Letters from Charles Karsten to Carl Wilket


                                                                                                    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

________________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                    Camp near Rappahannock Station Va.
                                                                                                    White Sides Station, Tenn., March 24, 1864

Dear Friend Carl!

        With pleasure I take the pen and write you these lines. I hope this finds you as healthy and alert as this leaves me.
        As you might know already I did not go immediately go to the regiment after I had left West Bend because I stayed for 14 days in Madison (evidently Camp Randall) and stayed there until the 16th of March on which day I left Madison to reach my regiment which I then happily reached. I cannot write you much news because I am not there long. Yesterday we had here the first snow storm (March 23rd) whereby the snowfall amounted to about two feet which was for everybody something extraordinary because no one has seen snow during this winter. I gave the letter to Chas. Hafeman. We have here a very nice camping place and very good tents and I think I will stay here for several more months during which we have to guard a large railroad bridge and perhaps write me also when that perhaps John has to go away. Give me his address. With this I am going to close greeting you many times and remain until soon awaiting for your answer.

Your faithful friend

                                                                                                    Charles W. Karsten

Please greet John Biederbeck, Heinrich Winter, your sister Jayne as well as your brothers.

My address is!

                                                                                                    Charles W. Karsten
                                                                                                    Orderly of Co. "G" 26th Rgt. Wis. U.S.

                                                                                                    via
                                                                                                    Nashville, Tenn.

Wisconsin Historical Society, WisMss 224S MAD 4/16/C6

Charles Karsten