William C. Holbrook to Mother

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"Camp Griffin" Va.Oct. 16th 1861Dear Mother

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I received your letter this eve. I was very glad to hear from home once more. I could'nt imagine why I had not heard before. We are getting along here splendidly. I am in excellent health I have not seen a sick day since I left home, most all have been troubled with colds & ect, but I have been exempt from everything. I feel in fine spirits. Since my last letter we have moved from

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"Camp Advance" to our present position, which is about a mile east of S[   ]nsville & on the road to Fairfax Court House, which is about 10 miles south, the first night we arrived here we slept on our arms & were drawn up in line of battle, expecting an attack that night for early in the morning, but I hardly think the rebels will dare attack us in our present position. we are drawn up every morning how-ever in line of battle half an hour before daybrake & remain so until a half an hour after, that is the favorite time for makeing an attack

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this morning about three o'clock the "long roll" beat which means to form in line of battle as soon as possible, or the alarm) & we got out as quick as possible & stood ready to receive the enemy. after standing three hours we were dissmissed. the alarm was caused by a lot of Dutchmen on picket seeing a calf which they fired upon thinking it was the rebels, everything seems to be moveing on in a most stisfactory manner under McClellen. & as far as my judgement goes I the course he is takeing is the very best that could possibly be, he seems to be moveing along slow

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& fortifying as he goes along such an immense number of troops as there is this side of the Potomac I could not begin to estimate there is communications with all the brigades. We are all very much pleased with Col Stoughton & our regiment has received many compliments from Gen. Smith. not only in drill but dicipline & behavior.

Maj. Tyler was not injured bad.

Our living is very good Gen. Crandall & Bill Chapin mess a [    ] us. we have fresh meat, sweet potatoes, hasty pudding slapjacks & ect. & our appetites are tremendous we sleep on the ground with a little straw under us, with plenty of blankets over us, all in all I live better than in the boarding houses in [Bouton] I have'nt time to write more to night. let me hear from home oftner & all about the inaugaration with a great deal of love to all.

Your aff. SonW. C. Holbrook

P.S. I sent $25.00 to Father by [   ]. Sec. Paddock. please inform me when you rec. it.