Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

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Nov. 2d. 1862. Sunday eve.Camp of 12th. Vt. Regt. Vol. M.Beyond Hunting CreekNear Alexandria Va.My Dear Wife:

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You see we have changed our locality somewhat since you last heard from us. We rec'd orders Wednesday evening to leave Capitol Hill at once. We left camp at eight o'clk Thursday morning, marched down through the city in fine style and across long bridge, past Arlington Heights to Camp Seward. We reached our camping ground about three o'clock. The number of troops was about five thousand, comprising the Vermont Brigade, Col. Blunt in command. The command of our Regt. devolved upon me. Old Genl. Casey was very much pleased with our promptness & appearance. We proceeded to our new camp & by nine o'clk were sleeping soundly. We fortunately had a large number of teams, so that our tents all got along.

The next day, Friday, being the last of the month, our troops had to be mustered

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and inspected, a job which I took in hand. It took me from 10 till 4 o'clk. I was so tired at night that I could not answer the letter of yours which I recd then, - yours of the 27th. That same evening we got orders for a grand review of the division on the plain near fort Albany. The division includes three Brigades. In the morning we got all ready & at the appointed time started. I had got out about half a mile when I rec'd orders to take the regt. back to camp and prepare for instant departure. We went back and got every thing ready & at half past twelve started. We hated to leave our camp for it was in a delightful place - just in the edge of a wood. My tent was sheltered by the trees, facing the east and was as comfortable as it could be. I had just got the boards over from our old camp for the floor & we were expecting to remain for some time. The five Regts. were camped very near each other & we all anticipated a fine time.

As I said we left about half past twelve and marched until five - the men with their knapsacks as when we came from capitol hill. We passed Fairfax Seminary and through Alexandria down across Hunting Creek, where we stopped. The teams with

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our baggage lost their way & we had to put up with what we brought with us. The men had their shelter tents & soon had those pitched, and broiled their pork & made themselves quite comfortable. The officers had nothing but their overcoats & most of them nothing to eat. Nelson had my haversack & canteen so that I could get nothing except what I borrowed or begged. I eat some brown bread & cheese in Alexandria, and it made me sick all the evening. Before nine o'clk some of the teams camp up & I got a little tea & went to bed that is I laid down with my overcoat on & slept well till morning.

Today we have been looking for a camp.

I should have said that as soon as we got into camp two companies were ordered off on picket duty. Our Brigade takes the place of Sickles Excelsior Brigade, which has gone towards Manassas with Segel where there has probably been fighting today as we have heard the guns all day.

This afternoon we moved our camp out about a mile where we are now encamped. So you see we have moved round considerable within a couple of days, which must be my excuse for not writing.

Our Regt. & the 13th which I should have said was the only one which came with us

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are to do picket duty on a space of about six miles. Our left rests on the Potomac not far from Mt. Vernon, Washington's Residence.

There is nothing in front of us. We form now the outside line in this direction.

My health is very good except the slight sickness that I had last night. My foot would get better if I could have a little rest. I wear a big shoe & can ride without difficulty, but limp a little in walking.

We are encamped near a planters house that was once a fine establishment but is now going to ruin. He hangs out a white flag - but is evidently secesh in his feelings.

How long we shall stop here I cannot say. Direct your letters as usual.

Your affectionate husbandRoswell Farnham