|Oct. 22, 1861, Poolesville
My Dear Wife
Well I am safe in camp and sound as a dollar not even getting a mark. I would telegraph if it was possible, but perhaps it would reach you sooner by letter. We suffered a terrible loss- Co. B has some 24 missing, including Capt. Simonds - Frank Marshall is also safe- he stripped himself and swam the river.
4 of Co. Bís boys, A. A. Simonds, Fred Sibley, Walter Eames & Geo. L Boss insisted all on bringing me across the river as they knew I could not swim. So when they began to talk of surrendering I concluded to take the chance, and just as we were about to embark Col Devens came along and they insisted upon bringing him too, and after a hard struggle we landed safe but just about exhusted-Col D. as well as myself owe our escape to those brave fellows.
I cannot go into detail of the battle now but will endeavor to give you a few brief statements of our lost & wounded. Co. B were ordered to relieve Co. H who were deployed as skirmishers, and Capt Simonds took the 1st platoon and left the 2nd with me as a reserve (Lieut Goddard being at home on guard).
Soon afterwards the Rebels approached the skirmishers on their left and opened a rapid fire which was answered by the reserve, and one or two companies, which lasted for little time; Captain Simonds was seen to retreat towards the woods after ordering his men to take care of themselves, and about this time the Cavalry made a charge. Since that time we have not seen Capt. Simonds, Sergt. G. C. Taylor, Corp. C. D. Monroe, A. Bauer, Ai. D. Osborn, A. Litchfied, Thos. Taylor.
It is the general impression that they are prisoners, except the latter, who some of the boys think was shot dead. Some of them were doubtless wounded. We all have a good deal of faith that Capt. Simonds will yet turn up alive somewhere. It is very strange, that so far as we can learn not one of our Co. B was wounded during the battle in the afternoon.
Aside from those above missing, there were wounded in the first battle in the morning. Geo. T. Daniels in wrist and arm, not seriously, Geo. B. Simonds (brother of the Capt) in the leg just above the knee (a flesh wound only) M. R. Johnson flesh wound in shoulder, Geo. Carpenter in the foot, and H. M. Carpenter in the arm, ___ ____ _____ are at these quarters, the others in the Hospital and in good spirits. I have no doubt many of the missing will turn up all right as they have five (of Co. B) come in this morning and they all report being with several other members during the night.
Jos. A. Marshall and Harry Rich were with Fred Britton last night. Britton swam the river and done his best to get the others to attempt-but they preferred to run the chances of being taken off by some of our picket. We were afraid most of those who remained would be taken prisoners but I think most of them followed up or down the river and will escape. I will try to give the names of the missing:
Frank Scott - Just arrived in camp-taken off Virginia shore by our pickets
Maj Kimball is safe- he started to swim across just as "our crew" launched out but he tells me if he had not got to where he could touch bottom, he should have gone under. He and Col. Devens stripped themselves of everything but shirt and draws- the Maj lost his gold watch. came over with all my equipments-revolver too and I guess I am the only one that done it. I cannot _____ to write more now but will give you a detailed account in my next. Good bye with much love.
Ever your truly-Charles