Posted on Picket on the Rappahannock
August 20th 1863
My Dear Mother,
It is with pleasure that I now try to pen a few lines to you to let you know that I am still alive and well and hope this will find you the same. I am now on picket four miles below Kelly’s Ford. The Rebs are on the other side of the river. We can talk with each other easy enough. Yesterday three of them came over here to play
euchre cards with us and have a visit with us. They were North Carolina boys and say they are going home in a few days. They say that state is trying to come back into the Union. Their governor has ordered them home but Davis won’t let them go.
There was two regiments of North Carolina boys and all their officers fought their way through the Rebel cavalry and came over and took the oath of allegiance and then offered their services to the U.S. which was accepted and then one of them went back to the Rebs and come back the next night before dark and then both regiments went down to the river. About midnight there was pretty brisk firing over the river. Then both the regiments crossed the river and went into the woods and then there was music you may bet for about half an hour. Then the firing ceased and in a few minutes we heard the damned secesh squeal I ever heard and then the whole body come down to the river, gave three cheers for the Union, and then come over.
The first of the fire was the 7th Georgia numbering 600 fighting the Reb cavalry to get across the river and the North Carolina boys went over to help them. They took about 700 of the cavalry prisoners. That is the way the Rebel army is going.
We was paid last week and I sent 10 dollars to you by Express and I sent 10 to Albert for a pair of boots. I don’t know whether he will make them or not. If he don’t, he may kiss my —–foot. You write to him and find out if he gets the money. I would like to get a shot at him with my Enfield Rifle at about 150 rods—the damned Copperhead, for such I hear he is. But I hope it is a lie. I hear Wily is one of them too. But never mind. When I get back, if I don’t thrash some of the Secesh out of them, well I will enlist in the Regulars for 7 years—that’s all.
Well there is nothing more to write about so I may as well close for this time. The reason why I have not wrote before is because we couldn’t send letters nor get paper to write on and now I shall have to send it without a stamp.
Now write to me as soon as you can. So goodbye.
From Ed Whipple