This letter was written by Isaac Webber, Jr. (1836-1908) who enlisted in August 1862 to serve three years in Co. K, 19th Maine Infantry. He was initially a private but rose in rank to First Sergeant before he received a serious wound in the Battle of the Wilderness in May 1864 and was mustered out. This letter was written just before the Battle of Chancellorsville in which the regiment played a very small role and was not engaged in the fighting.
Isaac, Jr. was the son of Isaac Webber (1801-1872) and Jane Campbell (1805-1892). He was married in 1857 to Sarah Abigail Reed (b. 1837) and they had two small children — Abbie and Edward — when this letter was written. Isaac worked as a house painter before and after the war.
Isaac wrote this letter to one of his sisters but gives no clue in the letter which of them it was. He had at least three who continued to live in the Boothbay area at the time.
Camp near Falmouth [Virginia]
April 13, 1863
I received your kind letter some time ago but have not had a chance to answer until now. I was glad to hear that you are all well. I am well & hearty as a pig. Today I am on picket. We are having a very pleasant day. The Rebels are fishing all along the [Rappahannock] River & I guess they are getting hungry over there. I believe the army is getting ready to move now. I guess they intend to cross the river. I hope we shall drive this time. I don’t want them to retreat anymore.
You said you would send me a box. I am very much obliged to you for your kind offer but I guess it won’t be worthwhile. We live pretty well now. We have got a bake house in our brigade so we get soft bread four times a week. Len has done a big thing this time. He will soon get rich going to sea. I wish I could make as much as he does. Never mind, I am having thirteen dollars a month — that is pretty large pay. I don’t care anything about that if we only settle the war. I hope it will be settled this summer so we can come home. I should like to see the folks very well. Len [Leonard S.] Webster & Lyman [W.] Pinkham have got their discharge & [are] on their way home. The Boothbay Boys is all well.
I saw Loria Heley this morning. He is well. He has not been sick a day since he started. Oh by the way, how do you feel about the draft down there? I suppose some of them are pretty frightened. Tell Rich he must not be scared. I guess they won’t trouble him. I believe this Corps has been detached for picket duty. We are on picket duty every other day. When we are not on picket, we are on [camp] guard. So it makes it pretty hard for us — on duty most all the time. This is all at present.
Yours truly, — Isaac Webber
P. S. Today is the fourteenth. The army is on the march. We are all ready. We shall have another Fredericksburg battle. Good day.