Civil War Letters of 
Corporal Adam Muenzenberger, to April, 1863


Stafford Court House

Letter #18______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    January 1, 1863

Precious Barbara:

        As healthy as ever I take my pen in hand this 1st day of January, 1863, to tell you, beloved, about our activities here in Virginia.
        We are, God be praised, still in good health, and I hope, dearest, that this letter finds you the same.
Yesterday our regiment was mustered in again. This happens every two months. Our regiment was acclaimed the best and the neatest. Our general received merited praise for this. We think that we will have our money in a few days as I hear that the entire regiment will be paid here. Should this happen I will send it to my dear ones as soon as possible since it is my greatest pleasure to bring happiness to my beloved family at home. With this letter I am sending you a little new year's present. It is a ring which I whittled out of wood here. It is the same wood out of which they make pipe bowls. It got too small for me. I had made it larger but through steaming it shrunk. I will be very sorry if it is too small for you. I am going to whittle a prettier and larger one for you and for Mary. We have made many pipes many of which are fully as nice as those you get in Milwaukee.
        Everyone is whittling pipes and rings and tries to outdo everyone else. I am going to begin another one today. It is sure to be elaborate.
        Our New Year in Virginia was very nice although not like New Year at home. Last night as a New Year's gift all of us received a drink of whiskey as big as an inch from our brigadier general. Today everyone is to get three tablespoons of flour. This will be the first flour I have seen since we came to Virginia. Today we are living on pancakes.
        One of my comrades dreamed that we would be home by August. He says that it will take as many months to get home as nights he dreams the same dream.
I would like to know what you and your fortune telling says about this. Write and let me know whether you both agree. It would please me much if the war would end soon as it is all humbug and the North isn't able to defeat the South. It's all so much deviltry.
        Our major, Horwitz, caught something. He is sick and has resigned. Lieutenant Lehman has been discharged on account of incompetence and terrible cruelty. He is the worst person in the whole army. He and I were in each other's hair. He brought me before the general who was only half convinced. I told the general the truth right then and there. The general had me come back to him again and told me that if this happened again I should report him. Dr. Huebschmann was before the court martial because he kept the wine that the United States furnished for the sick soldiers and drank it himself. He'll land back in Milwaukee before long. By and by our regiment will be cleared of all rascals. Our general behaves himself very well. He is liked by every one. Every morning he visits the hospital. Adam is well again and draws his rations with the company but is not forced to do any duties.
        Write me soon and send me good news. It will please me to hear something agreeable soon. Many greetings to you, precious Barbara, and to our children. Kiss them for their faithful father.

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger

Letter #19______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Stafford Court House, January 6, 1863.

Precious Barbara:

        As I see by our brother-in-law's letter our little Adam is very ill, and is causing you quite a bit of trouble. I am very sorry that you should have this trial with him, and to show you my sympathy I am writing immediately. I am wishing the little fellow a speedy recovery, and you and yours the best of health.
        I am writing this letter with tears in my eyes, so deeply sympathetic I am with You poor, forsaken ones. But who can alter it? Therefore, be comforted, beloved; there is one above us who will correct all this.
        Last Sunday we had to move our tents to another location. We built ourselves some fine bunk-houses, about the size of our pig-pen, 12 x 8 feet. Each one accommodates five men. We then built two bed bunks, one above the other. Three sleep in the lower and two in the upper bed, and that gives us a, little room in the shanty.
        I am still one of the healthiest in the whole regiment,, but I have lost some weight, so before long I will be back to the weight of my youth. But that is nothing. I am now an entirely different fellow, with a mustache and a pair of whiskers, as I have not shaved since I left Milwaukee. If you met me I doubt if you would know me.
        Your brother, Adam, is well and still a little homesick. He wishes fervently that your mother would send him some money. He sends her greetings. If I did not know the circumstances you are in I would have asked you for a dollar long ago. But never mind, everything is alright now. Don't give yourself a headache worrying about me. I am satisfied with what I have -- but -- if you don't receive any money this month, I am afraid we will have a rebellion right here in the regiment.
        Be so kind and send me some more postage stamps, - if you have not already done so.
        I am hoping for the best of health for the little fellow and the, rest of the family, and especially for yourself, dear one. And so I greet you and kiss your picture many times.

Until death do us part.

Letter #20______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Stafford Court House, January 6, 1863

My Dear Brother-in-Law:

        I received your treasured letter on January 5th and I note therein that you are all well. I am, thank God, in good health and I send my kindest regards to you. I am much pleased to hear that my father is visiting you. I thank you all for your good wishes to me and I send you all mine in return.
We are very short of things here. We receive our rations very irregularly and everyday the incompetence of the officers becomes more apparent. We must drill for hours every day, not so much to teach the soldiers as to teach the officers. And they can command - but they can't understand the commands. In this fashion we have to play poodle dog for the officers.
        No other regiment drills the way we do, the others watch us.
We have had several deaths in our regiment. First there was the Jaeger boy of New Berlin. In the place where we have now quartered we have already buried three. Among them was a man by the name of Spangenberg from Company A. Many are sick in bed. Others are lying around. I do not think that our regiment has more than eight hundred serviceable men. If this humbug doesn't stop soon there will be many who will die as soon as the weather warms up after the January rains. One morning as I was doling out rations I saw our Colonel ask a young man, "What's the matter with you, son?"
        "Oh Colonel," he answered, "I have such a cough that I can hardly keep up any longer."
The Colonel told the boy to go to the doctor and to get something for the cough and to keep himself warm. He has the warmest sympathy for the sick. His first duty every morning is to go to the hospital. He is the best officer who came from Milwaukee with us and even superior officers are surprised at the progress he has made. Every morning he examines the captains in command of the regiment and in this way he sees what is going on.
        Captain Boebel and Captain George are pretty good. So is Lieutenant Fuchs.
The regiment is becoming more and more dissatisfied. At first they told us that we would receive our pay by January 10th, 1863. Now the rumor is floating around that we won't be paid until March. What will happen we don't know.
        According to the letter I received from my mother-in-law the women intend to have a meeting at the Stuber House. Let me know immediately if they held the meeting and what they decided to do. I received my mother-in-law's letter at the same time I received yours.
In the expectation of a speedy answer I send greetings to my father, brother-in-law, sister, and in fact to all my friends.

Your Brother-in-Law

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger

Letter #21______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Stafford Court House, January 9, 1863

Precious Wife:

        Yesterday, January 8th, I received your dear letter of January 2nd and I see in it that our family is entirely well again. Adam and I are in good health and greet you many times. I am - God be praised - still hale and hearty and my meals taste good although many times there is only about half enough to satisfy me. Now, however, things are better as we are receiving our rations regularly.
        There is a stone quarry near us and we have built fireplaces next to our bake-hill. I feel very much at home as a result. It is doubtful though whether we will be here long because every time we build we are moved. We hope to stay here, though, as we like it very well- unless we would be moved way back. Adam received his letter and the money at the same time as I received my letter. He is very grateful to his mother. And as for me, well, I can't thank you enough for the two dollars which you sent because although everything to help us pass time is very scarce I never would have taken the liberty to write you for money if only we would have known when we would receive ours.
        But I will pay you back very soon as they say that the paymaster is here. Our general promised us that our regiment would be paid out on the 13th or 14th. As he says, the money that we signed for in Milwaukee should be paid out to you. That pleases us very much here because you can't trust anyone.
There is much talk about peace in our midst but how true it is only the gods know. Our men are hard at work - with the exception of the non-commissioned and commissioned officers. The privates must labor on the roads every other day and do duty in the hospitals. As an officer I am forced to do nothing but picket duty. Adam has also been excused from duties until he is entirely recovered.
        I am glad to hear that those who were drafted like Herman Krempel and others are free again and I send my regards to all those who sent me greetings in your last letter and I hope that we meet soon and in the best of health. I am glad that fate is so favorable and I hope that you'll follow my advice and stay neutral. You know, dearest, that what affects you affects me.
        I am sending this little present to Ernest because he studies so hard. I will whittle and send a ring to Mary. Tell her to be good and industrious. I will send a present later on to Henry and Adam.
Please give me the news from the teacup and don't omit anything. It gives me new thoughts.
I don't know any more news other than that Samuel Stoecher's father-in-law will be home soon. He fell and ruptured himself and is discharged.
        Include me in your prayers, dearest, as I include you in mine. In the hopes of a speedy return I send my regards to you and the children.

