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Situated Near the Potomac River [October 1st 1861]

Situated Near the Potomac River

[October 1st 1861]


Washington Camp Holt


My Dear Aunt,


Old father time has passed away so quickly that I am hardly aware of the fact that several days have passed away since I received your kind gratifying letter dated the 11th. I was very glad to hear from you and to know that you were all enjoying usual good health and spirits and I am pleased to say that I am well also tough, hearty and happy as can be expected since I past wrote.

We have moved from our former quarters to that of the present. We are now situated near the Potomac river that is about a mile from it and about seven miles from Washington. There is a strong Battery (Batteries Alexander, Benson and Bailey) being erected here and there are several forts (Forts Franklin, Ripley and Alexander) near here so you see that this part of the country is pretty well protected. Well, I think it needs it for it is the most conspicuous place there is. This is what is called Louse Neck. lt is a short bend in the river about two miles above chain bridge and if the southerners ever march to take Washington they I think will cross the river here. I should think from the description of Bulls Run that this place resembled it very much as regards the face of the country. lt is filled with hollows covered with woods and crossed with creeks in all directions, just the place for fighting and fit for nothing else of any account. I think that there will be no regular battle until the leaves have fallen from the trees. To be sure, there will be skirmishes. Munsun's Hill was taken Saturday by Genenal. McClellan without any resistance whatever on the part of the enemy who fled on the approach of our troops taking with them all their arms (with the exception of five or six pieces of stove pipe cannon and leaving their breastworks and batterys to our troops. I should have thought General McClellan would have tried to have taken this post before as it is in sight from the capitol and they have had their Palmetto flag floating there all the summer.

We had orders to march Saturday and we had three days rations given out but the orders were countermanded and we did not go but I think we shall leave here soon and other troops will take our place here. There are troops rushing in here every day. There were seven thousand came in here in seven hours one day and six thousand came in on Friday. I think there is no doubt but what we shall beat in all the coming battles as we have not only got right on our side but might for according to the southern states our army out numbers theirs by full 2 thousand.

I have not much more news to tell you as I do not get a chance to read the papers much. All the news I know is what I hear from our officers. I had a letter from Mr. Sawtele the other day. He is not very well now. His wife is still in Ashburnham. She has lost another sister. This makes two she has lost this summer. He wants to go back to Iowa and go to farming again as his business does not agree with him very well. He sent his best respects to you and I in turn when I wrote to him l took the liberty to send yours to him. Dear Aunt, if some of my letters come with the postage not paid on them you must not blame me as I thought they went through free and I can not always get stamps but I have heard that you had to pay postage on them when there was no stamp on. Please write soon, give my love to all of our folks and now sending a due proportion to yourself.


I remain your nephew,


A.C. Woods


P.S. Direct your letters to Camp Holt and please remember me to all that are kind enough to enquire.


Letters of Alfred Covell Woods. 62nd NYSV Co I Homepage