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Augusta County: Thomas M. Smiley to His Aunt, August 7, 1862

Thomas M. Smiley writes that Union forces are near Orange County Court House and his regiment, part of 50,000 soldiers, have been ordered to move. He also discusses illness in camp and prisoner exchange.


August 7th 1862

Camp Magruder

Dear Aunt

I seize the present oportunity by writing you a few lines to let you know that I am well & hope you may be enjoying the same blessing. Henry Wright is not very well he has been complaining for near two weeks but he says he feels a little better to day. We are camped on Magruders farm five miles from Gordonsville he is a brother of General Magruders. There is nothing of importance to write every day we hear reports of the advance of the enemy but they generaly turn out to be false the enemy are at Orange Court House 10 mile from Gordonsville with a very large force it is supposed. we have a considerable force ourselves some five or six divisions in all which with Artillery & Cavalry will not fall far short of fifty thousand men. We have just had orders to cook two days rations with

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eight days hard bread and be ready to march at a moments warning. it is so warm now that it is very laborious marching. but I hope that the weather will soon get cooler and we will get along much better. We have had very good living for a few days we draw flour beef sugar salt rice and sometimes molasses apples are plenty and we make a great many pies and dumplings which though not quite so good as home manufacture are a verry good substitute We have heard that four thousand of the Fort Delaware Prisoners arrived in Richmond yesterday to be exchanged and some of the company expect Sam Beard & Lieut Wright to be in the number if they are still alive as that is the place where all the troops that were taken prisoner in the vally were sent. But I must close by Asking you to excuse all mistakes Bad writing &c

Give my love to Aunt Ann Uncle James,s family and receive a large share yourself

Thomas M. Smiley

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