WILLIAMS FAMILY LETTERS- #5
Abiel to John
Camp Oliver, Newbern
NC. Feb. 16th, 1863
Dear Bro. John
By the mail which came in last eve I received your letter of the 9th & was very glad to hear again from home & know you are all well.
We are having splendid weather here now it seems odd to hear you writing about the awful cold when it is so warm here. The grass has started some the frogs have sung for nearly three weeks & everything reminds me of early spring at home. I enjoy myself as I can away from home & all friends. I donít grow poor for I weigh one hundred sixty two pretty tall for me aint it.
Things seem to be at a standstill in this department. Foster1 has gone to Washington probably to settle some dispute. One report says that he has resigned but he thinks too much of position to leave the volunteer service for when he does he will only be Capt. brevet Major in the regular Army.
The probable reason is that he & Hunter2 could not agree which should have command of the expedition. Foster thinks he should have it because he fitted out the expedition. Hunter on account of seniority. So this war goes. The leaders fighting among themselves and donít accomplish anything.
We have a report now that Ambrose Burnside is to take command of North & South Carolina if he comes the soldiers that have been under him here will give him a hearty welcome. Burnside I think ought to have had another trial in Va.3 I have more faith in him than any other General that has had or ever will have command of the army.
You must train that colt up in the way he should go. Musent mind a kick or two. I used to get them from that other colt occasionally. He used to lay me out but I got over them.
I went over to the 43rd the other day & found Wayland Smyth4 he looks natural but it seems to me he is rather poor in flesh but it has been a long time since I had seen him.
He tells me about his wife the first I knew about his marriage. What has become of Eliza and Ellen.
1 Brigadier Gen. John G. Foster.
2 General David Hunter.
3 General Ambrose Burnside commanded the Army of the Potomac when they were defeated at the Battle of Fredericksburg. On January 25, 1863, he was replaced by General Joseph Hooker.
4 Wayland Smyth was a 26 year-old milkman from Melrose when he enlisted on November 7, 1862 as a private into Company ďAĒ of the 43rd Mass. Infantry. He mustered out on July 30, 1863 at Readville, MA. Not sure of the relationship, but he was obviously known by both Abiel and John Williams.
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