Front Royal Vir June
13th 1862,
Dear sister Bell,
Beneath an old oak tree I seat my
self, for the purpose of writing a few
lines to you, was very glad to
hear from you once more and to hear
that you and the rest of the folkes
are in good health ,
I believe that you owe me one
letter now, but shall write when
convenient and you must do the
same, It is just a fortnight since
our [??]sent into this place. nothing
of a warlike character has happened
[page 2]
to disturb our equiliberium, very
near the enemy has been reported
several times, but after searching
for him he is not there,
There seems to be a [lick?] somewhere
about our force or else Jacksons army
would have been taken before this
every one places the blame
upon McDowells shoulders, and
I believe he is at heart a traitor
Companies E. and M. suferd the
most in the fight, when Banks
retreated, and they dont know of
only two being killed, some sixty
were taken prisoners, most of them
wounded, they are taken excellent
care off by the Sesesh women,
The stories you see in the papers about
the cruelties practiced upon our men
that fell into their hands is untrue
in nine cases out of ten.
Company M has but twenty two horses
Com. E, thirteen left so you can
[page 3]
judge there was a rather warm
time, the fire of the rebel cannon,
(they had six pieces) was low killing
the horses, by scores. the Infantry
fired low wounding the men
in the legs. It was hard
place for our boys, being in
the road with a high stone wall
on each side, the Rebels were
on both sides behind the wall
it is a wonder they escaped, from
the jaws of death at all. Co
H did not lose a man or horse
B.”s is all safe. A”s loss was
not so much as M”s. I cant
get all the facts for I have
not seen any boys from only
two Companies, and their stories
exactly agree in every particular.
It is a beautiful country about
here, hilly like Maine. and many
things, make the surface of
this regeon resemble distant
[page 4]
home. [Part?] of the day it is
uncomfotably hot, most every
day we get a thunder shower
that cools the air, and makes every
thing refreshing.
Cherries are most ripe, before
you get this I shall most likely
have a dash at them.
We Cavalry boys are moving
pl[anets?] I cant tell anything
about where or when we leave here for
good, the order is liable to come
Saddle up any moment, once we
got the word, every thing packed
and in line for a march, when
the order was countermanded, so back
into camp we went to say nothing of the
swearing that was done
That is a sample of Military life
in the field everything uncertain, and
suspense hangs upon every one,
We have not had any
groceries since coming here, the Sutler
from some cause, has not been here.
Every one does his own cooking having
his rations delt out to him raw, I
like the way much had we a few extra
dishes, a little sabr[atas?] we would live
quite respectable for soldiers
[continued upside down at top of page 1]
I will send you a gold dollar
in this to pay the postage on those
letters I have sent you unpaid
I had a very religeous letter from
Aunt Rosanna yesterday she thinks
of going to Dixfield soon My love
to all the folke after taken
your share. From your absent
brother F. N. Holman
[page 5]
Having got a new recruit of
stationary will scribble on again,
I am glad to hear you are all so
well , my health is very good
and notwith standting the hot
weather the violent showers, the
creeping things not only those
kinds that plauged the Egyptions
but others such as the land of
Dixie can alone produce, distrub our quiet
slumbers as we take our rest
at full length from the bosom
of Mother earth, = we manage
to have a pretty good time
obeying the scripture by taking
no thought of the morrow
our only question is how to pass
away this day, the days, weeks
and even months pass swiftly
by, so quick do they go that I
can hardly remember anything
[page 6]
William [Doble?] is in Co. G. I see
him every day; he dont know
me , but I do him, we have
never spoken together. Bossen
Holman is in the same Company
have a chat with him frequently
I hear from Temple often
Kate and her little Soldier
boy were smart at the latest
I think saleratus would do
but little good where meat
and hard bread are the only
thing to cook, as for borrowing
that is out of the question, Sesesion
Ladies dont use the article at
all. consequently their bread is
not much like what Mother
makes; O for a loaf of Mothers
brown bread and a junk of white
oak cheese, the thought almost
makes me, think I am sick,
and must go home,
[page 7]
I should not like the way that
girl gave Guilbert the water.
it has been my fortune to be
treated kindly and respectfully
by all the Sesesh Ladies and
they make it a particular trait
to use all the unfortunate well,
I think most cases where our
soldiers are ill treated there is
a cause for it, there are some
people that are always in cold or
hot water at home and the
same principle is with them
where efer they go and in the
army it is worse, where our troops
are quartered at the North collisions
sometimes happens between the
soldiers and ladies, and it
is not to be wondered at that
here in the south some unlady
like manifestations are chronicled
but the cause is kept dark
for good reasons
[page 8]
I dont apply or intend this
for Guilbert for I no nothing
about him or his actions, at home
or in the army,
We had a great celebration the
fourth consisting of Speeches,
Salutes, Review, Foot racing, Bag
racing, Greased pig racing
horse racing by the officers
Making it all together it was
a day long to be remembered and
Virginia never before I venture
never saw the like before
There is quite a large force here
at present the Divisions of Banks
McDowell and what was Fremonts
are concentrated under the command
of Major Gen. Pope it is likely
an advance is contemplated, and
will take place soon, I must
close this hastily written letter
by sending my love to you and
the rest of the folkes
From your brother F. N. Holman

June 13, 1862


Co. L, 1st Maine Cavalry


Residence (County): 
Oxford County, ME


From State: 
From Note: 
Front Royal


To State: 
To County: 

Transcription/Proofing Info

Allyson Page Dale
Transcription Date: 
April, 2015
M. Ellis
Proof Date: 
April, 2016

Get in touch

  • Department of History
    220 LeConte Hall, Baldwin Street
    University of Georgia
    Athens, GA 30602-1602
  • 706-542-2053
  • admin@ehistory.org

eHistory was founded at the University of Georgia in 2011 by historians Claudio Saunt and Stephen Berry

Learn More about eHistory