Byrns, William – October 12, 1862

Michigan Civil War Collection Letters

Click here for this soldier’s biography:

Regiment: 1st Michigan Infantry

Battles Mentioned:

Historical Figures: Abraham Lincoln, George B. McClellan, John Pope

Camp near Sharpsburg Md.
October 12th 1862
My Dear Florence
Another week gone to the past + no
no important movement made by our Army so far
as elates to ourselves. We hear cheering news
from the War + hope that tis all true but the
remembrance of Gen Popes great victory there is
still fresh + we are not inclined to believe
too much. The enemies cavalry have crossed about
us + made a raid upon Chambersburg, but to
day [     ?     ] have heard commanding in that
direction + know that if we have met the
enemy tis a victory for us, at least we
have driven the enemy but driving the enemy
forcing him to abandon wounded + grins do
not seem to be conceded a victory. When
some bu McLelellen. We regret that a feeling
of distrust pervails at the North. No one can
form a setimate of the difficulties under
which a Commanding Genl. Labors, until they
have [   ?   ] in the field. We are glad that
President Lincoln shows as much strength
of mind. I am sorry that the fall
elections should so disturb some of the
states. Can those [   ?   ] have the good of the country at least?

Tis a cold cheerless rainy night + we have a
detail of 50 men on picket for once I am
not on that duty. We are not well supplied with
the comfort [   ?   ] furnished soldier. Are just
as we arrived here in light marching rode.
Many of the [  ?  ] being supplied with neither
blanket or great coat. They threw them away or
stored them + now that they used the articles
they cannot [          ?          ]. Requisitions made
for our Division are not honored. Which is a
proof to many that we are to be placed
in better quarters [  ?  ] long. It would be
only fair to give us a rest if any troops
are to be [   ?   ] from the field + we sincerely
hope such may be the case. Should
there be need of us either in this vicinity
or elsewhere we are ready to do our part.
What is transpiring around us we know but
moved his Hd. Qrs. to a point some 25 miles
from here farther down + across the
river +  we are anxious to begin
if we are to continue the campaign
tis fall. Bad weather is coming + [  ?  ]
we [          ?          ], we can only [   ?   ] at
a disadvantage.

I have been talking with some Confed. Surgeons this
P.M. They were from Tenn. Our Qr. Master is also from
There + was with me. They use the same old
argument! You can never [     ?     ] the South? They
seemed quite contented + in no hurry to leave our
side. They have been here since the battle taking care
of their wounded. many of which ar in this vicinity.
I see that Col. Doolittle has lost 50 of his men + [  ?  ]
Lieut. taken prisoner on picket. One of the [    ?    ] of
placing new troops in the front. They can fight
as well as old soldiers but if there is ay “nice
work” or running to be done old troops are the ones.
Our picket near Washington was attacked by a force
much larger than the one that made prisoners of Col.
Ds. 50 yet we lived up to our orders with the
loss of only one man wounded. For another proof. When
our Brigade crossed the river on the 19th ult_The 118 PA – a
new Regt. though in a position no more exposed than others of
the Brigs. lost more [  ?  ]10 to 1 – than the whole of
the other regs. They were thrown into confusion +
retreated a rabble, the balance came back in
order. I wonder if I [        ?        ] write of
aught but military mattes? I plead guilty
to the charger of thinking a great deal of them
+ ask charity for my weakness- I shall
look for you to [    ?    ] my [     ?     ]

want we stay here all winter? is a question
which has been asked often. I do not
wish to. We are away from the world too
much. Have had but one mail in more.
Hav a wisk. You ask me to acknowledge
the rest of your letters. I will by saying
that evening mail brings at last one. Do not
think that tis always with our mails to be so. We have promises
of a daily mail then I hope I can
continue to say the same. Unless we have
the signs of a move before us soon. I
shall either ask to be detached on Recruiting ser-
vice or else boldly ask for a leave of absence
It will be a wonder indeed if I do not succeed
I know I have my Cols + Brig Gen name to
my application. I cannot ask for several weeks
or soonest. I shall look for your letters +
depend more upon them, now that we comparatively
doing nothing. [     ?     ] do not think I love you
less because I amy write you so uninterestingly.
More it not for you I should be very [     ?     ] but
loved by one to true + good as you have been to me
I cannot but be happy in spite of myself
You may rest in the assurance that I am
but striving to merit your confidence + affection + that
when we meet it will be a happy re-
union. Pray for me Darling that I may be more worthly of
you. Write me very often. I will always be yours Will

[On Envelope:]

Miss Florence Clark
Care A.B. Clark