William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

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Camp at Seneca Creek Md. Monday Eve. Oct 13th 1862 My Darling wife

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I did not get a chance to write you my usual Sunday letter yesterday, for we were waiting all day to have a fight with Stewarts rebel Cavalry. You probably will have an account of it all in the papers, but I will tell you what we had to do about it.

Stewart crossed over into Md. last Thursday or Friday and proceeded to Chambersburgh Penn. We got the news direct from Genl. McClellen through Gen.l Stoneman (who is the Genl. by the way whom we are under at present) a little after dark Saturday night. I say we - I mean the Col. got it at his head quarters which were up the river about four miles from here. At the time I had only three

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Companies here viz “E”, “H”, and “K” - Cos. “B” and “G” went up the river from here to Edwards Ferry Thursday night as guard to a “Pontoon Bridge” that carne up the Canal from Washington. Saturday night I was quietly sleeping in my Blankets, when about twelve o'clock, Capt. Dillingham poked his head into my tent and says “get up Maj, the whole Regiment is on the march here - the Rebels have crossed into Md. again and the Genl. is afraid they will be down here to steal the Grub you are guarding”. Well this was not very pleasant news for a man to hear who was very quietly having a good nice “nap”. However up I got and found that Capt Dillingham and all the other companies above here were arriving sure enough. in a short time the Col. came down and we went to work in ernest

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to prepare to make a big fight to save our grub off course.

I was sent off with a strong Picket Guard into the country in our rear and posted them so we could get the alarm before the Rebs. was upon us - the men slept on their arms during the remainder of the night. We waited all day sunday (yesterday) for them to come, and last night, but nary a Reb came. This morning we got the news that yesterday afternoon most all of them got back into Va. at Koonrods and Whites Fords only about thitrteen miles above us, and if ever you saw a mad set of boys it was us. To think they should all get off so nice, and only such a short distance from us. There was any amount of troops above us to cut them off, but by somebodys blunder, I do not know who ¬ they did not get to the right spot in the right

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time, as usual. You probably will see by the papers before you get this who was to blame ¬ we do not know here yet. We had two Rifled Cannon, and a Canal tow path for a Rifle pit, and if they had come here to cross they would have met with a warm reception. We could have kept two thousand of them from crossing the river. We have been at work here all day fixing up to stop here for a while, but cannot tell how long. Capt. Dillingham does not feel very well this evening, but guess he will be all right in the morning. George is tough and hearty yet so am I. Will Hutchins has got well. Justin is all right and getting along first rate. so finely are all the boys - when Capt. D. marched the other night all of his company but three were able to go - while some of the Companies have twenty five on the sick list, which shows that he has got a better company and takes better care of his men than some other Captains. We are all getting along nicely I expect to get some nice good letters from you by next mail which will be in tomorrow night. Kiss my “little pets” a good night for their papa.

As ever your loving husband William