Abiel to Hezzie

                                                                                    Camp Oliver, Newbern

                                                                                    May 14, 1863

Dear Brother Hezzie

            You will excuse me if this letter is somewhat dry for it is so dusty here that whenever a gust of wind goes through the camp the air is filled with sand and looks as though we were having a violent snow squall consequently we sleep in dust eat dust drill in it. Fact it forcibly reminds us that we are nothing but dust (that is we soldiers) I wish I could be with you a few moments this eve and find out what the latest from the ďArmy of the PotomacĒ is. The latest date I have seen was a Herald of the 8th which makes things quite dark. It represents Hooker recrossing the river with all haste possible_ but tonight we hear everything is as we wished it to be.1 And I hope it is for if anything happens a little out of the way very likely Hooker will be removed and then we must have a new general to get acquainted with the army. Somebody wont get guided like some such old horse like McClellan has the reins. What do you think of the cavalry raid big thing wasnít it there is some spunk left in our men yet. I donít know as I care about your enlisting but I would like to have you go with an army through the enemys country. Some is funny & some sad& some exciting & dangerous but is all interesting if one is not too tired. Tis sad to see the secesh women cry but is funny to see the geese try and get away from the Yankees and to hear the boys after they have captured just enough apple jack to make them sing everything from hang Jeff Davis to a sour apple tree all the way up and all the way down through the musical productions of this age & the last & then itís a little dangerous when hear a bang & then a whizzing noise just over your head. But what of that it is all for the Union. Quite a little accident happened here yesterday while the artillerist were packing an imperfect shell exploded wounding one of the 17th Mass. and killing a nigger. The soldier was obliged to have a leg amputated. I like the kind of papers you send first rate. The Union comes regular every week & the Springfield Republican also both of which are very interesting. The Southbridge Journal comes every week. Would you be so kind as to let me know how much you have sent me in postage stamps for

(Written over page 1 at right angles to what was written earlier

I think itís about time for me to settle for these now that we are paid off I must pay my bills while I have the means. I have sent you a check on Mechanics Bank $25.00 & $10.00 greenback have you got the letter yet. We are expecting mail every day I shall write again when the boys are all well. I was down at the express office the other day they tell me I may expect the box in about two weeks as they bring the express now by sail. Boys all well.

            Love to all Write soon.

A.P. Williams

(Written over page 3 at right angles to what was written earlier)

            Brother Hezzie these pictures are of boys of company D. The non coms are going to exchange pictures so that at the close of our enlistment we can have each others picture after I get them all I am going to have a frame made and put them all in will you please take care of them as I send them home.


1 This refers to the Battle of Chancellorsville where General Joseph Hookerís forces were defeated by those of General Robert E. Lee. One month later General Hooker was replaced by General George G. Meade.
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