I think it will have an influence for good on the war. We must have men that will support the administration, it may not be the best but I believe it is honest, and if it is not embarrassed by traitors in office at home, will do its best to end the war. If aunt Frank wants letters from me she must write to me, my address has not changed in two years and I wrote her last. I hate writing letters and do not know as I should write so many home if I thought I could get letters the same. We got our pay Friday and IU shall send some home by and by.
With much love to all Cory

Camp near Culpepper Oct 3d 63
Dear Folks at home
I have not yet got the usual letter from home, which I have lately got Friday nights, but perhaps I shall get it tonight. I intend to send home ten dollars in this letter, I do not know whether I shall have any more to send or not.
I took out my boots this morning to have them fixed up a little when I found that on one of the boots the sole had broken clear in two where the top had been put on so that water will pass in almost as if there were no sole at all. The uppers are good yet and I was going to have the heels fixed up and I could have worn them a good while. The shoemaker here in the train lays it to the nails injuring the leather, so I want the boots sent on and no nails put in them. The shoemaker in the train wants some shoe findings send, I shall get pay of him in work. He wants a patent pegging awl handle such as uncle P uses and half a doz awls, 2 qts of pegs ½ and 5/8, 4 papers of 5/8 iron shoe nails, I want a few shorter that I can have put in the toes of my boots just where I want them. I wish you to get a 6 or 8 qt pail and fill it with good butter and also send me 25 pounds of cheese. I am well provided with clothes though I have not drawn my allowance into $25.00, I shall get the money instead next pay day. As I did not have to carry my knapsack I have saved clothing instead of throwing it away as I should have done if I had to. Please send me half a pound of saleratus and 50cts worth of nutmegs, we draw pepper rations now so I do not want any of that. You can send some dried corn, apples and other frit and whatever else you like. Our mess now consists of the happy and lucky number seven. We have a table to sit to and eat our meals and wash our dished like civilized people. We have had most beautiful weather generally but yesterday it rained all day, today it has been pleasant.
I have just heard that the rain of yesterday caused a freshet that injured the RR bridge so that no trains have been up today so perhaps I shall not get a letter. I do not know as I have anything more to write and will close.

Fairfax CH Oct 15th 1863
Dear Folks at Home
I suppose you will be somewhat anxious at not receiving the usual letter from me, as it is now Thursday and I am now writing it, I think you will excuse me. Last week we began to think we were likely to stay at Culpepper some time, and so Wednesday, Thursday and Friday we worked at building us a hut, we had got things well along and were comfortably sleeping in it when we were called up at one oclock Saturday morning and were to pack up everything and be ready to move in 15 minutes. We went to the regt and got the worst cases of sickness and took them to the cars. We got back to camp about daylight, and started for the front. We advanced about 4 miles and returned again that afternoon to the old camp again. We were awakened at half past three the next morning, we got us a good breakfast and at daylight started on the march toward the Rappahannock, we crossed it about 3 PM and went into park. The next morning we were routed to at 3:30 and started. We marched down to the river and in the afternoon crossed it. We took stretchers and followed the troops toward Culpepper, but the cavalry drove the small force of the enemy that followed us, so that we had no fighting. We went about 4miles and stopped at dark, the ambulances had not followed us and we had no blankets, we made a good fire of rails and laid down by it and got some sleep, about 11 a seargent came and told us to go to the train which had followed us part of the way, we got to it after an hours march and I laid down and got some more sleep, but we were routed out again at one and started back across the river, we got across at daylight but kept on till night, we did not stop long enough at any time to make coffee. We stopped at sundown at Cattlet Station and encamped. The next morning we were up early and started as soon as light. We got to Manassas Junction at 4 PM, but had been there but a short time before we were ordered back to Cub Run, to support the 2nd corps which was having a sharp engagement with the enemy. We staid there a while and then returned to the junction about 11 oclock.
Soon after we started for Centreville, we marched very slowly and whenever we stopped long enough to sit down I was so tired and sleepy that I would fall asleep, we got to C at 4 yesterday morning and laid down and slept awhile. About 11 AM we started for this place and got here about 3 PM. We got a good supper, pitched out tent and as soon as it was dark went to sleep and slept till 8 this morning, but my eyes have not fairly got over aching yet.
As to the state of affairs I cannot tell much. The enemy attempted to turn our right flank but did not succeed. In the engagement at Cub Run we whipped them badly and took a battery of cannon. You will see the account in the papers if you read them. The rebs may make a dash into Maryland. I shall write again Sunday unless we are on the march as we were last Sunday. In my last I sent ten dollars and directions to send me a box, send it along we shall be about Washington awhile I think, I shall probably get a letter from you tomorrow night, telling of the receipt of the money if you have got it, if not I will write again telling you what to send. Kitties letter I received and will write her if we stay here long enough to get rested. Give my love to all

Camp near New Baltimore Va Oct 22nd 63
Dear Sister I now sit down to recount what has taken place since I wrote you last from Fairfax. I dated that letter the 25th but it was the 16th. That afternoon just at dark we had orders to march. Soon after we hauled out, a heavy thunder shower came up which lasted for an hour, but as we were standing still for the troops to pass I got into an ambulance and kept dry.
We marched some three miles toward Centreville and went into camp about 11 oclock, it had cleared off finely. The next day we moved within a mile of Centreville and remained the rest of the day and night. The next morning (Sunday) we were routed out at 4AM and as soon as it was light started towards Fairfax again. We got to the place that we left Friday night, about 10 AM and went into camp thinking we should remain the rest of the day, but we had not been there more than a couple of hours before we hitched up and started again. We went around about course some 5 or 6 miles over bad roads and again encamped. The next morning we were up early and started as soon as it was light, we went about ¾ of a mile and found ourselves where we were at noon the day before, we then started toward Centreville, passed through it crossed Bull Run and encamped on the old battlefield. The traces of the battle were plainly to be seen, no graves had been dug for most of the dead they had been left lying where they had died and dirt dug up from each side and thrown upon them, the rains had washed off the dirt in many cases leaving the bones bare, many were found in the wood that had never been covered at all. Our men covered them up more decently but the plow will turn them up if the land is ever cultivated again. 
The next morning we started early and moved on to Gainesville where we stopped some 3 or 4 hours and then came on here. We laid here all day yesterday and I should have written but I wanted to wait and get the letter you had written receipting the money. I got it this morning and also a letter from Henry saying that the box was ready and that father was going to B the next day and would take it. How long we shall stay here I do not know but I think we shall soon be in a camp to stop for a while. We are now about 5 or 6 miles from Warrenton. With much love to all I close this letter.

Virginia Oct 25th 1863
Dear Folks at Home
This is a bright beautiful Sabbath morning, and I suppose about this time you are on your way to church.
I know of no name to date this letter from but it is in Virginia and perhaps that is enough. I wrote you last Monday from camp near New Baltimore and I suppose we are no more than 4 or 5 miles from there now. Thursday we moved camp about a mile to get up on drier ground. Friday we did nothing particular, toward night it began to rain and rained most of the nigh and the next day. About 4PM yesterday we received orders to pack up, we started on the march just at dark. It was very muddy but not dark as there was a good moon, we marched some 4 or 5 miles and went into camp between 10 and 11, it cleared off bright soon after we got into camp but has been cold since. We are now somewhere between New Baltimore and the Orange and Alexandria RR and I think not more than 5 miles from the former place. How long we shall remain here or where we shall go I of course cannot tell. I received you letter of the 18th yesterday.
Our mess at present consists of seven. Seargeant Darwin F Godfrey, a native of Batavia NY, James Pierce and George Arnold of Duchess county, Charles F Sigourney from Albany Co., John Smith from Troy NY and john C Thrall from Schoharie Co. We have a mess box which we got up while in Culpepper, it is as long as the ambulance is wide (baout4 feet) 18 inches wide and 6 deep, it is fastened with a strap and buckle at each end, between the bed pieces underneath the box and so rides with it on the springs, we can put it on or take it off on less than a minute, when set upon the ground the cover forms a convenient table. We have not been living very high lately hard tack, pork and coffee being our usual fare, but as we have good appetites it is better than richer food without. I think I will close this for the present but if I cannot send it till tomorrow I may add more.

Camp on the Warrenton RR Nov 1st 1863
Dear folks at home
This is another beautiful Sabbath morning, and I now seat myself to write to you. Nothing of interest occurred last week until Friday, when we left the camp from which I wrote you last, to come here a short march of 4 or 5 miles. We are now at Three Mile station about three miles from Warrenton Junction. We have our camp in a grove of oak and hickory second growth timber, and only a short distance from the RR. If we stay here a week or so I think we may get our express boxes.
Yesterday when we got up it was raining but it cleared up before noon and it has been pleasant since. I received the home letter with Fathers and mothers likenesses yesterday. I do not exactly like them but I do not know but that they are natural, Mother I should think has grown older looking. What do you think of my trying for a commission in a negro regt, Spaulding of Springville has one for a captain. The only thing needed is to be qualified in military tactics and education, I think I could pass examination by studying tactics two or three weeks. The pay is good and the service is not very hard. I suppose it consigns one to the army for two or three years more, tell me what you think of it in your next letter. I wrote to Henry last week, I have not seen Fox for a few days back, when I last saw him he was well. As too bad habits I do not think he has contracted any, I am sure he does not gamble and that is one that is carried on a good deal I do not think he drinks either, but he says he does not like to write letters it is hard work. I have not heard anything from Willis and Perry, if Harrison and Charley are assigned to a regt in this army you must let me know the division and corps and I will try to see them. This must be a country for game I should think, since I have been writing this letter the boys have caught a fox that came running through the camp, as I have nothing more of interest to write I will close this letter.

