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

Letter #50______________________________________________________________________________

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

Precious, dearly beloved Wife:

        After much trouble and suffering - ten days of it - which for Holz, Leopold, your brother Adam and me turned out luckily, I again take my pen to tell you at the first opportunity about everything which we have undergone. God be praised, I am in the best of health and so is your brother but for many these last ten days were difficult and for some they were last hours. God deserves much gratitude for getting us out of this butchery.
        On April 28th we received orders to march but we did not know where we were to go. We had fine clear weather until about nine o'clock when it clouded up with a thunderstorm. It rained that afternoon. We passed through a little village called Grove Church. At two we came within a mile of the Rappahannock River where we waited because the Rebels were on the opposite bank. At midnight we crossed the river. Our regiment was the first to pass over but we found no grey-coats. That morning we marched until three o'clock.
        On April 29th we started out at ten and marched until four in the afternoon when we arrived at the Rapidan, a tributary that flows into the Rappahannock. We crossed this at night and at ten o'clock we pitched camp on the other side of Garmane's Mills. It was raining. On the 30th it was still raining. On this day we marched on the plank road towards Fredericksburg and met General Steinwehr's troops. It was still raining.
        On May 1st we were in camp nine miles from Fredericksburg. We passed a good night. About noon we heard the beginnings of the cannonading. Suddenly we received orders to get ready. General Kryzynowski told us that we had the honor of forming the right wing and that the enemy would probably break through at that place. In the afternoon we were lined up in battle order and heard several cannon shots. That night some of us slept in battle lines. Others had to throw up breastworks.
        On May 2nd we had taken our places of the day before when at five o'clock in the afternoon the rebels suddenly appeared. They came out of a bluff in great numbers and outnumbered our regiment seven to four. As we were back of a small hill it was hard for them to hit us but every round our regiment fired mowed down rows of southerners.
        We were ordered to retire. Our regiment lost 20 dead, 73 wounded, and 103 missing. The fault of it is this: Sigel isn't with us anymore and the others are merely humbug generals.
        May 3. We were moved to the left wing where the rebels greeted us again. Our pickets sent them back.
        May 4. Everything was quiet until noon. Then the rebels made an attack on the right wing but were repulsed with a very heavy loss. All the rebels in this attack were negroes. Then we were transferred to the center.
        May 5. We heard a little gunfire to our left again. It was always quieted, however. In the afternoon we had a thunderstorm. The rain came pouring down and we were soaked through and through. The thunderstorm turned into a slow rain. The rebels surrounded us and we were compelled to retreat over the river or be taken by the rebels or drown.
        May 6. We were sent across the Rappahannock in great haste and were lucky enough to get across when we heard that we were to return to our old camp at Brooks Station. We proceeded and arrived there at seven in the evening. We had marched 28 miles that day.
        We felt very much at home there, only our muscles were rather sore from the hardships of the battle. I forget all my hardships, though, when I think that I can write to you, beloved, that no bullet touched either Adam or me. Lewis Manz, Jacob Michel, and Sprengling, whose wife you visited recently were wounded, Manz in the head, and Michel in his head and shoulder but not badly. Burkhardt is among the missing. This is all that I care to tell you about the hardships of the battle.
        I hope that you and ours are happy and that this swindle will end pretty soon. This affair is nothing more or less than the greatest fraud every concocted.
        There were no letters here for me today but I am in hopes of receiving one yet. It would please me greatly to have your next letter bring us the news that this humbug is over.
        Be comforted as I am and pray with the children for me as I do for you in the hopes of a speedy reunion.
Send my greetings to all our neighbors and acquaintances, especially to your mother and her family, Herman and Bina, Muehl and family, Wallace, Weiler, O'Neill, Hommel, Hirsch, Krak, Roller, Michels, Jungbluth, Jung, Konrad, Krempels, Miendorf, Molthauf, and in fact all that ask for me. I remain your husband, faithful to death,

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger.

We lost our second lieutenant among the dead and our first lieutenant Mueller was wounded in the arm. The wounded are all in the hospital. I remain,

Your husband,

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger.

        Greet and kiss our dear little ones for me. I hope that you remain well and pray for me. Farewell, faithful soul. Goodbye. More next time.
        Another order to march has come but where to I don't know. Farewell. Write to me. The letters arrive.

