Will Fisher to his mother
Fairfax Station, Virginia
December 18, 1862

Dear Mother,

I guess you will think it is about time to know where I am by this time. Well, we are at Fairfax Station 23 miles from Washington. We have just completed 7 days march. I wrote you the day before we started on the march, but I had no opportunity to mail it, but I will send it along now.
I tell you, it is quite a tramp to walk 7 days. We left our camp at Loudoun Valley last Thursday morning early and marched down the valley about 15 miles the first day, & turned in to a 50 acre field at night, & less than ten minutes by rail around the whole field was gone. The camp fires were all burning & looked beautiful. The only place of any importance that we passed was Hillsboro about as big a place as Coila with a grist mill.
The next morning we got up about 3 o’clock & eat our pork & crackers & started at 5 on the march. We was dreadful lame & stiff. We got to Leesburg about 9 o’clock. We made 21 miles that day.
That night camped in a wood. There was 4 or 5 wheat stacks which we took for beds. It was not threshed, so it was all wasted. I never see the beat of the destruction of property that an army causes in passing through a country.
The army marches by brigades now. Our brigade has 4 regts., 3 batteries of artillery which went first, & then 3 regts. then the wagon train, & then the other regt. brings up the rear.
The next day we got about 15 miles & expected we would get a rest, the next day it being Sunday, but we was not permitted to do so. Sunday we marched 12 miles & arrived at Fairfax Station that night. The next morning we started south for Fredericksburg to join Gen. Burnside. We marched Monday & Tuesday the distance you see marked on the map, & Wednesday we came back the same distance in one day that we had marched the two previous days.
We got down as far as Dumfries & then the Rebels would not let us go on further there being quite a heavy force of Rebel cavalry there. We had some great times on the road. The boys would go into houses & take everything they had that was good to eat. Tuesday they burned two houses that had been left by the Rebels. Everybody are “secesh” down this way. We got here to the station Wednesday night & how long we will stay here I don’t know, not long, I guess.
When we left, I had not got my mail from you. We expect to get our mail today. There will be a pile of it at the old camp.
We left 26 men out of our company who were sick & not able to march. Among them was Jimmy. He had quite a cold & headache, nothing bad. The Sunday after that they had a visit from about 300 Rebel cavalry & took them all prisoners & paroled them right after so they are all safe. They took about 400 prisoners & some other government stores. Perhaps it is not true but it was in the paper.
We all feel bad about Burnside’s defeat & glad to hear of McClellan’s taking command again.
Our sutler was taken by the Rebels near Leesburg but our cavalry came to his rescue just in time to save his goods.
I have not time to write any more this time, but will write again soon. Lem is well & sends love to you & Aunt Sarah. How does she do?
I will send you a little map of our route which you must save & send back if I send for it. Our route from Washington to Harpers Ferry & our camp in Pleasant Valley is all marked with all our stops for night. Write soon to your boy.
P.S. The 14th Vermont Regt. is camped at Fairfax 4 miles from here & Frank Ketchum is there too. He is medical director in Gen. Stoughton’s division.
P.S. Since I write we have received our mail & in it one from you with its precious load. Many thanks to you. I have lost the map I was going to send. I will try & send one next time. Save the letter & compare. Lemuel is well, & Jimmy I haven’t heard from. I think by tomorrow I shall be able to write with ink. Love to Aunt Sarah & you.

From, Will G. F.