Your husband, faithful to death,

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger

Many greetings to your mother, sisters, and brothers, my father, sister and brother-in-law, and in fact to everyone who inquires for me.

Letter #22______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Stafford Court House, January 15, 1863

Precious Wife:

        As I am all alone in my tent today and do not know what to do I feel urged to write a letter to my loved ones. God be praised, I am still in the best of health and I hope that this letter will find yours and ours the same. We are still in our old camp but for how long we do not know. Yesterday, January 14th, we received orders to get everything in readiness as marching orders might come at any moment. Up to now no orders have arrived. Today our entire company is doing road work. As I wrote to you, however, non-commissioned officers are excused.
        Adam is well again and back to work. He is as happy as ever and sends his regards to his mother and to all of you. It is rumored that we will go to Warrentown, partly for the purpose of occupying the railroad and partly to make it easier to get provisions. In bad weather supplies for the number of troops we have (Sigel's and Burnside's) could not be brought by steamboat. If we march to Warrentown it will be a hard trip of four or five or maybe six days and it will be very difficult for us as we will hate to leave our comfortable camp. But that is the way things go. As soon as our camp is entirely in order we travel on.
There are many sick men in our regiment. Our company is the healthiest. Neither hands nor feet have bothered me but I am not as fat as I was at home.

I hope all our neighbors enjoy good health. Greet all of them from

Your loving husband,

                                                                                                    Adam.

        Please write immediately and tell me how you and the family are getting along. Is there any chance that you will get aid from the town or the county? I will write to Walsh in the near future and try to find out how things are. Please write some news in each of your letters. Tell me, for instance, how long according to your ideas this accursed war can last, how the children behave, how they study, and where is Ernest's letter. Tell him that I will love to have a letter from him and that I will bring him something. Likewise Mary. Tell Henry to be a good boy and I beg of you, dear heart, to kiss the little ones for me.
        In the hope of a speedy return, greeting you and the children, I remain your loving husband, faithful unto death,

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger

        Many greetings to your mother and her family, to your brother-in-law and sister, to the Rollers, Weilers, Hirschs, Kraks and to all those who inquire for me. Many greetings to my godfather, and to my grandmother and their families. I am sending you a ring which I made in my spare time.

Letter #23______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Hartwood Church, January 29, 1863

Precious Wife:

        At last I can answer your letters. I received the last two in the evening just before we left Stafford Court House and had no chance to reply - besides no letters have been sent out before this. You must excuse my long silence as it was unavoidable. For eight days our company was on picket duty and then did not return to the regiment. After that we broke camp and marched to this place. There we came into quite a bit of mail and I got your second letter together with the newspaper and the shoemaker's wax.
You were very kind and I am much pleased to learn that all my loved ones are well. But I am happiest to know that you have turned over a new leaf. It would make me very happy, too, to see you again even if only in a picture. Many wives have sent down tintypes. The picture that I have is my only consolation in all this misery. It keeps me in mind of everything that we discussed before we left.
        Our soldier's life is a very hard one now. In the first place we were cheated in our pay. Then the weather here is so bad that we can hardly stand it. It has been raining continuously and during these last few days the rain has turned into snow. We marched in the rain, arrived in the rain, and pitched our tents in the rain. The mud is so terrible that the wagon can't get through.
        But why complain? We simply must be satisfied. I derive my only consolation from my good and loving wife and children at home who pity their husband and father in the cursed war and I keep my courage up with the thought that if it is God's will I will see you all again. I beg you, then, send me your picture in your next letter.
        We haven't received any pay as yet but according to rumor - for those who want to believe it - we will be paid soon. One can hardly blame Greenfield for not paying the bounty. People working in the fields must do their duty as well as those who receive the bounty. Where are the big-mouths now - those frauds whom accident made officers and whose swelled heads made them unnatural? And where are the two-faced men who acted the Samaritan on the one side and the Pharisee on the other? Let them keep their money and every penny that they cheat us out of will rest on their souls. Be comforted, dearest, your loving husband feels pain just as you do and can console himself with you every time.

        In the hope that this letter reaches you in the best of health as it leaves me, I greet you and the children many times, beloved, and I beg to remain,

Your loving husband,

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger

        Many greetings to you, to your mother and her family, to my sister and brother-in-law, and to all acquaintances, and especially to the Muehl family. A speedy reunion. Farewell. Send me some chamomile tea and some peppermint. Wrap it in newspapers. I hope to receive your picture soon.

Letter #24______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Hartwood Church, January 30, 1863.

Beloved Wife:

        I must write to you again because we received our pay today for two months and for the additional days from the fifteenth of August when I enlisted, to September 1, 1862. I was positive that I had guaranteed you $10 a month in Milwaukee. This was found satisfactory here. I received $16.90. If you received $20 then you received $4 too much. Let me know as soon as you get this letter whether you received $10 or $8 a month. Our company should get the most money, because our payroll was made out the best. Other companies had their payrolls made out for one and a half months. Ours was made out for two and a half. I had to pay $1 to the sutler, I will keep 90c, and I will send the $15 to my beloved ones. If there is nothing else that you need, and if you wish, you can give this to my sister. We were much dissatisfied with our pay, as we expected money for four months at least. It is rumored that we will receive our next pay in February or March. Write me as soon as you can, dear heart. I will send the money within the next few days.
        Adam sends word to your mother that the $11 which he promised her were taken off, and now by rights she should receive $22. I haven't been feeling well for a few days. I was on picket duty and caught a heavy cold, but I feel better now. I am about again and as well as ever, but I lost about twenty-five pounds. I am all dressed up as though I was single again, and if I were to call on my loved ones unexpectedly I doubt whether they would know me. But enough of this.
        I hope to receive a picture of you in the near future. Likewise send me more nails, pegs, and some stronger sewed soles and thread. Send me soles and thread every week, as I can earn quite a little money -- at least enough to give me something for my own use, and now and then I might be able to send a few shillings home as there is plenty of work here. If you get to Milwaukee go to Just and send him my greetings. Ask him where the tailor Robert Zimmerman lives. Zimmerman should tell his wife that Leopold [Drewes] is sick, and he should also tell his brother-in-law to cheer him up more in his next letter than he did in his last. He worries an awful lot.
        (Your brother) Adam is as well as ever. Fritz Awe and [Asmus] Holtz are sick. I am in good health -- God be praised -- and I hope that these few lines find you in good health. . . .

I send you $10 today. The rest perhaps in two days.
 

Letter #25______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Beriah Church, January 31, 1863

Precious Wife:

        I received your dear letter this morning and was much delighted to get perfect consolation from my beloved wife. God be praised, I am well again and I hope that this letter finds you in good health. Yesterday I wrote you a letter in which I enclosed $10. I still have $6 here and I will send it in my next letter. We received pay for two months and fifteen days. Let me hear from you as soon as you receive the money. You should receive $10 a month but if you get only $8 let me know because in that case I will receive the correct amount. If, however, you get $10 a month let me know too. In that case, I received $4 too much and I will make you a present of this sum as I still have it with me.
        I am sending Mary a breast pin. But a little something for Henry and Adam and tell them that I sent it.
The story about your brother Adam is more of lies. People at home must be out of their minds to circulate something like that - or does the big-headed Schmitz family believe that a soldier here in Virginia who has been sick for three weeks and living on nothing but hard-tack and salt pork is in the same frame of mind as one who sits behind a stove? They would like to be smart but by the time Joseph Schmitz finds out how the soldiers in Virginia are living he'll still be green. There are no women to be seen here and the only letters your brother has written are to you and Christina. He can't get away from camp without a furlough and he can't get a furlough. Up to now he has not been away - and he has not been married. Didn't Joseph say that he visited the girl every eight days? Believe me, dearest, there isn't any truth in the whole story. When I told it to Adam he began to sing and cut up in his old way telling everybody he was married but didn't have a wife. Tell your mother not to worry about him. Adam, Leopold, Asmus and I are again together in one tent.
        Write me as soon as you receive this letter and let people talk. If you received the $10 I will send you $5 more. Many regards to all the neighbors and friends, to Herman and Bina, to your mother, sisters and brother, and also to you, dearest, and to the family from

Your loving husband,

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger.

Farewell. Speedy return. Goodbye. Many kisses to the children and to you. I kiss your picture. Farewell.

Letter #26______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Stafford Court House, February 7.

