The letters and diaries of Lieutenant Philip R. Woodcock
121st Regiment, New York State Infantry
"Upton's Regulars"
September 4, 1862-November 9, 1865

Friday, June 6, 2014

Berkittsville, MD Sept 17, 1862

"My Dear Wife

I thought that I would write to you once more before I heard from home ~ I think I am doing most of the writing [.] I have not heard from home yet but I do not suppose we can get letters under a week or 10 days ~ The most I write for tonight is to assure you of my safety & to let you know where we are & what we are up to ~ we are now on special duty that is our company ~ the rest of the regiment is out on a scouting expedition & getting prisoners &c [.] Our Company is stationed as guard & other duties in Berkittsville about a mile from the battle field to guard the town & take of prisoners & Hospital duty &c ~ our Captain is commandant of the town ~ now I will tell you what I have been up to today [.] The Captain detailed me to take command of a detachment of men large enough to hold by force a lot of prisoners to bury their dead[.] I had 15 prisoners but I sent back 5 that were sick that left me 10[.] I took 6 of our men with Loaded Guns & marched them off to the Battle field where we have been Encamped for the last 2 or 3 days[.] I made them bury one horse that belonged to Gen Howell Cob a Rebel Gen that was Treasurer under Buchanan ~ several of their dead that has lain 3 or 4 days ~ it was an awful job tell you but I am getting so hardened that it makes no difference what they set us at[.] I date not tell you what sights I have seen ~ it would make your blood run cold ~ after we got through I paroled all the prisoners I had in charge & sent them to Frederick City ~ they all to a man do not want to go back in the army ~ they want to take the Oath of Allegiance & not fight against the flag any more but we have to exchange them in order to get our men back again[.] I do not know how many men we have taken prisoners ~ it is hard telling there are so many[.] I should judge about 800 -- O you that stay north do not know the miseries and horrors of war[.] "

 Come back tomorrow for the continuation of Sept 17 "Sick of War"!

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