August 15, 1863 Five Miles from Falmouth

Five Miles from Falmouth  north weast[sic]  Aug 15th 63

Dear Mother.  I am at present with the Col at Head Quarters of the Picket post.  I just got your letter  I feel very bad to here of Grandmothers death.  You did not mention what time she died.  I should have sent home my money if I had drawn some all the money that I have received from Government is 10 Dollars which I drew at Detroit when I came home last & 20 days pay on the 4 of this month which was $8.63.  Tell Miss Vantuyl she is mistaken there was no one that drew any money but bounty.  $60 State bounty & 25 Government bount.  I got 10 of the Government at Detroit & Lieut Anderson drew $65.  he has deserted cince he was parolled he borrowed 500 dollars of the Col 200 of Capt of Co B & drew his own pay & gon no one knows where.  these are facts which I can prove and are true.  I shall draw 60 or 70 dollars the last of next month & will send it home.  I have not one of the Articles of clothing that I had when I left home.  all I have is my satchel & my knedle book.  & tooth brush.  I have a fine watch here which I wish was at home.  which I got of a Reb.  It is a little out of Repare.  it is worth $25 in Mich.  I also have a revolver which is worth 30 dollars a 9 shooter Silver mounted which cocks its self.  I have sevral fine offers for it  the Col said he would give me a very fine horse for it but I told him I could not see it.  the Revolver I can carry home th horse I can not.  I am nights on a picket Post three quarters of a mile from Head Quarters with 10 boys.  I am Sergt of the Post.  We shot at some Rebs night before last.  day times I stay around the House and post a guard over the old Secesh’s house then he will give me plenty of good things to eat.  and a good place to sleep at night.  I have Pares here a Plenty & a few Peaches Aples & Potatoes.  I am in perfect health with the exception of night Caughts which I can not account for.  I do not sleep cold I can not put any thing over me nights—I lay down my blanket & lay down on it & got to sleep, but we sleep as much in the day time more than in the nights.  Nights we watch Rebs& day times it is so hot we can do nothing.  At present I am lazely smoking my pipe in the Parlor of a Rebs House on the Sopha.  talking with the lady of the house.  the house is over90 years old  the orchard was planted 200 years ago.  Old Pare trees 3 feet through Apple trees as big as those trees across the Road where you are in that vacant lot with a House on it lately built.  Capt. Douglass is the least military like man in the Reg.  the Reg is all out on Picket on the Rapahanock & I have not seen them cince we left ar-rington Junction I would rather be with the Col than planted with the Reg.  this is a fine country  this plantation has 1000 acres and they only work 12 acers.  there has been an old mansion of the place which one of itsUS Senitors in Washingtons time built and lived in.  the People her Rich & Poor a very Ignorant and low in their language and actions.  Please write often.  Jim Vantuyl is driveing mule team.  Spencer

I saw Hiram McKeel of the 5th but he did not see me the boys said he was well.  I shall try a go & see him again soon

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