January 25th, 1863

Stratford Courthouse1 Jan 25th, 1863

Dear loving wife,

I wrote you a letter or part of a letter day before yesterday2 and gave it to Joe to carry, I put it in an envelope I had discarded. I thought then I should add a few lines but he got a chance to send it and could not see me so he sent it along; he did right but I don’t know but you will think it strange that I should wind up so short.

At the time I wrote we were in camp in the woods without rations (I wrote in the morning), the teams were sent back to get some rations but couldn’t get any so we had to move on or starve, but just before we started Brain and Austin came up with us half starved, they were one day shorter of rations than we were, and were obliged to catch up with us or starve. We divided with them, I was glad to do so with Austin for he is a generous and ambitious fellow, he took care of Brain when he was a great deal the worst off, he fainted several times on the road [for] he had the dysentery. The Doct. said after he got through that it was a wonder that he did not die but he paid no attention to him on the road. Ace said he would have given 100 dollars to have had me with him, I made up my mind not to leave them again so I went to the Doct. and got an order to have their things carried and started with them for this place, where we arrived about sundown (it cleared off in the afternoon).

We built a fire and lay on the ground this night, the next morning we were ordered out on picket. We started at nine in the morning and traveled all day to get on our post, we went around ten miles to get three (I suppose that was strategy). Last night we lay on our post and were blest with another rain storm but it has cleared off again today. We were relieved about noon and took a short cut back to camp but we might just as well have stayed out for comfort for we have no shelter here3, but I guess we can rest now for a while.

I am well but a little fagged out. I have given you a hurried account of our march, I may sometime make a more detailed report hereafter. I got a letter from you the third night after we started and another tonight, I will look them over and answer them in my next, they did me a power of good.

Now dear wife, goodnight, I hope when I write again I can do better but I don’t feel like writing tonight. Kiss the baby for me and give my love to all.

C A Burleigh

P.S. Brain and Ace are better.

  1. Although Cecil writes “Stratford Courthouse”, he was actually at “Stafford Courthouse”, an error he corrects in his next letter

  2. Sadly, this letter has been lost. 

  3. The 20th was without any tentage or cover of any kind during this time.