Precious Wife:

        I see by your letter that the very much admired Christina Schmitz isn't behaving so very well. Just natural and no better than usual. I've known a long while what kind of bird little Christina is. I've told Adam hundreds of times that he should quit writing letters to her and that it would be much more sensible for him to write a letter to his mother and that he could practice a little. He and Leopold went away together and sneakingly wrote the letter to Christina. She sent him stamps frequently - sometimes as many as six and seven at a time - and such endearing letters with a lot of hugs and kisses in them, as you saw by the letters of Adam's I copied and sent you. "Dear Adam," in the beginning: "Dear Adam," in the middle; "Dear Adam," at the end- that is about the entire contents of the letters. When I read your letter to Adam he wanted to know what business it was of yours. He didn't care if you read Christina's letter. They had to have a good time too.
        Please, dear, salute your mother for me and tell her that if Adam sends for money and the letter is not written by me she should ignore it as it would not hurt him to cut down expenses. Since I loaned him the $5 he has been playing cards continually. I know positively he's ahead $9 in the game but if the luck should change and he loses he'll immediately write to your mother again. I had made up my mind not to say a word about him and Leopold because they would make trouble for you and had forgiven and forgotten everything. Adam rushes from his duties, has barely time to cram down his meals, and then they get at the game called poker. When they have no duties they keep right on playing. Corporal Urich, the husband of crippled Carl's daughter, and Burkhardt from Walker's Point are the principal players.
        Please, dear, write me news. When there is none, write me gossip. Regarding the money from Lieber you will have to go to the County Clerk's office and give Mr. Gosch my best regards. You wanted the county orders for me. I see by the papers that they have been issued. Please let me know if you have received the gold ($16) which I have sent to you. Also how many months up to now you have received state and county bonus. You don't have to save on the paper when you write to me.
        I close my letter by kissing your picture. I send you my picture and a kiss for each of my dear ones. I greet you, beloved, and the little ones. Also your mother and family, Herman and Bina, Muehl and family, Rollers, Wallaces, Weilers, Hirsch's, and in fact everybody who inquires for me.

Your loving husband,

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger.

I wish the war were over.

Letter #27______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Camp of the 26th Regiment between
                                                                                                    Stafford Court House and Brooks Station,
                                                                                                    February 16, 1863.

Precious Wife:

        On the evening of the 12th I received your letter dated February 9th and I was pleased to learn that my family was in the best of health. My own health is good and my appetite is excellent. The weather is fine and warm and we have rain every day. As a result the roads are almost impassible. We can hardly get from one camp - that is regiment - to another. Our regiment is the flower of Schurz's division. No one surpasses us in cleanliness. I only wish you could see the arrangement of our camp. We have streets in which each tent is exactly in line with the next.
        I hear that Colonel Jacob's wife is expected here the day after tomorrow for a visit. He leaves then to meet her in Washington. Our adjutant took a trip to Milwaukee at New Year's time. Two men of every company should receive a furlough. We don't know who is going to get it as yet. If the expenses are not too great I would like to be one of them.
        I am very glad that you received the money that I sent you. Besides the money I am earning I still have five dollars here. I am well and strong again but I do wish that this damned humbug were at an end. Up to now we have enjoyed good times but now this damned drilling starts again. One doesn't even find time to write a letter now.
        I have the greatest sympathies for my Godfather in the death of his little one. Also with John Weiler. I am sorry, too, that our little Henry is ailing again. I am sending him a fine shovel for a present. Tell him I didn't find one sooner. Regarding an armistice we down here have heard nothing but rumors but everyone would be glad if this humbug were at an end. I only wish that all the folks from Wisconsin were here once - just once - to get a glimpse of soldier life. The whole thing is a swindle from beginning to end. The officers know nothing except making money - and that is all the war is concerned with.
        Since the Battle of Fredericksburg some of the soldiers of the old regiments have been wandering around not knowing where their companies are. Some of them don't want to find their regiments. They curse the union and the administration to the depths of hell. Only the thought of their families keeps them from suicide. That's the patriotism that reigns in the army. It disappears more and more every day. But enough of all this humbug.
        It also pleased me, true heart, that you gave the $10 immediately to my sister. As soon as you receive the $20 from the state write me immediately. Let me know how you are and also how our families are. Adam is well and sends greetings to his mother. Leopold received a letter when I did last night. They wrote him that Weidmann had to be there when they divided the land and that Mrs. Harmeyer had not been cheated.
Greet all my friends and neighbors, dear soul, especially Weiler. Hirsch, Krak, Wallace, Herman and Bina, Muehl, grandma and family, Montags, Roller, Mirgeler, Muehl - and in fact everybody who inquires for me. Also let me know whether you received the county orders for $1.90 from Lieber. Greet and kiss all our little ones and especially greet your mother and sister and brothers, and tell Ernest, Mary and Henry to be very good and industrious. Farewell, dear heart, see you soon again. I kiss your picture. Faithful to death,

Your husband,

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger.

Praise be to Jesus Christ!

Letter #28______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Camp of the 26th Regiment near
                                                                                                    Brooks Station, February 20th, 1963.

Precious Wife:

        I received the tea, awls, and zinc nails which you sent so lovingly and I was greatly pleased at the nice way in which you had packed them. The package arrived here in as good a condition as it left your dear hands.
Up to now things have gone well. Up to about ten days ago I felt as well as usual but while we were out on picket duty without any relief I caught a heavy cold which affected my bowels. I likewise lost my appetite.
        The worst part was that I had such terribly torn shoes. On second Christmas I received a new pair. I had them about fourteen days when they were all worn out and for ten whole days I had to go around with the dirt and mud over my ankles. As you know, when on the 23rd of January we left Stafford Court House, we were still camping under marching orders. We couldn't get away until one afternoon about four o'clock. It was night before we camped in a little town and it was raining - but that didn't do us any good. Then we heard the order "Forward," and we proceeded ahead a little. Our company and company E received orders to go on picket duty. It was a dark night, we still had two and half miles to march and we didn't know the direction. Then we prepared along in the night like a blind man in the rain. We couldn't find the place where we were to camp and we had to post our sentries to prevent an attack. We left Stafford on January 23rd. This all happened the night that the army of the Potomac was attacked.
        The next day we came to a house made of corn stalks and our company had to camp there. This is the place where I caught cold. The first night we lay in camp here a telegraph outpost was set up.
        That was how Leopold Drewes came to a house where eight rebels were stationed. He fired his gun and our two companies took up their arms. Our lieutenant, Fuchs, our corporal, Krueger, from Kenosha, and I were the first to reach Leopold. He said that a cavalryman had come out of the house. He challenged him three times. The man failed to stop and so Leopold shot. He only made a hole in old mother nature though. Up to the time of writing this letter we do not know just what he was shooting at.
        Leopold is still in good health. Adam, Holz, all my comrades and I are in good health and our food tastes fine - if only we had something good to eat. I hope that this letter finds you and our beloved children in the best of health. The weather here is wet - three days of steady rain but today the weather has cleared.
        Adam wanted to write to your mother and ask for some more gold. I still have $5 here which I shall give him. You can fix this up with your mother. Adam sends his greetings to her. He had several dollars of debts after we are paid out. His appetite is too good. His rations don't seem to satisfy him and he buys edibles. They are quite expensive. He sends greetings to all his relatives and friends and especially to his mother. Many greetings to your mother and family, to Herman and Bina, to Michels, Weilers, Kraks, Wallaces, Stubers, Muehls, Rollers, Konrads, and to you, true heart, and to our dear children, from

Your loving Husband and Father,

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger.

Letter #29______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Camp of the 26th Wisconsin Regiment,
                                                                                                    Between Stafford Court House
                                                                                                    and Brooks Station, February 25th, 1863.

