Camp near Rappahannock Station Va.
September 21, 1863
Dear Friend Carl!
I am reaching for the pen to write you some lines. I am still healthy and I do hope that it is the same with you. I cannot write very much news at the moment because I believe that you have heard already enough of the fate of the 26th Regiment We have only fought two battles but we have suffered terribly in both of them so that our beautiful regiment has been decimated greatly; in the first battle at Chancellorsville our company had the highest on deaths and wounded. In the second battle at Gettysburg we have lost 25 out of 33 men and came back with only 8 men so that out of 4, 3 remained on the battlefield and only one made it (or survived) back. Every time I by luck to survive through God's help and we have to guard the railroad where we have to keep an attentive eye, guerillas are not quite stupid. We are located on a hill which is surrounded by rifle pits and trenches; and which was earlier a graveyard and is full with graves, Give me as soon as possible an answer, greetings to your parents, sisters and brothers and here I will close in that I will greet you very much and await an answer soon.
Your faithful friend
Karl Karsten, Orderly.
My address is:
Orderly Karl Karsten
Co. "G" 26th Regiment, Wis, Vol, via
Washington, D. C.
Excuse my shaky handwriting because I am writing in the field.
Wisconsin Historical Society, WisMss 224S MAD 4/16/C6