Roswell Farnham to Laura

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Camp near Fairfax Court HouseDec. 14th. 1862Dear Laura:

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Your letter came to hand Thursday night when we were in camp at Camp Vermont. That same evening we received an order to get ready to move. The whole brigade moved at 5 o'clk the next morning to this place, a distance of 18 miles from our old camp. The boys made the march with their knapsacks & did it well. We are now encamped in a pine grove less than half a mile from Fairfax Ct. House. I did not come here the day the Regt. did, but went to Washington to meet Mary. She arrived safe & sound Friday night. I found her & Mrs. Blunt a boarding place & came out here the next day,

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that is yesterday. Troops have been passing thro' here for thirty six hours towards Fredericksburg. You need not take the trouble to write the news that is in the papers, for we get the papers quite regularly, or at least did until since we have been here. If our troops are victorious at Fredericksburg, we shall be quite likely to move South; if they are defeated we shall see some fighting or shall be withdrawn, perhaps. I have been into the village this afternoon & have got a couple of rooms for Mary & Mrs. Blunt & we shall get them out here tomorrow. We may not stay here long but we would like to have them with us as long as we do stay. I want Mary to see us in camp. We had to leave very nice houses we had built. I had got my hut into comfortable shape as I expected Mary the day we left. It is now very warm & we are in our tents. The men have only

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their shelter tents & the field & staff officers have but three between them. The Col. Maj. Chaplain & myself slept together in my tent last night on the ground. The Maj. & I have one tent together & we are both writing by the light of a candle on the top of my valise. The boys are singing & seem to be feeling pretty well. If we stay here a week & Mary is here I shall enjoy myself pretty well. My health still continues to be good.

We came here to occupy the place held by Genl. Sigel. He has gone towards Fredericksburg with from 20 to 40000 troops. He is there in season to take a part in the great fight of yesterday & today. The boys that came up from our old camp today say that they could hear the guns yesterday. The other troops that have been passing through here today are from Harpers Ferry - Slocum's Corps,

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six brigades, some cavalry & several batteries of artillery - 18000 in all Burnside has probably the largest army ever under the command of any one general since the war commenced. He told the president the other day when he was in the city that he had men enough & I know of at least sixty thousand that have joined him since. We are now at the front in this direction Our pickets are at Centreville. It will not be the turn of our Regt. to go out for several days, as we were on picket the night we left. Our men, then, had a double fatigue. They had marched out to the picket line, in some places six miles, marched back in the night, got three hours sleep, & then came out here. They are getting tough.

Remember me to Mr. & Mrs. Strickland & Charlotte. Dont forget Aunt Mary. I have not yet opened Mary's box, for I had no time. Will when she gets out here.

Your brotherRos.