Letter from Wm B. Stevens, dated 1861-10-09

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[1861]

10th 9th 1860 Camp Advance. Chain Bridge Va.

My Dear Mother

I must write thee a very few lines to night, to let thee know of our affairs; we have not had many adventures since I wrote thee before. Mc. and I have both been a little unwell for a day or two, but both are now feeling well as we have in some time. The Reg. had orders to march this morning at day light; we were left here to see to the things in the tents till we were sent for, or till they came back; now have orders to get up one days rations and be ready to start at daylight with all the baggage of the Co. Most likely we are to go straight along to the South; the Federal army knows no such word as retreat now, they are ready for now and [underline]will go on[/underline]. We shall go tomorrow, and shall probably go into action [ere?] tomorrow night.

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I feel that I am in the right and have not felt differrently since I enlisted, at all; I [underline]may not be[/underline]; If I am [underline]wrong[/underline], I hope to be forgiven; I may not go into battle. I spoke to [Dn?] Allen the day before yesterday and he said he should want me in a very few days, and if the Reg. goes into action before we get there I shall be called on; if I am not I shall do what I think is my duty to God and my Country: If I fall I fall with a firm purpose; I do not have the least ill feeling toward any living being. Troops have been passing here ever since we had the orders, and now the artillery wagons are rumbling by in the dark. Some like 20000 men have passed here since noon; no doubt there will be 300000 men under arms tomorrow on our side; they go sure of a victory, and I do not expect to see this camp till we have seen Richmond, and some other parts

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of the South, if I live to go with the Army. I hope to see home again; I may not; I may never even write thee again. Give my love to all my friends. I have not time to write to Mary now but will, if I get a chance. I have just written to Ann, and the letters will go in the morning, I suppose.

I must bid you all farewell; it may be [underline]forever[/underline]; it [underline]may not[/underline]; I trust it is not; if it is I do not fear to meat my fate.

[underline]Dear Mother Farewell. Thomas, Charly Mary, Horace, Howard, Jane, Melissa, all.[underline]. Farewell.

In much love to all,

William B.

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Willie tevens to Rachel Stevens

Camp Advance, Chain Bridge, VA. 10 month, 9th day, 1861

My Dear Mother,

I must write thee a very few lines tonight, to let thee know of our affairs; we have not had many adventures since I wrote thee before. Mc (McAllister) and I have both been a little unwell for a day or two, but both are now feeling well as we have in some time. The Reg. had orders to march this morning at day light; we were left here to see to the things in the tents till we were sent for, or till they came back; now have orders to get up one days rations and be ready to start at daylight with all the baggage of the Co. Most likely we are to go straight along to the South; the Federal army know no such word as retreat now, they are reday for war now and will go on. We shall go tomorrow, and shall probably go into action ere tomorrow night.

I feel that I am in the right and have not felt differently since I enlisted, at all; I may not be; if I am wrong, I hope to be forgiven; I may not go into battle. I spoke to Dr. Allen the day before yesterday and he said he should want me in a very few days, and if the Reg. goes into action before we get there I shall be called on; if I am not I shall do what I think is my duty to God and my Country! If I fall I fall with a firm purpose; I do not have he least ill feeling toward any living being. Troops have been passing here ever since we had the orders, and now the artillery wagons are rumbling by in the dark. Some like 20,000 men have passed here since noon; no doubt there will be 300,000 men under arms tomorrow on our side; they go sure of a victory, and I do not expect to see this camp till we have seen Richmond, and some other parts of the South, if I live to go with the Army. I hope to see home again; I may not, I may never even write thee again. Give my love to all my friends. I have not time to write to Mary now but will, if I get a chance. I have just written to Ann, and the letters will go in the morning, I suppose.

I must bid you all farewell; it may be forever; it may not; I trust it is not; if it is I do not fear to meet my fate.

Dear Mother Farewell. Thomas, Charly, Mary, Horace, Howard, Jane, Melissa, all. Farewell.

In much love to all, William B.

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