Letter #51______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Stafford Court House, May 11, 1863

Dearly beloved Wife:

        I received your loving letter of May 3rd on the 10th and it made me very happy to hear that you, beloved, and my dear ones were in the best of health. I am still hale and hearty and send my greetings to you, beloved, and to our littles -and in fact to all who inquire for me.
        Although throughout the last weeks we engaged in a series of strenuous marches and passed through a shower of bullets from the enemy's guns and through the sharp explosion of his bombs we happily came through all these dangers unscathed and I find myself quite - or rather entirely - happy. I can thank the Lord and the Blessed Virgin Mary for the protection given me.
        No one can have any idea of what we had to endure - eight days and nights without sleep, with packed knapsacks on our backs, bread bags at our sides filled with rations for eight days, bullet pouches with sixty cartridges, and guns on our shoulders and bayonets at our sides. Then march ahead! Anyone can imagine how it feels to make twelve or twenty miles a day.
        But that is nothing compared to what we had to undergo here. When we reached our camp again and pitched our tents we saw only misery. One third of the tents in our camp were empty. And why? Because those who had occupied them were no more. Where are they? Dead! In the hospitals. Captured by the rebels. That is the worst thing that could happen to a regiment that once was so excellent. We have only three hundred men in active service. We crossed the Rappahonnock with six hundred. Another affair like this and there will be no regiment.
        Our commander has gone to Milwaukee where he seems to have urgent business - what, no one knows. Yesterday General Schurz held a review of our division. Our regiment was there, 260 strong. Rumor has it that we will advance again. How far and where to I do not know. No one is told anything. Here in our camp the command comes to march - we don't know where to until we arrive.
        I am greatly pleased, dear heart, that you are taking charge of the ball to pay for the bills, and particularly so because it is for a good cause for which I can do no more. I wish you very much luck in your undertaking. It also makes me happy to learn that the children are diligent and good and study hard. That pleases me.
        As for Theodore Jungbluth wanting to know how much salary I get I will write him that I receive thirteen whole dollars a month - or should receive until the first of May. What I shall get after that I don't know - whether sergeant's or orderly sergeant's pay, as I perform the duties of an orderly sergeant now and am until further orders an orderly sergeant.
        This is all for this time. Send my greetings to all my acquaintances, relatives, neighbors, and to all who ask for me, especially your mother and family, Herman and Bina, Muehl and family, and more especially again to you and to the children, from

Your Loving Husband,

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger,

Answer soon. A quick return! Farewell.

Letter #52______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Headquarters of the Twenty-Sixth Wisconsin
                                                                                                    Regiment near Brooks Station,
                                                                                                    May 19, 1863.

Dearly Beloved Barbara:

        As I have been waiting for a whole week with the greatest of longing for a letter from you and our loved ones and have received none I deem it my duty as a husband and father to write to you again and more particularly because the newspapers have published so much truth about the 11th Corps which no doubt disturbed you as well as others. I am still well and happy and I hope that this letter reaches you and ours in the best of health. We left our camp again last Friday and are now stationed near Brooks Station. We traveled one mile and then we pitched our camp about a quarter of a mile from the railroad. We have a good campsite with clear water and we can get good bread almost every day.
        Our regiment suffered heavily during the strenuous campaign and Battle of Chancellorsville and of companies which were not wounded half fell sick from wet and cold. During these last days our company alone had seventeen men in the camp hospital, eighteen wounded and missing, and eleven in different United States hospitals. Adam and I are still well and the worst that is happening to us is that we are not always receiving our rations. ... [missing] we haven't as yet found out anything ..... who as I hear is in the hospital and .... sick but not dangerously. Adam Holz has the same trouble that Adam and I have. He lacks bread most of the time.
Adam Sprengling of Milwaukee received two wounds in the battle of May 2nd. God be praised nothing happened to me and to Adam. He is a sharpshooter and on this account was about a quarter of a mile ahead of us. When he came back he went through such a shower of bullets that I expected every minute he would fall dead. But no, he came through luckily. Now he laughs and says, "The rebels didn't get me but I stretched out my share."
        I hope and pray, dear heart, that these lines reach you in the best of health as they leave me. I wish only that I can't be back with my loved ones all the time. I could be with them for a couple of weeks. Please let me know, sweetheart, how things are with you and how much money you made at the Benefit Ball.
Remember me to all our old neighbors and relatives and to all who inquire about me. Especially greet your mother and family, Herman and Bina, Muehls and their families, Kraks, Hirsch, Weiler, Mrs. Wallace and their families, and Krempels, Montag, Mirgeler, Jungbluth, Jung, Michel, Roller, Loehrs, and in fact everybody who wants to know about me.

I greet you and the little ones.

Until Death Your Loving Husband,

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger

I now have very light duties.

