Oscar's Letters from 1863
Near Fredericks Burge
January the 16 1863
Dear Mother Wilber
I think I Will try and Write a few lines to you and let you Know that i am a live yet. Mother i am Well at present and EnJoying good health. i am geting quite fleshy. Mother i hope this leter Will find you all Well Rosina and all the Rest. Mother did you think that i had forgoten you. if you Did think So you thought Wrong for there aint ten Minutes in a day but What i think of Some of you. O how i Would like to Step in oure house and see you all. Mother What is the reason that you Don't Write. i haint had a leter From you in a Good While. is it Because you haint No Money. if that is the reason Why you don't Write you Must go down to uncle Nathan Wilbers and get Two Dollars and See if you Cant Write Me a leter then. Mother i want you to Write gust how you are geting along for i Want to Know all a bout the afairs. Mother i haint Ben in No Battle yet Nor i don't want to Be in one. We thought that We Was a goin to have one the other Night. We Was orderd to March at two o Clock at Night So We Sat up and Cooked Some Meat and Rolled up oure blankits and got Ready for a March and at Two o Clock We started. they orderd us Not to Make No Noise. We Keep as Still as We Could. We hadent Marched More than Two Miles Before they orderd us to load oure Guns and fix Bainet then We Started on. We Marched then a bout one Mile then We Marched in platoons and double quicked it for a peace. they didn't Know But What the Rebels Cavelry Would Atack us. We Marched ten miles then We Stoped and Stayed that day and that Knight then the Next Morning took Axes and Shovels and peck axes and Went to Work and Made a road in the Woods down to the River and Caried polls to Make a Brige a Cross the river. the Reason Why they Marched in the Nite Was Because they dident Want the rebels to Know What We Was a doin. i think that We Shall go there to Cross and a tack them. Oure Men is fixen to have a batel With them. they are a going to try to get on three Sides of them. that is What We think. Well Mother if We have got to fight With them We Mite as Well be a bout it for i have got Sick of it. We Can See the Rebels to Work throwing up Breast Works. Well Mother i Must Stop Writing War News at present for this is Most all wrote over. Mother tell Nathan to pay My land tax. i forgot (to)tell him in his leter. Mow Mother Write as Soon as you get this. Derect your leter as before and it Will follow the Regtment. Write Son(soon) as you get this. Good By to Mrs Sally W. Oscar F Wilber
Near Fredericks Burge
February 2, 1863
Dear Uncle Nathan
This morning finds me trying to write a few lines to you. I am well at present and hope these few lines will find you and the family the same. Uncle the rest of the boys is well except Charles Wilber and Derion(Darius) Wilber but they are getting better. I supose that there is good sleighin out there. We haint seen not much snow here. we haint had only three snow storms. The snow only falls about three inches deep but we have a good deal of rain. It is very muddy. The mud is a foot deep in the roads. Uncle Nathan I haint no news to write. it is dull times hear. Nothing much a goin on. We will have to stay hear till it is beter goin. Nathan we have drawn a little money. We have got oure pay up to the thirty first of October. I drawn twenty one Dollars and twenty cents. Some of the boys drawn more money than I did for they dident git one munts pay in advance to Jamestown. But the next time they pay us of they will pay us all a like. Old Uncle Sam dont do as he agreed a bout paying the soldiers for you see that he is owing me three munts pay but I shant find no falt for I know that old Uncle Sam has got his hands full. Moar then he can do to pay off the soldier. But i guess that he is a long winded old fellow slow and shure and so I guess that we shall git oure pay. Uncle Nathan I will send you a check of fourteen dollars in this letter. You can sine youre name to it and you can go to eny bank and draw the money on it or they say that you can go to a store and they will pay the money on it. Uncle Nathan when you go to Olean you try it and get the money on it. The check is fourteen dollars. The right name of it is a treasuare noate. Uncle Nathan i want you to write as soon as you get this and let me know if you get it. Uncle Nathan have you paid my land tax. I wrote to you to pay it and I wrote to you that I would take that yearling heifer of you. Sixteen dollars when she was wintered out that was what you wrote that I mite have her for. Now Uncle Nathan I must close. Write soon as you get this. Tell oure folks that I am well and tell them to write. Good by.
Oscar F. Wilber
Nathan tell oure folks that if they want eny money they must write and let me know. I don't know what is the reason that they dont write. if they haint no money to pay the postage you may let them have some. Nathan tell them.
