Saturday, May 24, 1862
From Battery L
Camp Six Miles Above Newmarket, Va., May 11, 1862
Messrs; Editors; - We are still in the valley, under orders to march - where or when I can't say. Camp rumor says to join McDowells division. We have on hand fifteen days' rations, and the baggage is cut down to regulation restrictions, so that rumor may, in this case, have hit the truth. For my part, I would much prefer campagning in the valley to any other part of Virginia, on account of health and forage, but, wherever the fortunes of war may place us, I hope our Battery may always maintain the character for promptitude and bravery which it now has in this division. General Shields is now actively engaged in the arduous duties which his position devolves upon him, regardless of the severe and painful wound which he received at Winchester. His fine physical frame and strict temperate habits are fast overcoming that which, with many would have resulted in the amputation of an arm. He is a great favorite with his division. It is highly amusing to notice with what pride the soldiers under General Shields refer to the fact that they belong to his division, looking down with pity on those who are under any other General. With the rebels the name of Shields is feared, well knowing that the experience, determination and dash with which he undertakes and carries out hisplans insure success, regardless of the numbers opposing. We are having beautiful moonlight nights, and seated in groups enjoying pleasant evenings, while the sweet music of distant regimental bands comes floating up the valley, makes it almost a fairy land.
We are in continual receipt of glorious news from McClellan's advance. - Just in is the news of the taking or Norfolk and the blowing up of the Merrimac. What a pity that we could not have captured her. Captain ROBINSON'S return gladdened the hearts of many who heard directly from home. The boys are all well, and in fine spirits - many are looking anxiously to the time when they can again see their friends at home. More anon,