A Confederate A Federal

William Wallace van Amber
Civil War Diaries & Letters


Letter dated February 12th, 1864

Letter Dated 02/12/64

Feb.12, 1864
In camp near Culpeper, Virginia

Dearest wife Ett

I just got your letter and I'll try to answer it tonight. It is now after 9 o'clock, I am here in a little shanty of my own. It is about 6 feet square. It is built of large pine logs and (has) a good fireplace, in one end a door. I just got a letter from Tom and mother they both wrote a page, they are well. I just got my pay today, should have had it a month ago. I got 51 dollars, 25 of the bounty. It is only one month till we ought to have pay again. We have had some moving to do since I wrote to you before. You must forgive me for not writing sooner, for I have not had time to write (even in my book). Oh, how do you (like) what I sent you of it, I must tell you how things go here. We left the mountain where we was soon after I wrote to you. We came down to Culpeper, laid there all night, then came up here about one mile from the village. That was 2 weeks ago today. There is no timber or wood here, the leftenant and Sprague and myself went about one mile and cut stuff for a shanty 7 by 15 and got a team to draw it. Then the left and I built it. The next day I went to work and cut the logs for mine out of a pine tree that stood nearby. I could not split it so the left and Sprague took hold and rolled them up where I wanted the tent and then next day the Capt. got light and he gave me a detail of 5 or six men to help me. I could not use but 2 of them. Well, I got my house done and all fixed up nice when, a week ago tonight, when the officers was down to the village on a drunk and to see the theater, the order came for them to go to their quarters and be ready to move at daylight. So the next morning, a little after sunrise, I had breakfast and the regt started off. In about an hour after (I had) gotten what provision I wanted to carry and started after them. I did not get up to our regt till they had stopped about half a mile this side of the Rapidan River, 10 miles from here. Our regt supported a battery. We lay about 10 rods behind them in the woods. The rebs was in plane sight of us on the other side of the river. Our battery shelled them like fun. They did not reply to us at all, but the 2nd corps tried to cross the river and got fits. We lay there till sundown the next night then started back to our old camp again in the night. I was about the first one here. Now we are here in good quarters again. I did not carry my gun or shan't so long as I cook. There I will send 20 dollars in this letter and will send you 20 more in the next so write back as soon as you can after you got this. I am very sorry to hear that your health is poor but if you can get anything that will help, you get it don't mind the cost for what will the money be good for if you are sick. My health is good yet. There is lots more that I want to write to you but have not room or time. Till I hem from you again, so with all my heart and love

your own
good by,
write quick wwv