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Boonsbourough MD Sept 16h 1862
My Dear Friends


We are still on the march and have only halted long enough at this little town to feed the teames every step we advance the rebels have to be driven back by force the ground I am on now was the battle field of yesterday and the ground that our troops are fighting on now we shall be on to morrow the rebel killed are laying all around the road be hind the fences and in the door yards they are getting out of this State as fast as the can but I hope some one will get be hind them so they will have to give up while over hear You will wonder how I can write at this time and with Ink but the Com" desk had to be taken out and while open I have to hurry up And for another reason why I wanted to write a few words was becaus it is the 16h day of Sept" and to day I am 20 Years old I know Mother that you have been thinking more than ever of me to day wishing that I could spend it with you I have got so now that I dont set any day a head that I should be in N.Y. My tents mates DJV. GWT. A. Lee Co C have promised to make their New Years calls and in uniform I have asked to be taken a long but think I shall have time to make out my list before another Year comes around What do you think


I will try to give you an out line of what has passed and whare I have been since we left H. L.


I did not know what to make of it when we recd the order to leave Harrisons Landing but I began to find out when I saw that the horse that Lieut" Schiiffner furnished me was used up his back was so bad that he could not be saddled so I let hem loose but all the clubs in Va could not make him leave the other horses so when we started I put my saddle & other traps in to one of our wagons and marched a long with the train and got in to the wagon nights to sleep I do not know the no of day[s] we wer on the march and I think we wer most 4 weeks before we landed in Alex the dust was so thick all the way to newport News that you could hardley see your hand before you I was badley off for water some of the time it was on a fine Sunday morning that we marched through Wms burgh the folks hear are verry strong Secesh and would not evan give you a drink of water in many places they had taken the handles out of their pumps and hid them away our boys gave them just five mits" to find them a gain if they did not they would try. but they did not have to be told the second time before they came down as soon as we got on to the other side of the town every thing looked as old and it seemed as if we wer started for home when we reached York town we camped on our old ground for the night hear we got another suply of rations we passed on and passed through Charles City Court House and went in to the room whare John Brown had his trial and in to the yard whare he was hung the next noted place was Warwick C. House while all hand[s] wer halted I was walking about the place and found the county prison in the cells the in mates had cut there names on all the wood work the last place I should want to leave my mark we marched on and did not make a verry long halt untill we got to New port News in a few day[s] we got shiped our Brigade went on the S R Spalding but our Dept" went on board of the Schn" N.J. Braton the first night on board I put my sword & belt down in the Capt"s Cabin and when I looked at it next my revolver was gone I thought that the Capt" had taken it and do now it was never found it was one of the handsomest pieces I ever saw. a very heavy one. it cost $45 in B Way the one I got it from got hard up and I gave $15 I could of had 30 for it from a Qr master in our Brigade but wanted to take it home as I had carryed it some time but it has gone up and I shall never see it again (it was a 12 shooter and solid silver all but the chambers) I was very glad when they landed us at Alexandria for I never had the live stock so plenty on my back as I did on that Schr" every one was the sam[e]. as soon as I got a chance I bought [a] clean change shirt pants & vest and left my old drilling in the gutter. do my best I cannot help getting some but they shall not grow thin The S.R.S. landed our Brig" three day[s] a head of us and they marched off for Centerville and I left some one with our stores and started out to find them I had a sweet time I was wandering a round four day[s] looking for them got to eat what I could and lay down when night came on when I did find them it was at Tendletown[?] I think ( I know it) I had walked over 50 miles I was to Fairfax station to Fairfax C.H. on the road to Centerville back to F. C. House F stat" he I came near being taken prisoner but I put in to the woods than to Ft Lyons then to old Camp Cal" Than to Falls Church from hear to Ft Coche[?] than Chain Bridge than Tend" town I had been sent from one to the other by troops saying that they had gone there after the retreat from Cent" which was another Bull run Ada you will think I had a rough time but I had a good chance to see the country I had lots of green corn roasted my paper is full so I must halt I remain your
Gilbert

Cross-written at top of first page:
What a long look I gave old Camp California I sat on the fince a long time thinking how many happy hours we had had their but the spot whare our camp was last winter is a nice field of Green Corn and the only marks that we have left was on the trees whare our rifles had been pointed at many a time calling them rebels but I have seen many a tree since that had one be hind it

Note in right-hand top of first page:
Will you please for" this to mother