1862 Letter - 2nd Bull Run Content - 18th Massachusetts Casualties - Brother Feared Wounded & Taken Prisoner

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1862 Letter - 2nd Bull Run Content - 18th Massachusetts Casualties - Brother Feared Wounded & Taken Prisoner

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Item No. 3872071

Offered here is an interesting 1862 Civil War letter written by Private Edmund F. Churchill of the 18th Massachusetts Volunteers. As a newly-enlisted recruit, Churchill arrived at his regiment's camp just after the Battle of Second Bull Run, where his brother Frederick S. Churchill was first thought wounded and taken prisoner, but was later confirmed killed in action. Churchill also mentions another brother, Theodore, of the 32nd Massachusetts [see my other items for a September 11 letter from Theodore Churchill to his father, also mentioning brother Frederick]. In this letter, Churchill also mentions more than a dozen other men from the Plympton, Massachusetts area. The letter reads, in full:

In Camp Sept 8 / 62

Dear Charlotte,

Your letter came to hand last Thursday and you may be assured it was thankfully received. I suppose you have heard all about the battle at Centreville long before this. We heard the firing plainly, although we were at least 25 miles from there. Our regiment was in it and some of the companies suffered severely. Ours in particular. I don’t know yet how many we lost in all from our company, but we had five killed outright. Of these I know the following were killed or wounded. Fred [brother Frederick S. Churchill] was probably taken prisoner as he was seen to fall wounded as the company was falling back. I have made inquiries of those who were with him, but no one knows how badly or where he was hurt. All think he is a prisoner and not very badly wounded. There was no time to find out any thing about him as he fell when retreating under a heavy fire from a masked battery. We all hope to hear from him soon. If a prisoner he will probably be paroled or exchanged before long. Rufus Wright was shot in the ear and is probably in some hospital near here. John Jordan was badly wounded in the side and may not live. He is in hospital in Washington or Alexandria [died of wounds September 14]. One of those Robbins boys from Carver [Massachusetts] was killed [John S. Robbins] and the other wounded [Joseph S. Robbins]. In Company C, Josiah Ripley was wounded and taken off the field [discharged March 31, 1863]. I cannot tell you any more about this now, as I have been with the boys so short a time I have not found out much. Last Friday I went over to the 32nd Mass. Saw Thed [brother Theodore P. Churchill]. He is pretty well. Worn down in flesh and is pretty rugged, as are all the boys in that Reg. They have marched 200 miles in the last 3 weeks. They marched 70 miles on the Peninsular in 5 days. The following are there from Plympton that I have seen out here. H. H. Ellis, W. P. Eldridge, Thed., Frank Ripley, Lemuel & Warren Richard, Edward Phinney, Stephen Phinney, William Fuller, Edwin A. Wright, William & Edward Healy, Henry H. Wright, Philemon Fuller, John Thomas, Melvin J Leach. In all 16. Then there are six of us just out from home making it seem more like being at home then it has any where else I have been since I left there. There were many wished me to write them when I got out here, but I find it is as much as I can do to write home as often as I wish to.

Sitting on the ground, writing on ones knees is somewhat difficult from writing up to a table with all the encumbrances one can ask for. I can not write you any more now as I want to write to father. I forgot to say any thing about my self, but I am doing so well now. Yours in Love

Ed. F. Churchill

The letter was written upon all four pages of a 5 1/4” x 7 3/4” stationery sheet. It is in excellent condition with very little wear to edges and corners. Little foxing and toning. Includes original cover postmarked September 8 with a 1-cent Franklin stamp (Scott 63) and addressed to his father Isaiah Churchill in Plympton, Massachusetts.

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