Will Fisher to his mother
Fairfax Station, Virginia
December 27, 1862 & January 1, 1863

My own Dear Mother,

As I have a little leisure to night I will improve it in writing to you. I will commence one & send it when completed. I wrote one & sent it soon after the halt in our march, which you have probably received before this time.
We have all got rested now & feel like colts again. The horses & mules show the effects of the march quite plain yet. Those marches are hard on the poor beasts. When we was on the march before the last three days there was lots of the poor mules sank down into the mud & died of exhaustion. It looks hard but there is no end to the suffering in times of war.
I often think that if there is anyone connected in any way with this war who is trying to prolong it for any profit to himself he will have about as much to answer for at the judgement day as any other class of sinners in the world.
We all expected to spend Christmas in Richmond, but we got disappointed this time, & still live in hopes that the war will be over some day or other. I have just been out to roll call & while in line we received marching orders again so I will close for tonight & if I have any time in the morning I will give you any new particulars I may learn.
Good night, Will
Jan 1st, 1863
Well, Mother, I will commence by wishing you & Aunt Sarah a happy New Year & hope you had a merry Christmas.
The other night I closed my letter rather abruptly with a march in view in the morning. Which program was carried out, for early in the morning of the 28th we had to roll up our blankets & start, which is no very light load to carry, vis: 3 loaves of bread, 3 lb of pork, & coffee & sugar. We did not take our knapsacks, left them in camp under guard. Those unwell were also left. Lemuel did not feel very well & did not go.
Well, we started & marched down the same old road as far as the Occoquan river. This was Sabbath & our reasons for going were that the Rebels had attacked a Ohio brigade the day before & took some of them prisoners & killed a few & we went down to try to trap them, but we didn’t make it out, for they had left before we got there. We got there about noon & went out skirmishing a few miles but did not find anything of them. We found 3 dead bodies in the woods which were killed in the battle. The Rebels had stripped them entirely.
We then went back & laid by the river all night till next day in the afternoon when we started & marched back to camp & this is all there was of the march.
During our march I have had to throw away some of my things. I have almost forgotten what I did have when I started, but I can tell you what I have got now. I have just two shirts, one woolen one & a cotton one. I have my needle book & bible, 2 handkerchiefs, (white ones). I wear my 2 shirts both at once till they need washing & then wear my blouse coat till I get them washed.
I have just received a letter from you & John giving me quite a blowing for not writing, but you cannot have received my letter which I wrote since we arrived here if you have lost, a good long letter with a full description of our 7 days march. You say my last letter was dated Nov. 25th. That was the letter I wrote asking for money & waited for an answer till the 11th of Dec. when we started on the march of 7 days &, as soon as we halted, I wrote again saying that Jimmy Sherman was taken prisoner, but I have since learned that it is not true, he is at the convalescent camp at Alexandria. I guess we have now got into a place where we will stay till we are mustered out of service which will happen about the first of May. I want you to answer this immediately & let me know whether you have received my letter which was dated between the 15th and 20th of Dec.
I was glad to hear of Cristopher Greene’s being discharged for he looked bad when I saw him last.
I will admit that I have not written so often as I might, but the truth is I do not feel much like writing after marching all day or doing any other duty, but I will try & write while we stay here as often as once a week, & you answer as often as you can. If you have not got my last letter just let me know & I will describe it over again or else get Uncle Nat’s folks letter & read that. Yesterday, we got the first express matter since we left Loudoun Valley. There was lots of it.
I think Jim will be with us again soon. If you want to send a box of anything, it will be a good time now. If you send one you had not better send any chickens, but, if you want to, you may send some kind of a meat pot pie, mince pie, fried cakes, ginger cake, a little sausage & not any butter for me. If any folks is a mind to, they can put in some walnuts, apples, & the like. I would also like a bed tick, any old one will do to sleep on while we stay here.
But I must close this with lots of love to all inquiring friends & reserve a good portion for you and Aunt Sarah. I am very sorry the medicine does not help her.

Write soon to your boy,
Will G. F.