Precious and much-beloved Barbara:

        Last evening I received a letter from my Godfather [Adam] Muehl in which he told me of the death of one of his children, and complained about the serious illness of his son George. He also wrote me about the visit, he made at your place, and that he had found dear little Henry quite sick. On that account I can't wait any longer to write you a few lines, as I have just finished a letter to Godfather Muehl, and I intend to send them out together. I am hourly, patiently awaiting a letter from you, beloved; but in vain. In your last letter you wrote me that dear Henry was ill, and that makes the longing for a letter from you, dear heart, so much keener.
        Rumor is going around here that the money guaranteed us in Milwaukee for our wives and families hadn't arrived as yet. If you have not received - the money by the time you get this letter, go to Mr. [Christian] Preusser, give him my regards, and ask him if he would be so kind as to help you in this matter.
        Another thing: several men here have received letters telling them that their names were not on the allotment list. Answer this letter as soon as you receive it.. You have no idea with what longing I look forward to your letters, and with what happiness I receive and read them. A letter from you is always balsam for my heart, bleeding for my loved ones. On that account, write as often as you can. You can never write too often or too much.
        Adam is getting letters regularly from Christina [Schmidt]. Last night we all teased him about his letters and he gave us one of them to read.  All that was in it was: Dear Adam, I am well. Dear Adam, I greet you very much. Dear Adam, I remain your true friend. Dear Adam, Christina Schmidt. That is the whole letter.
        Our General [Schurz], his wife, and some relatives from Washington and Baltimore have arrived, and moved into, the house that was built for him during his absence. The house is surrounded by a lovely garden with gravel paths, and in one corner - they have a bird house, with two wooden birds sitting on the nest and two gravel stone eggs in the nest.
        In honor of Washington's birthday we erected a triumphal arch between the rows of tents in the streets, and draped it with garlands.
        I helped make a garland forty feet long, which we draped into four loops. In the center of it we had a cross with our Company initial 'C' on it. Our quarters here appear very friendly and homelike.
        I am painfully awaiting a letter from you, beloved, and hoping for a reunion with you all before long. I am sending love and kisses to you and the children.
        Again, loving you until death do us part, your loving husband till death.

Letter #30______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Camp of the 26th Regiment between
                                                                                                    Stafford Court House and Brooks Station,
                                                                                                    February 27, 1963.

Much beloved and Precious Barbara:

        With deepest sorrow I received the news that between the 15th and 18th of February our little Henry had died. I was greatly saddened by it although I was somewhat prepared from the letter which I received from my godfather this week. When the letter from godfather Muehl came I thought that it was a preparation for worse news because it was from him instead of from my loved ones telling me how they were.
        Tuesday I received a letter from my uncle Muehl telling me that Henry was sick though not dangerously so. But next day John Beres, son of Beres of the Beloit Road, said he had received bad news from home. I asked him what and he told me that his mother had written him that my child had died. She said that she had been to the Plank Road Church on Sunday and had heard the news and then had written him. Unhappy as the news made me I was greatly pleased by the way you notified me. You could have told me, though, whether our pet was really dead or sick as I am always prepared for the worst and am not as easily frightened as I used to be. Here one is prepared for everything. I am only sorry that our darling - if he is really dead, God rest his soul - didn't receive the present that he always wanted from me sooner.
        Be so kind, dearly beloved Barbara, as to comfort yourself and although I cannot be with you to console you in word and deed I will do so as much as I am physically able in my letters. Cheer up, dear, the Leader of everything disposes everything for our best, and think with Job: "The Lord Giveth, the Lord shall take. Blessed be the name of the Lord." And let us pray a few "Our Fathers" daily in the hope that Henry has gone to the Father of all where misery has an end where we all sooner or later must go.
        Don't give up, dear. You have a husband who has the greatest sympathy for you and should I have the good fortune to return shortly I will surely remember your many trials and tribulations which you endured in my absence. And I will never forget how steadfast and loving you were to the children and to me.
        Therefore take my deepest and most heartfelt sympathy and trust in the Lord who directs all things for our benefit. Do not grieve for my absence and for our loss because these cannot be helped and your worry won't assist matters any. Look up, then and trust in the Lord. I wish you and the children the best of health and everything good and I greet you, dearly beloved old lady, and also your mother and family, Herman and Bina, and all our neighbors. Faithful unto death and mourning for our little one, I am,

Your husband,

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger.

Many greetings to you and to your mother from Jacob Michel. If I can send you something again I will send it. I am sending you $1.

Letter #31______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Camp of the 26th Regiment, Wisconsin
                                                                                                    Volunteers, between Stafford Court House
                                                                                                    and Brooks Station,
                                                                                                    February 27, 1863.

Dearly Beloved Heart:

        About ten minutes ago I received your precious letter of February 19th which brought me the news of our beloved little son. It is just six p.m. and as we will have bi-monthly muster tomorrow I thought I would write to you immediately. As you must have seen in my last letter I was somewhat prepared for the news. I trembled when I saw a letter there for me. I was very much surprised when I saw it was written in your hand.
        I want to thank you for the motherly care you took of the little fellow and I want you to thank for me all our friends and neighbors who assisted you in this sad time. I am especially grateful to my Godfather for what he did for the little fellow and for the assistance and comfort he gave you who was forsaken by me. I will never forget his aid. If a time ever comes when I can repay him I will surely do so. The only thing I can do now is to pray for him and to ask God to bless him since not a drink of water is given of which He does not know.
As for our dear little son, peace be to him, and may God grant him eternal rest. Amen.
        Take all the consolation that you can from your loving husband, dearly beloved soul. Cheer your spirit and remember that whatever God does is well done. Think of the words of the Savior: Suffer the little children to come unto me for of such is the kingdom of heaven." Of the dead also.
        I am still in good health. I was much comforted by your letter and I trust that my letter will keep you cheerful in the future.
        Yesterday we received a very fine gift from the wife of our colonel. Every company was given four dozen packages of tobacco. My health is just fine now and I am gaining weight and strength every day. I am very well liked and I think that in the future you will see a change in my pay.
        Our lieutenant asked me if I was still repairing shoes. I asked him why and he told me that I was to make out the big clothing book and besides that if one wanted to become an officer as I do one has to give up shoe repairing. I do all of the correspondence for the whole company as none of the other sergeants can write. The colonel helps me whenever he can. I can do this correspondence in front of the fireplace sitting on my bed as the time at which it must be done is not specified. It is a noble thought of yours to want to give this money to my mother and I must praise you for the just division of it. Comfort yourself, dear, and trust in God. He will do what is right.
        The sorrowing father sends his greetings to you and to his little children. I'll fulfill your request.

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger.

        You can't write too much. Write as often as possible and send me some shoemaker's wax and needles and postage stamps. Until I write you, send wool in each letter. Schoenleber is again with me. He helps me with the shoe repairing and we have very much work. Adam borrowed $5 from me. I still have $5 but I will not use it to buy something to eat. My appetite is pretty good but I can get along with the rations. Goodbye, dear heart. See you again and write me soon what the teacup says.

Letter #32______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Camp of the 26th Regiment between
                                                                                                    Stafford Court House and Brooks Station,
                                                                                                    March 7th 1863

Faithful and Dearly Beloved Wife:

        At four o'clock in the afternoon of March 6th I received your precious letter of February 25th and your beloved portrait. I learn from the letter that you and the children are in good health. I could guess as much of you from the picture. You and the little ones look very well and I am greatly pleased that you sent it. I still feel fine and I send you my love and my portrait. It was taken March 4th and from it you can see what I look like here in the wilds of Virginia. I sincerely hope that my picture finds you as it leaves me - in the best of health. You can judge my appearance from the picture. I await your verdict in your next letter. The picture cost me $1.
As for a furlough we must console ourselves for a while. Furloughs last only five or six days. Lewis Manz has been granted one and has gone to New York. He will bring me glue, etc. Be comforted, dear, for the moment it is impossible.
        Please write me as soon as you can. You can tell me what is important in the letter of the school sisters. The two papers and the twins came with the letter. If you send anything else, send it in a 'Know-Nothing' paper, as then I will surely get it. It seems as if they are trying to keep all the democratic papers. Occasionally the soldiers complain that they do not receive their papers regularly or not at all. We do not know. The duties for the privates, and in fact for all the soldiers are being made so hard that they can scarcely stand them. For instance, instead of standing twenty-four hours, the pickets must stand two or three times twenty-four hours at one place.
        ......{illegible} You read in the papers here that the army has very good food such as potatoes, bread, etc. Up to now we have seen very few changes and instead of having bean soup with beans we now have bean soup without beans. The soup is made of potatoes and if you want to find any beans you have to use a magnifying glass. Instead of having beef twice every three days in camp we don't have it twice in ten days and then it is so lean that it scorches. The salt pork is not very thick - about six or seven inches - and salted to heavily that the salt hangs on it as thick as a finger. We think things will be better in Stafford because they have a hundred bake ovens there.
        This week the rebels clashed again with our cavalry and yesterday when they met the southerners they were driven back. The southern cavalry and the southern artillery are expected to appear at the forest in front of our pickets. Leopold is on picket duty. Adam and Holz were sick for a couple of days. Both were released by the doctor this morning.

