Will Fisher to his mother
Camp Stoneman
December 28, 1861

Dear Mother,

We are to have a general inspection this afternoon by the Brigadier General & then we will know whether we are to be accepted or not, & whether we are to be a cavalry regiment or paid off & sent home. If we are not disbanded I think we will be sent to Elmira to winter. I am afraid we will disbanded. If we are A. Shiland & I will come home for we will not go into infantry by a long slice.
It is curious that I do not hear from you. I have written thrice to you. I have used every postage stamp I could get to write to you. I have about a dozen letters ready to send. We will be paid off next Thursday.
But I must go on duty I will finish tonight.
Sunday morning
I will resume my letter again this morning. Albert told me this morning that he got a letter yesterday from home. They said you were all well.
It is quite cold this morning. It is cloudy & looks like a storm. We have as little rain here as any place I ever was in. It has rained just once since I came here. How is it to home? Is there any snow or is it warm?
Next Tuesday there is to be a general inspection. Gen. McClellan is to be here. The one I spoke of yesterday came off at one o’clock. I blowed the bugle before the whole crowd. I done it up brown.
Our living is not very good. The officers live out of our rations & the quartermaster of the company sells them & makes a great deal of money & we have to do without it. There will be a fuss about it before long.
We get up at 7 o’clock & have a little coffee. At 8 o’clock we have meat breakfast. At 9 o’clock I practice & the rest of them drill till 10½. Dinner at 12, supper at 6 o’clock & roll call at 9 PM. Sabbath we have inspection at 9 AM & service at 11 o’clock. The rest of the day we have to read & write or do anything we please.
I wrote four letters last Sabbath, one to Jim Sherman, one to Will Sherman, one to John, one to Julie Whelden, one to Fan McFarland, Don Stevenson & Dan Smart. I have got them yet but Ab was down to city last night & got me some stamps so I will mail them tomorrow. If you do not write to me before long I shall think you ain’t going to. I would like to know how Aunt S. is? Does she get any better or not? How does Will Sherman get along? Does he get any better or not?
Mrs. Hill was telling about the sutler charging so much for things so I will tell you how high ours is. Butter is 30 ct a lb, cheese 20 ct, sugar 16 ct, sausage 15 ct, tobacco 5 ct per papers like our 2 ct papers to home, pies 20 ct apiece, cakes 1 ct apiece, paper the same as at home. They have a kind of medicine called cordial schnapps, but it is nothing but liquor. There is not much sold, only to officers.
There is a man in the hospital that is just dying & there has two died before.
There was a great fire the other night down in the city. It was stables. There were 350 army horses in them, 150 were burnt. The rest were let loose in the street. We caught one & there was lots of them went by here.
It is all covered with camps for 100 of miles around here. We are about a mile & a half from the city & 2 miles from the Potomac, 3 miles from Georgetown, 9 miles from Alexandria. There is not a fence within 50 miles of here. Everything is all torn to pieces. You have no idea of the evils of war till you see this country.
Washington is not so nice a city as I supposed. It is not so nice a city as Philadelphia, but the government buildings of Wash. of which there is no less than 9 are awfully splendid. They are all marble & must certainly have cost millions of dollars each. I saw Lincoln the other day & spoke to him. He was at the White House. I went to the Patent Office & all the other public buildings. You can go to the 22nd Regiment now for 12 ct, take the boat at Wash. & go to Alexandria for 12 ct & there take the cars & ride up to Upton Hill for nothing.
Chris Greene was over here the other day and stayed all night. He looks the best I ever saw. I guess he hasn’t caroused much this summer. How is H. Culver’s folks & how is that little Suzie Cat? I would like to see it. I am afraid it will forget me before I get back.
What was going on during the holidays? I hear Mr. Bartlett is dead. Is Jack T. around the streets yet? Write to me soon & tell me how Aunt S. is & all that is sick & all the deaths and news of any kind. I have not written to Mr. Shortt yet but will before. Give him my best respects.
But I must close. Give my love to all and receive this

From your own boy,