Febuary the 8 1863
i recived youre kind letter a few days A go. i Was glad to Hear From you and hear that you Was Well. Mother i am Well at present and hope these few lines Will find you the same. Mother We have Marched back From Fredericks Burge a Bout ten Miles. We have got a Nice place to camp. We are in the Wo(o)ds Where We Can get a plenty of Wood to Burn and Build tents With and a Nice Stream of Water. the Moast of the water is poor in this Cuntry. i Should like to Be Where i Could get a Drink out of My Cold Spring. Mother i dont know How long We Shall Stay heare. We May Stay hear till Spring and We May Not Stay three days. When We get orders to March We Shall have to go. Mother you dident Write for Eny Money. i Wrote to you and toled you if you Wanted eny Money you Must Write. Mother We have drawed a little of oure Money. i drawed twenty one dollars and twenty Cents. they paid us up to the 31 of October. they paid Me one Munts pay in advance When We Was in Jamestown. Mother the Next time they pay the Soldiers they Will pay them all a like. Some of the Boys dident draw only fifty dollars and i drawed Ninety dollars. Mother old uncle Sam Owes Me three Munts pay. I think he is gitting poor for he Cant pay off the Soldiers. Mother i Guess that the Next time they pay us they Will pay all that is behind. Mother i Sent fourteen dollars to uncle Nathan Wilber i Mean a Check that he Can draw fourteen dollars With it. Mother I Want you to tell uncle Nathan to let you Have six 6 Dollars in Money and you Can bye you a New dress or What you are a mind to With it. Mother if you Want Eny thing you Must Write and let Me Know. Mother i wrote to uncle Nathan that i Would take that heifer. i give him 16 dollars for her and he is to Winter her for Me. Mother i Want you to Keep a Count of the Money that uncle Nathan pays out for Me and it Will be all Strait When i get home. Mother you Must Write as Soon as you get this. don't you Wait as long as you did before. tell grand Mother that i send My respects to her and all the rest.
Write So(o)n Good Bye
Neare Staford Court House
February the 21 1863
Deare Uncle Nathan
I recived youre kind leter last night. I was glad to heare from you. I am well at present and hope these few lines will find you and family the same. Uncle Nathan I was sory to heare that old Mrs Richmond (his grandmother) had been telling wrong stories about you. Nathan I (k)new her before I came to Vergina. Nathan I sent that money to you not to old Mrs Richmond. When I send it to her then I think it is time for her to say something about it not before. Nathan dont blame Mother for she aint the one. I know the one that is to blame. It is old Mrs Richmond. She is the one that is to blame. Nathan I wrote to Mother to go down to your house and get six 6 dollars of money. I toled her to show you her leter and you would let her have it. 6 dollars. you may let her have it and the rest you can do as you think best with it. If you want to use it you may. You know what is best to do with it better than I do out heare. I don't know as I shall want to use it untill I get home. Uncle Nathan when I get sick of leting you have it I will let you know. You know that you and I have had a good deal of deal(s) and you know that we always got a long with out eny truble and I think we can heare after dont you think so. As Elder Tuck used to say 'me thinks that I heare you say yess'. Nathan I wish that I was to youre house to day where I could clasp my hands with you and youre family. O what a hapy day that would be to me.
Nathan you sed that Martin (a cousin) was a goin to kill my dog. I am sory that I have got such a cuisin as that. Nathan you (k)new that I thought a good deal of Little Spring for he is a good dog. Nathan if Martin had been out hear and I had been to home I would of paid the tax myself before I would of killed his dog and if he had eny principal about him he would of paid me back. Nathan I think you for paying the tax for me. You don wright in doing so. Nathan I guess that we shall get the rest of oure pay before long for they are making out the pay roll and I think we shall get some before long. Nathan I wish that you would send me a dollars worth of postage stamps if you can get them to send for it is a hard stent to get them. We have to pay five cents a piece for them sometimes. I had to borrow this one for I could not buye eny. They are scarse hear. Milo Wilber is here and is well. I recived Marys leter and have answered it. I shall have to close. Write soon. Good Bye. Oscar Wilber.