Letter #53______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Brooks Station, May 23rd 1863

Dear beloved, precious wife:

        This evening, on the ninth anniversary of our happy marriage, I received your dear letter of May 17th and I was additionally pleased that the letter from my dearly beloved wife surprised me by appearing on that never to be forgotten day. It makes me the more unhappy, though, that I must live in this confusion of war while you live in our quiet home forsaken by your husband. At the same time I feel comforted that the good Father in heaven has protected me and my little ones. The ninth anniversary of our marriage was certainly a sad one but I hope that the tenth will be the happier for it. I am well and I hope that this letter finds you the same. We have changed camps and now are only one-half mile from Brooks Station. From here we can hear the railroad trains and the whistles and we wish we were on our way to Milwaukee. But what good does wishing do when one is so far from his beloved ones and has to see the swindle that is going on?
        I see by the papers that the draft in Wisconsin will begin again. It will take many fathers from their happy circles and bring them to this unhappy war to be killed.
        Our regiment has been greatly reinforced and is the favorite regiment of Generals Krycgzgnowski, Schurz, and Howard. All say that if all regiments were like the 26th the rebels would have been driven back immediately at the first attack. Our regiment has eighteen wounded and no dead. Jacob Michel is in the parole camp at Annapolis, Maryland. He writes that he is in the best of health. Lewis Manz is in the hospital at Annapolis. He was wounded in the right hand and will lose his index finger. He sent me a letter written with his left hand. Andrew Sprengling is in the hospital at Alexandria. He has two wounds. The others are in the division hospital at Brooks Station. I wish you could see one of these hospitals - the cleanliness and orderliness with which they are run. Last Sunday Leopold and I visited the hospital and General Schurz was there. He visits the wounded, tent after tent, and in this way found out that the division doctors had been neglecting their duties and had them put under arrest. He said he couldn't have things like that happen. The soldiers had done their duty and he certainly expected the doctors to do theirs and if they didn't he certainly would show them that they were treating human beings and not animals. He cares for the soldiers like a father for his children. This week we were mustered in for the months of March and April. I was very busy and had a lot of writing to do.
        According to rumor we will be stationed here for a while yet as our army corps is to be recruited to full strength. Every week some of the old German troops return home when their time is up. You wrote me in your letter that you were much worried about me as my name did not appear in any paper. That was the fine part of it. If you had seen my name you would have known that misfortune had hit me and that I would have been either wounded or taken prisoner.
        Please let me know how much you made on the ball. I thank you many times because you did this without asking me. It was right of you to give the money to my sister. I am very happy that you are getting along so well with everything.
        I wish Henry Muehl the best of luck in his marriage. I hope that they will live as we do, happily, and to the entire satisfaction of their parents. I again wish them much luck and hope that their marriage will be a happy one. Please write me when he was married and if I know his wife.
        Andreas Stubsnus died last week and was buried in Virginia. During the time we were in the battle he was with the provost guard and helped drive cattle. He had a very swollen neck. I did not learn he had died until someone told me several days later.
        I am greatly pleased that Ernest and Mary are so busy studying. I take the greatest pleasure from it. Tell them they should be busy little children and pray for me. The fact that little Adam talks about me so much and is such a happy little fellow shows his affection for me. It is proof that all of you speak of me frequently. It makes me very happy. Please let me know what the teacup tells you the next time you write. I was happy to learn that you ordered a mass and received the sacraments on our wedding day. I wish that I could have done the same but here one sees no church or religion - nothing but woods and soldiers.
        My greetings to all our acquaintances and neighbors, to your mother and family, Herman and Bina, Weiler, Hirsch, Hommel, Krak, Wallace, Oelrich, Krempel, Konrad, Montag, Molhauf, Jung, Jungbluth, and especially to those who ask for me. Send a special greeting to Henry Frank.
Your loving husband heartily greets you and our dear little ones. Farewell. God be with you.

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger

        When you go to Milwaukee please go to the house next to Burkhardt's and ask for a woman by the name of Christen. Tell her that she should write to her husband more frequently. He is worrying about her.

