Letter written by Henry Welch, corporal in the 123rd New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Company K, to his aunt and uncle from Camp near Staffords Court House, Virginia, April 16, 1863

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Letter written by Henry Welch, corporal in the 123rd New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Company K, to his aunt and uncle from Camp near Staffords Court House, Virginia, April 16, 1863: a machine readable transcription


Mr Franklin Tanner (Tanner, Franklin)
South Granville
N Y (New York) (South Granville, New York)

PAGE IMAGECamp..near..Stafford..Court House..Va (Virginia) (Stafford, Virginia) ..
April..16th..1863.. Dear Uncle (Tanner, Franklin) and Aunt (Tanner, Franklin (Mrs., Polly C.)) (Tanner, Polly C. (Mrs. Franklin Tanner)) ..

I take my pen this
morning to write to you; and to commence with
I must ask you to excuse all mistakes and
poor writeing (writing) for I am in a great hurry as
I have very little time to write; we have been
under marching orders for the past 24 hours
and without doubt we shall take up our
line of march tomorrow morning or sooner
none of us know which way we are going! it
is thought by some that we are to march to
Culpepper (Culpeper, Virginia) courthouse but there's nothing certain
about it, I think that we are going to some
ford to cross the rappahannock (Rappahannock River) and then
try to flank the rebels on the right
while Hooker (Hooker, Joseph (General)) engage's them on the front;
but where ever we are to mgrch (march) you can
make your mind's up that there's a going to be
work done; for the whole army I think
is a going to act in earnest: eighteen
thousand cavalrymen have passed our camp
in the last two day's they were going to
Kelly's foard (ford) (Kelly's Ford, Virginia) to crosse (cross) the river; that foard (ford)
is between here and culpepper (Culpeper, Virginia) most likely

PAGE IMAGE we shall follow them acrossed (across) the river!
we have three day's rations in our haversacks
and five day's in our knapsacks making eight
day's rations that we have to carry with us it's
quite a load with our other traps; my health
is very good now; I dont think I am quite as
strong as I was before my sickness; I am
going to try the march with the boy's and
go as far as I can and then I can stop; but
I think that I can stand my hand at
tramping with any of the boy's yet I take it
that the folks up there have commenced
spring's work and have not time to write
any letter's; I received one from you and
one from Father (Welch, Luther) is all the letter's that
has hailed from that way lately; but
then perhap's its as well for
it looks now as though us fellow's were
going to have somthing (something) to do for a while
besides answering letter's; I could have been
excused from this march by the doctor's
and sent to the convalesant (convalescent) camp; but
that is not what I come down here for, I
come down here to do a little fighting if
called upon and although I have no great desire
to go into battle still if this regiment
goes into a fight I want to take an active part
in the same; for we must have all the
PAGE IMAGE men engaged and then victory must be ours
our Brigadier General left us about one month
since and we have had a new one placed over
us he is a very nice and a very smart man
when he is a man, but you know that
when a man is a beast there is very little
man left about him, and you know too
that when a man is drunk he is very
near a beast and if that is so our new
General is very near a beast the greater
part of the time; Col:: McDougal (McDougal (Colonel)) is acting
Brigadier General now and he has command of
the Brigade; Col:: Norten (Norten (Colonel)) is acting Col of our
regiment; but I s'pose you would like to
know how this all came about well our new
Gen: was thrown from his horse and the
fall broke his leg so you see there was
quite a chance for promotion; report say's
that he had been drinking a little and that
was the way he came to get throwd (thrown) off!
but I must lay aside my writeing (writing) for awhile (a while)
as Col: Norten (Norten (Colonel)) wants me to ride his horse
over to Gen: Slocun (Slocum, Henry Warner (General)) 's and carry some
papers! Slocun (Slocum, Henry Warner (General)) is Commander of the 12th army (12th Army)
core! well I have got back and now I will
finish my letter; tell Father (Welch, Luther) that we
received four months pay yesterday
and he will find forty dollars at
PAGE IMAGE Mr. William Allen (Allen, William) 's at Granville (Granville, New York) the money
will be there by the time you receive
this! the report has just reached camp
that Gen: Forest (Forrest, Nathan Bedford (General)) in North Carolina (North Carolina) has
surendered (surrendered) his force's consisting of
thirteen thousand men to the rebels
if it is true it will be a hard blow
for the Union! but we will try
and make it up if we have a fight
near the Rappahannock (Rappahannock River) but if we
fail and the rebs carry the day
this war will not close this season
I d'ont (don't) think but I must bring my
letter to a close give my respects to
Louisa (Louisa) and tell her that I have had
extraordinary good luck about loseing (losing)
my hat since I have been in Dixie (Dixie) !
if I had lost it I dont think I should
have found it in a cellar way for I have
not seen a house in two months big
enough to have a cellar under it please
write as soon as you get this! Good Bye

from your Nephew Henry Welch (Welch, Henry)
Part: of 5