This letter was written by Jacob Miller Seibert (1843-1922) of Co. F, 93rd Pennsylvania. He enlisted in October 1861, was promoted to adjutant on 1 August 1864, and was discharged on 8 March 1865 for wounds received at Opequan, Virginia, on 19 September 1864.
Jacob was the son of Christian Seibert (1812-1911) and Mary Ann Miller (1811-1900) of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.
Head Quarters Camp Winfield Scott
Stationed at Warwick Creek, Warwick County, Virginia
[Sunday] April 20th 1862
Dear Father & All,
It has pleased God to spare me to enjoy the rest and quietude of another Sabbath. Although we have no Divine Service to attend, nor friends to visit, we will try to pass the Holy Day not altogether unobserved. Early this morning my attention was attracted by the booming of cannons and the firing of muskets, & it is believed that an attack has been made by the enemy as Sunday morning is the time they generally make a forward move, but at the end are generally repulsed.
We are stationed at a very important place and more than 1,000 yards from the enemy’s fortifications but it is not known by them or they would undoubtedly shell us out. They have thrown shells over but done no harm. The ½ of them do not explode.
On Thursday evening [17 April] at 10 o’clock we were routed out & marched to the above named creek where we were in line of battle all night & at daybreak we were moved back into the woods about 40 yards where we lay till 10 A.M. No attack was supposed to be made after that hour & we again returned to camp & the same day we were again ordered to move.
There has been quite an excitement in camp the past week about the Rebel steamer Merrimac. at one time it was rumored that she was sunk, then again that she had run the blockade & was on the bay, but neither of them proved true.
We did not receive any mail since the 20th of March — now one month ago. The letters that come to Washington were not orders to Fortress Monroe until last week. We expect them in a few days. When we come down here the cattle were running wild & whenever we get hungry for fresh beef, we would go out in the woods & shoot a steer. We have for a house some 20 window shutters that we got at a sash factory.
The houses from Fortress Monroe to this place are all deserted & most of them burned down. We built five small forts last week. Since I wrote the above, a rumor come to camp that the Rebels had left their forts opposite our camp but such rumors are not credited. Last night [19 April] at 10 o’clock a rapid firing of musketry commenced and continued about 15 minutes. They were firing at will & it sounded like a machine gun after the [end of letter missing]