[Letter incomplete]

Letter #33______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Camp of the Twenty-Sixth Regiment between
                                                                                                    Stafford Court House and Brooks Station,
                                                                                                    March 7, 1863.

Precious, dearly beloved Barbara:

        Your dear letter of March 1st came to me this afternoon at four o'clock. You can imagine how happy I was to hear from you on successive days. I am delighted that you and the little ones are in good health and I hope that this reaches you as it leaves me, hale and hearty.
        I feel fine again and food tastes good to me. We receive bread that has been baked in Stafford Court House. A field oven has been set up there that uses between three and four hundred barrels of flour every day. We had our first baking from there last night. It arrived about the same time as your letter. It is lovely bread made of summer wheat. We are to receive it four times a week. Hooker, our new general, is responsible for this. He proposes to introduce strict discipline and he wants it followed out.
        For this reason fifteen men will be shot next week - men whom this union-saving general condemned to death - and why? Of course because they did not do their duties. But when, as we have seen with our own eyes, such gentlemen make mistakes, what then? The answer is: "Oh, it is or was a mere mistake." Dearest, take my word for it, the whole war from beginning to end is nothing but a humbug and a swindle. If a soldier refuses to do his military service - for instance shoveling dirt or carrying logs, he is sent before the provost marshal and he is punished, losing a half to three months pay. That's what happens in our regiment to our officers. The private hardly know who is cook or commander, lieutenant or captain. The second lieutenant of today in ten or at most thirty days is a first lieutenant or captain. This morning there was a general examination of the sergeants for the purpose of recruiting enough lieutenants. They can't get enough lieutenants and officers. What is the reason for this? They simply do not want to fight for the niggers.
        The rumor goes round that General Siegel has resigned. If it is true then Schurz, Steinwehr, Stehel, Kryzynowski and all generals under Sigel will retire -in fact the whole staff will quit. What will become of the German division then? The lord himself only knows. Whether they will fight under a Hooker or a Molitroner time alone will tell. Much as the people at home talk against Schurz one thing is certain. He is loved and honored by his division and he is very proud of his 26th Wisconsin regiment.
Our general's wife is still here.
        Please answer this letter immediately and tell me whether you received the $16. We hear from every side that revolution is brewing in Illinois and Wisconsin. Write and tell me what is the truth in this matter and whether we should come up to you soon and put things in order. We are in better shape than the 27th and 28th regiments. The 27th have no idea what it means to be American soldiers. The 28th, I am sorry to say, have already found out how it feels when a father is torn from his family. The 26th feel entirely different and will right about some morning and clear up this humbug. Write to me soon and send my greetings to all my acquaintances and friends.

Your loving,

                                                                                                    Adam

        A little present to the little one whom it fits from Dr. Schoenleber. He had it given to him.
Write me immediately, beloved, even if it is twice a week. We will soon begin. The army and we are ready.

Letter #34______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Camp of the 26th Regiment at
                                                                                                    Stafford Court House, March 12, 1863

Precious Dearly Beloved Wife:

        Happy and in the best of health I received your dear letter yesterday at four o'clock. I trust that this letter of mine will find you, the little ones, and all our friends, acquaintances and neighbors in good health. We are still encamped on our old camp ground and because all our officers are young and newly commissioned we must drill long and hard. The same thing happened to us that happened to the German immigrant who arrived in America and wanted to buy a farm. He needed a pair of oxen for breaking the soil. He asked his neighbors whether he should buy young or old oxen. The neighbor answered, "Buy an old pair. They'll teach you which is right and which is left." That's the way things go with us. If the colonel or lieutenant colonel is commanding, the regiment goes the same old way and doesn't listen to the officers. If they did they would be led astray and our newly commissioned officers would have to march along. I only wish you could see that confusion. Our old captains and lieutenants are leaving one after another and returning home. Yesterday morning Captain George of Milwaukee and Captain Hettler of Fond du Lac, both of Company A, left with their releases.
        They talk quite a bit about peace here and about us leaving this place. Almost every hour some news arrives and before long we're so filled with rumors that you might well say that we believe nothing that we hear. When we left Milwaukee they said, "Just let November pass. The Democrats will be elected and immediately things will change." In November they said that if there hadn't been a decisive battle in favor of the North by New Year's it would all be over with. When the first of the year came the rumor spread, "The 4th of March - that is the day of salvation for those in the chains of the once great republic." Look at the prospects now. November 1862, January 1863, and the saving March 1 have come and gone and conditions are just as bad - if not worse in fact - than at the beginning of the war. And the reason - the big pockets of the swindlers and contractors haven't been filled enough yet.
        In Milwaukee at a public meeting (for instance the one held a couple of weeks ago at the St. Charles hotel) they will empty a couple of dozen glasses of wine and draw up resolutions. What good are they though? They are nothing but child's play. But to say a word where it will do some good - each one depends on the other fellow. Then they say as one Suabian said to another "Jokele, you walk ahead. You have the biggest feet."
        Enough for this time though. Next time more.

        Please, Barbara, give my greetings to Henry Trent. Tell him that I am very sorry for him and for all to whom fate is unkind.

        Fritz Awe is sick in Douglas Hospital in Washington. He has been there for over four weeks. I forwarded his letters to Washington. I don't know his exact condition. He was sent to the hospital with something wrong with his chest. And from this he appeared well. Adam is still healthy and happy. So is Leopold, Holz and all the rest of our friends. We receive our supplies very promptly now - bread, potatoes, white beans, meat, molasses, etc. Rumor says that we're going to move from here soon. One story has it that we will move to Tennessee. Another says Washington.

[Letter incomplete]

Letter #35______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Stafford Court House, March 23rd, 1863.

Precious, dearly beloved wife:

        On the 22nd of March I received your two letters dated respectively March 12th and 15th. I also received a letter from Francis L. Hirsch. I see that you and our beloved ones are in the best of health. My health is also good and I hope that this letter finds you in the same state.
        According to your letter, in your judgment I must have changed my looks considerably as you think that I look thin. Think of this, we don't undress more than once a week and then only when we change our shirts and underwear. That more than anything else keeps us thin. Then imagine the comfortable camps we have on the march. They are either in snow or mud. This keeps one thin too.
        But up to now we have had a fairly comfortable camp and very good food. We have fresh bread every day - but how long we will be camped here heaven only knows as the enemy is in the neighborhood and has attacked our picket lines several times. They failed to do anything, however, and were driven back after a considerable loss. When this happened our regiment was on picket duty but about six miles back from the fight. We stood picket duty for three days. We were relieved when the enemy attacked the soldiers who had taken our places and were forced to retreat without achieving anything.
        A funny thing happened at this fight. On March the 20th when the fight took place the general wanted to lead into battle one of the regiments whose time was up in a couple of weeks. They wouldn't move and said they would not return to Fredericksburg. At last a regiment equipped with breech leaders volunteered to go into the battle. We could hear the rattle of the muskets and the roar of the cannon as though we were in the midst of the fight. It sounded great. The struggle lasted six hours. The result you will no doubt learn sooner than will we who are close by.
        I don't want to bother you with a lot of useless talk. Although the only result of the war is a large loss of life, we still seem to be gaining something on our side. For this reason I don't think it worth the effort to waste a lot of time on it. It makes me very happy to find all your letters so full of affection. You cannot imagine the pleasure I get from them.
        I am very glad that the church tower is to be built at last and I wish the congregation much good luck and contentment. Write me frequently and tell me how things are going with you and the neighborhood.
The loss of many children in your neighborhood is certainly very trying. If parents could see how sick children are treated here they would be consoled as I am in the death of our little Henry. If it had been the will of God I would that I had died at his age. If only I had not seen this cursed war.
        Be comforted, dear, I am forever thinking of you and the promise that I gave you I have kept every day. Comfort yourself, then, and don't despair. When the news is greatest God is nearest.
        As for the color of my beard tell Mrs. Wallace that the reason for that was that beard had never kissed a woman. That's why it is pale and didn't get dark. I sincerely hope that it will get dark later.
        Many regards to all our neighbors and friends, to your mother and family, Herman and Bina, Kraks, Strothmanns, Weiler, Hirsch, Hommel, Krempel, Jungbluth, my uncle Muehl and family, Jung, Konrad, Roller, and Michels - wish him much luck in his young son - and in fact to everyone who inquires for me. Don't forget the Wallaces and Horbachers.
        In the greatest pleasure that all of you are well I kiss your picture and greet you, precious dearly beloved heart, many times.

