Will Fisher to his mother
Goldsboro, North Carolina
March 25, 1865

Dear Mother,

Oh, how thankful I desire to feel this happy spring morning because I have got through with this long dangerous & tedious campaign all safe & sound.
I wrote you a note when we were at Fayetteville on the Cape Fear River which letter you have probably rec’d ere this time.
Well since that time we have had two combats with the enemy & your boy is safe from the missiles of death which flew thick & fast. We marched safely into this place yesterday and were received as we passed into town by Gens. Sherman, Slocum, Schofield, Terry, Jeff C. Davis & “Old Pappy Williams” besides a great many Generals of less rank. Gen. Sherman who has looked so serious & thoughtful all through, was all smiles & as playful as you please.
Well, now for a little of our trials. I think if you could see this army you would see the worst looking one you ever looked at. I have suffered more on this than any two previous campaigns. About one half of the army are wearing Rebel and citizens clothing. At least one third are barefooted & not one out of ten have the shoes they started with. The men look haggard & faded out.
There have been a good deal of rain & a good deal of the road has had to be corduroyed (that is rails or poles laid across of the road to keep the wagons from sinking in the mud) & marching over such roads barefooted & in the night (for we have marched at least one night out of three till 2 o’clock in the morning), I tell you it wears on a man.
I am now barefooted & have not had a sock in a month & the skin is wore off my feet all over. Now when you see Sherman’s report of the campaign you will undoubtedly see that he reports the army “in excellent spirits” & they are, for the result of the campaign is so great that they cannot be otherwise. I actually believe, that the more we are called on to suffer in a cause, the stronger our attachment is for it.
I have a very painful sty coming on my eye, the first one I have had since I came in the service.
When we left Fayetteville the left wing of the army pushed off well towards Raleigh, leaving the 2nd Div. with old Geary to guard the train on the main pike to Goldsboro. Well, we had got nearly 20 miles when we run on to the enemy at Silver Run & fought them all day & at night they left, leaving their dead & some of their wounded in our hands. There were not a great many killed & wounded on our side, still it was quite a spirited little fight. About all that was engaged was the 3rd & our Div. & the cavalry.
We then had a clear road till we were within 22 miles of here & about 10 miles of Smithfield. The 14 Corps met them again on Cox’s Farm & one Div. of the 14th which was ahead got flanked & drove back in some confusion, losing 3 pieces of artillery, but we came up just at this time & took their place forming new lines & massing all the artillery of the two corps on an open knoll. This was about 2 o’clock & from this time till dark the enemy kept massing & charging our line with bloody consequences to them while ours was very small.
That night we fortified & held our own for the next two days while they flanked them on the right. They then left in the night again which uncovered Goldsboro to us & the campaign was ended. The wounded had to be brought along in ambulances.
But the mail soon goes & I must close. I will write often while we stay here.
There has been four wounded in the campaign & none killed.
We have had no mail yet, but expect one soon & also the express goods. Give lots of love to Aunt Sarah & write often to make up for lost time. My love to all the friends & much to my own mother from her boy.

Will G. F.