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Excerpt of letter from Philip Smyers to his wife. Smyers was serving in the Union Army and had seen action at Fredericksburg. His observation about the two armies is quite telling. He recognizes that the greater size of the Union Army is offset by the quality of the Confederate generals.

Decm 22nd 1862

Camp near Fredericksburg

Dear wife

I take the oppertunity of informing you that I heard sorrowful news that you was verry sick

it makes me so discontented I cant hardly stay but I am thankful it is know worse if you only get well I am well at preasent I doo wish this war was over for it is nothing but a complete humbug

murdering men for nothing else than money and hy [high] offices and we have got no officers that knows any thing about fighting I dont believe that we will ever whip the South it could be maid out if our men would doo it I calculated that we was going to be whiped before that we went into that fight at all the rebs was too well fixed we ought not to have crossed the river at that place

but we got out of it splendid between two days I give old burnny [Burnside] credit for that move

Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center