Letter #54______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Camp Near Brooks Station, Va.,
                                                                                                    May 31, 1863

Beloved, Precious Wife:

        I received your precious letter of May 25th yesterday, May 30th, and I rejoice that you and our beloved children are well. As for me I am, thank God, hale and hearty and I hope that this letter finds you the same. You write to me that Fritz Awe is dangerously ill. That may well be. He appeared in good health when in our camp but he complained continually about pains in his chest and he could scarcely breathe. We would all be very sorry if he was ill. Nicholas Fredrich has recovered and according to the letter I received from him last week will remain in the hospital at Philadelphia as orderly. He writes that he thinks he will never come back to the regiment again. Manz wrote me again. He is feeling fine and his hand is healing out nicely. Our wounded are all recovering and some of them are back with their companies again and the rest will be back within a few days. The severely wounded will be sent to Washington just as soon as they can stand the trip. From there they will be sent home on a furlough until they are entirely cured.
        Our camp here is excellent and our provisions are of the best. I am very much pleased to hear that Ernest and Mary are such good children and study so nicely and that the little father is so happy and thinks of me so often. I think that shows your great love and affection. Should I be lucky enough to return - which I sincerely hope - I will certainly reward you and the little ones. Until then I can only thank you many, many times.
Our payroll for two months is complete again and no doubt we will be paid out as the paymaster arrived here a few days ago. As soon as I am paid I will send you as much money as I possibly can. My duties are light. I have no night picket duties. This is the only reward I get for acting as sergeant. I need do nothing but hand out rations in the company and do all the company correspondence.
        Please write me all the news as soon as possible, whatever you find out no matter what it is. Our general is sick in Washington. Send me the shirts I wrote to you about as soon as possible. I am greatly pleased that you and the little ones remember me in your prayers. I do the same for you as I have always done it since I left you. I hope the time is not far distant when peace will return to this unhappy land.

I remain your loving husband,

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger

        I remain your faithful Adam. Kiss the little ones for me. Goodbye, goodbye. Write immediately. What does the teacup say? Does the end come soon?

Letter #55______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Camp near Brooks Station,
                                                                                                    June 7th, 1863

Precious, dearly beloved Barbara:

        I received your dear letter of May 31st on the afternoon of June 6th. It pleases me much that you, beloved, and the children are still healthy and happy and I trust that you will still be the same when this letter arrives. I greet you and our dear ones by kissing your picture many, many times.
        I see according to your letter that you bought yourself a new stove. I am greatly pleased with this and with the fact that you are satisfied with your lot. I am content with my fortune and I can see from your letter that I may expect the same from you. I hope and pray that luck will turn her face toward us once more and we can be together again.
        I can't complain about my duties since I do nothing but an orderly's tasks. I was appointed orderly by the commanding lieutenant, Young of Milwaukee, and so I have to be in camp all the time. I think that if it pleases fate I will be appointed sergeant. Up to now I have had nothing but light duties. If I get the appointment I will receive $20 a month instead of $13. I hope this happens soon. Therefore, dearest, be consoled regarding your husband. I lean upon God and I hope that with his help and with the help of the Blessed Virgin we will be happily reunited.
        We have been marching for several days and are still under marching orders but we hope that the march won't be as hard and that our luck will be better than the last time. We hear that the 11th Army corps is to return to Dumfries. The day before yesterday we heard heavy cannonading along our front and the rumor is with us that General Hooker and several army corps hard crossed the Rappahannock and had taken Fredericksburg Heights.
        I thank you very much for your friendly willingness to send me things. That isn't necessary. But if you get a chance send me two shirts of thin blue material, and, if possible, send them as soon as you can. This would please me greatly.
        You want to know whether Adam and I are not good friends. We are as friendly as ever but he would rather hang around with the young fellows who are willing to play cards with him than with me. Outside of that we are the best of friends. I am not with them in their tents anymore. I am quartered with the sergeants. That's all for now. More next time.
        Write me frequent, soon, much and good news. I send my greetings to all of you as in my last letter and particularly to you and to our beloved children, to your mother and family, Bina and Herman, Muehl and family. And I remain

Your loving husband,

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger.

        Be comforted, old lady, the old Lord is still living. Pray to him with the children as I do. He surely won't forget us and if it is His wish we will meet again.
        You mustn't take my last letter too much to heart. As happens occasionally when I wrote it I was downhearted. It particularly happens when you have to listen to everybody's sad story.
Greet Kraemers from John and tell them to address his letters to the regiment again. He is back with his company C.
        Goodbye, old lady. Hope to see you again. Farewell, precious heart. Don't forget me and include me in your prayers.

Your loving husband,

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger.

        Kiss the children again for me. I received a letter from a doctor in the hospital telling me that Fritz Awe is in the hospital in Madison, Wisconsin.

