Bivouac near Rappanhanock River
Oct the 23d 1863
As none of the family will not write to me I thought I would write to you as I want to say a few words to you about those molasses you must not eat them all up from use You must preserved at least one barrel for my special benefit as you know I am a dear lover of molasses How many barrels do you think Pa will make also has he made any cider if so I want one barrel of them I would like very much now to have some cider and sweet potatoes now We have had a very hard march we left Summerville Ford to night two weeks ago and have been marching ever since we have been here two days We left Summerville and went back to Orange C H and from there to Madison C H and then to Warrenton marching all the time in valleys to keep the enemy from discovering our movement We then went to Bristoe Station where Cookes and Kirklands Brigade had a fight the same day I walk over the battle field next day there was no killed lying on the field except our own as the Yankees had taken theirs the night before but I saw several of the Blue Jacket fellows lying about as we came along as we were skirmishing with them all the time after we left Warrenton It is a horrid scene to walk over a battle field the men are lying about in different forms I hate to look at our men but I can look at dead Yankees all day Lunsford Wheeler was wounded in the knee at the Battle of Bristoe Dick Harris was slightly wounded in a skirmish the other day I think the Yankees got the best of the fight at Bristoe they were lying behind the Railroad and our men were in full [v]iew in an open field We did not drive them from the Road but they fell back that night If Genl Heth had been worth any thing in the world he would have whipped them completely every body says it was badly managed but it was all owing to the incompetency of Genl Heth We took any quantity of prisoners all along on our march Our Cavalry whipped them several times We drived[?] them beyond Centreville The Infantry did not go any farther than about one mile beyond Bristoe The Cavalry followed them up Bristoe is 32 miles from Alexandria You all can find out more about our move from the papers than I can tell you Our Regt is cooking 3 days rations this evening we are going some where but I don’t know where some say it is just go over the river on picket Write soon
H G [J G?] Cozart[?]
The Cavalry had a right lively little fight over the river this evening I have written five letters home before this and have received one only
Source: North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, N.C.