Will Fisher to his cousin Lib Sherman
Elk River, Tennessee, Camp 123rd NY Vols.
April 11, 1864

Miss Lib Sherman
care of Zina Sherman
Cambridge, Wash. Co. N.Y.

My dear Cousin,

Your most welcome letter of the 30th March arrived, yes actually did arrive two days since, although it was quite awhile getting along. Yet rest assured you are excused on the grounds of that apology which you gave in our letter. I think if I was at liberty I should constitute one of the many visitors which you have to entertain but in view of the fact that I am not at liberty, but fighting for liberty, I shall have to content myself without being one of your guests. I do not think there is any likelihood that I shall come home on furlough, or anything except sick leave until my term of service expires or the war ended.
I have several reasons for not wishing to return. One is, I think that the most of the people at the North are apt to look at a soldier “rusticating” at home, if well, as being away from his post, and although in times of quiet I do not think it injurious to the service, but beneficial to grant short furloughs to the men, in times of active operations to see so many loafing around home and cities, especially officers, it is indeed deplorable, and in view of this fact most people look at a soldier “out of the army, out of place.” I know in my own case, and I suppose it is the same with others, that I would be very welcome home in my circle of relatives but outside of that I do not think I am needed anywhere except here in the army at present.
Another reason and a very good one is that I have not the necessary means to undertake such a thing for I should not want to go home without funds enough to go in good style or comfortable, which I could not do without about $75.00 which you know does not grow on every bush with me.
I think the indications are that Gen. Grant will make some shaking among the dry bones. I see by the papers that he is about to make a strong depot of supplies at Culpepper which is the first thing of the kind that has been done when a movement on Richmond was contemplated.
The whole army seems to have a great deal of confidence in him. I think I can clearly see the end of this bloody war just as soon as the news of Abe Lincoln’s election shall put the finishing stroke on the already tottering ranks of Jeff Davis’ army.
Lem has gone to Decherd to brigade hd. qrs., yes, as hd. qrs. guard. He will not be so far away however but what I can see him once in a while. He has just been up with a two days pass. As a matter of course I feel his absence and miss him a good deal but hope to get over it soon.
There is not one single one of my original party left now but me. Jim Sherman left first, Ab Shiland next and now Lem has gone for the present. Don’t know how long he will be detailed, but think it is a grand good place for him. He has to guard the General’s baggage on the march and in time of battle he has to guard the prisoners and will probably get his load carried in the wagons. In consideration of his rather feeble health it is a first rate place for him when we move.
Doc Kennedy spoke to me the other day about having me detailed for clerk for Brigade Surgeon Dr. Chapman. He was detailed from the regt for brigade surgeon and now he wants a clerk detailed to do writing and take charge of the medical stores. I think it would be a fine “posish” but don’t know how it would be, whether I could be detailed as a non-commissioned officer or not, but shall not give up even my small “posish” for the best detail in the army. But if I can retain my place I have about decided to accept it, if I can. Although I detest what is known in the army as a “dead beat.” This is a name given to men who get into berths where they do not have to take their muskets and step up and face the enemy, or any kind of noncombatant.
The artillery which we have had here all winter is about to move tomorrow. They are building stockades all along the line of railroad so as to have less troops to guard it. I think we will have to move soon for if we do not go to the front we will have to spread out more, only have one company in a place.
You have doubtless heard by the papers that our idol Gen. Slocum who has been with us so long is about to leave us. We and the 11th Corps are to be consolidated and called the First Army Corps under Gen. Joe Hooker. You will perceive a strong smell of gunpowder about this General’s clothes, but he is sure death to “Rebs.”
Gen. Slocum has issued his farewell address to the 12th Corps, which I am going to send to King Crocker of the Post which you will see in a day or two. Every man in this corps feels the most profound gratitude at parting with Gen. Slocum, but Gen. Hooker is my next choice.
The trains are about all stopped on this road now so as to repair it. For the present the business will be done on the road that runs by via Pulaski where Sid Gifford’s regt. is stationed. I suppose you prize his “carte de visite” very highly. I hope he will be here. I would like to see him first rate.
Capt. Charlie Culver is in this corps now. The div. he belongs to was assigned to the 11th Corps but now since the corps have been put together he belongs to the 1st Army Corps. He belongs to the 105th Ill. Vols. and John N. Culver belongs to the 10th Ill. Vols. He is home to Ill. recruiting. His time will be out in June or July.
You spoke to me about Cousin Sarah Jane waiting for my photographs. I should be very willing to send her one if there was an opportunity to have them taken, but there is no salons here, nor nearer than Nashville, that I am aware of.
Now Lib I hope you will excuse the style of this letter for to tell the truth I have been three days writing it and I have got it dreadful dirty. The boys set the tea pot on the table last night right on the paper. I am ashamed to send it but too lazy to write it over.
I want to thank Uncle Zina for the Instructor comes very regular to the enclosed address. Give my best regards to Aunt Eliza, Alex, Will Sherman, tell the latter I think he should write to me. Hoping to hear from you soon, sooner this time.

I still remain your loving cousin,
Will G. Fisher