Albert J. Barnard, 11 October 1862

Camp Belger
October 11th [1862], 3 a.m.

Dear Mother,

About 1 o’clock this rainy morning, the officer’s call was sounded and such a scrambling you never saw. We all turned out in a hurry and up to the Colonel’s tent we went where we found him almost covered up in his rubber overcoat. After all had got there, he read an order from General Emory (our Brigadier, for we were brigaded yesterday) to march at 8 o’clock tomorrow morning (Saturday) with two days rations. We don’t know where to, but are to find out at the depot. No one is allowed anything except what he can carry on his back but we must pack up everything. We have just got [along] nicely fixing a floor in our tent and had one of our men make a table all finished yesterday, just before supper.

Lt. John Dobbins and his Father arrived at camp Wednesday morning about 10 o’clock and right glad I was to see him. I went to the depot Tuesday evening to meet him but he came via New York and so was longer on the road. On Wednesday Capt. Dobbins gave a dinner at the Eutaw House. There were 12 of us officers present and had a splendid dinner. We sat down at the table about 1 o’clock and sat there till four, after which we rode all over the city. [We] visited the camp of the 110th New York Regiment, Col. Littlejohn.

In the evening we heard that Generals McClellan, Sumner, Keyes, Wool, Duryea, and one or two others dined at the same time and were in the same room but they were dressed in citizen’s clothes and we did not see them. We all thought we would have given up our dinner to see them.

I tell you what it is, it seems real good to have someone here that I know to be capable of taking command when necessary.

John is a splendid fellow and the men all like him. He went on battalion drill yesterday for the first time. I tell you, my big boots have come just in the nick of time. They fit nicely and are just the thing.

I have got the cooks all at work and the men have their knapsacks packed. Our valises are packed, our breakfast and rations for two days under way. So I will close and try to get an hour’s sleep. So goodbye till we reach our other camp. With love, — Albert

If you send me any letters before you hear again, direct as you have before and the letters will be forwarded. — Albert