Byrns, William – December 28, 1862

Michigan Civil War Collection Letters

Click here for this soldier’s biography:

Regiment: 1st Michigan Infantry

Battles Mentioned:

Historical Figures: George B. McClellan

Camp near Potomoc Creek Va
Dec 28th 1862
My Dear Florence
Tis a beautiful [   ?   ] day +
I cannot refrain writing longer though a huge
pile of unfinished “muster rolls” encumbers
my desk. [  ?  ] to the [    ?    ] of the
Paymaster the work of making rolls is micros
de. I have how fortunate + have saved my
co papers so that tis not difficult with
a good clerk to arrange the names of
the fragment of my Co 20 us to insure
them their just due from government.
How did Christmas pass in camp? Very
dull. I remained in camp until 2
P.M. when the Adjt + myself took horses
+ went scouring the country to find
our friends. Went to save Wilcox Hd.
Qrs. home of his staff are Mich men +
friends. Afterward we went to all the
Mich Regts in the 9th Corps. I came back
in time to call at the 4th + talk supper
with Charly Parsons. Charly will

probably go home this week on a surgeon’s cer
tificate of disability. It becomes necessary for
him to visit Mich in consequence of
late changes in his Regt. The Col resogna
lately + the Gov has appointed to fill the
vacancy a former Col of the 7th Mich who
was obliged to resign after the Seven days
fight or be [          ?          ] for cowardice.
The matter has occasioned much hard
feeling in the Regt + Parsons will go to
arrange the matter. All leaves of absence
are forbidden except on surgeons certificate.
Today we have heard heavy guns. I am
so turned around that I cannot tell
which way they are. There is evident
by an active of importance going on
but at a great distance from
here. We have our quarters arranged
very nicely. Are encamped in a grove
of pine + cedar so that ever green on
moments are plenty. We have
grand arches in front of our quarters
+ have our tents hung with wraths

+ festuous + S. Tis a strange fact that
the soldier though rogged for often
finding on his person “Ye ugby creeping
“blastit wonner Detested [     ?     ] by
“saint + sinner” has still on
eye for the beautiful + often where
opportunity secure takes pride in
arranging with haste + fortifying
the camp grounds + quarters.
There are rumors that we must
again change our camp. We do not
wish to are satisfied with our present
location. Two letters came last week, the
30 ult + 14 uist. Our mails are very irregular.
We can see no prospect of our doing
much this winter. I would give my
place to some one who feels a desire
to advance this country cause rather
than stay cooped up in camp with
no prospect of leave. Reregisations
are not accepted unless to save the
life of the officers tendering them.
I am willing to admit that I am

disgusted with the service not the
cause but the measures in which
our army is treated but I take a
common sense view of the case remem
bering that “what cant secured must
be endured” + laugh at care on
the bulls of those in authority.
I try to do my duty my oath compels
me to. While I remain here I shall
always try to serve those who are placed
over me to the best of my ability
I cannot brille my thoughts however
nor can I dissipate the idea that if
McClellen had been allowed the command
of the army today we would not be
rushing through inaction dying by
camp diseases or mourning the
loss of those fruitlessly slain.
Perhaps I am wrong in my opinions
but I am unbiased + honest in
them. “Church call” has sounded + I must
be away. Will write again very soon +
at length.
Your own Will B

[On Envelope:]

Miss Florence Clark
Care. A.B. Clark