Camp near Kellys Ford
Monday Nov 9th 1863

Dear folks at home
As we are likely to stop here for some time I commence this letter to you. Last week passed much as others have till Friday night when we received orders to be ready to march at half past six the next morning. We were up in good season and just at daylight we hauled out across the river and shortly after started toward Bealton, we struck the remains of the RR at that place at a little after nine and proceeded beyond a mile or so, when our division was thrown to the left of the road shortly after they deployed and advanced toward the river, a heavy skirmish line was thrown in front of the main body. Just at dark the skirmishers made a charge on the fort and drove the rebs out of it, the sixth corps farther up the river knocked away the bridge and so they were taken prisoners. We captured in all some 1900 prisoners and 5 cannon. Yesterday we marched down to Kellys ford and in the afternoon crossed. We are now on the south side of the Rappahannock about a mile from Kelly ford. It is said that the 2nd corps had a fight not far from here and captured a number of prisoners but I know nothing for certain about it. I am inclined to think we shall get nearer Richmond than we have been at any time the past year this time. The boys are in the best of spirits, and yesterday when Gen Meade passed they gave him rousing cheers, a thing they have not done for any general in a long time. The last 4 or 5 days have been cool but good weather for marching, yesterday the dust flew like snow. The box did not come yet, will not probably till we get into winter quarters, but I shall get along very well without it and it will not spoil. Your letter of the first I received Friday night. I will close this letter so as to get it off.

Camp near Kellys Ford Sunday Nov 15th 1863
Dear Sister
Your letter of the 5th came to hand this morning and I now sit down to answer it. When I wrote last Sunday from the other side of the river I thought we should be nearer Richmond before I should write again, but just before dark that night our div received orders to pack up, and we returned to this side of the river. That evening there was a little sleep or snow and it was pretty cold. The next morning we moved camp a short distance so as to get a place sheltered from the wind and we are here yet, but the principal part of our forces are very near the Rapidan. The road and bridge are nearly completed and I presume the cars will run to Culpepper by tomorrow night. We have just received orders to be ready to march and I think we will leave here as soon as tomorrow.
Friday and Saturday were quite warm, last night we had a thunder shower and this morning a continuation of it, but it had cleared off and is now pleasant but colder. I am glad Willis and Perry have got home but as long as I am well I do not expect to. I do not think a soldier that was considered fit for duty has gone home to vote. Time is slipping away rapidly and it wants only ten months to complete my three years, and I have hopes that the war will be ended before that. I think a great many thinks look favorable for it. I hope Libbie has got a good husband. Thank Kittie for the letter I hope she will have a pleasant time going to school this winter. 
I close this letter with much love to all.

Monday morning. We were under marching orders yesterday because a force of rebs crossed the Rapidan, but were driven back without our help. We will probably stay here a few days yet.

Sunday Nov 22nd 1863
Camp near Kelly Ford Southside
Dear folks at Home
The letter with Willies likeness and Kitties letter came today and I sit down to answer it. Lettie wishes I would write longer letter, but I don’t see how I can when there is nothing to write about. WE remained in the camp from which I wrote you last until Thursday morning when we were awakened early with orders to be ready to march at 8 oclock. We were ready about that time and started, we came to this side of the river about 2 miles from the ford, we are now about 4 miles from Brandy Station.
The same night we signed the pay rolls and Friday we got our pay but I shall not send any of it in this letter. Yesterday morning when we got up it was raining and it kept at it pretty much all day and as raining when we went to bed, but it cleared off during the night and is fine today. Today we have sent all of the sick to the RR and we did some think there would be a forward movement tomorrow, but the rain has probably put that off for a few days. We have not got the boxed yet though it is said they were ordered up Friday, they are perfectly safe as long as they remain in Washington, and I had my old boots fixed up so they will do very well for a few weeks longer. A good many boys in our regt have got commissions in negro regts and I have looked into the tactics several times the past week debating whether I had btter try for one or not. I have nothing more of interest to write and will close this letter.

In camp Nov 22nd         
Dear Sister Kittie
I received your letter this morning and am glad to see by it that you are improving your handwriting. I hope you will continue to improve. By Willies picture I should think he had grown considerably, he must be a pretty large boy by this time. I do not know of anything of interest that I can write you unless I tell you of the house we live in If you were to take two sticks about as long as you are tall with a fork on one end and tick the other end in the ground six or seven feet apart then lay a pole into the forks, take two sheets and fasten the edges to the ground so that it would be shaped something like a hen coop, only a little larger, then fasten another sheet at one and you would have a house such as we live in, sometimes we put a small log on each side to prevent our rolling out. Then I if we can get straw, leaves or grass to put under us we have as good a bed as we want. How would you like to live in such a house as that.
I hope you will make good improvement this winter so as to write me a long letter next summer.
Your brother Cory

Camp near Rappahannock Station Dec 6th 1863
Dear Sister
It is now two weeks since I wrote you last and I suppose you will be anxious at not hearing from me.
Two weeks ago Tuesday we started out to march, but it rained so the order was countermanded. But Thursday we started again and crossed the Rapidan and some 5 or 6 miles beyond it. The next day we marched along a plank road all day through a perfect wilderness seeing scarcely the smallest clearing. There was some skirmishing on our advance but we heard quite heavy firing on out right. The next day we marched by a circuitous route some 4 or 6 miles and came out on a turnpike at a place called Roberts Tavern. Here our men had thrown up breastworks. About a mile and a half ahead there was skirmishing, evidently the rebels were there. The next morning (Sunday) we marched to the front and out brigade relieved a portion of the 2nd corps on picket. Our pickets were stationed in the edge of a thick pine woods the reserve were a little farther back in the woods and so sheltered from bullets. About 500 yards in front of our pickets was quite a large brook and a little farther on were the rebel pickets stationed in rifle pits. The main rebel works were on the top of a hill some ½ or ¾ of a mile from our pickets. All that day whenever a man showed himself in the edge of the woods the rebs would fire at him but the distance was so great that only one man in our regt was hit and only slightly wounded. The next morning precisely at 8 oclock our cannon opened with a brisk fire on the rebel works and continues for half an hour but elicited  scarcely any [  ] , the rebs not caring to unmask their guns. The rest of the day was quite still scarcely any firing between the pickets. The next day all of the trains and heavy artillery were sent to the rear, and at night as soon as dark all of the troops except the picket line started to recross the river. At three the next morning we were relieved by a cavalry picket and we marched back to Roberts Tavern where we were met by the picker from the rest of the army. We marched the 7 miles back to the river in the quickest time I ever walked that distance, getting there a little after daylight. We put out stretchers into the wagons and marched 4 or 5 miles toward Brandy Station. The next day our corps marched to this place some 10 or 12 miles. The corps is now scattered along the river, from Rappahannock station to Centreville guarding the RR. Our boys commenced fixing up log huts, but yesterday PM we received marching orders but they got countermanded. It looks very much as if we should stay here for some time. I hope so. Yesterday we came in here and commenced to put up quarters. The last day I was across the river I saw Charley, he feels some homesick but I guess he will stand it. Hess split off half his big toe. I went also to see Jerry Turner and learned that he was killed at Fredericksburg last spring.
I am sorry the teacher is not able to teach you I would live to have you study the languages. The latin grammer I have is an old edition and some of the leaves are out, if I were going to school I should get another, the reader I have you would not want till you had studied two or three terms. I am sorry Kittie does not like the teacher but she must do the best she can, I dare say Emma well be willing to help you whenever you wish it.

Camp near Rappahannock station Dec 13th 63
Dear folks at Home
This morning is warm and sunshiny the warmest day we have had for two weeks. We have been hard at work the past week putting up winter quarters, we got into ours last Wednesday, we have got better quarters than we had last winter but not quite so large. Our house for four of us is about 9 feet square inside it is logged up about as high as the shoulder and has a double thick canvas for a roof so it will not leak a bit. Our camp is in a grove of oak and hickory beautiful strait timber, so we had the material for building, there had been a great many ties got out for the RR and of course we levied on them, we have the floor of our tent made of them. We intend this week to put up another shanty for a cook tent and mess room for the squad, so this will be only a sleeping and sitting room and we can keep it as nice as can be. We have made this snug and warm and no matter how cold it may be we shall be warm enough, we are about ¾ of a mile from the regt which is on the other side of the RR/ The gurillas are so troublesome that we have to keep a picket to the rear and it is unsafe to go outside it except with a force. The body of Dr Free was brought in Friday he was killed the day before, the quartermaster seargeant who was with him escaped. 
The past week has been cold but yesterday it was warm and thawing but little during the day, but yesterday it was warm and last night it rained all night , today it is warm so that the frost is out of the ground making it very muddy so there will be no danger of a move for some time I think we are in for the winter, the express boxes have not come yet but I think we will get them soon. As I have nothing more of interest to write I will close this letter.