Letter #56______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Goose Creek, VA, June 22, 1863

Precious Wife:

        Today, on the 22, I received your two letters. It pleased me greatly that I received them both. It hurts me much to learn that little Ernest is so dangerously ill. Nurse him carefully as I know you will and if God so desires, He will restore his health.
        We have undergone very strenuous marches. The weather has been very hot, the road dusty, and we marched from early in the morning until late at night. We went from Brooks Station to Hardwood Church and then to Cattelet Station and from there to Centerville and thence to the place where we are now. All day yesterday our cavalry battled with Stuart's cavalry. The fight lasted from early morning until after 5 p.m. Our men defeated the enemy and drove them back. In spite of all this marching I am still healthy and in the hope that this letter reaches and the little ones in better health. The letters leave today. Next time more. God protect you! I remain your loving

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger

Letter #57______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Camp near Goose Creek, VA
                                                                                                    June 22, 1863

Precious, Dearly Beloved Barbara:

        I received your long-wished for letter today. My happiness was great when I heard that we were to receive letters, but our happiness, or rather mine, did not last long because on opening your letter I saw to my very great grief that our Ernest is ill. I hope that it will be nothing serious and until I receive the next letter I will live in the hope that he is recovering. Let God's will be done though. The fate of man is in His hands. Tell Ernest to be resigned and he will get better.
        I am still in good health and I hope that this letter finds you the same. We made some pretty strenuous marches. On Friday, June 12th, we broke camp at Brooks Station and leaving at 10 o'clock in the morning marched to Hardwood Church where we bivouacked overnight - in the woods of course. Saturday morning at three o'clock the call to break camp was sounded. We rose from our beds where we had rested well and after we had our black coffee and crackers we marched on. We passed through very beautiful - very beautiful. Here and there we saw fields planted with wheat and Welsh corn. Cherries were just ripe. These were pretty well punished by the young men in the army. Whole trees were ripped apart. Strawberries and blackberries were here very plentiful. Wherever we are we are at home. You can imagine what happens. Whatever is loose goes along.
        Toward evening we came to Wenerton where there had been a heavy cavalry fight a short time before. We encamped alongside of Cattlet Station on the Alexandria and Culpepper Railroad awaiting further orders. Sunday morning everything was quiet until 10 o'clock when orders arrived to break camp. The command came to go to Manassas Junction. When we get there orders to travel to Centerville.
        Centerville, our old camping place where we spent several months last year - how glad we were when we saw the old next before our eyes again. Here we camped on the very earthworks the Rebels had made.
During the day the weather is very hot but at night it is very cold. The other morning we had to march through Centerville again and toward the Bull Run Road where we pitched our camp in an open place under the scorching sun.
        Tuesday the 16th our entire regiment had to go on picket duty on the Bull Run. In the evening we received orders to break camp at three o'clock the next morning. The next day we marched until five o'clock in the evening and came to Goose Creek where we are now. How long we stay here only the Gods know. You can imagine how we feel. The weather is so hot that we think we scarcely can stand it and yet we have to march with our entire equipment, loaded like a pack mule. You'd think this is a rose - and it is for the southern general, Lee, is marching in the same direction through the Blue Ridge and we have to march rapidly to block his way. Which we have been lucky enough to do.

Letter #58______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    June 23, 1863

Dear Old Girl:

        We are now camping on Goose Creek five miles from Leesburg, fourteen miles from Centerville and six miles from Edward Furey.
        Our camp is quite comfortable but how long we will be here only God himself knows. Yesterday quite a few men arrived here from ..... {illegible}. Likewise Andreas Stubanus who was thought dead came here and as I walked through the regiment this morning I met him. He told me that he wrote Goll and Frank only one letter in six years. As we crossed the river to Chancellorsville he came with the wagon train and as he was not well he returned. When he got into the hospital and had no papers he was sent into the camp as a deserter where the prisoners and deserters are sent. He is well and sends his regards to any who inquire after him.
        Yesterday our company went on picket duty again but as I am acting as orderly I can stay in camp while the rest must get out.
        Our lieutenant, Robert Mueller, is from Milwaukee and lives in the ninth ward. He leaves Milwaukee July 6th and if the shirts are ready please send them to me with him. I should be awfully glad if I could receive them as I need them badly.
        Adam is hale and hearty and is as crazy about card playing as ever. Our general has not as yet arrived. If you receive this letter please answer it very soon. I am awfully anxious to hear how Ernest is - in fact all you dear ones. The only consolation that I have in this world is to receive a letter from my dear ones at home. If God wills, He will reunite us again.
        Include me in your prayers as I include you in mine. Wishing you the best of health I close my letter with loving greetings.
        Be so kind as to greet your mother, sisters and brothers, Muehl and family, Henry and family, Herman and Bina in fact all neighbors, relatives and dear friends. Kissing your dearly beloved picture that I carry in my breast pocket through all my travels I beg to remain yours till death,


                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger

        Write very soon that I may know how you all are. Write your letters regularly even if you don't receive an answer from me, because while on the march we can't send any letters we always receive them.
        If you don't receive another letter from me don't worry because most of the time we are under marching orders or on the march. Be comforted, old lady, everything that had a beginning must have an end and I certainly hope it doesn't last much longer.

