Letter written by Henry Welch, corporal in the 123rd New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Company K, to his uncle and aunt from Camp near Stafford C.H., Virginia, May 10, 1863

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Letter written by Henry Welch, corporal in the 123rd New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Company K, from Camp near Stafford C.H., Virginia, May 10, 1863, to his uncle and aunt, Franklin and Polly Tanner, of South Granville, New York: a machine readable transcription


WASHINGTOND. C. (District of Columbia) (Washington, District of Columbia)
MAY 12 18? [year unclear]

Mr Franklin Tanner (Tanner, Franklin)
South Granville
Washington Co
NY (New York) (South Granville, New York) (Washington County, New York)

PAGE IMAGECamp..near..Stafford..C..H (Courthouse)..Va (Virginia) (Stafford Courthouse, Virginia) ..
May..10th..1863.. Dear Uncle (Tanner, Franklin) and Aunt (Tanner, Franklin (Mrs., Polly C.)) (Tanner, Polly C. (Mrs. Franklin Tanner)) ;

It is a
pleasant sabbath morning the
sun is shining very warm
the recent rain has started
the grass and the trees are
getting quite green! it reminds
me of the pleasant May
day's that we spent together
one year ago! and as I am
writeing (writing) I cannot help thinking
of the many changes that
have taken place since
that time! many of my
young friends have passed
from time to a never ending
eternity since one year ago
today; and none of us can tell
who may be called to follow

PAGE IMAGE them before another year
shall roll by; and I do not
know as it makes any
diference (difference) who it may be if
they are only prepared to try
the realites (realities) of another world!
you have heard before you will
receive this that we have had a
fight down here and I suppose
you would like to have me
write something about it.
we have had an awful
battle which lasted four
day's. and I cant tell you
whether we came off victorious
or whether we got defeated! the
fight commenced on Friday
and I supposed we were whiping (whipping)
them untill (until) Wednesday morning
when orders came for us to
fall back; and at three
o clock on that morning we
PAGE IMAGE were withdrawn from our
entrenchments without makeing (making)
any noise and at daylight we
were at the ford waiting for
a chance to cross the River which
we soon did and then we
marched on almost a double quick
for a few miles stoped (stopped) and
made some coffee and then
marched to our old camping
ground which we reached at
dark! it had raind (rained) most of
the time since monday morning
and the mud was about ankle
deep which mad (made) it very hard
marching and if we were not
tired when we reached camp
then I am greatly mistaken
I tell you things looked rather
discourageing (discouraging) when we crossed the
river to see so large an army
on the retreat and the boy's
PAGE IMAGE say now that the rebels will
never be whiped (whipped): as for my
self I think our army can
whip them very easy but
their Generals are to (too) much
for ours at manageing (managing) an
army! the first of the fight
that our regiment was in
was on Friday afternoon the
regiment went out as pickts (pickets)
we were stationed along an
open field then there was
a hollow and a flat about
15 rods acrossed (across) it there was
a side hill covered with woods
there was some rebs seen
in these woods and two Companies
were sent to drive
them from the woods there
was but a few shots fired
and none of us thought there
was more than a hundred
PAGE IMAGE at the most! but afterwards
we learned by some prisoner's
that there was three Brigade's
of rebs concealed in the
woods! their intention was
to draw out our regiment on the
flat and then wipe us out of
existence! when they saw that
we were not all coming over
to the woods they began to
cheer and then they poured
a perfect storm of lead into
us the bulets (bullets) were plenty
thick enough to suit the
most of us I think! we all
knew that we had got to
fight ten times our number
and we knew too that we
had got to fight untill (until) our
two companies could get
back to us! there was some
PAGE IMAGE fences and old building's
near our oficer's (officers) ordered
us to get behind them and
do all we could we cheered
and at it we went I stood
by a rail fence with my
gun resting on the
top trying to get sight of a
reb I saw two standing by
a bush I took aim and fired
and was just raising my gun
from the fence when a
ball struck my finger took
off the nail and struck
my arm! it did not hit it
fair or it would have broke it!
the ball passed out my
sleeve I could not load
my gun so I went off the
field with Col: Norten (Norten (Colonel))
who was severely wounded
at the same time! the next
PAGE IMAGE day I spent with him
he then went to Washington (Washington, District of Columbia)
and the next day I left
his horse in a safe place
and joined my company
and have been with it
ever since! our regiment
done the heaviest of its
fighting on sunday I was
not with it then but I
was where the shell's fell
pretty fast I thought! but
you will want to know
who was wounded in our
company? Ed: Tanner (Tanner, Ed) a fellow
that taught school at your
district a few day's hd (had)
both his leg's shot off
above the knees Al Done (Done, Al)
had one leg shot off there
is several more slightly
wounded there is four
PAGE IMAGE more supposed to be
shot dead as they have
not yet been heard
from! it was an awful
sight to se so many
dead bodies laying on
the ground in all place's
some of them torn all
to piece's by the bursting
of shell's! I did not stand
this march quite as well as
I expected to my feet pained
me much they troubled me
ever since I was sick I am
afraid its the effects of the
strong medicine that I took,
they smell very bad but
I am in usual health! please
write soon excuse all mistakes

Good Bye for this time
from your Nephew Henry Welch (Welch, Henry)

Byron Briggs (Briggs, Byron)
was shot

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