Camp near Rappahannock Station
Sabbath afternoon
Dear Folks at home
Another week has passed and I seat myself to write the usual letter. I got no letter from home last week and have not got one this but I hope I may tonight.
Last Monday we went at it to put up our kitchen, Tuesday night we had it nicely finished. It is about 13 ft long and 7 wide, at one end there is a wide fire place and along one side there is a table long enough for three on one side and one at each end. Tuesday night it rained all night and most of the day Wednesday. That night I got the box, the pears had rotted and the juice had run out of the cherries but the rest was all right.
I was much pleased with the picture it looks natural except the fence but as that has been moved I suppose that looks natural too. The cheese and butter are first rate and the boots fit well. I thank Kittie for the butternut meats and the pincushion. 
I was over to the regt last night, I found the wind very cold when I got out of the woods. The boys have very comfortable quarters. Last night it froze the hardest it has since we have been here, half an inch of ice on a pail of water, it seems odd to read of jams of ice in the rivers north. If we can stay here we shall be very comfortable, we have warm quarters and good hickory and oak wood are abundant. I believe I shall risk $20 dollars in this letter if it is lost I shall not want to send any more.
Much love to all Cory

Sabbath morning Dec (27th) 1863
Dear sister
Your letter of the 20th was received last evening and I now sit down to answer it. The pat week has been pleasant but steady cold weather, we have been engaged most of the time clearing up camp. There has been considerable excitement in the camp about reenlisting, the inducements are the large bounties paid to veterans and furloughs. Almost the whole Mich regt in our brigade reenlisted, all who had less than one year to serve could reenlist. Thursday the officers commenced to celebrate Christmas by drinking till they got very noisy. Friday we had oyster soup for dinner and apple pie, in the evening we had fried cakes and cheese, and for those who wanted it milk punch “Commisary” was abundant and many drank it till they were noisy or stupid, and then were rewarded with violent head and stomach aches. I let it alone because I thought it foolish to drink stuff that anyone would make faces at if it were medicine, when I had no disease. Reuben was over Thursday and took supper with me. I got your letter of the 13th Friday night, it had been to the 49th. The one before that I have not got at all, you must be careful how you make those figures. I sent a letter home last Sunday with 20 dollars in it I hope it will get there safe. I shall probably send my diary home next week, I have not a new one. It commenced raining a short time ago and it looks as if it would continue some time. I do not think I shall try for a commission for I am fond of soldiering.
Give my love to all friends

Camp near Rappahannock Station
Saturday morning Jan 2nd 1864

Dear sister, your letter of Christmas time just received and as I have nothing else to do just now will answer it. The week has been pretty much like the others. Thursday it rained all day here but I suppose it snowed at home, for yesterday morning the Blue mountains were white with snow.
I must tell you what we had for dinner yesterday, turkey stewed with potatoes and dumplings, boiled onions, minced pie apple sauce, bread and butter and coffee. In the evening we had some good Rhode Island Greenings, they tasted the most homelike of anything I have eaten in a long time.
Where has Nellie been, I thought she had gone home?
Last night I think was the coldest I have seen in Va, it froze hard and the going is very rough. I thought I could make something of a letter when I commenced but I can think of nothing of interest. Time passes away here quite rapidly we have plenty of reading, for the Sanitary commission agent is here and we can get all the magazines from him that we wish. A great many troops in this army are reenlisting, nearly the whole of the 16th Mich regt went home, this morning 20 or more have gone from our regt. As for the hair I will send you the best I can but I keep it much shorter than I did at home. I will send my diary at the same time as this
Give my love to all

Saturday eve Jan 2nd
Dear sister I wrote you today and said I would send you the hair in it, but I forgot to put it in. So I thought I would write you again this evening.
When I sent home the 40 dollars I asked some questions in regard to aunts O’s husband but as you did not get the letter the questions have not been answered. You call him Doctor, of what? Divinity or Medicine, dos he preach, or has he retired? Was he a bachelor or widower? Any information in regard to it will be thankfully received. I have not heard from her since the happy event. I have sent home the diary, I hope you will get it safely though I do not think you will find it very interesting.
I have done the best I could in the way of hair, mine is not thick nor long but if it was summer I might have that length cut off all over my head. I have no idea how much you want.
I hope cousin Nellie will not forget to send me her likeness, I want to see how she looks.

Camp near Rappahannock Station Jan 10th 1864
Dear Sister
Your letter of the 4th I received last evening. It seems you have been having some cold weather for the new year. We have been having cold weather here for Va, but nothing near as cold as you tell of, we have had no nights here so cold that we could not sleep comfortably. Monday it snowed all day, and just at evening we received orders to be ready to march. I tell you it made me a little homesick to think of having to leave our comfortable quarters to go out and bivouac in such weather. However the week has passed and we have not moved and shall not for the order was countermanded Friday. Friday morning we found two more inches of snow on the ground, enough to make passable sleighing if we had sleighs. Yesterday the stuff we put up at Halls Hill came to the regt. Of all the stuff which my tent mates and myself put up  there was nothing left but blankets, all of our books, portfolio paper and the like were gone, and I could find none of them, there was plenty of blankets and we shall sleep soft and warm for the rest of the winter. I have read the past week, No Name, by Wilke Collins, one of those long English stories from Harpers, I found it interesting much more so than I expected. I sent you two letters last week besides the diary. I hope you may have many pleasant sleigh tides this winter and not have nights so cold you cannot sleep.
Much love to all Cory

Camp near Rappahannock Station Saturday eve Jan 16th 64
Dear Folks at Home
Your letter of the 10th was received this morning. Last Tuesday my tent mates and myself went to an artist here and had our pictures taken together, from which we are to have some photographs, we expect to get them the first of the week. That week the headquarters of the second brigade was attacked by guerillas as the quarters were surrounded by a brush fence through which they could not dash. So our commander became alarmed and had all of us at work to build a fence around our camp. As timber was plenty it did not take us long.
Thursday I put a window in our tent which makes it much pleasanter. Yesterday I went to Alexandria. The 8(7)th Pa are train guards and have to go every day and are quite willing to let anyone go in their place. I had my likeness taken and shall have the photographs in a week or so. I will send one home for Nellie if she is there, if not I will send it to her if you will send me her address.
I can think of nothing more to write tonight and will stop till morning. Sunday morning. This morning is sunshiny but cold wind is blowing. I was over last evening to see Reuben, he has been sick since Christmas, the Dr says it may be two months before he is well, he is able to be around but not to do anything. Mrs Fox sent me a nice roll of butter and some cheese in his box. I did not suppose the postage on the diary would be so much.
Give my love to Nellie, her father and all the rest of our friends
Good bye Cory

Saturday eve Jan 23d
Dear sister
I am on guard tonight between 11 and 12, and as I do not want to go to bed till it is over I am going to write you a letter. This is a most splendid evening, the full moon is shining brightly and there is not a cloud in the sky. I should dearly love to be riding home from singing school about this time. This must be a beautiful evening for sleigh riding though the snow disappeared here last Monday.
I suppose Nellie will have gone before this reaches you if she has not already, and you will be feeling somewhat lonesome, still I suppose you will have enough to do to keep it from affecting you much. I do not know but that I shall get into the habit of doing nothing, that I shall be useless when I get home, but I hope not. I generally spend a part of each day at least in studying or reading, and hope to be some wiser when my term of enlistment expires than when it was commenced. I shall certainly have gained some experience which I think will not be without use to me.
Last Sunday it was lowery and rainy all day, it rained all that night and the day following, carrying off all of the snow and making it very muddy. Tuesday we laid a sidewalk in front of our tents. Wednesday my tent mates and myself went to the artists and sat for our pictures again, the artist was not satisfied with the former one and so sis not print the photographs from it. Thursday was pleasant but nothing going on. Yesterday evening went over to the regt to see Reuben, found him getting better. When I got back found your letter of the 17th here. Will seems to be getting to be a fast young man, taking the young ladies out to ride, who can they be I wonder, you are continually mentioning names of persons in your letters that I either never knew or have forgotten. It does not seem as if I had been away long enough for that. I suppose that Amelia W that was, considering the scarcity of young men thinks she has secured a prize and treats him accordingly. I should judge that returned soldiers would find no difficulty in getting mated. I see in the papers that there are 34000 females in the state of Mass unprovided for, I should think some of them had better migrate to the far west where the sex is scarcer and commands a premium. 
All of the boys are asleep an there is no noise but the flapping of the canvas, and I suppose I might scribble away a long while to you if I had anything worth writing, but as I haven’t I will quit. It has been reported around today that our regt was going to Alexandria to do guard duty on the trains, I hope if they do that we shall remain here. Give my love to all friends and a large share for the folks at home.
Your brother Cory

Sunday eve. The regt really goes to A at 8 oclock this evening we remain here for the present at least.

Camp near Rappahannock Station Feb 2nd 1864
Dear folks at home
Your letter of the 24th was received Sunday but at that time I was at Alexandria and it was not convenient to answer it. The past week was as warm and pleasant as we often see in May, bright sunshiny days and warm clear nights, too warm and pleasant to do anything that you are not obliged to, and there is nothing of interest going on.
Saturday was lowery and undesent. At 4PM went down to the RR and found some of our boys on the train, and so I determined to go down to their camp with them and get out mail. 
Went down to the station and got upon the train about 7PM and arrived at Alexandria a little after 12, went into the soldiers rest and got a cup of coffee and then went out to the camp. They are encamped just outside the city limits. There is a picket stationed all around the city so no one can get in or out without a pass. I went down to the city a little while in the afternoon but there was no church service and all the shops were closed so I did not stay long.
Reuben is better, Perry has got back to the regt, he says Willis is in the invalid corps in Baltimore. 
Monday I went down to the city got my photographs, looked around the city a little, got the mail for all of the boys and returned here on the 7 oclock train and got here about 12 at night. I will send you one of my tent mates photographs and one of mine in this letter and another of mine bye and bye. The one next to me is Thrall, the next Sigourney, next Arnold.
Give my love to all. Cory
Pa I forgot to tell you that we got a beautiful firkin of butter from New York 99 lbs it cost 32 cts including expressage. Henrys shawl was not in the box, I should consider none of the blankets worth sending home.

