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

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Not Quite Veterans Day Yet

"...O if we did not have a splendid fight ~"

Veterans Day was yesterday and I thought I'd look back at November of 1863 to see where Philip was at that time period.  Although Veterans Day was not officially established in the U.S. until about 1919 by President Woodrow Wilson, these early soldiers were the forerunners of it all.  My husband mentioned yesterday that you're only a Vet when you are finished with your service, so seeing Philip was finished at the end of the Civil War, I honor him here today!

On November 9, 1863, he wrote a hasty letter to Roby after a successful charge on the enemy.  I will wait until I get to that date chronologically to include the entire letter, but I thought I'd give a small excerpt today:

"Camp 121st Nov 9 ~ 63
near Brandy Station VA

My Dearest Roby

Through the mercy of God I am permitted to write you once more to assure you of my Safety ~ On the morning of the 7th we broke camp and marched to near Rappahannock Station & there found the Rebs fortified strongly [,] after some maneuvering around some we undertook to start them out but they were in a good position & we waited untill after dark when they could not use their Batteries on us [.]  We charged on their forts & Rifle Pits & succeeded in driving them in to the River [.] O if we did not have a splendid fight ~ It was one of the most Gallant achievements of the whole was [it.]  We made 3 successive charges and some of us did  did not fire a Shot ~ I tell you our name is up now ~...."

He seemed quite excited and proud of his regiment and how they did!

Thanks G-G Grandfather Philip for your service and to all the countless others who served and continue to do so around the world.

My next post will be back to February of 1863 ~ 
a possible promotion, a picture, desertion and a....Valentine?

Hope to see you then!

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