Thursday, November 8, 2012

1862 November 9 Camp near Warrenton, Va

           Camp near Warrenton Va
                                  Novbr. 9th/62
Dear Sam[uel H. Ritter]
                      Yours of 5th came
to hand this P.M.--contents noted
I'm very sorry to hear that
the draft in Philada. has been
done away with--I should
like nothing better than to see
some of those infernal croakers
about McClellan & a winter
campaign-down here-& pass
such a time as we've done
for the last two weeks--their
ideas of war would change
We've have rumors to day
that McClellan has been removed
pr. consequence we are all sorrow
-ful-nobody in the United
States has so won on the

[page 2]
affections of the troops as "Little
Mac" & if he is removed
the army will not recover
for some time to come--nothing
is worse for discipline than
this continual change of com-
Speaking of a winter campaign
all I wish for those who are
continually crying out for one
is that they may be sent down
here to share some of the
hardships attending such an
enterprise--for instance sleep
under  (what is called a shelter tent)
two strips of muslin about 6 feet
long by 4 feet wide buttoned
together at the top--stretched
across an upright both ends
open-and on the sides raised some
three or four inches from the ground
giving a chance everywhere for
ventilation--& with but one blanket

[page 3]
and an overcoat for covering=
everything belonging to the soldiers
clothing, tent, musket, belts & cart-
-ridges to be carried by him some-
-times 20 miles pr. day, through
a snow storm on perhaps over
a Road broken by them--with
nothing to eat but crackers, cof-
-fee, & sugar & occasionally a
piece of fat pork--these are some
of the beauties of a winter campaign
say nothing of the cold---
We have another one of the
beauties of soldiering to-day-
an Inquirer of a late date
tells us that the drafted men
have been formed into companies
at Harrisburgh & officers placed
over them--& that old Regiments
who have lost their men in
the recent fights & been through
all the hardships of a year & a
half's campaigning-are to have

[page 4]
their companies consolidated
& are then to be filled up by
new companies of drafter men
with new officers--& all the old
officers in excess of the regular
number are to be set aside
so that the gentlemen (who have
been spending the last eighteen
months in peace & comfort) shall
not be mistreated--so that
justice may be done to all
parties & these fine men comforted
bah! with such justice-us
poor fellows, who are more dead
than alive must be put out
of the way for the sake of political
favorites--all the non com-
=missioned officers & privates
who have been through all the
fights with honor-are to be
thrown up out of their chance
of promotion & new men

[page 5]
You will perhaps wonder what
is the matter with me, having
made such a change int he
tone of my letters, but events to-
-day have brought up all these
things to my thoughts & I could
not help thinking speaking of them--
on the point of consolidation I
am considerably interested--
our late 1st Lieut. was dropped
from the rolls for absence without
leave--thus leaving the position
of open for me--I was promoted
by the Colonel to fill the vacancy
& a request was sent to Harris-
-burgh for my commission
it has not yet arrived--& if the
plan spokeng of-is carried out
it won't be likely to come--I
also had the opportunity of soon
becoming Captain--Louis I

[page 6]
think will never again be
fit for service--& I must
give up all these chances
& return to my position of
2nd Lieut.--for the sake of
some of my drafted friends
who cost the Government a
big bounty--but enough of this-
  Since I last wrote (which I
believe was in Washington)
I've been through some busy
scenes--I reached my Regt.
on the 26th day of September, we
                Sharpsburg Md.
remained there ^ for some time
inactive & finally received orders
to march for Berlin--at that
place we crossed the Potomac
& have been marching ever since
we finally arrived at this place
day before yesterday, having
that morning marched 12 miles
inside of 5 hours in a heavy snow

[page 7]
-storm--it was about as tough
work as I care about going
through often-tramp, tramp,
tram all day & sometimes
late at night was the programme.
So far I have stood it pretty
well--but have but poor hopes
for the future, this cold weather
is playing the mischief with
the troops--if you see any
opening for me to get a situa
-tion I would be obliged for
the information--I shall probably
soon leave the service--
  Louis by this time is no doubt
in Philada. his address is 427
Queen St.   call on him if you
get down that way--
As I am now nearly froze
I must close--
My Respects to Inquirers
                     Yrs truly
                            Geo. E. Wagner
George E. Wagner, 88th Pennsylvania, later Lt. Colonel the 8th U.S.C.T.

MSS 11174

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