Feb 7th 64
Dear sister
I have not got the usual letter but I think I will get it in a day or two. The past week has gone off without much of interest. Yesterday was foggy and rainy. About 10 oclock firing was heard on the Rapidan, it continues all day quite heavy only ceasing when it was dark. Just before dark it seemed to be a hard battle and we could hear musketry. We are anxious to hear what it amounted to.
Today it has been this forenoon lowery, but this afternoon it has cleared off pleasant.  Yesterday we had an addition to our mess one of the boys who has been at corps headquarters came here, so we now have 9 at our table. I will send two of my photos in this letter, you may keep one for the folks at home and give the other to little May Bryant. Perhaps as she remembers me and thinks so much of me, it may please her to have it.
I do not know how much I can spin out of this letter any longer for I have nothing of interest to write about. I hope I shall get your letter tomorrow.
Give my love to all of the friends at home. From your brother Cory

Camp near Rappahannock Station Sabbath morning Feb 14th 64
Dear sister
All of my tent mates are out and I have the little cabin all to myself. I swept it up blacked my boot, and would be ready for church if there was one, but as there is not it is a good time to write to you. I got your letter of the 8th yesterday but that of the first I have not got yet.
The past week has been warm and pleasant most of the time. Today it is warm and a cool moist breeze is blowing, and occasionally a bird singing it seems more like May than February. Monday out boys got up a lot of wood, the next day they got 2 or three sharp axes and got a little strife among the boys to show their skill in shopping wood, so we have got a pile of 4 or 5 cords of nice wood. There has nothing of much interest going on here during the week. Thursday they had a grand supper and ball at headquarters, we could hear the band here very plainly, I understand it broke up in anything but a pleasant manner very near a drunken row. Drunkness is a very common vice among the officers, many who came out temperate men keep liquor always on hand and drink it too. Friday I went over to the ordinance train to see a little engine one of the boys from our regt has made. It is about 2 inched stroke, made of tin, brass and wood, the boiler is of tin and will hold 3 or 4 quarts of water. On building a fire under it, it ran so fast you could not see the spokes in the balance wheel, it was worth going to see. 
I am sorry Harrison is so unfortunate. They are getting up the enlistment fever again and a good many men are reenlisting, I cannot see the point myself though the inducements are large.

Camp near Rappahannock Station Sabbath morning Feb 21st 64
Dear folks at home.
The usual letter has not come yet, but as all is quiet it is a good time to write a letter home.
I do not suppose I will make a much more interesting letter than usual for nothing of interest occurs here.
Last Wednesday we had quite a snow storm and since it has been so cold that the river has been frozen so that the boys were skating on it Friday. Yesterday it was a little warmer but did not appear to thaw any, but about 4 oclock two of my companions and myself rode on horseback down to the river to have a slide but the ice was so rotten that it would not hold us, today it is still warmer I do not feel a mit like writing, I believe if I was at home I could think of something to talk about. We begin to count the weeks and days we shall have to stay, it is only about six months now, that will soon pass away, indeed though we have scarcely anything to do I am surprised when Sunday comes around, it is so soon. I have not seen any of the boys from the regt during the week, but I think I will go down to the 4 oclock train and see if there are not some of the boys from our co on it, I will wait till afternoon before I write anymore maybe I will get your letter.
Evening, went down to the train a 4 oclock, found some of the boys from the regt but none that I was much acquainted with but got upon the train and went down to Brandy Station, came back on the next train got here about 8 PM. It is a beautiful moon light night and not very cold. It is said that our regt is formed into a brigade to do guard duty at Alexandria, if they are likely to stay there this summer we shall likely be recalled to it. 
But I must bid you goodnight and go to bed, may you all have pleasant dreams.

In Camp Feb 28 1864
Dear Sister I now seat myself to write the usual letter although I have not received yours. The past week has been warm and pleasant, good weather for making sugar I should think. Last week Arnolds brother came here to visit him and the army and is here yet. That evening I rode over to div headquarters and got 4 letters for myself, one from Helen, one from Henry and two from you. Thursday I took a horseback ride to the 2nd brigade about 3 miles from here, had a pleasant gallop as the day was fine. Friday and Saturday amused ourselves as best we could by schoolboy play and taking walks to the RR. Last evening the troops here had orders to be ready to march at daylight with 3 days rations but they have not gone yet and I think they will not have to. There have been two deaths in our regt since they went to Alexandria from smallpox. One of the boys from here who was down there a few days ago was vaccinated and as it was working well Arnolds brother vaccinated 3 or 4 of us and I think mine is going to work His brother is a medical student and has been attending lectures in New York the past fall and winter.
I suppose as you saw Helens letter you know all I think in regard to Balis and Ettie. As to the contraband you spoke of I do not think they can me, had all who have mot enlisted are in employment as servants and teamsters in the army are getting better wages than Father can give. I do not think they would make very profitable servants anyway. Father, Will and the girls must try to run the farm this summer at least, I hope the war will be ended this summer so that help will be cheaper next year. I must close this letter and help to get dinner. 
Give my love to all

In camp Sabbath morning March 6th
Your letter of Feb 27 received yesterday. I think I made answer in regard to Yates and the contraband in my last. Reuben Fox came up here Monday and brought me your letter of the 20th and also one from Adelbert Clapp. Monday night and Tuesday it rained, Tuesday night it snowed. Wednesday morning the sun came out bright and warm and soon cleared off the snow since then it has been pleasant.
Mother wants to know about our cooking etc. It does not seem to me that there can be anything interesting about it, but perhaps there is. One of our mess brings most of the water another washes dishes , and Arnold and I do most of the cooking. We do not cook much pork except with beans and I guess our mess has as much as 150 pounds on hand now. We draw goo rations of fresh beef 2 or 3 times a week, fry some of the nicest steak and corn the rest. We have had some nice messes of hash. We draw plenty of dried apples and occasionally make pies, we draw plenty of good bread, more than we can eat. At the station here we can buy all the papers and magazines as reasonably as we can buy in the city, and of course after we read them we land them and borrow others so we have all the reading we want. By the way I got the Tribune which Mother sent.
Our cavalry has been making a big raid in hopes of releasing our prisoners in Richmond. They were not successful in that, but destroyed railroads and did the rebs a good deal of damage and are safe in Butlers department.
Arnolds brother left us Thursday, we enjoyed his visit very much. I am going to send you a microscopic copy of the Declaration of Independence. You can read it with one on the eyeglasses of that telescope if it is not lost.
I will close this letter with much love to all.

In camp Sabbath eve March 13th 64
Dear Sister
I have not yet received your letter, but I now seat myself to write to you. The days are passing rapidly away, so fast I am sometimes surprised when Sunday comes around. It is now almost the middle of the month but it seems but two or three days since the first. We are having very mild and most of the time pleasant weather, though it rained all day Thursday and was misty and rainy most of the day Friday.
The regt is still encamped at Alexandria and doing duty on the RR and that is the reason I do not get my letters sooner as they go there first. There is very little to do, I spend my time in reading and studying but have all the duties that mother has usually done for me, washing and mending clothes and cooking our food. Every few afternoons we go down to the RR to see if any of our boys some down on the trains, Kilpatricks raid did not turn out as successful as was hoped, though it did a good deal of harm to the rebels. I suppose the spring campaign will be opened before long, and if we should be as successful as we were last summer as I hoped we shall be. The rebellion will be ended before another year, meanwhile I hope the summer may pass away as quickly as the winter has, and it will not be long till we meet again.
Good bye for the present
Your brother Cory

In camp Sabbath Eve March 27th 64
Dear Sister
I now seat myself to write the usual letter. Last Monday and Tuesday I felt quite unwell with headache and a sort of bilious fever. Tuesday afternoon it began to snow and Wednesday morning we had nearly a foot of light snow. Wednesday was bright and thawed some so that at night there was not over 4 inches. Thursday I got a letter from Nellie I do not know as I told you that I wrote her since I got the picture.
Friday forenoon I went down to the regt as orderly from brigade headquarters. I got there about 2PM that evening it rained hard. Saturday I was down town and got some things that we wanted. In the evening went to a minstrel  performance, did not think much of it. Came back to camp on an open car, it was a bright sunny day and we had a good view of the country. Much of the country is interesting historically, the rough country through which the railroad passes the plains of Manassas with a distant view of the Bull Run Battlefield. All of the country or soil is of a brick red color and it has a strange appearance. Ere this you have heard of the change in the army. Our brigade is divided and placed in the first and second brigade. Out regt is in the 2nd.
I think the army will probably move before a great while. I got your letter of the 21st down to the regt Friday. I would ask you if I misspell many words. I never notice any in yours, occasionally one in Mothers, but I saw quite a number in Nellies,, it looks bad, correct me if I do.
I have nothing more of interest to write and will close.
With much love Cory

Rappahannock Station April 3d 64
Dear Folks at home
I have not received the usual letter yet but I suppose you will be expecting mine none the less, and so I seat myself this Sabbath to write to you.
Things have been going on pretty much the same as usual the past week, except that it has been stormy most of the time. Tuesday was stormy and all that night it rained and the next day the river was higher than I ever saw it before, it swayed the railroad bridge so that the cars could not cross, so that the boys from the regt had to stay down to the station all night. Two from my co came up here the next morning and got breakfast. Yesterday is snowed and rained all day. Today it has been quite pleasant at least no rain. There is so much mud now that it will prevent our moving for some weeks at least.
I suppose you are now into the work of sugar making, and I suppose it has more importance than usual from the high price of sugar. I suppose you think my letters short and dull, but when I get heated to write I can think of nothing of interest to write. The boys have been talking all the evening and I find it almost impossible to think at all. I had a letter this week from Adelbert, he has been so successful as to get a first Lieutenants commission, and the boys have presented him with a sword that cost 75 dollars. I am glad he has been so fortunate but do not envy him in the least, when my three years are up I think I shall have seen enough of soldiering. I think I will close this letter and go to bed, but I have got a tub of water and am going to have a good bath first, as I do once a week at least. So good night to all.

Rappahannock Station April 10th 64
Another Sabbath has come around and I sit down to write the usual letter. It is a warm bright sunshiny day but that is no sample of the past week. Monday morning it commenced to snow but soon turned to rain and kept at it till Wednesday morning. Thursday and Friday were quite pleasant but yesterday and last night it rained hard all of the time. The river is very high and is rising yet, The Blue Mountains are white with snow and I suppose the bright sun is rapidly melting it.
The mountains are very beautiful to look upon from here. They are always blue except when there is snow upon them, though 20 miles distant they do not appear to be more than 5 and the woods and fields and bare spots can be plainly seen.
I received your letter of the 28th last Sunday. I wish Warren much joy and happiness in his new relation. The war must have made some changes at S if there are more ladies than gentleman it used to be very much the other way.
Buying so much hay must seem to take up the profits of farming still with butter at 30 cts it will be easily made up.
I am glad to hear that Helen is getting better.
I shall go to the regt the first convenient opportunity and try to see Harrison. The picture of N that you sent in your last letter looks like that of a person at least 5 years older than the other, I did not suppose if was the same person until I had read the letter, then of course I could see the resemblance.
4PM It is raining again and if it keeps up all night I fear the river will be so high as to take away the bridge. There has been no trains down from Alexandria as two bridges between here and there have been swept away. 
With much love to all I close this letter.