Near Fredricks Burge
February the 27, 1863
Dear Uncle Nathan
I recived youre kind letter day before yesterday which toled me what you was a doin. I was glad to heare from you. I am glad that it is good sleighen out there so that you can draw wood and staves. I am well at present and hope these few lines will find you the same and family. I supose that things are goin on out there as they use to. Uncle Nathan we are in Fredericks Burge yet. I don't know how long we shall stay here but I think that we shall stay here some time for it is the mudist time that I ever see. The mud is knee deep. General Burn Side has got defeted a gain. This storm stoped his plans. We had got roads made down to the river a bout ten miles above Fredericks Burge and started to go there and they started with the pontoon bridges and it comensed a raining and rained all night. It got so mudy that they couldent go with the pontoon bridges and the cannon. A good meny teems got stuck in the mud. It was the werst time that I ever see. We was out all night in the rain and mud with oure knap sacks on. You can guess how we felt. Wet all threw oure knapsacks would weight about sixty pounds. I am a goin to stop writing rite here a bout that march for I dont like to write a bout it and a nother thing I cant write for I haint no place to write. I dont believe that you can read it. A man cant write seting down on the ground nothing to write on only his knee. If I had youre table to write on I should like to write. Nathan you wrote that you would winter that heifer and sell her to me for sixteen dollars. I will pay you 16 dollars for her and you may winter her. You may tell Wallace that I have bought her. You may take youre pay out of that money that you have got. We haint got oure pay yet but we expect that we will get oure pay before long. I will write and tell you when we draw it. Nathan I want you to pay that land tax of mine. Nathan write and tell me how my land tax is and how much yours is to. Nathan you can keep a count of what you pay out for me and tell oure folks to and they can keep a count of it. Nathan when I get home I will pay you for youre troble. Nathan write as soon as you get this. Tell oure folks I am well and should like to here from them. Good Bye
Write soon. Goodbye
February the 27, 1863
I thought that i Would Write a few lines to you and tell you that i am Well at present And hope these few lines Will find you and all the Rest the Same. Mother i haint No News to Write. there aint Nothing goin on here. it is dull times here. Mother you May have one of them likeness and Rosina the other one. Mother you May have the one that has got the Cap on and Rosina May have the one that has got the hat on. Mother i am Sory that i had them taken For they don't look Eny how. the fellow dident have No place to take them. it Was in a little tent and it Was full of Men and that Made it very dark. Mother i Should like to See you but that Cant bee at present. But i hope that this War Will End Soon So that i Can Come home and See you all and See Bently. how i Would like to go and Make him a visit. Mother i Was Sory that Martin Wilber Was a goin to Kill My dog. i am glad that uncle Nathan paid the tax. Mother have you got that 6 dollars that i toled you to get. if you haint got it you May go and get it. i Wrote to uncle Nathan Wilber to let you have it if you Come down and got it. Mother i am Sory that grandmother has been talking about Nathan for i don't believe that he Will Cheet Me out of My Money and uncle Nathan has herd that She has Sed So. Mother you tell her that it aint for her to say Enething a bout it. Mother Why don't you Write to Me. Mother i Want you to Write to Me as Soon as you get this. this is from Oscar F. Wilber to Sally D Wilber My Dear Mother. Good Bye. Write Soon.
Dear Sister Rosina
i thought i Would Write a few lines to you. i Was glad to hear that youre health Was Beter. O how i Wish that you Mite get Beter and get Well. Rosina i think that i Shall live to See you all yet for We haint got only two years and a half to stay. that aint But a little While. it Soon Will pass a Way and i Can Come home. Rosina you See that i aint Discouraged yet. Rosina you May have one of them likeness that one that has got the hat on. Rosina tell Wallace to Write. Kiss Anson and Nelson for Me. tell Bently and Phylura to Write. Good Bye Rosina.
Write. Oscar Wilber
Near Staford Court House
March the 8, 1863
Dear Uncle Nathan
I recived youre kind leter last night which toled me that you was well and your family. I got them postage stamps that you sent. I want you to use my money enough to pay you for youre trouble. Nathan I want you to recken up how much that you have payed out for me and what little there is left you may use if you want it with out interest. You may want it in a noat and let Mother take it. I want you to have the use of it enough to pay you for youre trouble a doin bisness for me. Nathan i want you to send me two dollars. send green backs for it is a hard stent to pass eny other money. I had my likeness taken and it cost me two dollars and so I have got short of money. We expect that we shall be payed off with in two weaks and then I shall have lots of money to use. You see when I draw my money it will be like that Treasure noat that I sent you. Youre name will be on them gest as it was on that one that I sent. I think that is the best way to send it dont you Nathan. When a soldier sines that paper to send his money in that way he cant alter it or he cant spend eny of that money that he has sined to send home. I think that foure dollars a month is enough for me to spend. We sined that paper when we was to Jamestown. All of the boys sined it but Derion(Darius)Wilber and Lymon spent it all. The boys is all well but Day(Darius). He is in Washington. I think he will get his discharge. Nathan you wrote that Jerome Wilber wanted to hire my money. If you want to use it you may or if you can make enything by hireing it out you may have all you make. Nathan if you want to do so write and let me know. Nathan I thought that you was a speculating man but I begin to think that you aint. Why dont you go out some rainy day and make forty or fifty dollars. I have furnished you the money. Now Nathan I want you to make all you can on that money and you may have all that you make on it. Nathan you may think I am a funy fellow. Now Nathan if you cant make use of it you may put it in the bank. If you use that money you can have it till Fall. Write soon as you get this. Good Bye.
