Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]
I write a line this morning to let you know that we are still in the land of the living.
There has been a terrible battle at Gettyburg in Pa. about twenty five miles from here. We have not heard the result. We have been in no fight. Our regt. was detailed day before yesterday to guard the trains of the First Corps. We went from Emmetsburg up to within about three miles of the fighting & then turned off in this direction. Yesterday we marched twenty three miles, it being our eighth day's march. We got into camp here last night, about twelve o'clk. The men were so tired out that they laid down on the ground & went to sleep without stopping to put up tents. I was sick on the road & had a pretty hard time but feel better this morning.
I dont know what is going to be done in regard to our going home.
Our time is out today & the boys feel as tho' they had done about all that could be asked of them, still if we are needed they will stay. We have not yet learned whether our other Regts were in the fight or not. There is a rumor here that Genl. Stannard is killed but I think there can be no truth to it. It is the general opinion here that the rebs are whipped.
About five hundred prisoners passed our camp night before last. They were taken the first day of the fight - July 1st. -
All the waggon trains of the whole army are here. They cover acres of ground.
There are from four to six hundred for each Corps. There are also large
quantities of cattle here also. Genl. Meade's Head Quarters are also here today.
The ammunition trains went towards Gettysburg yesterday. We met them. One wagon
near us exploded It did no damage except the loss of the wagon. The old darkey
who was driving, came up with his eyes sticking out, but when out of the boys
asked him if he was scared, he said, "Dis darkey aint skeered no how." He
stopped & unhitched his mules after running the burning wagon out of the
road. As we passed the wagon
the shells were exploding one at a time as the fire heated them. No damage was done. A wagon exploded in a train just ahead of us, day before yesterday, & the driver's back was burned terribly. He can hardly live.
Capt. Rathburn, brigadier commissary, has just come in & he says that the 15th. are coming in here, perhaps to take our place - We are now on the R. R. The other three regts. were not in the fight & Genl. Stannard is alive. The fighting has commenced again this morning. The rebs are in a desperate condition. They must fight or surrender.
Our boys think they will not have to march today & are getting somewhat rested. It is now 9-1/2 o'clk A. M. Two hundred of the regt. are limping.
Charles Hubbard was left behind at Frederick & with that exception all of the Bradford Company are along with us or the brigade & as well as could be expected from such excessive fatigue.
Love to all. We shall be at home soon I expect. Keep up good courage.
Yours most affectionatelyRoswell Farnham