Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

Post image for Army letters of Oliver Willcox Norton.

Army letters of Oliver Willcox Norton.

September 28, 2013

Army letters of Oliver Willcox Norton (Eighty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers)

Headquarters Third Brigade, First Division,

Monday, Sept. 28, 1863.

Dear Sister L.:—

We are still near Culpeper. The big fight has not come off yet and does not seem so near at hand as it did a month ago. The camp is full of rumors that the Fifth Corps is going to Texas. The Eleventh and Twelfth have gone somewhere, probably to help Rosecrans, and the supposed plan is to leave four corps for the protection of Washington, abandon the attack on Richmond and transfer the seat of war to the southwest. What do you think of my going to Texas? It is quite a distance from home.

I am glad you got the diary. I told you there wouldn’t be much in it. The most it is good for is for reference. I could make quite a story with this for a text. I am keeping one now a little more detailed. My book is a little larger. The one I sent to E. was more of a narrative. It seems strange to me that he does not write to you and to me, too. His address was “care of Ketcham & Barker, Toledo, Ohio.” All the reason he gave for Bidwell’s turning him off was that he thought he could not make a merchant of him. I think the reason was that E. could not earn the wages he was paying him. I thought so when E. wrote about his bargain and I could hardly understand about it.

I had got so far when the melodious voice of our adjutant general was heard pronouncing my name in tones considerably above a whisper. I reported and was ordered to saddle my horse quickly. The brigade was flying round, getting into line, drums beating and a big time generally. Colonel Chamberlain mounted and put for the brigade post-haste and I began to think the rebels might be coming. On ascending the hill I saw it was only a review by General Meade and a civilian whom I took to be Senator Wilson of Massachusetts. We had not had a review for some time and it was quite a novelty. It passed off very well. Casualties none, prisoners none and not much of anything else but dust.

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