96th Pennsylvania Infantry soldier's letter/ Virginia
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Soldier's Letter, 4 pages, 8vo., Head Quarters, 2nd Brigade, Camp near White Oak Church, Va., "St.Patrick' Day in the morning" March 17, 1863. M. E. Richards (96th Pennsylvania Infantry, A. D. C. to General Bartlett) writes to his Brother:

"...Yours of the 11th has been received, also the one previously received in relation to Sophie, which I destroyed as it contained matter that I wanted nobody to see by any chance, and it is a general rule with officers in the field to destroy all letters which contain anything that they do not wish seen, as we are always liable to lose our baggage or have it pried into...

Lt. Wilson the Act. Asst. Adjt. Genl. of this Brigade has been absent on leave for the last ten days, and his  duties have devolved on me, and have kept me very busy, so that when I would get through my work late at night, I would feel so tired that I would have no spirit left to write a letter...Genl. Hooker has been allowing and still allows ten enlisted men and two officers from each regt. a leave of absence for ten days, and you may be sure every one gets a leave that can- five regiments make sixty leaves and furloughs the applications for which pass through this office and come back, which together with a great multiplicity of general orders in relation to our preparations for the spring campaign have kept me circulating very lively.

Genl. Bartlett has not yet been confirmed that I hear. He started for Washington this morning, and I have no doubt if not confirmed he will be reappointed. He took with him the recommendations for promotions in the 96th Penn. Vols., in which list I am put down as Lieut. Colonel. I do not know whether his influence alone will be sufficient to procure the commission from Gov. Curtin, but he will be assisted by the influence of Wm H. Lessig (now Major of the Regt.) who is down for Colonel, and that of Capt. J. W. Haas, who is named for Major. I do not know what influence you or father could bring to bear on the Governor, but if you have any to available, let it be used for that program, viz Lessig, Colonel - Richards, Lieut. Col. and Haas, Major, as that was agreed upon between ourselves and they are working that way for me.  I do not feel very sanguine of success, as I have nothing positive to encourage me...I do not get the sanction of Gov. Curtin, of course I am endorsed by the General who is anxious for me to be in the position, as he thinks I can bring the regiment to his standard of efficiency. I can if necessary get the endorsements of as many Generals as he wants, but Genl Bartlett did not think it necessary...

"All is quiet in the Army of the Potomac" with the exceptions of the Irish regiment of Meagher's Brigade, who are said to be celebrating the day of their patron Saint in number of ways, of which I have had no practice, but which you will no doubt see in the newspapers. I would like to see the fun but as I am the only staff officer in camp today it is out of the question...

We are preparing quietly and thoroughly for work in the field...We have great confidence in Genl. Hooker however...Mark"

Very Fine.

  • Item #: 96PA3

96th Pennsylvania Infantry soldier's letter/ Virginia

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