"I hope that this will end better than the last."

My health is good

Headquarters Camp Foster Poolesville. M.d.
15 Reg’t Mass Volunteers, Comp B
Jan 1st, 1862
Pages 1 & 4 of the letter with a very unique header
Dear Father & Mother
                I received your kind letter last night and was glad to here from you and the rest of the folks. I received seven letters from different persons last night the first that I have had in three weeks and it made me feel good.  I was on guard last night and I had a chance to watch the old year out and the new one in.  I hope that this will end better than the last.  

There was four nigers come over the river one day this week and gave themselves up to our pickets.  They had four good horses with them.  They ar in our camp and I have had a chance to talk with them.  They say that the rebels have four regts in Leesburg and they ar all from mississippie.  He sayes that the rebels lost more men in the fight at balls bluf that we dide.  There is a good deal of sickness in camp at the present time.  There is three of ours boys sick with the measles and some sick with the jaundice and it makes the duty hard for the well ones but I am willing to do all that I can when I am well.  There has a good many gon home on furloughs.  We have to go on guard about four times a week and that is the hardest duty we do.  We have about one hundred new recruits and it will not be so hard for us after they get use to dutys of a soldier.   We hade our monthly inspection yesterday noon.  I will tell you what that is for.  It is to see that we have everything that we need and to answer to our name when the rool is called so that we can get our money when pay day comes.   I do not think we shall get paid befour the middle of this month.  What do you think of the officers in the union army?  Do you think they ar the men for the places they hold.  I think we have some traitors left and the sooner we get them cleaned out we will be better off.  I suppose you heard of the trick that Gen Stone played about three weeks ago when the fight was.  There was four slaves crosed the river and staid with us some time one Saturday.

Pages 2 & 3 of the letter
He took them and went to the Ferey and sent them acrost but the Rebel pickets would not let them land and I for one am glad of it.  Do you call such a man as that true to the union?  It will not do for me to say anymore at present but you know what I think of such men.  We have got some new tents and they are good big ones.  There is 17 of us in one and we enjoy ourselfs in good shape.  I received a letter from Uncle Laws last night.  He is at Annapolis.  He says the talk is that they are going in the expidition.  I wished that the 15th Regt was going for I want to see the south before this is settled.  I had a letter from Cousin Ellen and four from Lizzie so you must excuse me for not writing more to you.  Give my love to the folks.  Write often.  Accept this from your affectionate sone
GoodBy                                                                                                                John Campbell

Private John Campbell was killed in action on September 17, 1862 in the West Woods at Antietam.  His story can be found here.

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