Will Fisher to his mother
Camp Stoneman, Washington, D.C.
January 3, 1862

Dear Mother,

It just occurred to me that I would like to keep a diary till I filled up this sheet & then send it home.
It is now 3 o’clock & we have been filling our ticks with straw. The weather is the coldest today we have had since I came here. I should think it was about 10° above zero.
I received your letter last night. I was glad to hear from you. I thought likely when I saw Will Sherman that I never should see him again & I am afraid I never shall. I had heard of Bartlett’s death before. But I must go on dress parade.

Saturday, January 4
I will resume the old pen again. It is a stormy day. It hailed all night & it is real cold this morning.
I have just been eating my dinner. We had pork & beans & there was not enough so there was about 18 had to go without. I was one so I dined on bread. This is a shame for the Col. provides enough for us to eat but the secret is the company quartermaster sponges it out of us & if we go to the officers they pay no attention to it except we got to the Col. He raises the wind in a hurry. He is the nicest man I ever saw. He is a great deal more condescending than any of his capts. The boys do not like Capt. Russell much now.
The boys are most all homesick. There is one here, that is Mark Rise, he is awful homesick, I pity him. He is getting real poor. But Wood Hill, Nelson, Ab nor myself is not any homesick. I like it tiptop. I think of the good times I have had at home, but I want to serve my country till this awful war is over.
There is some trouble in camp this morning about the boys taking boards from the plantation near by. The overseer was over to see about it. There was about 75 nice pine boards found in this company. The government will have to pay for them. This is wrong for he is a strong union man & is a nice man. He has a lot of slaves. I have been in the house & seen the niggers perform.
I will stop a while, maybe I will write a little more today. 7 o’clock, I have got a letter from John tonight so I guess I will write to him. Good night.

Sunday, January 5th
I wrote to John last night & today is Sabbath. I can’t mail it till tomorrow.
We have just come off of dress parade. It is quite cold today although it is clear and pleasant, but I must go & get some supper. I have got my supper so I will go at it again.
Wood and Ab have been writing home for a box of eatables & provisions so if you want to send me anything you can. Nelson had a turkey & 2 quart pail of butter, fried cakes, pickles & all sorts of things.
If you send me anything I wish you would remember the cookies. I would like to have a couple of quilts. It is getting cold & I have to keep warm the best way I can. We have got no government blankets yet and the Salem quilts are all claimed. I have slept with wood ever since.
Holden & Barton’s box the express was 2.50 & weighed 160 lb and Shiland’s and Hill’s folks all together it won’t cost much. Now if the box is sent I hope you will send the quilts. Wood Hill says he forgot to tell his folks to put in some tobacco. He wished me to tell you to tell his folks if you see them to put in some. I wish you would put in my stamp & brush to mark clothes. It was in the clock when I left. Just put it in a paper box large enough to hold my ink bottles.

Monday morning, January 6th
This morning there is about an inch & a half of snow on the ground, the first we have had since I came here, but it will all be gone by night. There is a great cannonading over the river this morning. I think there is a battle.
As regards our being disbanded I think there will be a heavy battle over the river before long & if our folks are successful we will be disbanded if not we will not. If we are, I will come & consult your wishes before I go any further.
But I must close in time to mail this & John’s letter by 1 o’clock PM. You must excuse these odd sheets of paper. Do not forget the box, but this will do for the present. Give my love to Aunt S. I intended my letter for her & you both. I am well & feel contented, so don’t give yourself any uneasiness.

Good bye from Will

I will write to Mr. Short this PM. Nelson & Ab send their regards to you. They are good boys.
Nelson bothered me for my bible for his was in his satchel. My bible looks as though it had been used some. We have hymns to sing to chorus, the band plays too. They play also when there is a funeral. It sounds nice. We have services at 11 o’clock Sabbath day & prayer meeting at 6 PM at the chaplain’s tent. I like him first rate. I guess I have read in my bible once a day at least, & Nels says he has, & did before I came here, but I am spinning too much here. I have so much to say that I don’t know what to leave out.
But I like to forgot to tell you that I have not got to stand guard any more. The chief bugler stood out about it & that ended it. I like all of the officers better than I did. I like everything, in fact. Once I stood guard over 17 prisoners with a loaded carbine.
Did you see L. Roberson when he was home? My health and spirits are good.

I remain your own boy.

P.S. Tell Fannie, Mr. Nate Ryan, the leader of the band, has been sick but is now better. I would like to see Aunt Sarah. How is she? Write soon.