Philo Emery, 28 September 1861

Fort Smith
September 28 [1861]

Dear Parent,

I thought I would write you again & let you know how we prosper. My health is good. Edson is threatened with a fever. I think he will go into the hospital tonight. We was all sent off on picket last Tuesday, the day we moved over here. We were kept on picket 2 days & nights & it about used us all up. I think he will be better in a few days.

Yesterday I wsa sent out again. Came in this forenoon. We have to be on picket half of the time & we have had so much duty to do we can’t get time to write. We received Leonard’s letter by Lunt & have all his letters. Orrison Foster is here. We shall send our money by him. Shall send 43 dollars. Were paid Thursday.

The 5th [Vermont] Regiment came in yesterday. Edson saw a lot of the Cornwall boys. I hear that the 4th are going to Fort Monroe. I suppose you have heard ‘ere this how Uncle Sam robbed the Rebels of hay & grain last Wednesday. I was out close to them & saw the whole scrape. We went out & came back loaded. The Rebels followed our troops when they came home. As soon as our forces got back to the fort, they began to shell us. I & Edson were on the extreme outpost. The way the shot & shell came around us was a caution. We ran as fast as our legs would carry us for about half mile. We then stood our ground & waited reinforcements. They soon came up but all was quiet. It was rather new to me. The next day we found two of their cannon balls in the road.

I have not heard from Briggs for 6 weeks. Had a letter from Silas last week. Have not heard from Jasper or Isaac for some time. I should think you all might write more than you do. YOu have no idea how much we have to do & when we get rest, we sleep all we can. How is your health now? Have you been up to Waterbury yet? Those stockings are to Washington. Guess they will come up today.

Cyrus Lunt is not very well. He has had a sore throat but is better. He & his brother tent with us. Colburn is well. Tell Elsie I will write to her if I can get time. We expect orders to move every minute. Don’t know where we shall land. You need not send any more stockings for we shall be well supplied. I wish you could write to me why don’t Ann write. I hope you will be blessed with good health & that we shall all meet again.

— Philo

I will write Leonards a few lines. You say you elected Dickerman. I think you done well & that he done well in not getting drunk. I should think A. B. Drew would feel rather sober as to hear maters. You are about as well posted as I am. I think there are as many as 200 thousand around Washington. I think there are 30 or 40 thousand encamped near us. At any rate, there is a pile of them.

Our living is very changeable. Some of the time it is pretty good. And then it is awful mean. If we had good living, I could stand anything, but to starve almost to death some of the time is mean enough. The 4th [Vermont] Regiment just came in. I saw Harry Rowe & others from Bethel. I am now going out to get some lemons for Edson. Write often.

— Philo

Monday evening, September 30. Edson is in the hospital. He has a fever. He sits up some & is comfortable [but] sick as yet. I will write you every chance I can get. Our regiment was called out Saturday night. We got back this afternoon. We went out to Falls Church but it was very unfortunate in some respects. Our men fired on each other by mistake. About 12 were killed & 20 or 30 wounded. I was right in the midst of the fight. The balls flew thick.

Write often, — Philo

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