Letter from Morris Brown, Jr., 126th New York Infantry, to his mother, Camp near the Rapidan River, Virginia, October 5, 1863

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Camp near the Rapidan

Oct. 5th 1863

I believe my dearest mother that I have received two letters from you since
I last wrote but then as I have written Smith so frequently of late &
knowing that the only thing which I can possibly write of any interest is
that I am well. I perhaps have neglected writing longer than I ought.

Tell Smith I cannot send the letters he wants before the tenth for at
present there is not a sheet of paper in camp fit to write them on & the
train is back on the other side of 

Cedar? Run & they wont allow any but ration wagons to come here in the
"front." The Head Quarter Wagon did come up for a short time the other day
but I was on picket.

I dont think I would send them anyway for he must come here & then he can
attend to them better than I.

The Dr. said last night he must come here, for he didnt want him to think
of going into the "Invalid Corps." I guess Col. Bull dont want him to go
for he never can get antoher such an Adjut. I think Major Phillips can
stand it as long as Smith, although there may be some doubts.

Picket duty is quite interesting here. * We are so close to the rebs that
we are talking & blackguarding each other continually. The other night I
could hear one swearing away because he did'nt have any _____, blankets, or
overcoat said he was [of?] a good notion to desert. Another one told him
not to talk so loudly or the Yanks would hear him. he said he did'nt care a
damn for he would go over to there the next day anyhow.

The next morning he seen me eating my breakfast & yelled out & asked me
what I had to eat. I told him & asked him to come over & eat breakfast with
me. he said he would do it if I would let him go back, which I agreed to.
Down on the ground went his gun & over he came, & oh! you ought to have
seen him eat & drink coffee. Well we talked & chatted quite a while when he
concluded he would go back & away he went. The next day another fellow
after making the same bargain came over & after seeing how much we had to
eat in comparison with theirs concluded not to go back & went out on the
"outpost" & told his comrads to go to hell with their confederacy he was'nt
going to fight for 'em any longer. Him I sent to Head Quarters. We
frequently exchange papers. *You can bet there was a great hub-bub in the
rebel camps the other day when they hear of Braggs victory.

Write often Morris

[Atop the page and upside down, the following]

A rumor is current that we are to be relieved by an other Corps, & we go
back to Culpepper Court House. I hope it is true.