Camp 8th [N. Y.] Independent Battery
May 19th 1862
Your letter of May 9th came to hand last Friday which was the first I have had in some time. It is now nearly dark and having a few leisure moments, I now sit down to write you a line to let you know how we are progressing in our march to the seat of rebeldom. We are within eighteen miles of Richmond. The rebels were here where we are now encamped last Saturday but retreated as our troops advanced. They are nary nine miles from here and it is said they are going to make a stand at that place which no doubt is true. And in all probability before this reaches you, there will have been a decisive battle fought and the City of Richmond will be in our hands. It is reported here that the rebels have a large force at that place but yet I doubt not but the result will be a glorious victory for the Union forces.
There is not much news of importance here. The weather is now very pleasant. You can get the correct war news before we can get it here for there is nothing but camp rumors here and we can’t place any dependence on what we hear.
There is a good deal of sickness here at present in our company. Jim McNair and William Ludington was left at Kent County Court House sick and was to be sent back to the hospital at Fortress Monroe. There is several others left at the same place. We have had a pretty hard time since we started on this march. We sometimes march in the night and sometimes in the day time. Saturday night we marched about six miles after dark which took us until two o’clock in the morning.
I am well as usual, thank God. I have had good health ever since I came into the army. Bob White is also well as are all the rest of your acquaintances. I must now close as it is getting late. No more at present. Hoping this will find you all well, I remain yours, — H. S. Murray