Identifier

MSS.6.237

Date

10-15-1863

Subjects

United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865; Bruen, Luther Barnett--Correspondence

Notes

4 pages

Transcription

Camp near Germantown Va Oct 15th 1863 My dear Augusta: I suppose you wonder why you do not hear from me, - at any rate you will before you do. I will explain my silence satisfactorily tho' not as fully as I will after we have finished the campaign if I am lucky enough to get thro' - Last Saturday morning, General sounded at 2 A.M. very unexpectedly. We started about half past 3 o'clock, and marched to within a mile or two of Raccoon Ford. Here we laid until afternoon + returned to our old camp. Our tent had been repitched and we were proceeding to make ourselves comfortable, when an order came to strike tents. We spent the night sleeping on cedar + pine boughs before a big fire. The night was very cold + we all slept badly. General next morning at 6. Advance at 8. We marched thro' Culpepper to a place about two miles about Rappahannock Station, on that river. Got into camp late + had another night without tents + little to eat. General next morning at 4, Advance at 5. - recrossed the R. on a pontoon bridge + went into line of battle on the south side, - remained in this position until 4 P.M. when we formed into line of battalion *mass* + marched back to Brandy Station where there was a skirmish going on between cavalry, - reached Brandy S. between 5th - could hear the guns + see the shells *bursting* about two miles in front. We got the better of the rebs in the skirmish. Bivouacked in the wood Monday night. Ordered at 1 A.M. to march immediately with out nose. The march from Rappahannock had been very hard on the men; the return over the same road was much more severe The night was very dark + the country full of mudholes ditches. Reached our camp on Sunday night at 5 A.M., Officers + men covered with mud + generally disgusted. Started at 7 + marched past *Harvento* Junction to Catlett's Station near which we camped. At Catlett's we saw a very stirring sight. The entire plain appeared to be covered with wagons, mules + horses, and long trains were arriving and departing by every road. All were at full speed. Broadway with all its stages + people was not so inspiring a sight. Wednesday morning we marched at 6 o'clock, crossed Deer Run at 9.45 + rested. Heavy artillery *forming in our* rear. The rest was near *Huntow* Station. Soon after resuming our march artillery fire was again heard in our rear. Halted at Manassas Plain + went into line of battle, guns being run into the earthwork on our flanks. Remained in line of battle from 3 to 4 when the order was given to march towards the skirmish, smoke of the guns visible + also the flashes of the shells. Helter skelter we went ahead + finally brought up in the woods. Here we waited until the artillery firing had first grown faint + then ceased. It was the 2nd Corps engaged with the rebs, whom they had been fighting and *whipping* all day. Gen *Warren* supposing he was in a tight place, telegraphed for assistance. Accordingly we went forward but were not needed. About 7PM we resumed our march in this direction; crossed Bull Run at *Blackburn's* Ford + reached our camp last night, *just by* and *Centreville* at 1 A.M. *Mr. Mimmack* + I put our shelter tent + rubber blanket on the ground, covered ourselves with our blankets + were soon sound asleep. Had a good night's rest + got up at 7. One servant had a cup of coffee ready for us when we got up + we soon were as gay as larks + ready for another march. Started about 8 + march *to* night through to our present camp near Germantown 150 *1/2* miles to Washington. We are the Reserve of the Army + liable to be ordered to march any moment. We occasionally hear firing in the direction of Centreville. - Now I suppose you are satisfied with my excuse for not writing + also that I have had a pretty rough week *of* campaigning. I am sorry I have neither news, paper or ink to write you a more particular account of our exploits. I will do so whenever I have a chance Now, my Darling, this may chance to be the last you shall *ever* receive from me. If so, rest assured my that last *thots* will be of you and our dear little ones I have more than most men to make life desirable, but feel that I ought to *risk* it for the sake of one distracted country - I don't want to close my eyes however until I have seen the wicked rebellion crushed and our country #again prosperous + happy. Kind remembrances to my family + *friends*# #And love dearest one to you + the blessed children Thine to the last Luther# #I forgot to say I rec'd 2 letters from you last *Sat* I have tried to keep a *diary* which I will have sent to you care of#

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