Neare Staford Count House
March 16, 1863
i Recived youre Kind Leter last Night. i Was glad To heare from you. Mother i am Well at present and hope these Few lines will find you the same. Mother i haint got No News to write. it is dull times Here. all We have to do is to Drill and Stand on pickit. We have to Stand three days and three Nights out of Nine days. We Have to guard the place prety Strong. if We dident the Rebels Cavelry Would dash in on us. Mother I dont think that there Will Be much More fighting in Vergina. Nothing More than some Squrmishing. of Course there Will be Squads of Rebels that Will try to dash on us and oure men Will do the same By them until this War is Settled. Mother i hold up good Courage. I think this War Will be Settled before fall and i think That i Shall be to home by Fall. Mother tell Miss Tracy That Edmund is Well. tell Her that i send my respects to her and Wish that She mite Get Well. all the Boys is well Except Derious Wilber. he is in Washington. i haint herd from (him) in a bout three Weeks. Mother i think that he will get his discahrge and go home. Mother dont troble About me for My health is good. i Weigh one hundred and Eighty. i think if this Ware Ends by Fall and i get home i think That My health Will be beter than it use to be. Mother i don't troble a bout My self. all the troble i have is a bout you and the rest of the family. Mother tell grandmother that i Send My Respects to her and to aunt Phylura Mozer. Mother i had a leter from Amy. She Wrote that She was Well and Jennie and Amansel. Now Mother i must Bring this leter to a Close and Write a few lines to Wallace. Mother i am glad that you saved My dog. i will pay the tax. i wrote to Nathan and toled him that i Would i toled him that i Was glad That he payed it and that i Would Pay him. Mother tell Bently that I Would like to see him and Phylura and little George. tell Rosina that she Must be a good girl and all the rest. tell them all that i send My Respects to them. Mother i must Close By Saying good Bye. Write soon and Write all the News. good Bye from Oscar Wilber to Sally D. Wilber
Dear Brother Wallace
i am Well at present and hope these Few lines Will find you the Same. Wallace you dont know how glad I Was to get a letter from Anson and Nelson. Wallace i had rather have a letter from Them and you then to have one from old Abe Lincoln. Wallace Be Kind to them and you Never Will be Sory. Wallace you dont know how much i think of them and you to and the rest of the family. Wallace Anson Wrote that you had a good yoke of Steers. Wallace i Would keep them. they Will do a good Deal of Work. Wallace Write to Me and let Me know how My steers git a long and Write if i had hay Enough to Winter them. Wallace Write Soon and Bee a Good Boy.
Good Bye Wallace. Oscar Wilber
April the 28, 1863
i thought that i Would Try and Write a few lines to you. I am Well at present and hope that these Few lines Will find you the Same and all the rest. Mother i Should have Wrote Before if i had of had a Chance to. We Have left Staford Court House. We are a bout thirty Miles from Staford Court house to a place called Kellys fourd. Mother i think that We Shall have to fight prety Soon. i think that oure Men Will Attack the rebels in two or three Days. i Marched hear With the Regtment and Stayed here three Days. then they sent me Back to guard the Wagon train Back to the old Camp to Staford Court house and When i got there the orders Came For us to Stay there till We had Diferent orders. they thought that the Brigade Would Come back and We Stayed their two Weeks. Then We got orders to open the Boys Napsacks and take out their over Coats and Dress Coats and turn them over to the quarter Master and Not take Eny thing But oure light Clothing. We are to Cary Two Shirts and to pair Socks and one pair of Shoes. Every Soldier has got to have two pairs of Shoes one pair on his feet and one pair in his Napsack and one Woolen Blankit. them things We have got to Cary and Eight days ration. five days rations in oure Napsacks and three days rations in our Haver Sacks. Well Mother i have got head of My story. i Will go Back and Commence again.
We opened the Napsacks and took out their Coats and packed the Napsacks up again. them Coats are left back. probly We shant get them untill fall. Then We loaded the Napsacks on the Wagons and a lot of provision. then We Started back to the Regiment. We Was two Days a Coming. We got here last Night. Well Mother i Wont Write Eny More a bout that. Mother i herd that Wallace Was Sick With the Dipthera. O how Sory i am that the dipthera rages their this Summer. that has trobled Me ever Sence i herd of it. Mother i Wish that i was there to help you take Care of him. Wallace don't Know how much i think of him. Mother We are a goin to Draw oure pay Soon and if you Want Eny Money you Can have it if you Stand in Need of Some Now to take Care of Wallace. i Wish that you Would go down to Nathans and see if he has got Some to let you have. it may Be that We Shall get Some this Week. if We do i Will Send Some to you. Mother you know What you Stand in Need of Beter then i Do. Mother i am a goin to give you ten Dollars to b(u)y What you Stand in Need of When i get my pay. Now Mother i Shall have to Close My leter and i Want you to Write as Soon as you get this. Tell all the Family that i Would like to See them. tell Wallace to hury and get Well and Write me a leter. Mother Write Soon and Write all of the News. Derect youre leters as before.
Good Bye. Write Soon.
Mrs Sally D. Wilber
And then came May 2nd and 3rd and the battle at Chancellorsville.