"I have not much time after all to write this morning as I have to Drill the men 1/2 an hour this morning ~ I expected a move before this as things looked like it[.] That Firing yesterday was at Antietam Creek & Shepardstown but maybe we have force enough up there now[.] I heard we were under orders[.] I wish you had sent that Shirt when it was finished[.] We have had regular mail ever since & if we move we may not get it in a week but I guess it will come all safe but I must close ~ write soon[.] Love me as ever Kiss our baby & one for you also[.] The Boys send Love[.] I dreamed I was home & had such a good time Last night[.] Yours with Love Yours &c Phil R Woodcock"
He wrote again on August 30th from Charlestown, VA (now West Virginia) and then on Sept. 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 16, 18 from Berryville, VA. On the 19th of September, 1864, the 121st was involved in the Battle of Third Winchester Philip wrote in his diary on the 19th that:
"Our Brigade stood their ground and Saved the Army ~ at 2 oclock a Charge was made on the Right which Flanked them ~ we charged the Center 3 times driving them far beyond Winchester taking Prisoners Colors &c. The most glorious thing of this Campaign ~ great victory [.] Gen Russel Killed ~ Gen Upton wounded ~ our Loss in Regt slight ~ only 1 Killed & 18 wounded ~ very tired [.]"
As the 121st moved into position over the next three days, he continued to document the movements and his emotions:
The 20th: "Arose 4 oclock[.] Badly used up ~ got breakfast ~ marched at Day Light up the valley hard & fast marching ~ crossed Cedar Creek 2 oclock & halted in our old woods very tired awaiting orders but we laid quiet the rest of the day [.] The Johnnys in force & making a Stand in the Gap ~ After Supper I went down to Strasburg after water [.]
The 21st: " Arose 4 oclock & got breakfast [.] Some Skirmishing in front ~ was ordered to be ready to move ~ Had to swallow our breakfast whole but then laid around all forenoon ~ at 1 oclock moved out to the front 2 miles & formed our lines ~ run a Battery on the Skirmish Line [.] The Rebs have a very strong position ~ Nothing but Skirmishing done ~ Laid down for the night under Arms but at one oclock moved a mile or so up to the Right & formed & threw up works [.]"
And exactly 150 years ago today the unthinkable happened ~ he was wounded:
The 22nd: "Eat our breakfast by daylight ~ the first meal in some days [.] Capt Cronkite went on Div Staff ~ at 4 oclock advanced our Lines & soon after our Right became hotly Engaged then we pushed ahead & became Engaged ~ got Shelled severely [.] I was wounded by a fragment of a Shell in the wood ~ it struck me in Breast near the pit of the Stomach ~ severe pain ~ was carried off on stretcher ~ The boys stayed with me ~ the ambulance carried me to Division Hospital ~ it was very rough & dark ~ suffered a good deal [.] The Rebs drove all to pieces ~ great victory [.]"
I couldn't let this date get past me without the mention of his injury! He did survive it and I will continue to post his letters from both after and previous to the injury. He was in hospital for over 4 months and continued to heal and write to Roby and then went back into service for the Army until the Surrender at Appomattox.
Please continue to join me on Philip's journey!