Rappahannock Station April 17th
Dear folks at home
Another Sabbath has come around and I sit down to write the usual letter. Most of the past week has been pleasant. Wednesday we got our pay. At 4 oclock I went down to the depot and went to the regt with the boys, we got in there about 9 oclock. The next day I went down to the city and bought me a hat and then went to the hospital to see Harrison  found him without any trouble and had a good visit with him he appears to be in good health and spirits and was very glad to see me. All of the boys are well. I had a very pleasant time and returned on the 7 oclock train that evening, got here about one in the next morning. Found a big canvas house right in front of our tent, the boys had laid a floor and made a roof over it with wagon covers and had been having a dance, they had had 2 or 3 violins and guitars for music and half a barrel of beer for refreshments and had been having a gay time, but all went along very quietly and orderly so much so that the officers are in favor of their having another, the boys had just gone to bed when I got back.
Yesterday it rained all day and today it is not pleasant. I hope pretty much all of the rain will get done before we start on the march.
You said that all of the Castle family are gone but Horatio, I had not heard of the death of James. I do not expect we shall get paid off again until my time is out and think I will not send any money home.
With much love to all I close this letter

Rappahannock Station April 24th 64
Dear folks at home
Another week has come around and I seat myself to write the usual letter. Yesterday I was so fortunate as to get two letters, one of the 11th and one of the 18th. Things go on here pretty much as usual, the past week has been pleasant and spring like most of the time, though one or two days we had winds from the mountains and they are always cold. Yesterday and last night the wind blew hard all of the time and is still blowing. It is warm however but I expect it will bring rain before long. Last Monday night the boys laid down a floor and had a dance. We had 3 violins and 2 guitars and a banjo for music we had a very pleasant time till 12 or 1 oclock. If the weather continues (  ) pleasant I suppose we shall move before long, though it is reported that our division will guard the RR, if that is so we shall stop here or near here, I would rather like it to be so. 
Emma must be getting to be a good farm hand I should think, she will be a valuable acquisition for a young farmer one of these days. I am afraid Father has attempted to keep too many cattle the past winter, less of them and better kept would be more profitable. I should thin moving the barn would be expensive when labor is so high. We have no chaplain here Sunday is pretty much like any other day except that boys generally make it a day for writing letters. We have scarcely any work to do any day, not as much as you have to do on Sunday. We generally have plenty to read and have got so used to doing nothing that it comes quite easy.
With much love to all Cory

Bivuoac near Brandy Station May 1st
Dear Sister
This the 1st of May moving day, and we have taken it to move upon, although it is Sunday. Friday evening we went down to the station but our boys were not upon the train, they had been relieved. The next day about () oclock the whole regt came down. The division was relieved from guarding the RR, and this morning as soon as it was light we were up, got our breakfasts and left our winter quarters about () oclock. We got here about 1 oclock and have had a comfortable dinner.
Yesterday and this morning it looked very much like rain but it cleared off and is very pleasant. We may remain about here a few days but I expect we shall be moving across the Rapidan before many days, if nothing happens.
I hope we may have a prosperous campaign. We have had nice spring weather the past week and the trees are leaving out rapidly. I have not got your letter of this week yet but hope I may in todays mail. Now I have written all I can think of worth writing and I suppose you will think it extremely short but I do not know what to make it longer of, I think I would be a good hand to write business letter, I should not put in any unnecessary words. So good bye for this time perhaps when we have more exciting scenes I can make out a longer letter.
Your brother Cory

Near Spotsylvania C H Va May 15th 64
Dear Folks at home
I wrote you a short note last Tuesday or Wednesday and promised to write you again as soon as I could conveniently, I dated my letter from near Spotsylvania C H the other time but it seems we were not so near it as I thought, as we have moved some 6 miles nearer and are still a mile from it yet, though it is in sight. It commenced to rain Wednesday afternoon and has rained some every day since, keeping it very muddy. Friday evening there was a complimentary order read to the troops from Gen Meade, stating that we had compelled the enemy to abandon his last position with a loss of 18 guns, 2000 prisoners and 22 colors, but the work has not yet been done, he must be followed up and if possible destroyed. The same night we were ordered up at 11 oclock and told we had 7 miles to march. It was terrible heavy mud, the first 2 miles we could hardly draw out feet out of it, we waded one stream a little more than knee deep. When we had gone about 5 miles it was 2 oclock, myself and two other stretcher carriers with me stopped by a large fire and dried ourselves and laid down and slept till daylight. We then started in and came up with the troops in 20 minutes walk, and they had had not time at all for resting. We have remained at this place since then. There was but little fighting yesterday. Last night just before dark one of our batteries opened on a rebel encampment and constrained them to strike tents in a hurry. We are now on the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania pike about a mile from the latter place.
The rebs have strong breastworks at that place and they are in plain sight. Gens Grant and Meade were both here a few minutes ago. Gen Grant is a very plain looking man and was smoking. I cannot tell you about the battle s very well now, I have not a convenient place for writing and they are not over yet.
We know nothing in regard to the fate of Wills his wound might have been fatal. The bodies of the slain were so exposed that we could not get at them to bury them. The picket that was left there came in this morning. When they were withdrawn the Rebel pickets followed the up sharply, and were flanked by our cavalry and 6 or 700 take prisoners. Perry and Reuben are well. We have had no mail since we started.
Give my love to all friends

Battle field near North Anna River Hanover Co Va May 24th 64
Dear Folks at home
Sunday my usual writing day we were marching and I could not write. I now sit down for a few minutes to assure you of my safety. Our corps had a sharp fight last night but lost but few men, and took quite a number of prisoners.  Our regt had only one man wounded. I never had so fine a view of a battle field as last night. There is some heavy cannonading some ten miles to our left I should think.
We are driving the Rebs and everything looks prosperous. The men are in the best of spirits. Our division crossed the river a little after noon yesterday. About six, the first brigade was advancing when the Rebs made a fierce attack but were repulsed and I think lost 3 or 4 to our one. There has enough happened to make a long and interesting letter but I have no convenience for writing. It has been very warm weather but we have found icehouses plenty and well filled. Perry and Reuben are well.
Give my love to all the folks at home.

Sunday June 4th 1864
As I have nothing to do just now I take my pencil to commence a letter. The past has been a busy week. I wrote you last Tuesday from where we were stopping in the woods. The next day we advanced about half a mile, though we marched a mile and a half as we had to go around a swamp. We went to work at once throwing up breastworks. Our skirmishers were about 300 yards in front of us on the brow of a hill. In front of them was a hollow and on the next rise were the rebel breastworks, where there were plenty of cannon but they could not hit us as we were so low all of the shots passed over us. A little before sundown the rebels advanced driving in our skirmishers and came to the top of the hill but could come no farther for our boys kept up a constant line of fire form the breastworks. The rebs laid down on the top of the hill but kept their colors up (though they were shot down 2 or 3 times) till after dark. We had but one man wounded in our regt by them, but some reinforcements who were sent to us came in behind us so badly frightened that they began firing off their pieces behind us and killed one of our men and badly wounded another.
The next day the (I)th corps to the right of us was drawn off to the left and about three oclock we also moved to the left. We had not gone more than a mile when we heard firing [    ] were following after and trying to turn our right. We went a little farther and came upon the 8th corps about to bivouac. But they were sent forward into some breastworks and pretty soon the rebs were upon them. A heavy fire was kept up for some time our batteries throwing shells over them into the woods. It slaked up a little but soon broke out again and was kept up till dark. About 4 oclock we had a sharp shower and during the night it rained a little. The next morning our brigade found the pickets in front of them and 1000 or 1500 yards in the rear of the line of battle of the night before.
Soon after daylight two brigades of the 9th corps formed in the field in front of us and advanced to retake the breastworks which they had held the night before, they advanced in fine order though the rebs gave them a sharp fire. Some batteries to the right of our regt threw their shells just over our men and into the rebel lines. Pretty soon a rebel battery opened upon ours throwing their shells lengthways of our breastworks and bursting them in front of us, one man was killed in our regt and 3 or 4 wounded. Our batteries then turned their attention to that and quickly silenced it. Then the 2nd brigade which was on the right of us and the right of ours swung around in front of the rebel battery  and advanced to strengthen our line. They advanced a piece and then laid down. I did not see any fall when going up, but they had advanced too far and had to get up and move back again, and then several were hit and one killed.  Our batteries had the rebel battery stilled and our skirmishers got so near that when the Rebs tried to haul it away they killed all the horses. Our boys fell back a little from where they first advanced to and threw up breastworks.
Four of us from the ambulance corps were kept busy all the forenoon carrying off the wounded. A as we had to carry them almost a mile on the stretcher. A little after noon we had got the last one off when we stopped and got some dinner. As we were coming back to the regt a rebel battery opened throwing shot and shell in every direction crashing through the trees and whistling over the tops of them and making noise enough to frighten almost anyone but I know of only one man being hurt. In the afternoon one of our regt was hit on the picket line and two of us went after him but he died soon after we got him in. Just at dark the pickets were driven in and we expected an attack, but the pickets might have stood their ground. They were again advanced and while advancing on of our regt was killed. This morning the Rebs directly in front of us are gone, they got their battery away but right around where it stood are 35 dead horses, there were also a good many guns lying about so we judge their loss considerable.
The 9th corps on the right of us had some hard fighting but I guess the Rebs got the worst of it. There was some heavy fighting away on the left last evening but I know nothing about it. Where we are I hardly know only that we are on a road that leads to Mechanicsville and near a small church. The men are all in good spirits, you would not imagine they had ever lost a companion it is expected and has become a most one of the common incidents of life. The people of the North used to sneer a good deal at the army of the Potomac’s digging, but they have done more of it the past week than they had in all of their service put together before, and for that matter as much fighting.  We are taking it easy this forenoon feeling secure from shot and shell. I will not write any more now. Kittie will have to consider this letter hers as much as anybodys. Afternoon out division moved out about noon and we thought we were going off to the left but there was some mistake and we came back again. I think we will move tonight all the boys from our way are well. It is raining a little now and I fear it is going to get wet. The loss to our regt yesterday was 4 killed and 10 wounded. Sunday afternoon I have just received your letter of May 23d also a letter and some papers from aunt C. We have no Col since Rice Lieut Col Connor and Major Know were wounded May 8th. Valora Eddy was taken prisoner this morning by a rebel wearing our uniform, he was on an outpost a (). Some of our boys saw it but supposed he was one of our officers. We have not moved yet as I expected.

