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

Monday, June 2, 2014

Not To Be Forgotten

Not only did my great-great grandfather leave behind his letters, but he also kept his company roll books.  These are filled with the names of all the soldiers in his particular division.  You'll see in the upcoming letters how his responsibilities grew and although only 22 years old at the time, he was attendant to his fellow troops.  You'll see next to some of their names the word "wounded". He kept track of who was ill, wounded, missing etc.

Although these are roll books from 1863, it gives you an idea of what they looked like.

His next letter is written over a three day period from September 11 - 13th.  He was in Maryland at the time.  One of the major battles of the Civil War was fought just days later from September 16-18th in Antietam/Sharpsburg.  His letter outlines a first hand account of the battle and the days leading up to it.


                                  Thursday September 11 1862
                                  Camp in Gen Slocums Divisions

"My Dearest Wife

I write to you once more again to assure that I am all alive & well & hearty as can be ~ after sending you yesterday morning my letter we received marching orders & we marched 15 miles from 10 o'clock AM untill 6 o'clock P.M. one of the hardest marches a green Regiment ever made ~ but I believe I could have marched 20 easy I felt so good it was not half so hard yesterday as the first days march to me though it was very hot ~ a good deal hotter that old Springfield ever see ~ we are now encamped on what was a battlefield yesterday but to day it is all quiet enough [.] we arrived here just as they the rebels got through fighting & had retired ~ they killed one of our men & wounded one or two but our men killed 2 of the Rebels & wounded 4-2 mortally[.] They lay up about 40 rods" (A measurement approximately 1/8 of a mile.) "from us now ~ our forces fought the rebels 10 miles yesterday right ahead of us on the same road & beat them back ~ now understand this 10 miles was the road that we came over~"

He ended that section of the letter because it was after supper and growing dark at that point.  Come back tomorrow for the continuation of September 12, 1862!

1863 Roll Book of P.R. Woodcock


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