12th N.H. Regiment

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Point Lookout, Md.,
August 11th, 1863
____________

Mr. Editor:

I suppose that long before this you have heard of the whereabouts of the 12th, and know something of our situation; but perhaps a few lines, relative to our proceedings of late, and of our present good fortune may prove acceptable. My last letter to the Gazette was written while we were at Green Springs, Md. Since we left that place, up to the time of our coming to this place, we have shared, in common with this army the hardships and privations incident to a hard march. I would like to give you a detailed account of our adventures, but neither time nor space will permit. We marched through many places of interest, which shall long live upon the pages of history. We passed over the bloody fields of South Mountain Antietam, and Sharpsburg. The evidences of the great battles fought at these places are fearfully apparent. The long lines of soldier’s graves speak plainer than words of the many brave and noble men who have sacrificed their lives upon their country’s altar. There are other evidences of the dreadful scenes which have there been enacted; but none so great as the humble gray of the soldier. We left the Army of the Potomac on the 27th of July at Warrenton, taking the cars at that place for Washington. we remained in Washington until the 30th when we came here. This is a very pleasant place, forming the extreme southern point of Md. For some time past there has been a large hospital located here named the Hammand Hospital. Now this is to be a prison camp, for the accommodation of such rebels as are so unfortunate, (perhaps I should say fortune, as many of those who are now with us say that never since they have ben in the army have they fared so well as now) as to fall into our hands. This point of land is about a quarter of a mile wide with the Potomac upon one side and the Chesapeak upon the other. We have now got about five hundred and fifty prisoners here, and more will be brought in from time to time. Our duty consists in guarding these prisoners. The 2d New hampshire is with us, and I suppose that the 5th will be as soon as they return from their furlough. We are in the command of Brig. (can’t read) Marston, formally Col. of the 2d, who (can’t read one word) been assigned to this post. Our regiment is still commanded by J. F. Langley who was wounded at Gettysburg but since returned and taken command Capts. Barker and May and Lieuts. Beede and Milliken, who were wounded at Chancellorsville returned to the regiment while we were on this last march. We were glad to see them all and they were welcomed into our midst. At one time we never expected to see Lieut. Beede with us again. He was wounded twice at chancellorsville once in the shoulder by a ball, during the first of the action; but he remained upon the field, and bravely cheered his men on, and when we left the field he being the ranking officer led the regiment off. When nearly off of the field he was hit by a piece of shell which fractured his skull and for some time it was thought that he would not recover.

I suppose that long before this you have heard of the whereabouts of the 12th, and know something of our situation; but perhaps a few lines, relative to our proceedings of late, and of our present good fortune may prove acceptable. My last letter to the Gazette was written while we were at Green Springs, Md. Since we left that place, up to the time of our coming to this place, we have shared, in common with this army the hardships and privations incident to a hard march. I would like to give you a detailed account of our adventures, but neither time nor space will permit. We marched through many places of interest, which shall long live upon the pages of history. We passed over the bloody fields of South Mountain Antietam, and Sharpsburg. The evidences of the great battles fought at these places are fearfully apparent. The long lines of soldier’s graves speak plainer than words of the many brave and noble men who have sacrificed their lives upon their country’s altar. There are other evidences of the dreadful scenes which have there been enacted; but none so great as the humble gray of the soldier. We left the Army of the Potomac on the 27th of July at Warrenton, taking the cars at that place for Washington. we remained in Washington until the 30th when we came here. This is a very pleasant place, forming the extreme southern point of Md. For some time past there has been a large hospital located here named the Hammand Hospital. Now this is to be a prison camp, for the accommodation of such rebels as are so unfortunate, (perhaps I should say fortune, as many of those who are now with us say that never since they have ben in the army have they fared so well as now) as to fall into our hands. This point of land is about a quarter of a mile wide with the Potomac upon one side and the Chesapeak upon the other. We have now got about five hundred and fifty prisoners here, and more will be brought in from time to time. Our duty consists in guarding these prisoners. The 2d New hampshire is with us, and I suppose that the 5th will be as soon as they return from their furlough. We are in the command of Brig. (can’t read) Marston, formally Col. of the 2d, who (can’t read one word) been assigned to this post. Our regiment is still commanded by J. F. Langley who was wounded at Gettysburg but since returned and taken command Capts. Barker and May and Lieuts. Beede and Milliken, who were wounded at Chancellorsville returned to the regiment while we were on this last march. We were glad to see them all and they were welcomed into our midst. At one time we never expected to see Lieut. Beede with us again. He was wounded twice at chancellorsville once in the shoulder by a ball, during the first of the action; but he remained upon the field, and bravely cheered his men on, and when we left the field he being the ranking officer led the regiment off. When nearly off of the field he was hit by a piece of shell which fractured his skull and for some time it was thought that he would not recover.

We are now watching with interest the progress of the draft in the several Northern States. The heart of the soldier is stired with indignation, against the base hearted villians, who are preaching up opposition to the draft. The voice of the army is unanimous upon this point, and if the truth was known there is many a one who would send a bullet to the heart of those monsters of treason, with a surer aim, than he would to one of his Southern foes. The several armies of the Union at this time greatly need to have their numbers increased, in order to follow up successfully the late glorious triumphs. Let shame and confusion be the lot of any man, be he great or small, who at this crisis shall lift his hand to stay the onward march of victory. Blasting infamy will be his reward through this and coming generations.

All me to express my thanks to you for your kindness in sending up weekly a copy of the Gazette. It is a very welcome visitor in our little tents, and the reading of it seems something akin to a converse with home friends.

Yours with respect.
Joe

[Box]Source: Belknap Gazette August 22, 1863[/box]



MLA Source Citation:

AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 31 July 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/new-hampshire/12th-n-h-regiment.htm - Last updated on Sep 20th, 2013


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