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12th Vermont Infantry
Army Life in Virginia
Lazy Brigade, 2nd Division
Co. G. 12th Vermont Vol.
Spring Bank, Virginia
November the 21, 1862
Dear Chancey Hewett,
I now take the pleasure of writing a few lines to you to let you know that I am well, and I hope these few lines will find you the same. It is a rainy day. It has rained almost all the time for a week, and the mud has got all most over our boots, and we are under marching orders. We have got our barracks partly done for the winter, but our army is on the move for Richmond. Burnside says he will lay his life that he will be there in 20 days. Our boys are out on picket about four miles from camp. Two weeks ago today the snow fell about 6 inches deep, and it reached to North Carolina, and it is cold enough to snow here today. One of the Fourteenth boys got shot while on picket day before yesterday through the left breast, and the ball came out through his back. The sergeant was showing how to halt a Rebel while the gun was cocked, and his gun went off accidentally. I don't think of any thing more of importance. I should like to have you write to me. I should like to come and eat some apples and drink a little cider with you, and then go and catch a rabbit or two. Tell Mrs. Hewett and your mother that I send my best respects and to all my inquiring friends. Give my love to all your children. If you see Mr. Clark tell him that I am well, and Mrs. Slawson tell her I send my best respects. I don't think of any thing more this time, so good by till I see you again.
Albert E. Fales
Biographical note: Private Albert E. Fales, of Brandon, enlisted August 16, 1862, and mustered in as a private in Comany G, 12th Vermont Volunteers on October 4, 1862. After mustering out with his regiment on July 14, 1863, Albert re-enlisted in Company H, Fifth Vermont Volunteers, January 28, 1864, and was transferred to Company K, Third Vermont Volunteers March 25, 1864. He was wounded on the first day of the battle of the Wilderness, May 5, 1864, and mortally wounded at Charles Town, Virginia, August 21, 1864. He died September 20, 1864, and was originally buried on the Weverton farm, at Monocacy. His remains were later transferred to the National Cemetery at Antietam, Maryland (gave #2661). He was 43 years old.
Sources: 1892 Revised Roster, pp. 67, 142, 456, 754; Steven R. Stotelmyer, The Bivouacs of the Dead: The Story of those who died at Antietam and South Mountain, (Toomey Press, Baltimore, 1992); letter contributed by John David Parker, grandson of Private David W. Clark. Chancey Hewett was John's mother's maternal grandfather.