Old camp near Falmouth VA.
Saturday Dec. 20 1862
I suppose you have heard
in the papers all about how we have march-
ed up the hill and then marched down again, or
how we have been across the river to Freder-
icksburg & are now back to our old quarters.
I wrote a long letter to Mother all about it while
I was at the Hospital in Fredericksburg & I told
her to send it to you after reading. I suppose she has
done so & I will not need to give you the partic-
ulars on the part our the regt. played in the affair
The whole undertaking has proved a great
failure & thousands of lives have been thrown
away & not one thing gained. It was no fault
of the soldiers or of the men that led them.
The fault lies with the man that ordered
the movement. Some say Sec Stanton ordered
it against the judgement of Burnside. I
don’t know who it was. if Burnside then I
think Old Abe had better send him to Trenton.
It was just an impossibility to take the
rebel position. No soldiers under heaven
could endure the fire we had to endure.
I have wondered since how one of us ever
got off the field alive. It was awful, worse
than Antietam. For. When I left the field at night
the plain was covered with our killed and
wounded. Our regt. is all used up. There
are but 80 men left. We have been divid-
ed into two Cos. There are 3 Capt’s left one
acts as Col. the others command the Cos.
I have to act as Orderly again. My Co.
consists of 1 sergt, 3 corpls. and 8 privates.
I feel homesick, the boys all gone, the
officers gone, & the regt. played out.
Gen. Sumner told Col. Lewis that he must
try to get us into permanent winter
quarters in some fort or the like. He
said it is no use for us to try to do
more. We had fought ourselves away.
But I am opined the old 5th won’t get many
favors. The 2nd 6th 12th & 13th were not in the
fight much and lost very few men. The 9th
& 10th played out [------?]. They say
the 11th was in hot and heavy & did nobly. They
have got a great name.
I don’t know what will be done now &
I don’t care much. I feel as though we are
out of it. I received a letter from you last Tuesday
got one from Mother and Jes. today.
I don’t feel very well today. You must excuse
this scrawl. I will try & do better next
time. Write soon tell Samuel to write.
Give my love to all
Geo. S. Gove