Your Husband,

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger

Letter #59______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Headquarters of the Twenty-Sixth Wisconsin
                                                                                                    Regiment, Goose Creek,
                                                                                                    Four Miles from Leesburg,
                                                                                                    Virginia, June 24, 1863.

Precious, Dearly Beloved Wife:

        When I received the letter this morning I thought immediately that either good news or bad news would be in it. Unfortunately it contained bad news - or worse. I think of the trouble you are in and the way your heart must be torn by this trial. But what can that help? You know how I love our children with heart and soul but I must counsel you to be consoled, dearest. The Lord tries us in these days of tribulation. We too can say, "Whom the Lord loveth he chastiseth." Therefore be comforted. After the long night the sun must shine again. Of course it is hard. It is hard for me too as a father because I am so far away from you. But I give myself patiently and with resignation to my fate. And I pray the good God that he preserve us and our two little ones and if it is His will that He will have us meet again.
        Of course for you, sweetheart, it has been considerably harder because it was your lot all alone to watch the suffering and pain of the children without my being of the least help to you. But be consoled, dear, if we have good luck, and if after this foolishness is ended, we should come together again, rest assured I will never forget what yo have done for our little ones. I owe you many thanks and I hope that the Lord will repay you a hundred-fold.
        I feared as soon as I opened the letter that it wouldn't contain good news because generally when I receive a letter from someone else it doesn't contain much good news.
        I received Herman Stiefvater's letter this morning and I intended to answer it immediately. I am still well and although this news staggers me for the minute I am quite consoled in thinking, "Lord, Thy will be done." I hope that you too, beloved, may raise yourself above these sorrows and think, "The Lord has given, and the Lord shall take. Blessed be the name of the Lord."
        I know, dear that you are strong in adversity. Do me the favor, be comforted. Don't worry because we can't help matters anyway.
        In the hope that this letter finds you and the little ones in as good a health as it leaves me I send you my sincerest greetings.
        I greet Adam and Mary a thousand times and I remain

Your Loving Husband,

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger

Greetings to Herman and Bina and the folks, to your mother, and to all who inquire for me.

Be comforted, dear. After the rain comes the sunshine.

Letter #60______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    St. Joseph's Maryland, June 30, 1863.

Beloved Wife:

        We arrived here this morning worn out with strenuous marches. I hope that you and Mary and Adam are well. I still feel pretty good although I can hardly push one foot ahead of the other these days. We must march like dogs and now that the rainy weather has started the road is pretty bad. We camped a few days at Middleton and then we proceeded to Frederick City. We camped there over night and the next day we marched to Emmitsburg. There we camped on a wet field and this morning we marched two miles nearer the hills where the St. Joseph's convent is located. We have our camp close beside the convent. Should we stay here for a while - which I doubt - I will receive communion.
        Be consoled my dear. I didn't think much of home until we landed in a civilized country again. Put the sad thoughts out of your mind and ask God to protect us and to give us a speedy return. Please write me immediately and tell me how things are with you and the children. Adam is still cheerful and the meals still taste good to him. He buys ... [illegible] and makes .... [illegible]. I was quite exhausted by the campaign recently but I hope it will soon be ended. They say that we are headed for Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
I'm only sorry that I can't send you anymore, true heart. It rains very hard.
        My greetings to all relatives and friends, and to all who inquire for me, especially to you and to our two little ones. As I kiss your picture I remain


                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger

Letter #61______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Greenfield,  August 19th, 1863.

Dear Adam:

        I am taking my pen in hand to write you a few lines, and hope they will reach you in as good health as they leave us. We are all in good health, and little Adam is as full of mischief as ever. You would be happy to see him. Little Mary Anna is a very busy and obedient little girl and talks about you and my brother Adam quite a bit.
        But unfortunately, misfortune has again followed us. On July 30th at 4 A. M. we had a very severe thunderstorm. The lightning struck our chimney and shattered the bricks from top to bottom. There wasn't a stone that wasn't smashed to bits. The bolt followed the joist and wrecked the middle door and the cellar door, and caved in a wall and splintered four scantlings and a large cross joist. It broke a lock and 34 window panes. I lay unconscious for about a half hour. You can imagine what a sight I saw and what a fright I had when I came to. The whole house was wrecked. The only blessing is that no lives were lost. It was a cold shock.
        Mr. Preusser took pity on me and had the house repaired and put in order. I have been living with my mother, but am going back to our own house again today.
        I pray to the dear Lord to send me any trial that he wants to, and I will willingly suffer any hardships patiently, if he only lets you come back to my arms again. I can truthfully say that I have endured a great many trials this past year. To lose two children by death without their father at my side to comfort me was a double trial. . But, dear Adam, I take comfort in the hope that the good Lord does everything for our own benefit, in his own way.
        If you danplease try and get a furlough as so many have returned home that were taken prisoner. Farewell dear soul. I am awaiting an early return. I greet and kiss your dear picture.
        Your true and loving wife and dear children,

                                                                                                    Barbara Muenzenberger.

