December 15th, 1862

Somewhere in Virginia, Dec. 15th

Dear Wife,

We are encamped for the night and knowing you must be anxious to hear from me personally, I take this dirty paper and write you a few lines.

You probably know we are on a march to join Burnside and are now about ten miles from Dumfries. We have marched, this makes five days we have marched without a halt. I have had to throw away some things1 in order to lighten my load but I stand the march first rate. What would have killed me at home does me good here, it seems strange that we can carry 60 lbs. and march 15 or 20 miles in a day when at home we cannot go to New Haven with light clothes.2

I cannot write you a letter tonight but will do so when we come to a stop for a day or two. I don’t know when this will go, if it goes at all, but I thought I would make an effort to let you know that I was alive. Of course, I have not heard from you for letters don’t follow us on the march.

The boys are all well that are here, but we left 22 in Harpers Ferry and four on the road. Brainard was left at the Ferry and so was Burton Bradley not able [to] come with us. I believe that is all the sick ones you know and they were not very sick when we left. There were three others from Hamden left behind but you don’t know them. Seargt. Paddock was left in charge, he was well.

We hear that Burnside is fighting beyond Fredericksburg3 but we can’t get nothing but rumors. It is not likely we shall get there in time to participate as we are pretty well towards the rear. This must do for tonight, lots of love and many kisses to you and the baby.

C. A. B.

  1. In a later letter, Cecil mentioned that he threw away a wool blanket and a pair of cotton drawers. 

  2. This is a distance of 10 miles. 

  3. By this time, the battle of Fredericksburg was almost done, as it had commenced on December 11th.