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[p. 95] if I could start again and go on another, if they gave me enough to eat. During the march we made a good many halts, and we would set the fences on fire and make coffee. In fact you might say we burnt all the fences on our line of march, and when we camped we took all the fences we could find for camp fires. When we got into the woods we set pitch pine trees afire. They would burn like so much pitch, and the fire would stream clear up to the top, making the most splendid sight you ever saw, especially in the night. The whole woods were afire from within fifteen miles of Newbern to Goldsboro. Sometimes we would come out into a plain, and perhaps there would be a tree, one hundred feet high, all burnt, so that nothing but the bare ends of the limbs would be on fire. I never saw any fireworks on Boston Common so elegant. But now you can guess how we looked after marching through all this smoke and pitch pine. Our clothes were smutty as well as our faces, and we looked as if we had been in a smokehouse. I received eight letters when I returned. The boys are just receiving their boxes from home. Some of them have been on the way six or seven weeks. Give my respects to all inquiring friends.

Your affectionate father,


Company F, 5th Massachusetts Infantry, enlisted from Medford, September, 1862, for nine months. The whole term was spent in and about Newbern, North Carolina.

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