Falmouth, Virginia: 1863. Unbound. This three-page letter (no cover) was dated April 15, 1863 and contains messages to two different Woodard sisters: Fanney and Marietta. In nice shape. Transcript included. Bush was an atrocious speller and writes phonetically the best he could. In the letter he thanks each of the sisters for sending their photo, mentions he has just returned from picket duty, reports is preparing to march the next day, and informs them he became sick after the Battle of Fredericksburg: “I now set my self down to answer yr kinele letter . . . with yo picore and Marsettes in it yo cant guss how how glad I was to git thos pictores thay jest looked like you did. . .. I have bind on pickt for three days a longe the river whare we cood see the rebls one of our fellos tok one of papers and went over and exchanged papers with rebbels thay say thay are hard oupe for food but thay say that thay wont give up as longe as thay have a man left to fit we had one day of fine wether and it rained the rest of the time and so I thot wood writ to night fore I don’t knowhs when isll have time to ret agane for we we have ordes to march with aight days rashons in our haversack to morrow moring it is still raning to night and my head akes so bad I can hardly see to writ to yo when igot in from picket I was wet to the skin. . .. I am about sick to night and do expect to march to morrow my health is fine poore this winter cot abad Colde on the battlefield at Fredercburge we laed on the filed all night rit sone give my love to all write sone. . .. “. Very good. Item #009411
Military records show that Charles E. Bush was a 21-year-old farmer when in December, 1861 he enlisted in the 84th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment. The regiment fought in General Burnside’s disastrous defeat at the Battle of Fredicksburg where on the evening of 13 December many soldiers, especially the wounded, succumbed to the weather after lying on the battlefield in the freezing cold. Following the battle, and before he was relieved, Burnside led his force on the infamous “Muddy March” following which, the 84th Pennsylvania encamped at Falmouth.