Will Fisher to his mother
Kelly’s Ford, Virginia
August 16, 1863

Dear Mother,

I was last night, again permitted to get a real good letter from you, and I assure you it was very welcome indeed. I was intending to write today any way, & now I can answer this one at the same time.
We are again permitted to hear the glad tidings of marching orders. As usual Gen. Meade has given orders that the troops have three days rations in haversacks ready to move at a moment’s notice. Where we are to go, as usual, remains a mystery, but, of course, everybody has to pass their opinion on the subject. Three regts. out of our div. moved away this morning towards the railroad station, and for the past day or two there has been lots of troops taking the cars for Alexandria, and it is reported that they are going to Charleston to reinforce Gen. Gilmore on Morris Island. I think that Charleston is a doomed city.
I get so excited and patriotic, sometimes thinking of our recent victories and brilliant prospects that I feel just as I do when hearing a splendid piece of music makes my hair stand upon my head. You asked my opinion of the future prospects of the war. Well, I think the war began in Ft. Sumpter, and I think it will end there or in that vicinity. God grant that mercy.
One thing, hope the government will give up the idea of fighting on this “cursed” soil of Virginia. Every man in the army is sick of this place. Give us Maryland, Penn., or Charleston even, and we will give them what they don’t like at all, some of the pure Grant grit. It seems as though every hill or natural fortification in this state faced right against us.
But I must give you a little information on local affairs. It seems as though I never could get it instilled into your mind about the things that Jack Skellie brought me. I think I have written at least a dozen times about them. He brought me all the things spoken of in your letter that you sent by him, money and all. Last night I got all the four P. stamps you sent. Thank you for them.
But I must tell you about my clothing. I lost one of my shirts just before we left Stafford. The “washman” gave them to the wrong man, so I lost it & had to move before he could find out who he gave the shirt, so it was lost. Consequently, I had but one shirt on the march and this was as much as the most of the boys had, for they threw everything away long before we stopped. This is the reason we all got lousy. You must not think any thing strange of lice, for I will venture to say there is not a man in the army who has not seen them. We don’t care any more about them than we would a fly.
I am just as much obliged to you as though you sent some money, for I don’t think any would do me any good now although I have not seen a cent in a long time. I don’t see why we don’t get paid, for some of the troops have been paid to our brigade.
I want you to be sure and send me those photographs you spoke about, yours, Laurie’s & John’s. I am very anxious to see them. I can send them back if we are likely be going much. Now be sure and send them, don’t think that if we move I will lose them, for I want to see them, yours especially, very much.
If you send another shirt, get one just like the other ones, but don’t send but one. I am not going to draw any more clothing of the government that I can avoid, for when we come to settle, it will take all of our wages to pay for our clothes. You know we have to pay for all above 52.00 worth a year.
I think I shall be promoted as soon as we find our whether Ab or any of the fellows are coming back.
Lots of love to Aunt Taggart and Sarah. I should like to see you all. Can’t at present. I should like to hear from Aunt Taggart.

This much from your boy,

There is no truth in the report that John Hover and those boys were taken purposely. Some of the best men in the company were taken & he had a lawful furlough to go home. He is not exchanged yet, but has got back. Some home guard was in big business to start such stories about as good a man as John Hover.