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42nd Pennsylvania Infantry - Bucktail killed at Gettysburg

Item LTR-7658
April 29, 1862 Charles F. Taylor
Price: $675.00


Original Civil War soldier's letter. 2 pages, written in period ink.

Camp Near Falmouth
Stafford County, Virginia

April 29, 1862

My dear Mother,

We came here last evening having left our camp at Catlett’s Station (where I last wrote you) on Saturday at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. The distance is only 29 miles but the roads were so bad that we had great trouble to get the teams along, even in this time. In many places, we had to cut new roads through the woods and fields. The march was severe, but the weather was charming and our invalids got well on the way. At night we bivouacked in pine woods and built roaring fires and slept on spruce boughs as soundly as on the softest bed. I think I wrote to you of the beautiful valley following Cedar creek towards Warrenton. We left this after the first five miles and saw nothing but long belts of pines, forest and rough worn out places until we began to approach the Rappahannock. The people whom we saw are frightfully ignorant and hate the Yankees. Scarcely a man capable of bearing arms is to be seen. Contrabands, men, women, and children flocked into our camps from every direction. They generally came in bands of six or eight with some intelligent old fellow as a leader. They have no idea where to go to or what they are to do. They look upon us as deliverers, poor things. General Auger’s Brigade came here ten days ago and had a skirmish about a mile from here on the road we came. We are encamped on the bluff of the river just above the little town of Falmouth, stretched along the river bank. Fredericksburg lies just opposite a neat looking town of six thousand inhabitants. Three bridges which crossed the river at this place were all burnt the other day. The two has not yet been occupied by our troops, and the Rebel Calvary scouts came as near as they dare to observe us. One small flat boat flys between the two banks and brings over to us bread, tobacco, butter, eggs, and the cars will soon run from Aquia Creek, 15 miles from here on the Potomac. I met today a Chester countian who has been living in Fredericksburg for the last five years. Dr. Heston (Dr. Abiah P. Heston) from Parkesburg (PA). He used to go to school to Jonathan House and knew Bayard, Frank and Howard. He is a physician and owns besides a mill and farm across the river. He left there as soon as our troops came down here, fearing to be carried to Richmond a prisoner. The glimpses we get of the valley of this river for a mile or two down are charming. The apple trees are in full leaf and in two or three days more the oaks will be green.

I can write no more now. Our bimonthly private’s rolls must be made our today and tonight. The prospect is we shall remain here for a few days. The glorious news of the fall of New Orleans greeted us this morning.

Ever affectionately,

Charles Frederick Taylor