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1st & 4th New Jersey Infantry

Item LTR-5382
December 12, 1861 Daniel R. Forgus
Price: $245.00


5 pages, original Civil War Union letter written in period ink and war dated.

Camp Seminary, VA
December 12th 1861

Dear Sister and Brother,

As I have a few moments leisure, I will embrace the present opportunity of writing a few lines to you to let you know that I am well at present and hope these few lines may find you enjoying the same blessing. For it is very likely this will be the last one you will get from me in some time and may be ever. For it is the general opinion that we will be attacked here before long and we don’t know at what day it will be. But we are well aware that there is a large army of over one hundred thousand not more than nine miles from us. And it appears they are bound for a fight. They say they are aching to fight and end the war by taking Washington. As they can’t get us to Bulls Run. But I think if they undertake to take Washington they will get a little more Bull Run than they want for one day’s rations. For we are prepared for them here now. They had one good chance to take it and if they were afraid to undertake it than God help them. Now if they undertake it, for we are well prepared to receive them and will give them a warm reception. But if they had followed up the retreat from Bull Run, they could have taken Washington with little trouble. But that day is past and gone. Ad if they can’t live any longer in Virginia, any longer without fighting, they had better evacuate it and leave with whole skins. But it is my opinion we will have it and if we do, it will be a bloody time. And I think settle this war. And I feel anxious for it and think the sooner it comes off the better. Although I am not spoiling for want of fight. But if it has to be done I am in for one. For that is what I cam for and if I should get back without it, I should be very much disappointed. I came devilishly near getting a dose of lead pills last week. But they say a miss is as good as a mile. Well that will do to talk about but I don’t fancy their coming quite so close. We were out on picket some seven miles from camp. We generally stay out seven days at a time. Well the day we was to be relieved, I was sent out with four men to scout. Well I had scouted around through the woods but did not see anything. But I got so close by creeping through the thick pines that I could hear them talk and on my way back, some of the sentinels saw us and thinking we were secesh sent two companies of cavalry after us and came on us over a hill before we saw them with their carbines cocked and aimed at us. But we made out to give them the signal call in time for them to save their fire when they recognized us. We then started on again. But had not gone over fifty yards before another company came on us. As if the devil himself was after them with their revolvers pointed in a direction that was not very agreeable. In my estimation but they happened to recognize us in time to let us get back with whole hides. We have had some skirmishing of late and have had very good luck. The Third Regiment shot many of them last week, wounded thirteen, took one prisoner and captured some fifteen horses. They lost one man and had five wounded. I believe I have given all the news I can think of at present. I heard from the children last Saturday. They are well. I want to know whether that boy is so cross yet or not.

We are still in the same old place and expect to remain during the winter unless we are driven out. We have things fixed very comfortable and enjoy ourselves as well as we possibly can and am very well contented. Although we are camped out yet and expect to be all winter. But we have good new tents and we made up money and bought a stove for our tent and we have plenty of clothes and blankets. So we lie as thick as in a bed. I have had two letters from John since I heard from you last. I don’t know what is the matter with you folks up there. I haven’t had a letter from you or Jane in some six weeks or more. Well my time is getting short so I must bring my letter to a close by bidding you good night for this time. Nothing more at present but remain as ever your brother and well wisher until death.

Daniel R. Forgus

Write soon and direct
Daniel R. Forgus
In care of Captain A. M. Way
Company G, 1st Regiment New Jersey Volunteers
Colonel Tolbert
Alexandria, VA