Letter written by Henry Welch, corporal in the 123rd New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Company K, to his father from Camp near Fairfax Station, Virginia, December 21, 1862

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Letter written by Henry Welch, corporal in the 123rd New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Company K, from Camp near Fairfax Station, Virginia, on December 21, 1862, to his father, Luther Welch, and brother, John Welch: a machine readable transcription


[date unclear]

Mr. Luther Welch (Welch, Luther)
North Hebron
Washington County
NY (New York) (North Hebron, Washington County, New York)


PAGE IMAGECamp.near..Fairfax..Station (Fairfax Station, Virginia) ..
Dec.21th..1862.. Dear Father (Welch, Luther) ..

It is a pleasant
sabbath morning and as I am not
on duty today I take my seat on my
knapsack to pen a few lines to let
you know how I am getting a long I am
in good health at presant (present) although
I feel rather old from the effects
of our hard march for we have had
a hard march I can assure you we
left the ferry and marched seven
days we marched through rain mud
and everything else some days we did not
stop long enough to eat our rations but
eat them as we were walking along our
rations consisted of eight hard crackers
per day with a small allowance of
coffee it was rather hard but then
its honest I s'pose there was a good

PAGE IMAGE many of the boys left their
knapsacks side of the road unable
to go farther with them we passed near
the old battle ground of Bulls (Bull) Run (Bull Run, Virginia)
and encamped on Manassas plains (Manassas, Virginia) one
night we marched down to within
25 miles of Fredericksburg (Fredericksburg, Virginia) . we could
hear the cannon roar quite plain
they sounded like distant thunder
we all expected to go into battle but
we turned about and marched
back we marched from four o'clock
in the morning untill (until) dark without
stoping (stoppin) long enough to make a cup
of coffee we came back the same
road we went down on and arrived
here just dark and you may well
believe that we were tired we
spread our blankets on the ground and
slep (slept) soundly untill (until) morning when we
learned that we were going to rest
awhile I think that we all needed it
PAGE IMAGE yesterday I was sent out as a scout
to see if there was any thing wrong
around the camp well I poked around
untill (until) I got away from camp about
four miles I saw a man over to a house
chopping wood I went over to where he
was and sat down and had quite a
talk with him he said that he was
a true yankee and I thought that
he was a true union man he asked
me to go in and warm I went in and
took a seat the woman enquired
what reg' I belonged to and where
I was from and I told her where I was
from my name and that my
Father's name was Luther Welch (Welch, Luther)
she jumped from her chair and
took my hand and said she young
man did you know that you
were talking with your cousin
my cousin said I that cant be for
I had no doubt but what
PAGE IMAGE the woman was crasy (crazy) but I
soon found diferent (different) I found
out that I was at Mr Holester (Holester (Mr.))
s I have heard you speak of him
I think! they are very nice
folks, I think! I had a good
visit with Mrs Holester (Holester (Mrs.)) she
asked me more questions than
I could answer in a week I eat
supper and bid them good bye
and started campward I tell
you that supper made me
think of home they sent
their best respects to you all
and to all the folks up there
they urged me to stay all
night but that would not
do I think if we stay here
long I will go over ther (there) again
from them I learned that
we are encamped on land owned
by Ansel Whedon (Whedon, Ansel) who used
to live here his house is puled (pulled)
down and things have gone to
rack (wreck) fences are burned and
it looks rather desolate around
PAGE IMAGE we dont get much war news lately
I hear that Mcclelan (McClellan, George Brinton (General)) is about
coming in command once more
I for one hope he will I think
he is the ablest General that
the north has Well John (Welch, John) I
received your letters last night
I was very glad to hear from
you Sarah (Sarah) wrote that there was
to be a donation up there
I am most afraid that I shall
not get up there in time if I dont you may
make up your mind that if
I have the good luck to get
home all right that I shall
make up loss (lost) time that's all
but we have about thirty two
months time to put in yet
but that's nothing to what
this war is but to come to
the nice thing about it
PAGE IMAGE staying here three years
and living on hard crackers
in (is) nothing to be sneezed
at but you know that
I always make the best
of a poor trade I dont
call this a poor trade yet
but if the rebs aint whipd
before long I shall
alter my mind I am
afraid I am sorry to tell
you that we have lost Leroy (Leroy)
he enlisted in the 93 regiment (93rd Regiment)
his mother would not let him
go but did not take his name
of (off) the papers they come and
took him to the regiment
I that he enlisted in first
I did hate to see him go for he
has been a brother to me a
better boy never lived than
he was I received a letter
PAGE IMAGE from him last night
he was well Dowd (Dowd) is all
right myself and him are
pokeing (poking) around all the
time we come pretty near
getting traped (trapped) the other night
we were out in the pine woods
two miles from our men
we did'ent (didn't) have our guns it
was very dark we heard a
noise we kept mum we soon
found that the rebs were
about we drew our revolvers
and stood ready there was
five of them but they
did not see us there would
have been a small battle if
they had write as soon as
you get this and let me know
how Smith (Smith) and Philo (Welch, Philo) gets along
I have not heard from them since
we marched they staid (stayed) in the
PAGE IMAGE old camp Sick but
I must close write
soon excuse all mistakes
give my love to all from

Son Henry W (Welch, Henry) PS

John (Welch, John) I want you
to send me a pair of
ruber (rubber) suspenders you can
do them up in a paper and send
them by mail perhaps you would
like to know how I got back from
Holester (Holester) s Rich Durham (Durham, Rich) was
with me we got lost in the woods and at dark found ourselves
five miles from camp the pines
were so thick that you could
not see four rods in the day time
so you can judge about how dark it was
but we got around all right
at last but that walk did beat me
there was plenty of roads they
lead in evry (every) direction but the one
Send a few stamps in your next letter
from your Brother Henry (Welch, Henry)

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