        Mother and family send greetings. Also Herman and Bina. I know you have suffered greatly, but suffer patiently, as the sun will shine again for us. The sister Strauss is here and will pay us a visit August 22nd. She came July 19th.

Letter #62______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Richmond, August 30th, 1863.

Beloved Wife:

        I had the misfortune to be taken prisoner at the battle of Gettysburg. I was captured on the 1st of July and have been a prisoner since then. Asmus Holz was taken with me and likewise John Nachtsheim from the Kilbourn Road.
        We are still hale and hearty and I hope that these few lines find you in good health. Don't worry about me. We are pretty well accustomed to our trials and are resigned to our fate. You can't write a letter to me until I send you another letter from the parole camp on our front lines. We expect to be exchanged any day. Console yourself the way I console myself and things will soon be better.

Your Loving Husband,

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger

Letter #63______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Richmond, Virginia, September 27, 1863.

Precious Barbara:

        Here in prison boredom drives me to again write to you a few lines. I am still feeling fine although our clothes are in tatters, and the food - it is a little too much to starve on and not enough to live on. Everyday we have two meals. In the morning a piece of bread - about a quarter of a pound - and the smallest piece of meat - Adam wouldn't be satisfied with it - and evenings another piece of bread the size of that in the morning, and either bean or rice soup - about a pint, from which all fat has been skimmed. The salt bag generally stands beside the soup kettle and there isn't a kernel of salt lost on the way. There are absolutely no vegetables in it - perhaps a little dirt and flies - but dearest, how good it tastes and how glad everyone is when the drum calls us to rations! Our beds are the cool earth but now we are camped in tents. Our army blankets were taken away from us by the southerners - in fact everything we received from the government. But enough of this.
        I hope that you are not worrying about me too much. These are heavy trials but as long as God gives me my health we can thank our Heavenly Father. Last Monday one thousand men were paroled from here and according to rumor, yesterday morning fifteen hundred, officers included. They are paroling again and I am sending this letter with one of them. If one thousand leave every day I am in the 12th hundred but as it is now I am still in the 22nd hundred. I am giving this letter to a man in the 52nd New York regiment who has become a good friend of mine.
        Be comforted, old lady, as long as God is over us when need is greatest He is nearest. The time came when I was taken prisoner and I think that the time will come when, if the Lord wills, I will be exchanged.
        Many regards from Asmus Holz and John Nachtsheim who are still with us to all our acquaintances, friends, relatives, neighbors, and especially to all our immediate families, and most of all to you, dear heart, from

Your loving husband,


I hope to visit you when I get out of here and to speak to your personally.

Your husband,

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger.

Letter #64______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Bell Island, October 22, 1863.

Precious, Dearly Beloved Barbara:

        Still here in the southern prison I again take my pen to write you a few lines.
I and Asmus Holz are still together like brothers and what one has the other has. Nachtsheim from the Kilbourn Road is sick now and has been taken to the hospital. I do not know whether he is alive ... {illegible} one of the ... and he is in the hospital.
        We are still in the grocery warehouse but when we will leave it .... {illegible} on our .... only He who knows.
        Therefore, dearest, please write me an answer so that I may know how things are at home, what our dear ones are doing, and how the friends and neighbors are. Here we sit and get nothing but lies. Be so kind and write .. {illegible} a hundred thousand hearty .... {illegible} and all our acquaintances and relatives and all who still inquire for me. When you write nothing about ... {illegible} only how your family is, how the last draft is coming, and who from our town is drafted. Write how my two little darlings are - whether or not they are alive.
        Don't worry, and write soon as I would love to hear something new from my dear ones. In the greatest expectation that we will soon get out of this misery, I send my greetings to you and the children, to your sisters, to Herman and Bina, my godfather, Muehl and his family, and to Roller and family. I remain,

Your Loving Husband

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger

        Asmus Holz asks you to be so kind as to write to Holz's parents that he is here in prison and still in good health and sends his greetings to Stuber and family. He should send greetings to Holz's parents from him and me. Again many greetings from him. Many greetings to you and the family and to Stuber and family. I remain,

Your Loving Husband,

                                                                                                    Adam Muenzenberger

Asmus Holz sends greetings to all his relatives in the hopes that we will soon be out of here.

