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August 21, 1862: Washington, DC

August 31, 1862 letter, Page 1 (click to enlarge)

August 31, 1862 letter, Page 1 (click to enlarge)

August 31, 1862 letter, Page 2 (click to enlarge)

August 31, 1862 letter, Page 2 (click to enlarge)


Casparis Hospital
Washington, DC
August 31, 1862

Dear Father,

If you can I wish you would send me about two dollars. The new Postage Stamp currency would be the best kind of money to send for they can’t charge any discount on it; the reasons that I make this request is, first, I am out of post stamps (having had to borrow the one with which to send this). Second, I expect every day to be sent to my regiment and I have some little things to get that I can not get along without; third, I would like a little to spend while in this village. They all but starve us to death, I get up to Mr. Brady’s about once a week which keeps me alive by getting an old fashioned dinner, something like I used to get when I was at home.

There has been considerable considerable excitement here for the last day or two caused by the fighting on the other side of the river out about Bull Run, it seems that Jackson’s army has been completely cut to pieces, and the balance surrounded or taken prisoners. Genl “Stonewall” Jackson among the number. Yesterday there was a hand fight, we could hear the firing all day, it is said that our loss is about 8,000. Their has been a large number of men that have gone to the seat of action for nurses. Most all of the clerks in the War Department, Interior and State Departments, Patent Offices and other government offices volunteered for nurses. Yesterday afternoon a train of cars with about 500 men and women left for the engagement. Last evening the Provost Guard pressed into the service all omnibuses, carriages, and wagons and sent them to the seat of action for the purpose of hauling the wounded to the city. In the evening, orders were sent to all hospitals send to Baltimore all men who were able travel and not fit for duty in the hospital, this created, for some time, considerable excitement in our hospital getting the men ready to go, and then getting the house ready to receive a new lot, had to change all the bed clothes etc. Our house sent off 67.

We are now nearly empty, but before night I expect we will be as full as the house will accommodate. I got a letter from Captain Coleman one day last week stating that as soon as I reported myself for duty I might consider myself as 5th Sergeant; the letter was dated Chersman’s Creek on the 23rd. Maj. Patterson told me on Friday morning that our whole corps was their; I think that they are now at Alexandria as their was a large body of troops being unloaded from transports there, yesterday. It clouded up yesterday morning and began raining last night and has no appearance of quitting today, this as I suppose you know is by the heavy fireing and smoke from the field.

My respects to all. I have received several papers from you for which I am obliged. If possible answer by next mail as I don’t know how soon I may leave here. If you see Alf Davitt, tell him I will answer his letter soon. Goodbye.

Your son,
Simeon R.