Soldier skirmishing, foraging, 11 days until Gettysburg


Date Written

June 21, 1863

William Howes was 25 years old when this was written.
The recipient, Elizabeth Wheeler Howes, was 29 when it was received.

William Howes died 16 years, 11 months,
It was written 160 years, 3 months, 2 days ago.
It was a Sunday.

Camp on Goose Creek, Va.
Edward’s Ford
June 21, 1863

Dear Lizzie,

As I understand they are to receive the mail tonight for home. I will write you a few lines to let you know I am well and hope this will find you the same. I wrote you a fortnight ago yesterday. I do not know whether you have got it or not. I wrote that we were under marching orders. I wrote that our Regt. had got orders to march with three days rations. I had just got my letters done had not got it sealed when an order came for me to report with my [?] to Col. Underwood with five days rations to forage. We started that eve about five o’clock, marched all night until daylight the next morning. We are near where we were going. It was a secret expedition.

The nest day we were joined by three regts. and three of Jones Batteries of flying artillery. Then the next Wednesday we had a fight at Beverly Ford. Our Regt. was not engaged very much, only skirmishing. They had three or four wounded that was all. Our company was not engaged. We drove the devils and came back again. Well Liz I cannot stop to write more. When I get where I can I will give you an account of it as I have notes to refer to. We are having a fight close by us. I suppose it is Gen. Pleasanton. With our cavalry he whipped the rebs here close by the other day. There has [been] heavy firing all day. Expect to move to night or in the morning. Give my love to Father & Mother and all the rest and accept this from,


P. S. I have not received a letter from you for a fortnight. There has been no mail now for about a week. George Pickering is well and hearty, so is Frank. Send some stamps the next letter. If you have not got any on the [?].

Goodbye for the present.

Scans of Letter