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Augusta County: Thomas M. Smiley to His Sister, January 10, 1862

Thomas M. Smiley describes troop movements in the mountains of Morgan County during bad weather and a brief confrontation with Yankees at the county seat, Bath. They are moving towards winter quarters.


[1862 Jan 10] Jany 10th

Camp near crossroads Morgan Co

Dear Sister

As it has been almost three weeks since I wrote to you I will try and write a few lines to you this [unclear: morning] to let you know that I am well and getting along pretty well considering the hardships we have had to go through with since the commencement of the present year We left camp Stephenson on New year's day and since that we have been almost constantly on the march and when night came we had to lay down without our tents in the snow and rain We marched to Bath the County seat of morgan and was five days in getting there. The first snow we have seen this winter fell on us the third night while we were laying on the side of one of Morgans Numerous mountains

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And after that we marched on a solid sheet of ice the wagons runing on theroad packed down the snow and it got so icy a person could hardly stand on his feet the horses falling down wagons sliding off the road and breaking to pieces there was several men slipped down and broke their legs and arms there was a great many horses killed and crippled not so many in our brigade but in those that came from Western Virginia they are weak and poor and can not stand much hardship we drove the enemy out of Bath took 24 prisoners killed and wounded 8 or ten took their comissary stores &c we got about 6-or 8000 dollars worth of property our success would have been much greater had it not

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been for some militia we had along with us 2 regiments of them run from some 25 Yankees and their general in the first place disobeyed orders throwing the whole plan wrong he has [deleted: been] been placed under arrest by Gen Jackson. If the Militia had done right we would have captured the whole [deleted: plac] force baggage and every thing they had and made a complete disaster to the enemy We are camped at the cross roads where we can go to four different places we do not know where we are going to some thinks we are going to romney and some to Martinsburg-while others suppose we are going to Winchester we will probably take winter quarters when we get back if the weather is very rough

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you say to let you know whether I want a pair of over socks I do not know that I want them as I have not wore the other ones any yet my boots are most too tight with them on Tell pa that he need not be uneasy about my enlisting for the war as I have not had any idea of it yet there is a bill up in Congress now for the purpose of keeping the twelve month volunteers in service during the whole war but I do not know whether it has passed or not our regiment are all wanting to go home when their term expires as they do not like their officers but I must close as my paper is out Write soon

nothing more at present but remain your brother

T M Smily

Crossroads Jan 10th

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