Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Major Wilder Dwight: August 13, 1862 – 9 p.m.

Camp Near Culpeper, Virginia,
August 13, 1862, 9 P.M.

I have a chance to send a line, but hardly time to write. A sharp, sudden half-hour's work, under desperate circumstances, has crippled us sadly, as you must have heard only too well. My return has been simply sad and bitter.

Of the hopes that may be indulged, I think these are accurate. Major Savage, a wounded prisoner, and Captain Russell, unwounded, taken while caring for Major Savage. Captain Quincy, a wounded prisoner, able to walk off the field. Lieutenant Miller, a slightly wounded prisoner. You know of Robeson, Grafton, and Oakey. Lieutenant Browning is also wounded severely, but not dangerously. Our loss in killed, twenty-seven; wounded, one hundred and four; missing, thirty. There will be many deaths from wounds.

Our five brave, honorable, beloved dead * are on their way to Massachusetts. She has no spot on her soil too sacred for them, no page in her history that their names will not brighten.

The regiment looks well, but O, so gloomy! I have much to tell, but to-night, after the fatigue and stress of the last three days, cannot write.

As for myself, I look forward. Love to all.

* Captain Edward Gardiner Abbott, Captain Richard Gary, Captain Richard Chapman Goodwin, Captain William Blackstone Williams, and Lieutenant Stephen George Perkins.

SOURCE: Elizabeth Amelia Dwight, Editor, Life and Letters of Wilder Dwight: Lieut.-Col. Second Mass. Inf. Vols., p. 276

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