Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Lieutenant Colonel Charles Fessenden Morse: March 12, 1865

Camp Near Fayettevtlle, N. C,
March 12, 1865.

An hour ago, we were all astounded by the announcement that a mail would leave headquarters at four P. M. If you had quietly stepped up to my shelter and asked me to come and take a comfortable Sunday dinner at home, I should have hardly been more astonished. It seems that there is a steam tug up from Wilmington, and that we have captured two steamers at this city. I write now only to say that I am perfectly well, and have been in but one skirmish since leaving Savannah. When I have time, I will give you a history of this campaign; all I will say of it now is that it has been a hard one. We have had a great many severe storms; the roads have been awful, and the obstacles in the shape of rivers, streams, and swamps, most numerous; but we have conquered them as we have everything else.

When I tell you that since the eighth day of February I have not drawn from the commissariat a single government ration, you can understand how entirely we have lived on the country. There have been times of great anxiety, when it seemed as if the country could yield nothing, but we have always had great herds of cattle to fall back on, so that there was never much danger of suffering. This has been no picnic excursion, I can assure you, and I am not sorry we are nearing a base. Another Sunday will, I hope, see us in Goldsborough. I hope to get some express matter soon, as I am in sad condition in the way of clothing.

We have marched from Cheraw since last Tuesday morning, about seventy miles.

[The writer was wounded at the battle of Averysboro, March 16, and went to Massachusetts, where he remained about sixty days.]

SOURCE: Charles Fessenden Morse, Letters Written During the Civil War, 1861-1865, p. 212-3

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