Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Major Wilder Dwight: September 3, 1862

Washington, D. C., September 3, 1862

After an experience of sixteen days here, I am humiliated, exhausted, yet well and determined.

The history of Pope's retreat, without a line and without a base, is a military novelty. We lived on the country, with a witness, — green corn and green apples. Twice cut off by the enemy, — everything in discomfort and confusion.

Forced marches, wakeful bivouacs, retreat, retreat. O, it was pitiful! and now a whole city full, here at Washington begins to feel our presence. Bah!

The regiment has behaved well, the brigade has behaved well. Charley's accident was funny. He was taken from his horse in a mêlée, but Colonel Taylor assures me unhurt and lively.* It is the family luck. I will write more when I can, and when I have been to sleep. I am perfectly well, and in as good spirits as can be expected. Have got a large mail to-day. Thanks for letters. Love to all at home.

Keep —— there. The service is not for the young; and though the race seems to be to the swift, the battle is not yet to the strong.

* Lieutenant Charles Dwight, of General Sickles's staff, while leading a charge on the enemy, was taken prisoner during the battle of Bristow Station, August, 1862.

SOURCE: Elizabeth Amelia Dwight, Editor, Life and Letters of Wilder Dwight: Lieut.-Col. Second Mass. Inf. Vols., p. 285

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