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141st New York Infantry

Item LTR-5515
February 19, 1863 Charles Van Wagoner
Price: $185.00


4 pages, original Civil War soldier's letter written in period ink and war dated.

Camp Arlington, VA
February 19th 1863

Friend Alice,

I received your welcome letter last night. I am glad to hear that the small pox is on the decrease there. I am glad that Ben and I are not there this winter for we might get the small pox. There is a few cases of it in the army around here. Last week, Wednesday, we received marching orders and in the afternoon the Pennsylvania Reserve came to take our place. They were a hard looking set of fellows having been in 14 different engagements. Thursday morning, we slung our knapsacks and started for this mud hole. It was very mudding making it hard marching. Sometimes we would fall heels over head in the mud and pick up and dig into it again. We reached here about 3 o’clock in the afternoon and put up in our tent. Had a good soft bed that night for the bottom of the tent was very muddy. Snow fell here to the depth of about 8 inches. Tuesday, last night, it rained and it all went off. Last night I awoke to find my feet in about an inch of water and the rain dripping down in our faces. There was about an inch of water under our blankets. Well we were too lazy to get up so we toughed it through. We are a going to move our camp just as soon as it is dry enough to move troops. We are going to move on higher ground for it is so we that it is so unhealthy. We can’t stand it. We have had sad news tonight. Our orderly is reduced to the ranks. I suppose Captain Baldwin has proffered false charges against him. The boys all love the orderly as they love life. Ben says that if it is so he will hand them back his papers and let the stripes go to the D C and Jim McElroy. He says that they may get their colors carried the best they can. I shouldn’t wonder if Captain Baldwin was obliged to resign. Colonel S. G. Hathaway has resigned. He was obliged to do it for reasons that was not under his control. I suppose the Beechers had something to do with it. But they are played out in this regiment. They court martialed James Beecher. The circumstances were this. He was field officer of the day at night. He started out to go the grand rounds when he came to our Captain’s headquarters. He stopped and played Encher with him when he had to have been going the grand rounds and then reported Captain Patrick’s men for out walking their picket beats and Captain Patrick reported him for playing cards. And they court martialed Beecher and now he has gone crazy they say. And probably will get discharged from the service. The regiment is now in command by Major Despring. Colonel Hathaway made a nice speech Sunday night and took his leave Tuesday morning. I must stop now. So goodbye. I am going ok.

Charles VanWagoner