Bell Plains, Va.
Jan 9th, 1863
Dear Father and Sister,
I embrace another opertunity of adressing you again. I received your letter last week, it found me well. I soppose you have herd that the 19th was in the battle of Fredricksburg, we was in Franklins Left grand division, Doubleers Division, Merideths Brigade.
We were on the extreem left, was under heavy canonading and supportingbattereyes. we were in no musketry except skermishing. We were onpicket the night the army recrossed the river. they left us thereintending to let the rebs capture us but after the army had crossedthe river but us, they then thought they would let us know our danderand let us excape if we could, we got over the river without the lossof a single man. Bully for the 19th, but I suppose this is stailnoose to you so I shall say no more on this subject and tell you thatwe have comfortable shantys and hope to have the pleasure of stayinghere during the winter. This grand army is the worst demoralised itever was. The boys all say compromise and in fact they say they never come here to free the negroes. At best, I had thoughts offighting for anything only the restoration of the union. whitchmight of been done before this late hour if our Generals had notworked against each other for the sake of honor, the Generals wate forthat Abolition President and War department.
Father, you know my sentiments in regar to slavery, and by reedingthe papers you can see plainly that this war is not carryed on aswe hoped. it would be so its not worth while for me to talk of thingsthat you can see so plain with out my stammering.Well Cate, I still Cook for Company K. I am cooking beans fordinner and Wes is mixing pancakes for our dinner, I often think ifI was home, I could injoy my self better at coppering, but so it isand I am very contented.
Tell Sue Stanlyes folks that AbeStonebraker stayed all night with me night before last, he belongs tothe 1st Cavalry Company, they are encamped at Safford Courthouse.They are Seigals Bodyguard. Tell them if they write to him to directto A. Stonebraker, 1st Ind. Cavalry., Company B. Seigals Body Guard.I belive I have written enough for this time. So good by Fatherand Cate.