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Letter to Lucy Coleman, 1862 September 27

Letter to Lucy Coleman, 1862 September 27
Letter to Lucy Coleman, 1862 September 27
Written from Winchester, Virginia. Letter discusses the Battle of Antietam and caring for the wounded.


  • 1862 September 27


From the Series: 3 items


Winchester Sept 27th/62
My Dear Lucy-
Your very kind and interesting letter to Anna, bearing date the 9th inst., has just come to hand today through the hand of Mr. Howard, who came up from Orange; and although Louise had rec’d one of a later date from Fannie, yet I do assure you it was read with the greatest interest. I have been here now since the 16th, at which time I came from Md. We or rather I was in Md. ten days, during which time I was in Frederick City & Hagerstown. In the former county we were rec’d with a good deal of kind feeling, but with not so much in the latter (Washington Co.), as that county had already furnished 14 companies to the Federal Army, 11 of wh[ich] surrendered at Harper’s Ferry. I suppose you have heard of the surrender of 13000 to Gen. Jackson with any quantity of arms, stores etc. but the hottest battle of the war was fought near Sharpsburg Md. on the 17th inst. The battle lasted all day and the loss was terrific on both sides, the enemy fighting with more desperation than ever before. We call it a victory and the Yankees did so at first too; we held the ground and both sides were too much [wasted] to renew the fight. Next day: we fell back across the Potomac and the enemy then commenced shelling us and boasted that they had driven us across. They acknowledge the loss of sixteen generals. We had two generals killed and ten wounded. Winchester has been perfectly crowded with the wounded- there having been more than 3000 here at one time and continually passing through. The N.Y. Tribune says if we had followed them, their army wd have been annihilated, and Gen. Lee says he could have done so with 5000 more fresh troops: but men had been marched so much and were so broken down, that we had 60,000 stragglers. Our army is now between Martinsburg and Williamsport and along the river. Our Brigade lost eight out of ten in the last fight, and my company lost 22 out of 23 men. I don’t suppose you have heard of any of the killed in the different fights; well they are so many that I could not begin. Cols. Botts, Neff and Baylor of the 1st Brigade were killed in the battles at Manassas. Every one of your acquaintances in the 4th Ala. and the 11th Miss. were killed or wounded and indeed I reckon it is almost the case in every Regt. Joe Sherrard is a 1st Lieut. In a cavalry comp. I am going into the Med. Dept. and expect to go to Richmond next week for that purpose. We are staying at your Aunt Anne’s and the house is crowded with wounded. Sunday 28th, Anna having stopped me from writing last night, I will finish my epistle this morning. We have just returned from church, where we heard service from Mr. Meredith and a most elaborate sermon from a Mr. Scott. Our army is at Bunker Hill, and it is thought we will have another fight there or at this place. Although I have been sick, yet I have had my hands full attending to the wounded; on the first day I dressed 43 wound[sic] and since that time I have had 27 under my charge. Even the sidewalks of the streets are full of wounded and there is a great scarcity of surgeons, and no place for their accommodation. There are now 6000 wounded here. Anna and I leave here for Louisa on Tuesday, where I shall go to Richmond to stand examination before the board. Your uncle Joe speaks of taking a house at Capon Springs and sending his family up there. Louise says if the enemy occupy W. again she will stay a short time to get some articles of clothing, which cannot be procured now, and then come out into our lines.

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Part of the Virginia Military Institute Archives Repository

VMI Archives
Preston Library
Lexington VA 24450