Stafford Station Va. Jan.11th 1863
Dear Brother and Sister:
I have been looking for
a long time to hear from you but not hearing I thought I would write again.
My health is good. The weather is beautiful and dry though it rained all
yesterday afternoon, the first rain for along time. We are still here and
don’t know how long we shall stay. We have been here three weeks, we do
picket duty quite often. We are on picket most Sundays thought this is
an exception and I am glad of it because today we have no inspection and
I guess no parade.
I had a letter from home this morning written by Father, Libby and Samuel. I do not get near as many letters now and I did at first. Still there are some that don’t forget me and write often whether I write or not. I write as fatten as circumstances permit and great trouble here is not get writing materials such as paper, envelopes, stamps and a warm comfortable place to write.
You are home again now so I hear often and visit of 3 weeks. I wish I had been home to have visited with you. It is now 7 or 8 months since I seen you and it is mow more than a month since I heard from you. How I should like to repeat our last years visit to Scott’s. I have not heard form Alice for 2 months and but 2 since here. Susan, Libby, Father, Ma and Samuel write often. (We have been here 3 weeks, won’t know when we leave or where we go,) mistake [? Inspiration]
Oh, I must tell you of John Crowley’s death. He died last Monday 7 AM. He was buried 5 PM of the same day. He died here after a sickness of about three weeks. The Col., Agt. and all the officers [? See] him every [? Botheration]. The officers said he was the best orderly in the regiment. His commission was with the Col. For Lieu. We lost the best officer by all odds we had and his place is filled by a rogue and fool. Nothing but Dutch can get promotion here. 84 shots were fired over his grave this (I think) was special from the Colonel. Many a soldier would followed him to the grave. Another here died in our Co. since here, effect I think of the hard march. Conrad Mach. Emerson is well all the time so far so have I heard. A. Fullerton is a little unwell yesterday and today also G. Jones. G. Emuch is well. R. Dailey is not very well. I Samurman is well also, A Rusko and all the most of the boys. Emerson sends his respects so would the rest if they know I was wiring.
The ground here is not frozen, there are plenty of green pines here all over. This makes the place look much more like spring.
In every direction is pine woods thick so you could not get through, from 10 to 20 feet high that was but a few years ago corn fields fro the rows are plenty to be seen that pines form a good shelter for us while out on picket. I like to stand in a thick forest for their ‘tis not so cold. I there have solitude for thoughts and communication with myself and God which I can not as well do in camp. Oh what would I give for a chance to go to church as in days of old. Oh how I wish this war would close so we could come home for I see no use in sacrificing so many for nothing so they do.
Write soon. And believe me you affection. Your brother
Camp near Stafford C. H. Mar 22/63
Emerson having kindly
offered me the chance of sending with him, I shall write a few lines to
let your know I am well and still there we were when I wrote last which
was since I received one from you.
When I wrote last I, with H. Allen was off in the woods lending A. H Carul, but we are back now and have been for about 2 weeks. He was pronounced fit to come to the camp by the Dr though (as we well knew) he was much weaker than ever. He stayed a few days and then they took him to the hospital.
He has as I thought from his hollow cough the consumption or at least they doctored him for it. G. Jones has left the camp fro about a week and is clerk (I think) at Gen Sigel headquarters for Capt. Winkler of Co. B who is in the Gen’s Staff as member of the Provost Marshal. I do not know if he is to stay ther or not.
A Rusho is off in the hospital, also F. Dowland. Samuel Johnston who had been put in a regimental hospital has been promoted to Serg master in the Div. hospital. Wesley Rusco has been promoted to corporal for doing his duty at Marea Church in bayoneting that man. A Fullerton does not enjoy as good health as we thought he would for you know he was such a strong hardy young man. E. S. has good health. I have never been on that sick list yet. Jacob L. H. Emmerth and the rest are well.
We have plenty of duty for the past 8 or 10 days, we have been on most of the time.
We have to stay out on picket 3 days and nights, we cam in day before yesterday. Slept but part of our night and a small part [?].
There was a fight on the Rap. About 10 miles from here on the 17th while we were on picket. We heard the cannon fire also, the [?] at Humpfry. We heard the roar of cannon often and I guess we shall soon be there for last night we received cartages to make us 60 rounds and 40 is the usual number. 20 we must put in our knapsacks.
We have inspection in an hour so I must close. Our Chaplin spoke last Sunday, I do not know if he will today or not. It was Dutch though. Those that understood him say it was a lecture on the (? Rev) war and on things of no account. Oh how I wish we had a good preacher, how I should love to hear a good sermon but thank God I can read my Bible and (?) I have of late felt some little important if it [? Naurk] God. But I must close. Write soon to your brother.
Stafford Station, Va. May 8/63
Dear Brother and Sister
I will write a few lines
and have not written for some time on account of our moving. Ere you receive
this you will know all about it and or I will not dwell on it for it is
with difficulty that I can write on account of a would I received on Saturday
last while under a murderous fire out about eight miles the other side
The ball pierced through the fore finger of my right hand between the two joints. The Doc says it must be amputated at third joint. I wish it were [? corner page missing] for it won’t feel very pleasant but then ‘tis all for the union.
Our camp started with 72 I think and now they have but 32. I think for duty. A. Fullerton is here (fresh wound in the hospital) F. Distler - in the hand, here.
I shall speak of some that I hope you will not speak of to get to their folks for they may come in yet.
E. Smith, Henry Allen, George Emnush, Jacob Laurmen, Wesley Rusco, Richard Dailey. Wm. Salter and lots of others you must know are missing. Some say R. Dailey is dead. Our Capt. is dead. The regiment lost about 300 killed, wounded and missing. We do not know who has won the battle yet but I think we lost it. Our regiment [? corner page missing] marching orders again and am going ahead again, I think. Oh, how I should like to know what has become of the boys.
Don’t alarm the friends of E. for he may come in and I think he will for I think H. and he is with the 12 Corps for I saw them near and A. F. saw them there with them. C. Lord is safe.
I have written home and to Alice and [? J. or S.] C. and my hand gets tired.
It was the first fight and I hope it will be the last for it was awful and see so many ushered into eternity that but a few moments before were taking God’s name in vain. The man that stood at my right (a Corp.) fell dead at almost the first fire. The dead was piled in heaps especially the rebs where we moved them now with grape and canister.
Where they came on us they had at least 5 to our 1. The shots flew around us as thick as hail, whiz, whiz, whiz, as the roll of a drum [? mine] fell thick and fast. Sunday the war of cannon was awful. The fight lasted 7 or 8 days and I think is to be renewed again.
I felt [? Perfect] stay cool. I received no fear at all or but very little.
We were very tired for I had not had but one night of sleep for a week. ‘
We passed through the best part of Va. That I have seen and it must be a nice country in peace. I think we shall be all moved to Washington. I hope so. I had a letter from F. [? Mere] and Samuel yesterday. Father’s health is poor. I am afraid. Edward will make pawls at home. He is there and you know him. Write soon as direct as before except (11 Corps, 3 Div Hosp) and there it will not go to the regiment.
Remember me as your brother
P. S. Please excuse me not putting on a stamp as there is no place here. I can get one. If I go to Washington, I can get plenty.
Martin Abbott (Company G of the 26th Wisconsin Infantry)
Miller, Mary Abbott.
Milwaukee Manuscript Collection 170
More Letters Coming!