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12th Massachusetts Infantry

Item LTR-8396
December 17, 1862 William H. Noyes
Price: $245.00


Original Civil War soldier's letter. 4 pages, written in period ink.

General Hospital Fort Schuyler
December 17, 1862

Dear Mother,

I will try and write you a few lines although there is not much news. Except the excitement for the latest from General Burnside’s Army and the repulse and slaughter of the Union Army. Here is another great mistake somewhere from the accounts in the papers. Our loss is stated as from 10 to 15,000 more than we lost at Antietam and nothing gained at all. Who is responsible for all this? Everything was ready, McClellan was removed from command for not moving when everything that he needed was furnished. Now General Burnside has all at Falmouth 3 of 4 weeks and in my opinion he will be likely to stop them sometime longer before he crosses there. Now some one is to blame either the War Department at Washington or General Burnside. I do not think that during the whole of General McClellan’s service “Mac” made no such a disaster as this and as I said before McClellan will have to be called upon to save Washington or to make movements of the Army successful.

I see that the 12th was engaged in the hottest of it. They are in Gibbon’s Division, Reynold’s Corps and General Franklin’s Grand Division. Captain Clark formerly 1st sergeant and lately sergeant in Company E was wounded and a number of the regiment are wounded. I also noticed Stephen Fitts in John Thomson’s Company was wounded and N. W. Nayes of the sharpshooters, both of Haverhill. I suppose that there is many that I have not seen. The 19th, 15th and 20th Massachusetts Regiments suffered severely. I regret the loss of General Bayard, he was a dashing and brave man. He, I think bid fair to make a match for Jackson or Stuart for a cavalry officer. This hospital is just being filled up since the offensive movements of the army commenced 250 came today. My health is no better. There is no news of importance to write anyway. I shall expect to get a letter from you today or tomorrow. This is all today.

Your affectionate son,

W. H. Noyes

December 19, 1862

I have but a few words to say before closing. There is no news here, the papers speak of another repulse in North Carolina. Though Rebel sources – the papers say the Great Eastern is to sail shortly. I think the only thing the President can do is to put McClellan back as commander of the Army of the Potomac. I think it is the only thing that will retrieve the disaster in any shape or give the troops any encouragement. I sent 3 papers this morning, perhaps they may be interesting. Give my love to all. My health id about the same.

Your affectionate son,

W. H. Noyes