“W,”* Co. E, 13th New York Infantry, On the Sick Left Behind in Camp

4 03 2019

Extract from a Private Letter.

Camp Union, Va. July 23, 18.

Dear Mother: The whole regiment left day before yesterday, with the exception of the sick and one able-bodied man from each company. I was detailed from our company to stay. I do the cooking for five sick men and do guard duty at night. The weather is warmer than I ever experienced in Rochester. The first potatoes I have seen since leaving Elmira, I obtained in a foraging expedition to-day. They were very acceptable. Last night one hundred and fifty wagons, loaded with provisions for the advancing army, passed this camp. When last heard from, our regiment was in the best of spirits and anxious for a fight. The army, as it marched from here, presented a fine sight. The column marched four abreast, and extended a distance of six miles. There were in all some 35,000 men. Some of our men came back sick to-day, unable to go any further. None of our company (Schoeffel’s) have returned. I would like to [???] more than those from the country. Nine out of ten of the sick in our regiment are from the country.

Blackberries are exceedingly plenty here. A few mornings since I picked a six quart pail full in half an hour. The nights are very cool, and the variations of temperature, day and night, are quite trying to the endurance of the men, who serve night and day. The heat at Panama I endured much better than I can this climate; still I am quite healthy. Some of the flies here are as large as honey bees, and annoy us very much. A fine creek near by gives us a chance to bathe, which I do as often as convenient. We have also a spring, which affords water equal to filtered water you have at home.

Tell F. that his old friend Major Terry has resigned, at the request of the Captains excepting Captain Smith, of the “Smith Rifles.” Government offers a bounty of $100 to three months volunteers who will re-enlist for the war.

W.

Rochester Evening Express, 7/25/1861

Clipping image

Contributed by John Hennessy

*The author is possibly Wilbur D. Smith, who published another, post-battle letter in the same edition of the Evening Express, from Camp Union.