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13th Massachusetts Infantry - Killed at 2nd Manassas

Item LTR-8910
July 23, 1862 Edwin F. Morris
Price: $225.00


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

Company D, 4th Battalion Rifles, Boston Headquarters
13th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers

Camp Waterloo, Virginia

July 23rd 1862

Brother George,

I have received your letter dated on the 13th and you said if I wrote as often as once a week, as you do. No, I can’t say that I do. But I write when I feel like it or when instances will admit. You must not expect that I shall confine myself to write no oftener than once a week and on certain days. I always supposed that the letter that I did write were thankfully received both by you, Father and Mother. But I might not have understood your letter. If you must state I had not written as often as you wished or hoped for, then I will try and amend. You must have in mind that my chances to know everything that is going on outside of camp must be small and indeed they are. And after long marches or daily drills, camp duties, etc., tired and beat through with the hot sun, I am not in condition to sit down and write a good long letter in a proper manner. You must not think that soldiering is always gay, as the saying is or that it is as you often see it represented in picture papers. We never know what we have got to do until we are told to do it. Or that we have got to march until we are ordered or where we are going until we get there. In fact, everything is kept private from the soldier.

Now then George, I will always write as often as I can and shall expect frequent letters from you. You are the only correspondent that I have had since I left Maryland. I am always willing to write hence but shall not correspond anywhere else.

Yesterday morning, Major General Ricketts gave us orders to be ready to march in 15 minutes. Which was done. We marched to Waterloo, 8 miles from Warrenton, situated on the Hedgeman River or north branch of the Rappahannock. At this time, General Banks ordered a little woolen factory, which had been furnishing cloth for the rebel army, to be burned. Which was burned last Friday. He with his command are 6 miles south of us. General Ricketts is here with his whole division and some other of McDowell’s troops are here. I suppose you know that we are still under McD (the hypocrite). But General Pope is his commander now. Our Brigade is held as reserves. Which are always composed of the oldest, best and most efficient troops. So that when called upon in case of emergency, they can be relied upon. It is an honorable position. The Pennsylvania Reserves at Richmond were pretty badly cut up and lost their General. But that does not signify that we shall be. General Banks made a brilliant speech to the boys the other evening. He said that he should always remember while upon his retreat how he regretted the loss to him of his old second brigade, which was taken from him, much against his will. With it he said Jackson never could have driven him one step and now he should try his best to get us back. For he knew our worth. Last Sunday, Captain Russell of the Maryland Cavalry preached to us. He fought bravely with McC at Richmond. He mustered with us last winter.

General Pope’s army are moving, etc..

E. F. Morris