November 26, 1863 Rebs have shelled us pretty lively

Mortons Foard   Nov 26th 63

Dear Mother

Last night I got a letter from you with those Sissors which pleased me very much this morning we started from Stephenburg & came down to this ford just below Racoon ford.  so far the Rebs have shelled us pretty lively there is one fellow in the battery a few rods off that had his leg shot off & I guess is dead before this.  Evry few minutes they through an old shell over at us which makes us dodge.  there is heavy fighting above & below us.  & I think that the Inf have crossed below here if so we will cross & give them fitts.  half of our Reg are now out Skermishing with them & we do not know what moment that we will be called upon.  but we dont mind it as much now as we used to at first.  then it seemed as though it would frieze my blood to see men wounded in all shapes.  but now I dont mind it altho I often wonder how I came to so hardened.  even now I can here the bulletts whistle but they are spent shots   of course can do but little damage.  the Johnnys are scarte this morning I think by their actions & I feel as though we were all going to Richmond.  We had the news read to us this morning of the fight at Chattanuga & after the Gen had finished he gave three cheers to wake up the Rebs he told us & then we formed one long line & came down here.  here we lay waiting for him to give the word & we will go where ever he says.  but I must stop now   for we have begun a brisk fire on them.  no more at present.

This evening I thought I would finish my letter.  I have good news to write.  All our army is across the river at Orange C.H. this afternoon one of our Co’s went down to the bank of the river to Skermish with the Rebs so I thought I must have a shot a the Rebs & I went on my own hook & got behind a tree on the bank of the River & shot 24 times at the Johneys with a Spencer rifle.  they shot at me & hit the tree I was behind 5 times but they cant hit me.  the bullet is not molded in the Southern Connthrervecy for that.  the boys all feel well & probally the Reb fall back tonight or we  will have a big fight tomorrow.  I want if you will to send those gloves through as soon as posible a pair of gloves are worth $5.00 here & a good pair $10.00 but it is getting dark & I cant write any longer so good by

Spencer,

Saturday Dec 6th/63

Dear Mother I have not had a chance to send out this letter till now.  I got thos Gloves last night they are just what I want I was offered $3.00 & another pair of Gloves for them but I wont sell them we have fell back to Stephensburg we had had two fights since I began this & came out all right.  lost 4 men I also got a letter from Jane but do not get the papers which she and you sent.  We have been hard up for Rations & had to suck our thumb for two days but I guess we will get some today.  If you see any one coming to our brigade please send me something.  I must close now so good by from Spence

Comments:
The unit appears to be moving toward winter quarters but is under intermittent Confederate shelling. As he awaits orders to move on, he asks himself how he had become so hardened to the awful suffering of the soldiers and unconcerned about the bullets he hears whistling by.

That evening McOmber describes his adventure in sneaking behind Confederate troops and shooting at them.  In a youthful boast, but perhaps reflecting the lack of fear he mentioned earlier, he claims the rebels can’t make a bullet that will hit him.

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