July 10, 1863 In Virginia

Head Quarters 7th Mich Cav

Boonsborough July 10th/63


Dear Friends  I will write now as it is the first chance since I left home   I left Grand Rappids July 24th & went to Detroit from Detroit to Cleavland where we took cars around the lake instead of going to Pittsburg as the rail Road had been taken up by the Rebs   we went to Dunkirk then to Harris burg where we saw plenty of troops & Forts & sutch-like.  Well then we [went] to Baltimore then on to Washington we went to Maidens Hill slep all night for the first time we slep out on the ground.  & since that we have not had a tent or any thing to sleep under but our blankets.  next day we went over long bridge to Virginia.  (we drew our horses in Detroit) & Hilton Hights 4 miles from the Capitol we stayed there 3 days then one fine Morning after it had rained all night & there was not a dry rag in the Company Boots & Sadles sounded & we Packed up for a fine Ride.  We Started!!  Oh how Muddy   Before we got to Washington we were all cuvered with the sacred Soil.  on we went all day toards Fredrick.  we marched 50 miles that day & 25 the next then we camped at a Place where a Rebel spie was Hung & after he had hung there 3 days his sone had to cut him down & be hung in his Place  I saw his father or the old spie as he was hanging.

July 11th you see I have stoped writing with a pen  well the reason is this after  no I wont tell you now  hold on a bit.  next night we slep with the long sought Reg  I found Capt Douglass there & found that the boys had been fighting 12 days on a streatch out of 30 men in Douglasses Co when they went in only 16 men remain  some of the Co were cut up worse than that.  We lay within one mile of the Rebels & there was where I began this letter but Boots & Saddles sounded & I had to Saddle my horse & go with the boys to Charge on the Enemy  our Brigade Drove the Rebels 5 miles to Hagertown  I lost my horse a & had to Pick up an old Scow which I was not able to keep up with the Reg. & they have gone I do not know where but I think to Harpers Ferry across the Potomac.  I remain with the lead Horses & we are now camped on yesterdays battle field.  I slep last night way up in front within half a mile of Rebs Pickets & this morning when we opened our fire on them what an awfull noise.  We was ordered back.  We will Probbelly fight till we clea[r] out old Lee   I wish you could see the dead Horses & Graves Around here it would make You sober but the boys laugh & say there is another Reb gone to Hell.  I wish you would write  Send  two or three letters.  Send them one!!! one day & another the next for the Rebs get around behind us Some times & take our Mails.  I have not herd from Michigan cince I left home.  If we Succeed in taking Lee we all will go home next fall I guess.  I shall at least for Can not stand it to sleep out doors mutch longer.  I have had a hard cold settle on my lungs & cough most evry night till midnight.  But I want to stay until we whip the Rebs. & to help do it I have been on Picket and in two Skirmishes where one man was killed and sevrall  Horses besides helping chase the Rebs yesterday but I must stop here & go & make me some Coffee.  We cook evry Man for him self here.  So good By from


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