Camp Averill near Winchester, Va.
March 12, 1864
Well Phebe, I have just received yours of the 5th and was glad to hear from you but was sorry to hear that you was not well an had such a time about wood this hard winter. But keep up good courage. The winter is almost gone. My health is very good and I have a good appetite for eating. Well now, I will give you the history of our travels after we left home till we got to the regiment. We stayed the first night in Erie. The 2nd in Ridgeway. The 3rd we were on the cars to Harrisburg. Stayed in Camp Curtin 4 nights. One night in Baltimore. Then we went to McKendree and there we were in General Lee’s Cotton Factory in prison till 23 of February and a hell hole it was. There were about 12 hundred in it. The most of them were bounty jumpers. They would rob every man that came in of all they had. They took everything I had in my satchel, That butter I had not tasted of it yet and got about 12 dollars of my money and they took my blanket too. It was the hardest place I was ever in. We had our corn martial but they did not find any charges against me. They brought me in not guilty of any military crime at all. But Jennings did not get off so well. I won’t state it. Let it come out from someone else. I feel sorry for him, It could not have been anybody else than Devore and Delos Sherman that reported it but they won’t make anything out of me. We expect to be paid off now soon but how much I don’t now. The weather is fine and warm here now and the roads are getting dry and good.
I suppose you have seen it in the papers about Sheridan taking quite a lot of prisoners. He left here in the 27th of February. Our boys went out and helped bring in the prisoners—about 14 hundred in all—and a number of cannon. He is still out yet. We heard last night that he had taken Leesburg and 2,000 more prisoners. If you see any of Frank’s folks, tell them that I am well. That letter you sent from my brothers I suppose it was wrote by one of Christian girls. I had not heard of his wife’s death. She wrote that my oldest sister was dead too. She would have been 71 years old in June if she had lived.
Well, I can’t think of anymore to write this time. Write often. Give my respects to Mother, — William Edy