Yours until death,

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger.

        Answer soon. Adam received his letter and greets everybody many times and will write within a few days. Please thank Dr. Krak in my name and write me whether he is still at Miller's. Rumors say that he was discharged.

Letter #36______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Camp of the 26th Regiment
                                                                                                    between Stafford Court House
                                                                                                    and Brooks Station,
                                                                                                    April 1, 1863.

Dear beloved precious Barbara:

        I was disappointed in my expectations of a letter from you this week. As to date I have received none. I do not know what the cause is, whether the letters didn't arrive or whether you didn't write any last week.
        I am still well as are all our acquaintances, Adam [Wuest], Leopold [Drewes], [Asmus] Holtz, [John] Kraemer, in fact all the Greenfielders with the exception of Fritz Awe who is still in Douglas Hospital in Washington. We -- or rather I -- hope that this letter will reach you in the same good health as that in which it leaves me.
        We are still quartered in our old camp. But we do not know how long we will be here. Perhaps we will leave in the next few days. Rumor has it that we are to go to Washington and Baltimore to relieve, General Heintzelmann who will take the field.
        Although it is very unlikely that we will be sent there, the greater part of the men would be very well satisfied to get out of this dirty hole of Virginia.  The weather here is very nice again today. It is somewhat windy.  The last two days we had a little snow, and our regiment was on picket duty for three days. Of course I wasn't with them, but Adam [Wuest] and the rest did duty. When the bad weather came, our men had already been two days on picket duty. Then snow began, and rain accompanied by a heavy storm. Our good colonel [Jacobs] went from general to general and said, "I must have my boy's at home. I don't want them to get sick. He personally visited the men at their posts every day, and managed to have them released after two days. When they arrived at camp each man who had stood picket received a glass of beer. According to the papers I see that they're a little down on the colonel, but I assure you that he is an honorable man. He always wants the best for his regiment, and I do not think there is a better colonel in the army. As I have heard from him personally, he takes pride in his regiment. What colonel would have done what he has done for us? Let the papers say what they want.
        They can all talk but when it comes to courage and bravery they look for a mousehole to crawl into.
        Our quartermaster [Frederick W. Hundhausen] arrived here finally last Monday.  He told me he had brought something along for me. But it is still in his trunk. I asked him who had given it to him, but he didn't know. But he showed me my name in his books. That only increased the longing and whetted my appetite to know whether I was to receive a letter, as I would like to know what my dear one -- or whoever it was -- had sent me. But patience, patience conquers everything!

Letter #37______________________________________________________________________________

Dear Old Girl:

        Be so kind as to greet my sister and brother-in-law, your mother, sisters, and brothers, my uncle Muehl, his families and grandmother. I wish him and his families the best of health. My best wishes too to everybody that asks for me.
        If you should get to Milwaukee - will you please go to the neighborhood of the Red Bridge where we had our pictures taken, and ask for Knoechel's house. There inquire for Mrs. Springling. Greet her and tell her that her husband [Andreas] is my bed-partner. One suspects it was an unhappy marriage. Say that he asks through you whether she received the money or not. He sent some money by express. If she hasn't received it then she should take two male witnesses with her to the Express Company and demand it. If you go to town get some socks for me.
        I am greatly pleased to learn that Ernest, Mary and Adam learn so readily and are such good children. Tell them that they should continue to be good, and to study hard, and pray that I may return to them soon, and I will surely being something along for them. Adam's mischief must make him cunning. In looking at his picture one sees nothing but mischief. Kiss the children for me and as I am kissing your picture I beg to remain,

Your dearly loving,

                                                                                                    Adam.
Letter #38______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Camp of the 26th Regiment in the
                                                                                                    Neighborhood of Brooks Station,
                                                                                                    April [blank], 1863

Precious, dearly beloved wife:

        As we received orders to move this morning I will have to write to you immediately as my feelings as husband and father bid me to do. Where we go we do not know but this much is sure, we are advancing. General Hooker crossed the Rappahannock yesterday with three army corps and is looking for the enemy. He hasn't met them as yet as they are rumored to have retreated thence. As reserves we will no doubt proceed directly against Culpepper in the Shenandoah Valley. If we meet the enemy no doubt it will mean a battle. We have received orders to turn in our uniform coats. We had already done so. They will be stored in a magazine.
Perhaps a battle will have been fought by the time you receive this letter. We surely hope to be victors and to be in Richmond soon but don't worry unnecessarily about us. Be comforted and trust in the Lord as I do and He will make everything all right. It will please me immensely if I can be back in your circle again but if we rest here quietly and do nothing the war will never end as both sides are too stiff-necked for either to give in and make peace. Therefore be satisfied. We trust that the campaign won't be very difficult. The report is circulating here that the rebels have entirely deserted Fredericksburg. The sick were sent away this morning. The weather here is unusually nice and quite warm.
        I again beg of you not to worry so much as I have never been discouraged since I have been here. I hope that you and the children will pray for me as I do for you.
        Many greetings to all that I mentioned in my other letters especially to your mother and her family, to Herman and Bina, Muehl and family, and to you, dear wife, and to my beloved little ones.

Your loving husband,

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger.

Farewell, beloved wife. Kissing the pictures of you and the children, in memory of our mutual promise until death,

Your loving Husband,

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger.

Take care of yourself. Goodbye. Answer soon as your letter follows me no matter where we go.

Letter #39______________________________________________________________________________

Dear Old Girl:

        Be so kind as to greet my family and brother-in-law, your mother, sisters, and brothers, my uncle Muehl, his families and grandmother. I wish him and his families the best of health. My best wishes too to Weiler, Hirsch, Dr. Krak, Wallace, Harbacher, Konrad, Krempel, Montag, Stuber, Jungs, Jungbluth, Franks, Hommel, Roller, Michel - and in fact everybody that asks for me.
        If you should get to Milwaukee will you please go to the neighborhood of the Red Bridge where we had our pictures taken and ask for Knoechel's house. There inquire for Mrs. Sprengling. Greet her and tell her that her husband is my bed-partner. (One suspects it was an unhappy marriage). Say that he asks through you whether she received the money or not. (He sent some money by express.) If she hasn't received it then she should take two male witnesses with her to the Express Company and demand it. If you go to town get some socks for me.
        I am greatly pleased to learn that Ernst, Mary and Adam learn so readily and are such good children. Tell them that they should continue to be good and to study hard and pray that I may return to them soon and I will surely bring something along for them. Adam's mischief must make him cunning. In looking at his picture one sees nothing but mischief. Kiss the children for me and as I am kissing your picture I beg to remain,

Your dearly loving,

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger.

Letter #40______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Stafford Court House, April 2, 1863

Beloved:

        How are you? How are the dear little ones? Are they still well and how does it happen that I haven't received a letter this week? As I yearn terribly for a letter from you and wait evening after evening and fail to receive one I become uneasy. I don't know whether or not something has happened which prevents you from writing. I beg of you dear heart, be so kind as to write me a letter every week so that I can know how the family is getting along, whether they are in good health or not, and how everything is getting along at home, and if there is any news. What do the folks at home think of the draft? How are all our friends? What does your teacup say? Is peace at hand or not? And how is business of all kinds in Milwaukee and vicinity?
        Please answer these questions - even if you don't do it all at one time - and let your husband know how things really stand. After I had written the other letter yesterday we received orders that everyone had to have two pairs of new trousers, new shoes, and [word illegible], and bread bags. I do not know what in the world is going to happen.
        When we left Fairfax last fall we were not allowed to have more than two shirts, two pairs of underpants, two socks, a jacket, a cloak, and a woolen and an oilcloth blanket. Now everything must be about the same with the exception of the blankets. Should we be ordered to march we will have to half kill ourselves lugging these immense bundles through dirt and mud. But where we are headed for we do not know. It is said that we will be paid out before we leave but only until April 1. If we should receive our pay you can figure on my usual liberality because the more I can send you the greater pleasure I get. My most heartfelt wish is only that I may be able to return to our quiet little home, there to know the pleasure that we get from looking at each other and from embracing with joy.
        Console yourself, you and the forlorn little ones and ask the good God for the safe return of your husband and father and in this include me in your prayers. I greet you, true soul, and the children many times and in kissing your cold picture I beg to remain,

Your wandering and loving,

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger

Kiss the children for me. Answer soon. My greetings to all who inquire for me. Goodbye, love, goodbye.
 

