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37th Massachusetts Infantry - Twice Wounded - NEW

Item LTR-8393
December 27, 1862 Joseph M. Foster
Price: $225.00


Original Civil War soldier's letter. 4 pages, written in period ink. (Letter repaired with archival tape on tears)

Camp Near Falmouth

December 27, 1862

Dear Father and Mother,

I received your kind letter this morning and was very glad to hear from you. For I haven’t heard from you since the battle. I haven’t had but one letter for a fortnight and it seems a good while. It is warm here now. It has been nice weather here for about a week. We haven’t suffered and with the cold since we re-crossed the river at all. I am well. Today I haven’t felt very well for two or three days before. But I feel first rate today.

We had three hours drill today. I have just come in from drill. It is a nice warm day I tell you. Joseph Rogers is in the hospital. But he is on the mend now. I think Lawrence is down with a cold. Frank is cooking for the Captain. There is a good many men in the hospital. We can’t muster more than 600 men fit for duty in our regiment out of the 1,000 that came out in the old 37th Regiment. There was one man died yesterday out of Company H. there was three men died one day. Otis was one of them. That was the day the battle began and there was a good many killed that day.

But we crossed like heroes, I tell you. We was the first regiment across the river and Company F always take the lead. General Devins said that the 37th was the only regiment that held up their heads when we crossed the river. Our Colonel praised us up to the highest notch. For our hope to never shall get into another such place. That was a slaughter house. Anyway, you know that I saw any quantity of wounded. I saw one Captain with both legs above his knees off. He set up on a stretcher telling them to go along. We lay where the shells flew like hailstones. There was one piece of railroad metal that went over our heads about two feet long. It hummed and when it struck, it made the mud fly I tell you. We was lucky, I think, for we laid where the shells flew just over our heads as thick as they could. And only one man killed. The rebs could have killed half of us if they had been a mind to. But they was waiting until the next day. They had got their batteries blast so they could get a crossfire on us. And they could have moved us like grass. They could have piled us up in Winrose and they would have the next day. But we went there the next day. We was safe across the river. Although we were in reach of the shells and have been ever since we crossed the river.

We are in sight of the rebs camps. They could shell us out of our camp if they was a mind to. But we don’t fear them at all. Our boxes haven’t come yet. We expect them before long. I bought a pound of butter yesterday for 50 cents, cheese only 40 cents, a pound of apples only 5 cents apiece and other things accordingly. But we want a change once in a while. And their doctor says we must have a change. There is a great many got the ganders on account of eating so much pork fat all the time and nothing else I hope.

I shall get one mouthful of my Mothers cooch when I get my box. Cus this war and the folks that made it, let them come and finish it. If they don’t we will tell Annie. She must claim some of this and read it and write to me as often as she can. And all of the rest. If you knew how much good it done me to hear from you, you would write often.

I must close. So goodbye. Write soon.

From your son,

Joseph M. Foster.

Give my love to all of the children and all inquiring friends. Good night from your son.