Letter written by Henry Welch, corporal in the 123rd New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Company K, to his father from Camp near Sandy Hook, Maryland, October 26, 1862

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Letter written by Henry Welch, corporal in the 123rd New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Company K, from Camp near Sandy Hook, Maryland, October 26, 1862, to his father, Luther Welch, of North Hebron, New York: a machine readable transcription

PAGE IMAGECamp..near..Sandy..Hook..
Maryland (Sandy Hook, Maryland) ..Oct 26th.. Dear Father (Welch, Luther) .

I received your letter night
before last and was very glad to hear from you.
And to hear that you were all well. I am
well and getting along first rate our company
was on picket duty last thursday. Horace (Horace)
and myself were sent out as scouts. they send
out six scouts from the Brigade every day
so I applide (applied) to the Captain and he sent
us out to try our luck. we went about five
miles beyond our pickets we roamed
that old mountain from top to bottom
but found nary reb we went in the
direction of sharpsburg (Sharpsburg, Maryland) . I dont suppose
there is any rebels any whare (where) near the
mountain only once and a while a scout
sent out by the rebs to see our troops
on this side of the mountain. if there
was any they were to (too) sharp for us for we did

PAGE IMAGE not see any we went over on the edge
of the Shenandoah  Valley (Shenandoah Valley) and thought
we would have a little poultry that
night so we skulked up the fence
within 5 rods of a house to see where
the game roosted. we did'ent (didn't) mean
to steal but to confiscate a little.
Well we could see nothing but four
geese. says I Mr geese your (you're) spoke
for. we went back to the woods and
wached (watched) around till dark after that
it seemed like some old coon hunts
I used to have up there we poked around
a part of the night and slep (slept) a very little
we had no fire. we started for our
geese when it was near day break
we hunted all round the barn
but could not find them so we
thought we would have some
milk we milked our canteens
full and started for the woods
feeling rather crass about our geese
PAGE IMAGE we eat our rations of hard crackers
and drank our milk and started on
we went about a mile along the mountain
and came to a thing looking like
a house not much either well we though (thought)
we would see what it was so up to the
door and knocked come in says some
body we went in they had just
got through eating so they got some
breakfast for us and we drawd up
and at it we went man fashion
we eat I dont know how long but
till I was ashamed to eat any more
and it was a good breakfast to (too) it was
the first table I have set down to
since I left salem (Salem) they would not
take any pay but said we were welcom (welcome)
feeling much better we started camp
ward got there at two o clock we had
marching orders that night and
we packed our knapsacks and got two
day rations and saturday night the
PAGE IMAGE orders were countermanded
and we are at our old camping
ground yet. I got a letter from
mother (Welch, Luther (Mrs., Phebe)) dated the 28 Sep I dont
know whey (why) I did not get it before
but I was glad to get it when it did
come. and Mother (Welch, Luther (Mrs., Phebe)) I want you to
write again I was glad to get a few
lines from Helen (Helen) and Delia (Delia) [Delie?] and
they must write again to (too) they wanted
to know when I was coming home
Well that is more than I can tell
just now in two weeks we can
all tell more about this
war for I think there will be the
hardest battle fought that ever
has been since this war broke out
that of course is only my oppinion (opinion)
it may be wrong but some thing
is a going to be done I think and
that soon. Winchester (Winchester, Virginia) is the
place where the rebels are
and the place where our men
soon will be that is what
I think and by the way our
oficers (officers) talk they think so to (too)
but I rest a while and get some
PAGE IMAGE It is evening and we are
under marching orders again
it is raining. they are cooking
rations for us to fill our
haversacks with but I dont
think we shall march this
time. regements (regiments) have been
moveing (moving) today and if we had
been going we should have
started be fore this time this
Brigade is a reserve and I think
it will stay here to guard the
mountain I had as lives (lief) go as stay
and a little liveser [** this is correct (he's quoting a child)] as the boy said.
I ai'nt (ain't) worth much to write a letter
and there is a good many other things I a'int (ain't) worth much
for but if thares (there's) any right
handsome genuine artificial
rebel fighting to be done
I want to try my hand. I dont
but I shall do as you used
to say old Amos Burch (Burch, Amos) did when
he was going into battle but I
hope not. I hear that they are
having meetings up there serapim
lint fixing bandages and so
forth I wish the poor rebs
had them methinks they will
need them soon. but to be a
little more ernest (earnest) I think the
Union soldiers will need them
too for I think something is a
going to. be done. you used to say
you thought there was a good
deal of speculation about this
war well I think so to (too). I think if
there had not been so much we
should not have been here but
if there is speculation there is
a good deal that is not and so
we will do our duty let others
do as they may. I think
PAGE IMAGE there will soon be a battle
that will decide about this war
if there is not then we shall
stay here more than one year.
we are in Burnside (Burnside, Ambrose Everett (General)) s division (General Burnside's Division)
instead of Banks (Banks) Banks' Division. and Burnside (Burnside, Ambrose Everett (General))
says his men are going home
to eat turkey new years next
but I dont see it in that light
if I get home in one year I
shall feel big. there was about
three hundred of our regiment
marched up to the colonels tent
and wanted passes to go and
enlist in the regular servis (service)
he talked with them quite a while
and tried to get them to stay
I dont know whether they will
or not I think them that
are left behind will have
better living out of the scrape
I dont think I shall enlist
PAGE IMAGE in the regular army just
yet I think this is about
regular enough to suit me.
Smith (Smith) and Philo (Philo) are
well and contented they have
been over to the Generals
quarters chopping wood today
a while but I must bring my
letter to a close and go to sleep
I want you to write as often
as you can and all the rest
to do the same give my respect
to all enquireing (enquiring) friends and
give my love to all the family
and save a potion (portion) for your self

so Good Bye
From your
Affectionate son Henry Welch (Welch, Henry) P.S..

tell Fenton that I
dont think I can hardly
beat Scotto at scouting yet
but I think I shall by the
time I go out about twice more

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