Letter #41______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                     Camp near Brooks Station, April 3, 1863

Dearest and Much Beloved Barbara:

        Yesterday, April 2, we were paid for the months of March and April and the money will therefore soon arrive. I received $6 the other day. You will receive $20 within a few days. It pleases me to be able to tell you this and that we are paid so promptly. I am still well and I hope that these few lines find you in the same condition. Adam - and in fact all the Greenfielders - is well and wishes to be remembered.
        As for me I still enjoy good treatment and have nothing else to do but write and then drill for three hours a day. Our orderly is now acting lieutenant and when the general returns he will be appointed lieutenant and I will be appointed sergeant. Then instead of thirteen I will receive seventeen dollars a month. This will work out better.
        But good as this news is, what value has it when one isn't at home. Perhaps a decision as to the end of the war will come soon.
        How are things with you? How is the draft coming? What other news about the war do you hear? What does your teacup say?
        How are our children and friends? Please write soon and frequently and send me all cheerful and good news. I will try, dearest, to answer and describe everything that would be of interest to you.
        In the hope that these lines find you and our loved ones in the best of health I greet you many times, beloved wife, and the children whose picture I often kiss. And I remain

Your Truly Loving Husband,

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger

        Remember me to your mother and sisters and brothers, Bina and Herman, Millers, Wallace and family, O'Neills, Konrad, Krempel, Weiler, Hommel, Kraks, Montag, Molthauf, Harbacher, Jung, Jungbluth, Michel, Roller, Loehrs, Frank, and in fact to all who inquire for me. Adam can't understand why your mother doesn't write. He is really worried. Greet your mother and sisters and brothers for him and yourself and the children from Adam and me,

Your Loving Husband,

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger

I am sending you a dollar for an Easter present or for whatever you wish to use it. If I can get more I will send it later. A kiss for you, old lady! Goodbye for a speedy reunion.

Letter #42______________________________________________________________________________

To Barbara Muenzenberger

Dearly Beloved Sweetheart:

        Having just completed a letter to your mother I couldn't resist writing a few words to you. I am well and I trust that this letter finds you in good health.
        Although today is Holy Saturday and tomorrow is Easter Sunday things don't look at all like Easter here and our life is more like the life of one who has been banished to a desert than like the life of a free American citizen. We are still encamped in the old place and we will be here about twenty days. Where fate will send us then only He knows who is over us and in Him I put my trust. And then if it is His will He will send me back to my dear family.
        The box hasn't arrived as yet. Likewise I haven't received a letter in fourteen days.
Perhaps, I thought, the letter has been delayed somewhere.
        I understand that we will be paid out within the next few days and then I will send you as much money as I can possibly spare, all, if it is like the last time.

Many regards to your mother, sisters, and brothers, to Bina and Herman, to you and to your children, from

Your Loving Husband,

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger

Letter #43______________________________________________________________________________

To Barbara Muenzenberger

Precious Heart:

        Here in our camp things look just like springtime. The robins sing, the other birds whistle, the grass is growing - and yet in spite of all this loveliness and these messengers of spring, the thunder of the cannon, the roll of the drums, and the flash of the bayonet hasn't stopped yet - and neither has the war.
        In such weather the imagination at times wanders to the distant home and to the dear wife and children. But that doesn't help one. One must be a man resigned to whatever happens to him. Hope is the only prop for our spirits in these difficult times. We hope that the worst of things is over now and I pray that a star of peace will arise from the distant ocean and take all war and strife from this unhappy land.
        Be so good, old girl, as not to send me any more yarn or nails as they are too heavy to carry if we must march. But you might send me some tea or musk as I hear it is good for lice. We haven't any as yet and we don't want any either. All the other regiments say that we will get them and that's why we want to be prepared.
If the man asks you for a donation toward a tower or bells do as you want or can. It's all the same to me. From now on I'll leave everything to you. To you, dearly beloved wife, and to our children, greetings from

Your loving Husband,

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger

Answer soon, dear old girl. I will see you again.

Letter #44______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Stafford Court House, April 6, 1863.

Dearly Beloved Wife:

        On Easter Sunday I received your much awaited letter of March twenty-second. I am in the best of health and I hope that these few lines will find you and the children the same. I was much worried over not receiving a letter for two weeks but I see now that the delay wasn't your fault as the letter was written just fourteen days before I received it. It arrived exactly eight days too late. Don't blame me but my love for my family is so great that I can't wait longer than four days for news. Last week we had beautiful weather but on Holy Saturday it changed and on Easter Sunday morning we were greeted with a fine fall of snow. It didn't last long however and today it's pretty well melted. Last week on Good Friday we staged a review for our new General who is taking General Sigel's place. His name is General Howard. He is from Pennsylvania but he can speak German. After the review he visited our camp. When he found that the woolen blankets were hanging in the sun he asked us whether we aired them everyday. We told him that we did. He laughed and said, "What's right." Then accompanied by General Schurz and his whole staff he rode away to Schurz's headquarters. Up to now all is quiet here. What will happen is in the Hands of Him to whom I trust my destiny.
        The report goes around here that General Hooker said that in ninety days the war will be over. I certainly hope it is true and I don't believe there is a man in the army with the exception of the officers who does not hope to see this end soon. The officers would like to see peace but they are not anxious to lose their pay. In ordinary business they could not make as much as they are making.
        We have poor holidays here. Nobody paid any attention to the fact that it was Easter. In fact no one went to church. Much less did one see children with Easter eggs. But you can stand all this when you know that in your distant home four kindly hearts beat lovingly for the husband and father and share every pain with him.
        Be comforted, old dear, every promise I have made to you will be carried out because you know how anxious I am to please you. And you know that I will always do what you are always asking me to do in remembrance of my promises to you. Dear forlorn soul, be comforted.
        In case I return, what you are suffering now shall be rewarded a hundred fold. Remember me to all, your mother, sisters and brothers, to Herman and Bina, Muehl and family, Dr. Krak's family, Wallace, O'Neill, Weiler, Hirsch, Krempel, Jungbluth, Montag, Roller, Loehrs, and to all who inquire about me. From your loving husband

Adam Muenzenberger

Take good care of yourself, true soul, take good care of yourself.

Letter #45______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Camp of the 26th Regiment between
                                                                                                    Stafford Court House and Brooks Station,
                                                                                                    April 12, 1863.

Precious Barbara:

        I received your letter of April 2nd last evening and see - God be praised - that you are all in the best of health. Your brother and I and all your acquaintances are just fine. I am glad to hear that the children are getting better and that my wife has improved and I hope that the next answer I receive will tell me that you are fully recovered. I hope I will hear in your next letter of the speedy recovery of Mrs. Jung and Jacob Konrad.
We saw in the paper that the 27th Regiment had left. Tell Theodore Jungbluth I send my regards. Nicholas Friedrich is in the hospital in Pennsylvania. He has written to the Regiment several times. He is in Philadelphia, is better, and has been on guard duty several times. Lewis Manz was in the hospital. He went on guard and the attendants were too lazy to tell him where he was.
        I suppose that you have heard the results of the election in our regiment by now. The total vote with the exception of Co. A was 442. Cothrane, Democratic candidate for Supreme Court Justice, received 341 votes. Dixon, the Republican candidate, received 101 votes. A few days ago I wrote a few lines to the Seebothe and told them the results of the election. Things in the Regiment looked better for the Democrats than the gentlemen from Milwaukee had any idea of, and if the soldiers under legal age could have voted, Cothrane would have received even more votes.
        The next time you go to town get a county order for $1.90 as I do not believe the other order was allowed. I read the report of the county clerk in the Seebote and it said that I was allowed only $1.90. Please get what you can and use it for whatever you wish.
        I am very happy that the little ones are so busy - Ernest, Mary and the Little Mischief. Tell them that it gives me the greatest pleasure that Ernest and Mary are so industrious. Kiss them may times for me, old dear.
        Last Friday Old Abraham and his family and the whole array of officers visited us. We held a review for him and marched past him in ranks. Our regiment was the second last. It is the largest in the whole 11th Corps.
        Also the cleanest and the neatest. Our coats are still as good as new and each man now has his second pair of trousers. On that account our regiment looks as though it had just come to the field. Our colonel said, "Look at the bums. In spite of the fact that our regiment has performed all its winter duties it is still the trimmest and the best looking. "Boys," he said, "when you march past act as though I were in front holding review so that we get praise again the way we always do." You know our regiment is always praised by everybody.
        As we marched past the President one of Carl Schurz's daughters asked him: "General, what regiment is that?" Schurz answered, "That is the 26th Wisconsin." Then she said, "That is the finest looking regiment in the army."
        The place where the other regiments paraded was too small for us and so the drums had to be placed back. We marched in division (one division is two companies) in flanks past the President. Our general is very proud of his regiment because it is praised by everyone.
        I hope that this letter finds you and the children in good health. I send my greetings to all the relatives and friends without exception, especially to your mother, sisters, and brothers, Herman and Bina, Muehl and families, Jungbluth, Jung, Wallace, O'Neill, Konrad, Krempel, Krak, Hirsch, Weiler, Strempel, and in fact to everybody who inquires for me. From

Your loving husband,

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger.

