WILLIAMS FAMILY LETTERS- #2
Abiel to George
Camp Oliver, Newbern
NC. June 30th 1862
I received your letter of the 14th inst. & take this opportunity of the only one I am sure of at present as the Regt. is now under orders to be ready to march at eight hours notice. Some of the Regts. I understand are to march tomorrow & this Regt. will probably not be long behind.
I am glad you concluded not to enlist but if you ever intend to come to this Regt. & get a fifer position if you can; not that it is any safer in a fight for your duty then will be to help remove the wounded to the rear & to the hospital. That is always the duty of the musicians. But your drill will be nothing & no guard duty but you had better adhere to your present mind ‘till I have done what fighting I can & then you may try it if the southerners want any more “mudsills” from yankee land to fight.
And I hope the friends at home will be in such condition that you will have no more occasion to think of the war as a volunteer.
An expedition went up the other side of the Neuse1 the other day. Two companies of the 25th B. & C. one of the 103 NY & the 17th2 Mass. regt. which amounted to nothing but taking a few mules chickens etc. The companies of the 25th who had some artillery with them were opened on from a masked battery of shingles from which one shot was fired when our guns were brought to bear on it the first shot passing over. The second one striking the battery filling the air with shingles and the Rebs- skedaddled.
We are having wether (sp.) now starts the sweat right out of a man but we have no drilling in the middle of the day so we get along very well & besides there is most always a breeze which makes it more tolerable.
I think I get all or nearly all of the papers sent me though I have not got the ledgers you spoke of sending. A good deal of comfort is got from the papers from the North I can tell you. It is now getting dark & I must close but just the time to think of home and friends I have left behind. Though we are far from friends & home it is here we are making friends that we shall think of for a lifetime friends that give us but a kind word and that word sinks deep into our hearts & is returned tenfold. But goodbye will [write] again soon if we don’t leave.
From your true friend & brother
(Written upside down on top of pg. 4)
Love to Ellie – Maria and all other inquiring friends.
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