26 August 1862: “We broke camp at Yorktown last Sunday morning at daylight and marched through the mud (It rained all the night before)…”

Item description: Letter, 26 August 1862, from Union soldier Stephen Tippet Andrews to his beloved, Margaret (Maggie) Little. Stephen Tippet Andrews enlisted in the 85th New York Infantry Regiment on 26 August 1861. He helped organize Company F, and was mustered in as first sergeant of the company in the second half of 1861. Andrews was captured with the “Plymouth Pilgrims” in Plymouth, N.C., on 20 April 1864, and was held captive in Georgia and South Carolina for almost a year.

For an introduction to the correspondence between Andrews and Little, please see our post of 11 February 1862.

Item citation: In the Stephen Tippet Andrews Letters #5324, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Camp near Fortress Monroe Va Aug 26, 1862

Dear Maggie

I wrote you some days ago from Yorktown and as I have a few leasure (sic) moments this afternoon I will drop you another short letter to try and make up for lost time and hope it will soon be so that we can write and know that our letters will reach their destination; and I think that will be soon for it is understood that we will remain here, go to Norfolk or Newport News as garrison. And I am glad for I had just as leave (?) as (?) a little rather rest awhile than otherwise. Not but what I am willing to go anywhere that we may be ordered but if the powers that be; see fit to let us stay here and let some of the new troops fight in our place all right. what say you? We broke camp at Yorktown last Sunday morning at daylight and marched through the mud (It rained all the night before) and reached Great Bethle (?) at eleven oclock AM and halted for dinner upon the battle ground where Gen Pervis (?) made his famous blunder a year ago last spring – The grass was as green as if it had never been stained by the blood of slautered (sic) brothers.

We arrived here at three oclock PM as tired as a set of dogs as ever was seen – having marched twenty five miles over bad roads – but a good supper and a nights rest set us all right. I see that the state of New York has raised her first quota of troops and hurrying them into the field which will help very much for it needs more men to finish up the war.

One year ago today I entered the service of Uncle Sam and although I have seen a great many hardships; the year has passed very quickly, It does not seem to be a year since I enjoyed your society at Hugh’s – how is it with you? I hope it will not be a year longer before I shall have the pleasure of enjoying your society all the while at my – our – home with no more war to call me away from my own dear Maggie. Such anticipations as these seem to cheer me in my lonely hours and nerve me in the hour of danger – was it not for the bright prospect ahead I should care but little what became of me. But I shall have to close as I have some duty to do. Please write soon and long, I hope in my next to tell you where we are located.

Please send your letters to 85th N.Y.V. 3rd Brigade Picks Division Fortress Monroe Va If they are sent to Washington they might go off towards Culpepper

Ever your own


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