Civil War Love Letters: October 10, 1862 (Pt. 2)
Camp at Goodnight Spring
Oct 10th 1862
My Dear Molly
I had to stop in the middle of my story much as the New York Ledger does at the most interesting part, but I will improve a rainy hour under a wagon to finish it if possible.
It is a wet cold day & as Bragg has retreated, & the fight is stop'd we are lying in camp until it clears up, while details are searching the woods & corn fields & burying the Dead & bringing in the wounded. It is a sad & awful occupation. Its horrors I cannot look at, & will not repeat now - so I will go back to where I left off. McCook had left his battery & a corner of the field in Braggs possession - they skirmished & cannonaded each other all night & at daybreak charged again & took all back again, driving Bragg in a total rout at this point, taking many prisoners. 4 or 5 Regts. threw down their arms, & ran away leaving everything. We took many of them prisoners, with all their arms & effects, also all their wounded & dead amounting to thousands. The gallant men then rested from their work of slaughter, gathered up our wounded & dead & soon after marched over the creek & took possession, by this time Bragg was in full retreat from all parts for 20 miles & we on this day the ninth had no fighting, only our cannon shelling Braggs retreating columns as they passed. Then from all parts we marched over to where McCook had been & camped among the dead for the night.
I had a good wash, first one for two or three days & took a short survey of the wounded but it was too horrid. This morning the 10th McCook started in pursuit, also Thomas, Rosseau, Wood, Crittenden & others, while we remain here in the rain to bury the dead & bring up the rear. Oh it is a horrid scene, covering the woods & fields for miles, naught but poor dead & wounded Graybacks, the wounded some for two days without water & the dead with the maggots already at work. We can hear cannonading still going on & I suppose there is much more hard work in store for us. Buell & Bragg will I hope make this the final fight here, & if they do, there is dreadful fighting to be done yet.
I do hope you will get my letter ere you have seen any bad accounts in the paper. There has as usual been dreadful slaughter among the officers as well as the men, but our Battalion came out very safe. We done the secesh a good deal of damage, but as none of their cannon played on the spot where we were & their musketry could not harm us, we are all here Thank God. Good night
Excuse these letters. They are written on secesh paper & in secesh envelopes. We have no other in camp. We have nothing but what we carry on our backs or in our hands - even to our rations.
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