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26 December 1862

Hagerstown [Maryland]
Camp Schoonmaker
14th Regt. Pa. Cavalry. Co. I
Capt. W. W. Miles’ Co.
December 26th 1862

Dear wife and children,

I received yours of the 22nd and was glad to hear you were all well. I am well and my health is good as ever. It was thought I would not write to you till after Christmas, then I might have some news to write.

The boys—about 400—went to the Antietam battleground yesterday and saw all kinds of sights there. A great many of the dead lying on the ground not buried and dead horses any quantity, and clothes and knapsacks and hundreds of shells that did not burst, and the boys came in camp again well corned and [Stephen C.] Jennings brought one shell with him and one of the boys threw it in the fire but it was snatched out and did not burst but there was scrambling to get out of the way. I did not go. The crowd was too big for me. I and one of my mess mates rode in[to] town and got a dish of oysters and a drink of gin and that was all the Christmas we had.

There was a Lieutenant and a private shot night before last while out on picket duty. The Rebels are getting in[to] Maryland again in squads. It is reported in camp that we will go to Baltimore in a few days now as we get the horses all shod. I don’t do anything but see to my horses—that they are watered and fed—so my work is light and appetite to eat [is] good. And we have plenty to eat such as it is. Part of the time, hard crackers and some maggots in them. But our folks eat them and I do. But our coffee is good and I soak my crackers in it well sweetened and it goes well.

Well, Henry, a few words to you. I want you should stay at home as you promised me in Harrisburg if you only could get your discharge. Do try and be steady and do the chores for Phebe and all will be right. And Emma, you be a good girl and help do the work in the house when you ain’t at school.

The boys are out on drill and a big string it is. 1,000 on horses. So I thought I would write to you today. Tell Hank’s folks I am well and looking for a letter from him. I wrote to him but have got no answer from him yet. Tell Norman’s folks I am well and should like a letter from them. Give my respects to all enquiring friends and write to me all the news that you hear of for I like to hear from home often.

Salnare said his wife wrote to him that them clothes had not come yet. I can’t see where they stop. Tell Miller to enquire at the depot and if they come you to pay the charges on them and have Miller bring them to you.

There is a general time of health in camp. There has but one been out of it. His name was Crawford. I am going to try to get my discharge after I have been in 3 months if I can. Although I like camp life well, there is no signs of drawing our pay as yet and I don’t know when they will pay.

Write often. Yours as ever, — William Edy

I have had no letters yet from the boys, Ben and Ed, although I have wrote to them. But no answer. Write to them to have them write to me. Goodbye, — Wm. Edy

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