                                                                                                    Asmus Holz

One more request to you. Pray for me as I pray for you. Then everything will come out all right.


My address is                                                                             Adam Muenzenberger,

                                                                                                    Co. C. 26th Rgt.,
                                                                                                    Wisconsin Volunteers,
                                                                                                    Prisoner of War,
                                                                                                    Richmond Virginia.

Letter #65______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Greenfield, November 4, 1863.

Beloved Husband:

        I received your long awaited letter of the 22nd and I see that - God be thanked you are still alive and well. I had received no news of you for four months. Some thought you were dead, others that you were sick, and so for four months I was broken-hearted, because you did not write. All of us are well. Little Adam talks quite a bit about you when he is at play. He says frequently that he will call for you in town. Little Mary who is seven years old today speaks much of you and prays for you forsaken ones very nicely and with the greatest confidence. She believes that if she prays the good God will let you return to us again. Little Adam lifts his hands so beautifully in prayer although he cannot speak the words.
        Dear Adam, I have made up my mind to leave November 7 to visit my sister. At that time I will also visit your father, brother, and sisters. Please address your next letter to La Crosse as I will stay there six or eight weeks. I cannot forebear, Dear Adam, to mention the misfortune which was mine since my last letter to you. On the 30th of July, at four o'clock in the morning the lightening struck our house and demolished the whole chimney - there wasn't a stone left - went down the middle door in the cellar and tore four beams, two cross beans of the upper floor, two boards in the front room moved the window sill four inches from the house and broke four window panes. It injured the right eye of the Harbacher girl. I was unconscious for an hour. Harbachers were forced to move out and I was compelled to stay at mother's for three weeks. Mr. Preusser took pity on me and had the house put in order again.
        But these are all only trials. God be praised we will survive them if only you return and that soon. Mr. Kilian, pastor of the Lutheran Church, is now our neighbor. He sends his regards to you and to Mr. Holz and will remember you in his prayers as will his family. Mr. Hirsch bought Mr. Buechler's house and will start a saloon. He is altering the entire building. Schmidt the musician lost the four children of his second wife within the last few weeks. Hilkene's son, Carl, died.
        Dear Adam, if possible try to get a furlough and come home for a few days if God wills. Pray, dear Adam, and don't lose courage. Suffer everything patiently. .... {illegible} I also am forsaken by my husband and my two dear ones, Ernest and Henry. The Lord give them perpetual rest where we will see them at some future time. That is my consolation.
        I delivered the message from K... {illegible} to Stuber. He wishes to be remembered to you all. Also best regards from all acquaintances with no exceptions, especially from the relations, Grandma Muehl and family, mother, sisters, brothers, Herman and Bina.

Your Wife, Loving You Until Death,

                                                                                                    Barbara Muenzenberger

        Your loving children, Mary and Adam Muenzenberger, kiss your picture ... Farewell, dear one, we will see you soon again. I have written you two letters. No doubt you failed to receive them.

Letter #66______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Lookout Valley, Tenn., Nov. 14, 1863.

Mrs. Muenzenberger:

        As commanding officer of Company C, 26th Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers, of which your husband is a member, I received a letter addressed to him at Richmond. I opened it and by the signature saw that it was written by you. I therefore take the liberty to send it back to you and also to enclose a clipping from the Herald which contains the exact address and the regulations for writing a letter. The letter must be written in English, etc.

                                                                                                    Respectfully yours,
                                                                                                    Robert Mueller
                                                                                                    First Lt. Commanding Co. C.
                                                                                                    26 R. Wis. Vol.

I considered it my duty to notify you in regard to this.

Letter #67______________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Greenfield, November 30, 1863.

Dear Sister-in-Law:

        Last Saturday we received a letter addressed to you. We thought that it came from Richmond but we found that it was your letter that you sent to Adam but which never reached its destination. We are therefore sending you the letter the way it came back together with the enclosed letter from Lieutenant Mueller. In this you can see exactly the reason why your letter was returned.
        I was drawn in the last draft but I bought my freedom for about $50. Henry Muehl was drafted but I hear that he is home again. The rest of the names in the draft you can see in the paper.
        My sister Catherine lost two children, a boy of six and her littlest girl. They died of throat sickness. We are well and we hope that you in La Crosse enjoy a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


                                                                                                    Herman Stiefvater

My regards to Mathias and my sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law.