May 30th 1864
Dear Folks at home
As we are sitting still now for a time, I take the opportunity for writing you a few lines to appraise you of my safety. I wrote you last from near the North Anna last Tuesday, the next day and the day after the troops were engaged in destroying the railroad, which runs from Gordonsville to Hanover and Richmond. There was some of our brigade went on picket but none from our regt. On Thursday night as soon as it was dark the troops started back across the river leaving only a picket in front of the enemy. As soon as we got across I stopped with the train which was all hitched up and ready to follow the troops, but did not get started until daylight and then went only a mile when we halted again and had a chance to get a good breakfast. We then started in good earnest and marched fully 8 miles before noon when we halted again for a short time. In the afternoon we did not march as fast as in the forenoon but did not get into camp till 11 oclock. The next morning we started again and marched 5 or 6 mile, crossed the Pamunkey some 8 miles below Hanover CH. We then took our stretchers again and went to the regt.
The troops had advanced to the top of a hill a mile from the river and were throwing up breastworks, about dark they were ordered to desist from it and we got a good night sleep. In the morning (Sunday) we marched forward, found another corps had thrown up breastworks still in front of us. We were moving about all day but slowly and stopping for an hour or two at a time as the way had to be felt out in front of us.
Last night we took up a position beside a ravine running nearly north and south where we still remain. I suppose we are not much more than 10 miles from Richmond now. The whole army is close by, there is some skirmishing going on to the right of us, but none directly in our front. I suppose you were glad to learn that Willis was not wounded at all. He came to the regt Thursday. He was taken prisoner and recaptured by our cavalry. He says he wrote home from Alexandria. All of the boys are well. I received no letter from aunt O asking for my photograph and I have none now. As I presume she sees all of my letters I could write her nothing of interest. Monday eve May 31st. Did not have a chance to send this yesterday. We advanced some two miles yesterday, in the afternoon the rebs made a heavy attack on our left but were repulsed with loss. There has been heavy firing on our right today, do not know what it amounts to. Capt. Nash formerly our lieutenant was wounded yesterday. All of our boys are well. 

Camp near The Chickahominy Saturday afternoon June 11th 64
Dear folks at home I now take my pencil to commence the weekly letter. We have been having quite an easy time this past week. Last Sabbath our corps was on the right. That night we moved out leaving the picket. We went only about half a mile and then waited till morning. We then moved some 4 or 5 miles and then we were in the rear of our army. The pickets came in just before daylight. We lay there all of Monday and drew shoes and socks. All of the shoes they wanted, it was the article most wanted. Men can get along without shirts and pants almost but it is hard marching without shoes.
Tuesday morning two divisions of our corps started bright and early. We thought at first we were going on some sort of reconnaissance across the river, but we marched only 3 or 4 miles and went into camp. They have been picketing along the river since one regt from a brigade each day, it is very easy work. The pickets do not fire at each other at all but go in swimming and talk together. We are some 3 or 4 miles down the river farther than we were just two years ago this month. I suppose the rebs hold our old camping ground. We know scarcely anything of what is going on. There does not seem to have been much fighting the past week. It is reported that our folks have torn uop the York River RR and reshipped all of our stores from the White House Landing, and some think we will get our next supplies from the James River. If that is really the case we will probably move before Monday morning. I shall wailt till tomorrow before I send this, and if it is the case there will be no use of sending it till we get to our new base. I got your letter of the 27th Monday. Monday morning I see no signs of moving and so I send this

Battlefield near Petersburg Va June 20th 64
Dear folks at home. Another week has passed since I wrote you last and I suppose you are anxious to hear from me again. When I wrote you last we were on the north or east side of the Chickahominy River. Now we are west of the James. We started a week ago last night and crossed the former river. The next day our troops lay in line of battle all day near White Oak swamp, to protect the crossing of the rest. Monday night we marched nearly all night. The next day a little after noon we reached the James River near Charles City CH Wednesday we lay beside the river all day. Thursday we crossed and about 3PM we started, and the troops, marched nearly 18 miles by one oclock that night. They halted about 11 and made coffee. The reason for our marching so hard was the outer line of works here had been taken by the 18th corps and we must be up for support. We rested all day Friday though there was some hard fighting in front of us. Saturday we moved up nearer but remained till night in the third line of battle. The rebs were driven some distance into a heavy line of works they had thrown up. Just at dark our brigade moved up within 50 or 60 rods of the enemys works and went to work at once throwing up breastworks. There was another line in front of us expected to charge but for some reason did not. In the morning as soon as light the rebs commenced firing at our men who showed themselves above the works. Three of our regt were instantly killed, after that our boys were more careful and no more were hit. Yesterday afternoon a couple of mortars were placed in the rear of our regt which threw shells unpleasantly near the rebs I should think, and they opened on it with grape and canister which came too near us for fun but they did not hurt.
This morning there is some musketry fire and bullets are whizzing over all the time but no one will be apt to be hit unless they are careless. We are a few rods west of the Petersburg and Norfolk RR, we have breastworks on the top of a hill, behind us is a deep hollow in which we can lay quite safely. In front of us is another hollow and on the next hill is the rebels works not a very long musket range off. One of our regt was shot through the calf of the leg when he was a quarter of a mile in the rear. All of our boys are well. Do not feel anxious for my safety I shall try to do my duty and hope a kind providence may spare me to see you all next fall.

Afternoon I have just got you letter of the 13th. Our boys much prefer to be moving and fighting than to be lying still as they have other summers, they think they can stand it.
I have just had a good wash and have washed my shirt and when it gets dry I’ll put it on. We have time to wash at least once a week. Close by where our regt now is there are two large ice houses and full of ice, we can keep cool as we like. I would like to make you a birthday present but you will have to wait till I get means. We have got now where the newsboys come occasionally. We are glad to get the papers. Later. I have just got two letters, which one of the boys has had in his pocket for two months.

In the trenches near Petersburg June 26th
Dear Sister
Your letter of June 20 I received yesterday morning, it came through in good time I think. We are farther to the left than when I wrote you last but in pretty much the same position otherwise. The is continual firing going on between the skirmishers, but hardly ever one of the gets hit, occasionally a bullet comes away over and hits someone who may be exposed in the rear, but hundreds come over without hitting anybody. When it is not necessary for them to be up, the boys generally remain behind the breastworks, but sometimes they get careless. We stretcher bearers 4 of us, have piled up rails just behind the center of the regt, behind the rails we have dug a pit large enough for us to lie or sit in, some 18 inches deep and have thrown the dirt over the rails so that it makes a thick embankment on the side from which the bullets come. In the pit we have put leaves and have roofed it over with boughs, and all we have to do is to keep as cool and comfortable as possible. There seems to be only a single line to the right of us and for a piece to the left. We do not seem to be trying to do much here, but it would be very difficult for the rebs to drive us back. We have had very dry weather, no rain since the 2nd, the roads are very dusty. We can get water very conveniently where we are but I understand that on the left it is difficult to get. I saw Dell yesterday, he talks very encouragingly of his wounds, had written to his father to come and see him. Our regts time will be out the 24th of Sept. Most of the regts have had 3 or 4 days to go home in so as to be in the state at the time of their discharge, so if nothing happens you can look for me at that time. We have had the daily papers regularly the past week. As I have nothing more of interest to write I will close this letter.

Saturday afternoon July 2nd
Near Petersburg Va

Dear Sister. Your letter of the 27th received this forenoon I got one day before yesterday June 6th. It had been to the 9th I have just come from the 8th heavy artillery. Dell was well. While I was there one of the boys got a letter from Nathanial Arnold, written the 27th. He was getting along finely.
We are lying in the same place from which I wrote last. There is no firing between us and the rebs here now, so we are taking it quite easy though it is hot. Our boys have dug wells, so we have water plenty and handy. I have been thinking that it is an excellent time for farmers to pay off their debts, everything that he has to sell is so high, now is the time for ecomony in dress. I think I shall save at least 30 dollars out of my allowance of 45, but that is no criterion for the folks at home. If cotton is so high, use wool. I have worn it for three years, and think I shall continue too. I don’t know as I can write you anything very interesting. The man are all in good spirits, but I think had quite as soon stay right here as to be farther to the right, where the sharpshooters and artillery are firing most of the time, I am sure I am. We are well supplied with rations and clothing. I think we shall most likely stay here for a month or two. The weather is very hot and the dust deep, we have had but one light shower for the past month. Too hot to march and indeed I do not know where we will march as long as the rebs hold Petersburg. I suppose our men are mining and seiging in the right. They probably do not have to work very hard nor very long at a time. All the boys from our place are well.
With much love your brother Cory

5th corps ambulance Train near Petersburg July 10th 1864
Dear Sister
 Your letter of the 3d has just come to hand. The weeks slip away quickly. I t seems but a few days since I got the last letter. I came back to the train from the front Thursday. We had been having very quiet times there till that morning. Our men had commenced throwing up a work partly in front of our portion of the line and in the morning the rebs opened on it. They threw a few shells before we came away and as we were coming one burst the pieces falling on all sides of myself and companion. They kept at it all day but only one in our brigade was hurt. Last night, 7 of the 187th were wounded by a shell. They belong to our brigade. I hear too that one of our regt was wounded this morning. The weather still continues dry, no rain since the first of June. It is terrible dusty, when the wind blows it flies like snow. We dug a well here Friday, we dug 10 or 11 feet and have 5 feet of water in it so we have plenty of water.
I could not help smiling when I read of Will going out with Ruth Barber. The last I remember her she was a little bit of a curly headed girl. I expect everybody is wonderfully changed since I came away. I suppose the raid of the rebs into Maryland is making some excitement north I do not suppose it will amount to much, though it is said two divisions of the 6th corps started for city Point last night to go to that state.
Time is slipping rapidly away and it will not be long till our time is out. It does not seem but a little time since I left home. I cannot think of the folks looking different from what they did when I left I suppose by this time you are thinking of making arrangements for the Family Gathering. I do not suppose you can put it off until I get home, though if none are coming from a great distance perhaps you can. If you do not you must let me know and if it is so I can I will write.

