This letter was written by 44 year-old Jesse Smith Ormsbee (1818-1864) who enlisted on 15 August 1862 as a private in Co. G, 4th Vermont Volunteers. He died from wounds on 24 August 1864 at Charlestown, Virginia.
Smith was the son of Nathaniel Ormsbee and Sally Merritt. He was married twice. His first wife was Abigail Wheeler (1824-1848); his second wife was Mary Ann Loveyoy (1828-1892).
This letter was composed just after the return of the 4th Vermont to their camp at Brandy Station following Meade’s unsuccessful Mine Run Campaign.
Addressed to Mr. Ira Ormsbee, Marshfield, Vermont
Postmarked Washington D. C.
Camp near Brandy Station, Va.
December 5, 1863
I have got the opportunity to inform you that my health is good as common and hope these few lines will find you the same. I received your kind letter mailed the 24th November and 2 papers. I should [have] received it sooner but we have been after the rebs again. We started the 26th of November and crossed the Rapidan the 28th and recrossed back the 1st December and came back to the old camp the 2nd day [very] tired [and] was glad when we got back.
I hain’t got my box yet but I shall get it now just as soon as they bring Express’s.
Hain’t not much to write now. It is cloudy today but I don’t think that it is agoing to storm—not at present.
I don’t want to have that line to run so as to take any timber to amount to much on the north side of the rocky pasture. Have the line run with the old fence from the upper corner east upper corner of the pasture. I think I should let Dan have it for fifty dollars. I want the money paid over to Uncle Ira Smith and when they have the line established, divide the line to build the fence and have it put on record and have Ira Smith see to it and have a fence built.
I want you to send me some more postage stamps so if we stop here long, I can write oftener to my friends. I can’t think of any more this time so good luck to you all, — Smith Ormsbee
I want you to hand that letter to Ira Smith