Ransom W. Towle to Family

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(No. 6)Head Quarters 4th Vt. Vol.Camp Griffin Fairfax Co Va.Jan. 9th/62Dear Sister and Parents

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Your letter was Recd last Tuesday and the Flag last night was glad to see both and thus get the news and hear from home. I dont write because I have anything new to communicate but simply to say that I am usually well, have not forgotten home, and wish to get letters often. Last Tuesday we went on one of Our tedious tramps called foraging expeditions. We started ay Day-break and marched out in the direction of Dranesville some twelve miles stood in the cold four hours waiting for the teams to load, then marched home again. I was cold Mercury below zero with about three inches of light Snow which made it hard walking coming in the Roads had been well trodden by fifteen thousand men tramping over it and by the severe cold was made hard and slippery. At first these jaunts gave the men some life by the prospect of a brush, but we have been out repeatedly right among Rebel Camps and They as repeatedly run that it is getting to be an old story

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And the men are getting to look upon them as hard jobs with little prospect of fun. And they are hard jobs. Every man must carry forty rounds of Cartridges which will not weigh less then four pounds Cap box and Rifle in all not less than eighteen pounds and then men marching by Reg. in four Ranks it is hard for those in rear, for instance going over a hill the rear must go as fast up hill as the front does down. The rumor is that we go out again tomorrow how it is I dont know and shant till the order comes to fall in with twenty four hours rations. Then we shant know till the Right face Forward march Route Step Arms at will -- Halt. Front. In place -- Rest. When these Orders have been given and executed - which may take half a Day - and we see the wagons come forward and begin to load then we know it to be a foraging Expedition. This is the Military. The Infantry and Cavalry are sent in front and stationed in line of Battle with Skirmishers in advance. And the Artillery at some advantageous position to cover the Infantry in case of an attack the whole force in advance of the Foragers The amount of Plunder taken the last trip I have not learned but

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I saw a long string of Teams loaded with Hay, Oats, Corn, both shelled and in the Ear. Is there anything to the rumor that Vt is to recall her troops in consequence of Government refusing to reimburse her for the seven Dollars per month Some believe it here, but I do not Camp is so full of such stories that one cant believe anything. Judge Poland and Treasurer Paige are now here from Vt and will probably carry home quite a proportion of the pay the Soldiers will receive the coming Pay Day, which will be within a few Days. Think I may send a little, as I did before. This morning was quite Rainy so much so that we have had no Drills Today this Evening is warm and pleasant but mud is Ankle deep. By your writing I should think West Rochester must by this time be pretty well cleaned out of Rakes especially young ones, as they are none but Rakes enlist but I am glad you keep Deacon Morse by the Homestead. Suppose Miss Laura thinks it about time she was looking out for some one to relieve Father in his declining years

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this I think very shrewd in her precocious mind - now Miss Laura you would like to pull my whiskers would you. I see many changes are taking place in Rochester and must be expected but Alfred Richardsons marriage to Harriet Austin is news indeed I heard by Capt Terry that O Reynolds [a neighbor] was married to Widow Houghton how is it? But it is nine O clock and the tap of the Drum tells me to put out my light and go to bed

Good byeRansom