In the trenches near Petersburg July 17th
Sabbath morning
Dear Sister
 I have now seated myself to write you the usual letter. Last Sunday when I wrote you I was at the train, but Tuesday morning we were ordered to the front at 3 oclock in the morning, as a fight was expected, but nothing came of it. The past week has been cooler than the preceding ones, but no rain yet so that the dust does not diminish, but here the dust does not fly as it does in the rear where teams are all the while passing. The pickets in front of us continue on good terms and but a few shells are thrown this way, but to the right they keep up the sharpshooting and mortar shelling. Friday one of our shells blew up a rebel caisson. It is a fine sight to see the shells flying in the night, their course being marked by the burning fuse, but it must be exceedingly troublesome to have them dropping where one wants to sleep. The boys take everything very comfortable, we are getting excellent rations, and have bomb proofs built to get into if there is shelling. Last evening was a splendid moonlit night I was at a dance at the 83 Pa the regt next to us. They placed seats on the breastworks for their music a violin and flute, and formed their sets in the streets, and went through the cotillions, waltzes with as must zest and fun as ever attended a 4th of July ball. Last nights paper brings us the news that the rebs have left Maryland. It also brings good news from Sherman. I can’t see what reason good loyal citizens have for repining or complaining. I think the object we are fighting for is worth all it costs, let it be what it may.
I received you letter of the 10th last night but did not read it till this morning as it was late and I had no candle. It received the first attention this morning.
Housekeeping materials you think cost a good deal, for my part I could go back to the necessities of the time when grandfather was a young man, and feel it no privation at all. Food tastes just as nice from a tin plate as china, and they are very cheap and not liable to break. I never slept better than I did last night, on a bedstead with pine poles for slats, boughs for feathers and a blanket under and one over me, and by the way my bedroom has excellent ventilation, that costs nothing at all, is cheaper than none. I can make a chair in half an hour with a board and a few nails, that is easier than half of those you have at home, and then a log house is so nice to live in, so cool in the summer and warm in the winter and food cooked in a fireplace has excellent flavor especially if one is hungry, that is the best sauce I have ever met with, and I have had a good many chances to use it. Housekeeping necessities are few and cheap at that. I wish I could find a sensible girl that would think so and would like to go to Nebraska or Oregon with me.
I would like to visit aunt Frank, perhaps I will. It is some time ahead to make calculations here. We must enjoy the present and trust Uncle Sam for what we shall eat and drink and wear tomorrow.
Give my love to all the fiends at home

Near Petersburg Sabbath morning July 24th
Dear Sister
Another week has slipped away and I seat myself to write the usual letter. The past week has not been so hot and dusty as former ones, Monday night and Tuesday we had a good rain. I am now at the train. We stay a week here and then a week at the regt, unless there should be an engagement when we would all go to the regt. Everything seems to be going on favorably. Sherman is close upon Atlanta, and the Maryland Raiders are being so closely followed that it is doubtful about their getting off with much of their plunder.
I saw Dell Wednesday. Either influences from home are working upon him or his there, for he talks very much as you say his father does. He seemed to think that Seymour and the people would oppose the draft. He got but little sympathy for his views in our company. We all declared that we would go in again for three years rather than that the blood of our comrades should have been uselessly split by allowing the rebels to have what they ask, and as to resistance to the draft it should be our greatest pleasure to lend our aid to cut it down. I hope though they may only resist a draft by raising volunteers.
You have seen the interviews between Greely and Sanders at Niagara. The Presidents note in regard to the matter is just the thing I think. I got your letter of the 17th yesterday. I also got some papers from Aunt C. Who is Mr Coaley who has contracted the cheese? In your last you said Aunt F wanted me to visit her on my way home. If I should, what friends has mother in the east that she would like me to visit. It would not be a great deal out of the way to go through the NE States, though I should not want to stay long. Send me the addresses of those you wish me to see. The mend are getting vegetables every few days now from the Sanitary Commission and also through the regular commissary. The men are in good spirits at present. The 2nd corps are digging covered roads to the front lines, they are 4 feet deep and 12 wide and the dirt is thrown up on the side toward the enemy, so that troops and wagons in them are protected from shell.
I close this letter with much love to all

In the trenches in front of Petersburg July 31 Sabbath morning
Dear Sister. Another week had passed and now on this last day of July I seat myself to write the usual letter. 
The last week has been pretty much like the others except one day which I will tell you about. I came here Thursday after being at the train a week. When I came up I found such a labyrinth of covered roads that I could hardly find my way behind our regt. There had been a big embankment thrown up and platforms placed for mortars. Friday they came, six of them each throwing a hollow iron ball, 8 inches in diameter and weighing 70 pounds. A little down to the right were 8 ten inch ones. During the day they were placed in position. About 12 oclock orders came to have the men under arms at 3 AM as a work on the right was to be blown up, and all of the artillery and musketry was to open on the rebel lines. I did not sleep much after that, and at three went to see it blow up and watched till after it began to grow light, and then went to my tent and began to get breakfast, when I heard a rumbling lie thunder and then the artillery opened. I went to the breastworks but all I could see was a great cloud of dust, the artillery, mortars and musketry kept up an awful din. I watched for some time but could not see much, and so I went to my tent to read your letter that I had got the night before after dark. Pretty soon the report was that our men were charging, so I went to the breastworks. There was hardly a shot coming over us, though our mortars and cannon were belching out against the rebel forts opposite, so we could [] down where the fighting was going on. We could see our troops moving up in fine style, and the rebel shells bursting amongst and over them, our batteries directed their fire against the rebels so as to trouble them as much as possible. Our men carried the fort and appeared to be throwing up dirt for protection, and the fire died down a little. An hour or so after it again opened and looking down we saw the rebels charging on the fort and they were repulsed and then the firing ceased. We thought the position was certainly secured to us. But about noon the rebels turned their artillery on it and charged and took it in a few minutes. The firing then entirely ceased and no more efforts were again made by us to take it.
Some of our boys have been down there but bring back conflicting reports. Some have estimated the loss to us from 6 to 8000, the others think that 2000 will cover it all and believe it less. They say the appearances of the mined fort is great heaps of earth like a mountain and indeed it looks so from here. It is said from some accounts that there was 400 and others 800 in the fort. Few if any escaped alive. The mortars and their beds have been removed from the rear of our regt. It looks almost as if nothing more was to be done here. But if there is not, some movement will be made in a short time I think. 
I sent you a letter for the annual last week. If I come home before the gathering, it will want changes made some. The past two or three days have been pretty warm. All of our boys are well. Do not buy paint for my room it will not make it any more comfortable. Money will go now as far as it ever did to pay debts, but it will not buy more than half as much, so now is the time to pay debts and be economical in purchases.
Good bye for the present

Sunday afternoon Aug 7th
Dear sister I seat myself to write the usual letter. 
Things have gone on pretty much as usual in camp the last week. Last Tuesday I went to the 104th to see George Stryker. I learned that he had a thumb taken off by a piece of shell and had gone north. Thursday we received our pay 4 months. I do not think I shall be in a hurry to send it home, as it is drawing compound interest at 6% payable every 6 months. Thursday I came back to the train. This morning I got your letter also one from cousin Nellie. On one of them was written that Dell was sick and wanted to see me, so I have been over and have just come back. Did not find him very sick, though he said he was worse yesterday. I guess he will get along without trouble it shall make anything but an interesting letter today, have nothing to write about and do not feel like writing that. We begin to want rain again badly, it looks a little like it now, but I expect that “all signs will fail”. Our time is now said officially to be out the 24th of Sep, only 48 more days. That would be considered a short time to accomplish something in. Time slips away fast enough for one short life to suit me even under the circumstances and presume it will go faster when I get home, meanwhile I remain your [  ] Cory

Sabbath morning Aug 14th 1864
Dear Sister
Another week has passed and I sit down to write the usual letter. Am now at the regt in the front line, but you would not think there was an enemy about, occasionally a shell is thrown at a working party on a fort to the left of us but we have got so used to that that it does not disturb us at all. Firing in the night will not always waken us. Although it is very warm and we have very little to do the days seem to slip away very quickly. It is already the middle of August and it seems 3 or 4 days since the first. We go to the train to stay for 6 days again tomorrow. Changing our place of abode every six days makes the time slip faster I think. Although it has been very dry they boys have dug a well close by the regt and have fitted up an old fashioned sweep with a bucket made from a small barrel which holds 2 pails, and it is going a good share of the time, but there is plenty of good clear water all of the time. About the entire regt takes a bath every night. I think that Christian commission man that told about the prayer meeting half a mile in front of the picket line was never nearer the front than City Point. Our pickets are not a quarter of a mile apart at the widest and have not been since we came here. 
I think you will pass very well on the score of economy. I do not expect t find the sensible girl. What difference would it make to you? I thought you were to be married this fall. I have just been out and got Fridays paper. We get the papers here earlier than you do. There does not seem to be much news though there is an unofficial report of the capture of
Mobile. That city seems likely to be taken at any time.
We are having beautiful moonlight nights now but small chance to enjoy them, nothing but banks and ditches to walk over, then one wants to go to sleep as soon as it gets dark, for the lies begin to bite as soon as it is light in the morning.
Kitty is improving in her handwriting I see. I do not know as I can write anything of particular interest to her in a separate letter, so she will have to consider this hers as well as the rest. With much love to all I close this letter
Have got a Christian commission envelopes as I had none here.

