September 21, 1863

Camp 20th Maine Vols, near Culpepper, Va.

Dear Brother:

I will improve a few moments this afternoon in writing you. We still remain in the camp that we had when we first came here but I learn that the Cavalry crossed the Rapidan today and perhaps the Infantry may have that privilege soon. This is a very pretty country when we all encamp. Although it is in almost its natural state — man has done nothing to improve it for two years — and have been burning up fences all this time. The city is large and much [illegible] than I expected to see.

Holman Melcher to brother, Nathaniel Melcher [Holman Melcher Papers]

September 13, 1863

Camp near Beverly Ford

Dear Brother,

I am going to begin a letter to you it’s snowing and perhaps will finish it today and perhaps instead of using the pen I shall leave to grasp the sword and rush into battle. We have just received orders to be ready to move at a moment’s notice: the 2nd corps crossed at Rappahannock Station yesterday and are pressing on to Culpepper and we are to support them. I hope we shall not have to right today – it is an improper way of spending the Sabbath, but the excitement – even if we do not move – will be enough to spoil the quietness of the Sabbath. […]

Holman Melcher to brother, Nathaniel Melcher [Holman Melcher Papers]

September 6, 1863

Camp 20th Maine Vols. at Beverly Ford, Va.

My Dear Brother:

It is Sabbath evening and very quiet and peaceful for the army it does not usually seem much like the Sabbath but now that the business of the Regt. is so well kept up, that we do not have any writing to do on that day. It seems now like a, “Day of Rest.” […]

Holman Melcher to brother, Nathaniel Melcher [Holman Melcher Papers]


April 27, 1863

Camp near Falmouth Va.

Dear Brother N.

Again with pleasure do I inform a few moments this evening in writing you and you are probably astonished to see is dated at our old camp – well so am I, for I expected long before this time to be far away… but we seem to be destined to disappointments – perhaps the future will be brighter – hope is will.

This is the second time we have been stopped by rain. This time we had to stop for the mud to dry away and while doing so the enemy found out the plans and so we must wait till new ones are made!… I am not complaining of Providence – no – no!! Only excusing our delay. I am aware that the result is loathing to this army for deeds that will tell when the rebellion – and the south too, are gaining courage from our inactivity.  But I hope the time is not far distant when this army will come forth from a [illegible text] with the heroes of victory in a great and glorious Cause.


Holman Melcher to brother, Nathaniel Melcher [Holman Melcher Papers]