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An Union soldier describes his feelings towards the south

An Union soldier describes his feelings towards the south

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Holding themselves in readiness, rumors on Burnside, McClellan. "We have just got news that the president has issued a proclamation freeing all the slaves on the first of January. It may be for the best but stil my hopes (if I had any) of a speedy termination of the war is thereby nocked in head for I know enough of the southern spirit so that I think that they will fight for the institution of slavery even to extermination. I am glad that the enlisting spirit has been felt so generaly through the north for I wish we had army enough to sink the south out of existance in a day. I know that it is wishing tolerably strong but then you see I am geting [sic] provoked that the cursed gray backs should rob me of the enjoyments of home so long. I tell you what Dearest when the real story of war comes it is easy to pick out the cowards." Soldiers who ran from shells and got lost, others taken prisoner in battle.
Holding themselves in readiness, rumors on Burnside, McClellan. "We have just got news that the president has issued a proclamation freeing all the slaves on the first of January. It may be for the best but stil my hopes (if I had any) of a speedy termination of the war is thereby nocked in head for I know enough of the southern spirit so that I think that they will fight for the institution of slavery even to extermination. I am glad that the enlisting spirit has been felt so generaly through the north for I wish we had army enough to sink the south out of existance in a day. I know that it is wishing tolerably strong but then you see I am geting [sic] provoked that the cursed gray backs should rob me of the enjoyments of home so long. I tell you what Dearest when the real story of war comes it is easy to pick out the cowards." Soldiers who ran from shells and got lost, others taken prisoner in battle.

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10/21/2010

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George W. Tillotson to Anne Elizabeth June Tillotson Harpers Ferry, Maryland, 24 September 1862.

Autograph letter signed, 4 pages.

In Camp Seven Miles from Harpers Ferry and 1 ½ mile from the Potomac River in Maryland September 24th 1862 My Dear Wife We are still in camp where I wrote you last. We had orders to march yesterday morning at [7] oclock but the order was countermanded and we are holding ourselves in readiness to march at a moments warning. I dont know where we are to go to but it is rumored that Burnsides whole Corps [struck: are] [inserted: is] to go back to Washington I hope it is so but dont hardly credit it. The Rebels I suppose are makeing off through Western Virginia or else up the Potomac. McClelan I suppose is following them up. Yesterday all of our ambulances and spare horses were sent to McClelans army which looks as though they did not expect we should need them very soon and the Lord knows I hope we shant for I think I have seen as much as I bargained for. Not that my corage fails for I think I dare go where any dare but enough is enough. Colonel Hawkins who has been to New York and just returned says that this brigade has [2] got as good a name as any in the service and General Burnside says that ours is the best brigade in his whole Command. Maybe you [inserted: will think] that I am braging but still I think so far we have been as good as any of them while under fire. We [strikeout] [inserted: have] just [inserted: got] news that the president has issued a proclamation freeing all the slaves on the first of January. It may be for the best but still my hopes (if I had any) of a speedy termination of the war is thereby nocked in head for I know enough of the southern spirit [inserted: so] that I think that they will fight for the institution of slavery even to extermination I am glad that the enlisting spirit has been felt so generally through the north for I wish we had army enough to sink the south out of existance in a day. I know that it is wishing tolerably strong but then you see I am geting provoked that the cursed gray backs should rob me of the enjoyments of home so long. I tell you what Dearest when the real tug of war comes it is easy to pick out the cowards. The morning of the 17th when the rebels were shelling us out several of the boys run out of the ranks so far that they [3] didn’t find the regiment again for several days.

The Gilder Lehrman Collection

GLC04558.044

www.gilderlehrman.org

Three of our company ran away and some of other companies. George Sherwood has not got back to his company yet. For my part I kinder liked to hear the shells come when bang and then hear the pieces scatter around us, for all I knew that if any of them hit a fellow they would hurt. Where a shell bursts directly over head there is not much danger of it but if it bursts twenty rods ahead of you then look out for the pieces. Some of our regiment were taken prisoners in the battle of the 17th and paroled by the rebels. Two of our company that were missing we have found out since were slightly wounded were taken and paroled leaving only one of our company not accounted for. but he is probably taken prisoner. His name [inserted: is] James Mayhew the two paroled is Frank Bacon and Mills Davis from Greene and brother to Hank and Moses that deserted. Our killed were Stephen M Scoville from Greene, and Corporal Linus Morse. We had one Sergent one Corporal and 9 privates wounded Chandler T Preston was wounded or scared but worse scared than wounded for something touched his hip not enough to break the skin and I really thought he was kilt [4] I should like to know where Uriahs regiment is whether they came this way or not. When you write please to tell me if you know anything of their whereabouts. Perhaps you’ll think I am foolish but I realy envy some of these wounded men that get discharged or go home on furlows. Excuse my writing with a pencil with a pencil but it is the best that I can do if I write at all I shal find a pen and ink to direct the envelope if I can but may have to do that with pencil also Accept my love for the loved one’s at home and believe me ever your loveing Husband George W Tillotson

The Gilder Lehrman Collection

GLC04558.044

www.gilderlehrman.org

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