Answer immediately. A speedy return. Farewell

Letter #46______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Camp near Stafford Court House,
                                                                                                    April 12, 1863.

Precious Old Lady:

        Today is Whitsuntide, a beautiful day throughout the entire civilized world because of the first communion of Catholic children. Nature is pleased on this day and hence the weather is always good. Such weather favors us. Yesterday and today were quite warm and so we have been going around in our shirt sleeves.
        How is the church tower coming along? Is it almost finished? I heard yesterday that the paymaster is in the neighborhood and we will soon be paid out and I will not neglect to send my pay home.
        Take care of yourself, old lady, and God be with you all. We send you many greetings. Especially do I greet you and the children in that I kiss your picture frequently. Awaiting a speedy answer I remain

Your Loving Old Husband,

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger

Answer soon.

Letter #47______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Stafford Court House, April 17th 1863.

Precious dearly beloved wife:

        Because our march has been postponed and we are still in our old camp I thought I would write you a letter. I do not want you to worry unnecessarily. Instead of advancing we went on picket duty and relieved four companies of our regiment because of the very bad weather. All the other regiments had to serve three days of picket duty but our regiment served only a day and a half. Our regiment is still quite large and we had men enough to furnish twice the required number for picket duty. The first four companies served a day and a half and then the next four companies served a day and a half. In this manner our colonel again showed his consideration for us. The 82nd Illinois regiment under Colonel Hecker had to stand its full three days and he doesn't care whether his men are wet to the skin or not. He sees that he stays dry. It rained terribly hard a day and a half of the time they served on picket duty. It rained quite hard one day we were on duty and we didn't know how to get dry as the rain put out the fire. The weather has improved somewhat by now. I had the good luck this week to be appointed acting sergeant and to the satisfaction of everyone was presented with a sword by our first lieutenant Mueller. The company cheered and shouted, "That's right. Muenzenberger deserved this long ago. He has to do all the writing anyway and so he might as well have the job." Lieutenant Mueller is the fellow who reports us to Captain Schmidt with whom I enlisted. He seems to think a good deal of those who enlisted with Schmidt.
        Rumor has it that Governor Saloman is to visit us tomorrow - if it isn't false.
        They are always taking about he paymaster but we don't know when he is coming. Therefore, old lady, be comforted and don't worry. I don't have to work so hard anymore and if we go into battle I am not in the front but behind the front. My duties are well explained by the orderly. I do all of his correspondence. When we had our election I was clerk and had to make out the papers.
        Up to now we don't know where or when we go from here but we are still under marching orders. Our second lieutenant told me that we would be ordered to Aquia Creek to protect the place where the steamboats land. The railroad station is there that receives and ships all the supplies for the army at Fredericksburg.
The article you sent with Dr. Hundhausen hasn't arrived as yet. I am patiently awaiting a letter from my dearest. Please write to me soon and send me a few shillings worth of postage stamps.
        I am still well and I hope that these lines find you in the best of health. Write me how the children are and what they are doing.
Best regards to all friends and acquaintances, especially to your mother and family, Herman and Bina, Muehl, and family, Wallace and his wife, and to you, beloved, and to our dear children, from

Your loving husband,

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger.

Kiss the children for me.

Letter #48______________________________________________________________________________

Dear Beloved Barbara:

        Just as I was getting to post a letter to you I was much pleased to receive one from you. I saw that the congregation had agreed to take the advice that I had given so often and was preparing to give a ball. I can almost bet that they will get the hall without cost. I am pleased that you offered to cook the meal for them. I will be even more pleased if you don't take anything from them but will do everything you can for the congregation as I have always done in the past. If I have the good luck to get back I will take the keenest pleasure from seeing the church finished and all discord put aside. Be comforted, therefore, old dear, and trust in the Lord who disposes of everything. And do what you can for the church.
        I can see from your letter that Hasse and Gebhard are really wolves in lamb's clothing. Any man who will go and swear that strange dogs have killed his sheep when he can produce no witnesses to show that there were strange dogs and when everyone knows that his own dog did the damage and who then will collect thirty-odd dollars for his sheep - about twice as much as they were worth - is certainly capable of cheating widows and orphans and of robbing bereaved families.
        One must deal with one's enemies. If they don't settle willingly one must take the matter to court. He will be forced to pay and he can't get out of it. All of us are in agreement and we want to give the case to a lawyer on equal shares. If he wants to fight we will do this as soon as we have a chance.
        I just heard that the paymaster is here and that we will be paid off this week. Governor Salomon will surely be here tomorrow morning. I wish Theodore Jungbluth, Wilhelm and Keogh much luck in their young life. It seems to be that recruiting is now being seriously carried on. Two days, three recruits. That's pretty good work.
        Goodbye until next time. Many hearty greetings and best wishes to the congregation but especially to you, dear heart, and to the little ones.

From your loving husband,

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger

Answer soon.

Letter #49______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Camp of the 26th Regiment between
                                                                                                    Stafford Court House and Brooks Station,
                                                                                                    April 20, 1963.

Dearest, much beloved Barbara:

        I have received your precious letter of April 1. I am greatly pleased to hear that all of you are still well. I too am in good health as are all your friends and your brother in particular. I send my greetings to you and to the children many times.
        I was much pleased to receive the package with the moss. You write me about a present, an axe, in your letter. I have sent two axes. Give them to the children who behave best. If you receive the axes one will go to Ernest and the other to the oldest or to Adam. Tell Mary that I will send her something else. Please let me know if you received everything.
        Governor Saloman arrived here yesterday and held a brief review of the regiment. He excused himself for not furnishing it with Milwaukee clothes. He assured us, however, that he would never forget the honor with the Twenty-Sixth yielded him. We had decorated the camp with green boughs and festoons. Then he said that the State of Wisconsin was proud of the Twenty-Sixth and looked with admiration upon its two service regiments, the Ninth and the Twenty-Sixth. He repeated the same praise in the evening to the Milwaukee Sanger Bund which serenaded him the with the songs, "In Der Heimat ist es Schoen," and "Das Treue Deutsche Herz."
        "In my whole life," he said, "I have never before been so proud of my German descent as I am now in the Camp of the Twenty-Sixth Regiment." As soon as he finished his speech the men were supposed to give three cheers for the Union but they didn't go so well. And when the commander asked for three cheers for Governor they didn't go so well either. But when he called for three cheers for General Schurz they went! Schurz merely smiled. You know he was just a guest of the Governor and the General.
        I took care of Fritz Awe's affair for him. Lieutenant Mueller, our company commander, has returned the paper to the Secretary of State and now Awe's folks will receive state aid. Weidmann wrote to Leopold that Mrs. Awe died. Write and tell me whether or not it is true.
        You write and say that our little mischief is smart. I imagine that he has many teachers and that must make him perfect. I am glad that he is so healthy. Tell Mary and Ernest that I send them many kisses. They should be good and study hard because in that way they will please me. I beg of you, dear heart, be comforted. We must make the best of things down here. Perhaps the story will end sooner than anyone expects. Quite a few soldiers who have served their time are going home.
        Many greetings to old acquaintances, to the Muehl families, to Herman and Bina, to your mother and her family, and to all that ask for me. Many sincere greetings to your, dear heart, and to our dear children, from

Your loving husband,

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger

Answer soon!