Sabbath afternoon Aug 21 1864
Dear sister I seat myself to write the usual letter with a pencil. The last week has been one of action to us. Wednesday night we were ordered to pack up and be ready to march at 2 oclock. We were kept awake a large part of the night but did not move after all. The next night we had the same orders and moved near the appointed time. Soon after we got up at about 2 oclock a heavy cannonade opened along the entire line and lasted for an hour and a half or more. Soon after daylight the troops moved from their camps, our division in advance. We went along the Jeruselem plank road about 2 miles then turned to the right and went about a mile when we came to our cavalry pickets. Then we rested a little. Then formed in line of battle and marched a mile when we came to the Petersburg and Welden RR, 5 miles from the former place. The Col ordered the men to go to work and tear up the road, but soon received ordered to move near corps headquarters. There we stacked arms about noon. About noon we had quite a heavy shower. About 3PM the rebs attacked the 2nd division, which was forward across the RR between us and Petersburg, and seemed to be driving them. Our brigade was formed in line of battle and moved in that direction to their support, but the rebs were repulsed without our help, and we were moved off to the left parallel to the RR and commenced to throw up breastworks. The next day it rained almost all day. About 2 PM the rebs made an attack in the same place as before. Our brigade was again moved out for their support. We had just got past corps headquarters when an aid ordered our regt into a breastwork which protected our flank saying Gen Warren did not want out regt to go into a fight as their time was so near out. That is the report though I hardly believe it. However none of the brigade went into the fight, but soon went into the old place. The next day Saturday all was quiet. We had a heavy shower a little after noon, while it was raining a regt came and took our place and as soon as it was over we moved our place behind the breastworks and put up our tents. This fore noon we were ordered to pack up and we thought we were going to move off, but soon firing  commenced in our front some batteries were placed that fired into the woods where there was a battery firing into our right. Soon our pickets came in saying they were flanked on the left. Then a strange thing happed which I cannot explain without a diagram which I will try to make as it appeared to me. The rebs came up the ravine intending I suppose to turn our left which they must have thought was where I have marked first brigade. They came up at a trail arms I think for our boys thought they were coming in and commenced to cheer, when they found out for the first the bad fix they were in and turned to run, but pretty much all who were not killed were captured 3 colors were taken. How many prisoners were taken I do not know but quite a large number. Two of our regt who were on picket when the rebs advanced could not get away but hid in the bushed, and when the rebs were running back panic stricken, jumped out and ordered them to throw down their arms, and took and brought in 23 prisoners, and a stand of colors. The men were ordered to run to their posts as it was thought the rebs were massing for another charge but all had been quiet since, and I rather think they have got enough for one day. Almost all of our corps train has been sent to the hospital loaded mostly with wounded prisoners.
I got your letter of the 15th yesterday. It looks like rain again. Although we have had so much rain the past few days, a great deal of the time it is very warm.
Good bye for this time. Your brother Cory
PS We have got to go now and help pick up the wounded rebs.

Camp of 44th NYSV Aug 28th 1864
Another week has passed and very quickly too. There has been no more fighting and as we have been fixing up tents and fussing around the time has passed very quickly. You begin to feel anxiety at home about the draft. It is time I should think. I have been ashamed of our town ever since I came out, it is always behind in everything. If the draft should come and fall on such as James it would be hard to know. If money is raised to hire substitutes, even if they have to pay $900 to each one required, I do not see how it is to come so high on Father as you say. This repining copperhead spirit makes everything harder if the town had given with Patriotism and spirit all that was needed, it would not come so like pulling teeth, they could have felt some pride for what they had done. Now they have given only what they were compelled and that grudgingly. If men are drafted not they only have to come for one year, the pay is 16 dollars per month and anyone with economy can save 10 or 12 per month, it need not (rain) anyone to come into the army, and not everyone dies or is killed that comes into it, for all you read of our losses being 4000 on this raid, it sounds big in a country village but you would hardly notice it here.
I don’t like this complaining of high prices, taxes, etc. If the blessings of liberty and peace are worth anything they are worth fighting for, and sacrificing something for. If the people of the North would come up with more spirit, this war need not last another year. James thinks he could have come out when I did with some hope. I think the prospect far more encouraging now. 
This last year has done more to put down the rebellion than all before. I think Will had better not enlist, if he is full grown, strong and healthy, I would say nothing against it. The inducements are large, quite a little fortune in fact, and invested in government securities is going to be worth the face of it and a premium beside, and will be accumulating interest, but I am afraid Will would not be a good soldier, if he is sick in the army he would have no mother to sweeten his medicine with love. He would have no one to take care of his clothes and wash them, if he was sick he would have to pull through with his own strength he would not be coaxed back to health. Don’t be thinking so much of my coming home, you know “there is many a slip twixt the cup and the lip”. What if I should reenlist? There is a captain in the regt offering $1500 for a substitute for his brother. I do not think of going for it however.
With much love Cory

Sunday Sept 4th 1864
Dear folks at home.
The letter of August 28th has just come and I sit down to answer it. Have not much to say there has been no fighting the past week. Our corps in engaged in building forts to make this position perfectly secure. I guess the rebs have given up trying to retake the road while our corps is here, it would be a bad job for them. But we may want to hold the position with a much smaller force, hence the propriety of fortifying. I received a letter Friday from Bradley Marshall and Mrs Dana inviting me to visit them. I most wish you had not written for I begin to feel more like coming home than going anywhere else. Will had better not enlist anyway at present, he can just as well get 2500 or 2000 as to come for 1000, but I am inclined to think he would consider the biggest bounty ever paid dearly earned before his time would be out. Telegraph reports have come to headquarters that Atlanta is taken and I think there are good reasons for believing it. Mobile seems likely to go under soon, I think the situation encouraging. McClellan has been nominated at Chicago convention, his friends here hope he will decline it, I am afraid he will except. Willis, he is in the hospital, I do not know how sick, not very, I think. This past week has slipped away pretty quickly and I guess this month will. I shall write very week until I think I shall get home before the letter will.
Much Love to all Cory

Camp near Six Mile Station Sept 11th 64
I seat myself to write the usual weekly letter, but I have been disappointed in not receiving one. Our regt received no mail this morning. The mail for the 49th was in our bag and the inference is that ours has gone to the 49th, so we will not likely get it for 3 or 4 days. The past week has slipped away very quickly. Although we are looking forward with so mu eagerness for our release, time never seems to drag as it did when I was a boy waiting for the 4th of July. A part of the past week has been quite cool some of the time it seemed almost cold enough for frost, but I presume it lacked a good deal of it. The remnants of the 16th Mich and the 83d Pa went home Wednesday. They have been with us since we came out. I was yesterday at the 104th, Mr Barber had just come back from the hospital. They are expecting to get out the 7th of October.
The war news is cheering also the political; Farragut and Sherman are better stumpers for Lincoln than any they can raise at the north. There are but few soldiers who do not go for him and they are mostly those who came out for the bounty. There is a new RR laid from City Point to this place. The cars will probably come up here tonight of tomorrow. I would like Father to get me the material for a suit of clothes so that I can have them made as soon as I get home. I want them of dark grey like those I had when I came away. I want coat, pants and vest of the same. I do not want an overcoat as I have one.
Much love to all Cory

Sabbath morning Sept 18th 1864
Dear Sister
Your letter of the 11th came to hand yesterday, and was as welcome as ever. I thought Uncle P was exempt from the draft. We expect to leave here the 24th, and it will take a week at least before we can get home. I do not believe that I shall go east, I should be wanting to get home so that I should not enjoy the visit a bit. I shall try and call on aunt C. 200 recruits came for our regt last night, so the regt will be apt to be kept up. The past week has been quite though there has been some suspicions of an attack, and we have been prepared for it, but I do not think there is much danger of the rebs coming onto us. A train of cars comes up here every night now about 9 oclock with the mail, Last night it was loaded with recruits. I will close this short letter with much love to all and hope to be with you two weeks from today.

Brooklyn Oct 1st 1864
Dear Sister
I suppose you will have been disappointed in not receiving a letter, if not by my failing to get home before this time. I will not tell you of my journey home now. We got into Newark Tuesday night, and I came here to Aunt C’s and staid all night. Wednesday we went to Albany. Yesterday they took up to the arsenal and left our arms, and we were given permission to go where we pleased, to report there again next Thursday. It was too far to come home, and I did not want to stay there, so I took the boat last night and came here. 
Aunt C is expecting Grandfather here and perhaps Aunt Fanny. The time is too short to visit Mothers friends before I have to return to Albany, and I shall want to come home then. I do not know how long it will take us to get our discharges, but I think I ought to be home before next Sunday
Aunt C got your letter this morning, also Arlie. Aunt will write you. Give my love to all the folks

Albany Oct 6th 1864
Dear Sister. I came up here on the boat last night, and found that we cannot be mustered out till next Tuesday. I do not know when I have been so disappointed. I haven’t been so homesick in three years as I am this morning. I should have like so much to have staid to the Sabbath school festival. I hardly know what I shall do here. One of the boys has invited me to go with him if his mother does not go away, and I think I shall. I suppose you will be as much disappointed as I am. I have had a very pleasant time at Brooklyn, was introduced to Mr Beecher. I received a not from Nettie Clift this morning, went to call upon her but she was at school I will tell you all about it when I get home.