|Sept 18, 1862, Frederick, Md
It is quite uncertain whether Libbie is in F. or not so I will write you & then if you please forward to her as I have not time to write you both today.
The 15th was engaged in the terrible battle of yesterday, some 3 or 4 miles from Boonsboro, & from what little I have heard of the killed & wounded will exceed those of Ball Bluff, certainly as far as the officers are concerned. I have seen but ____ ____ ____ the regiment which left it after about 12 oclock yesterday noon. I will not undertake to give the number of killed & wounded from the reports I have heard any ___ than the officers.
You have doubtless __ this ____ my dispatch announcing the death of our noble and beloved Capt Simonds & I hope his ___ too. He was struck by the butt of a shell just under the left collar bone & instantly killed. The surgeon said by the concussion, it hardly penetrating the flesh surface except in one place. He stood within 3 or 4 feet of Col. Kimball & had just spoken to him once and the Col turned around to answer him, he was struck & fell, simply exclaiming , oh! It is evident he hardly knew what hit him. If I am rightly informed, he came out of the ___ ___ which _____ fatal to so many unharmed & was struck by the shell soon after. His body we got back to camp about 5 p.m. & immediately set about preparing to have it sent home not knowing whether it would be done or not.
Soon after I got orders from Col Kimball to send it home at any rate & get it embalmed if possible. I had had express orders to ______ camp by the Brgd QM & of course had my hands partially tied, but Bowman? Simonds got a coffin made & at 11 oclk at night he & myself started for this place expectation of getting the body embalmed here & forwarded by express. Arrived here at half past 4 this morning & after____ all over the city after surgeons B___ & Marshalls __, learned that if could not be done in the place, then we decided to have a Metatic? coffin, but soon found there was none in the place long enough. After consulting the undertaker & two or three Surgeon decided to take a wood coffin & have it cemented, which the Surgeon said would answer all purposes & I hope it will reach his friends in good condition, but I must say I have my fears that it will not.
I am not satisfied with the way we were obliged to put up with after expecting so much more. I am so sorry he could not have been embalmed. After we had lain him out in a tent, it was the most natural looking corpse I ever saw, had a very pleasant expression & looked as I have seen him so many times sleeping in that same position. But we done the best we could under the circumstances. His loss to the company cannot be filled, the longer he was with them the better they liked him, and I am sure it will be hard finding a man that will give the satisfaction he did.
I made every effort ____ ____ to learn something in regarding Herbert but could not. Wheel___, the man I ____ saw the left wing of the regiment suffered __ ___ that the right. Every officer but one in the left wing was killed or wounded. Lieut Derby of Co. G, Capt Saunders & Lieut Berry of the Sharpshooters were killed. Lieut Gale of Co. G, Capt F____ & Lt Spurr of G, Lt Ellinwood of F, Capt Joslin & Lt Corbin of I, Capt Barlett & Lt Fletcher of H, Lt Jorgenson & Capt Simonds were the only officers in the right wing that were hit, the former but lightly & I believe most of the wounds are not of a serious nature. I heard of but three members of B that were wounded still there are doubtless more & some killed. I know___ ______ little about it. None of the field officers were hurt though the Col had his horse shot through the thigh.
Our forces came off the ________ yesterday & the battle was doubtless _______ today.
We had 72,000 troops which did not fire a gun yesterday (so I was informed) which will do the work of today & I hope drive the rebels out of Maryland, I shall write again tomorrow when I learn the particulars of the losses.
Tell? Aunt Libbie to not give up. There’s no doubt Herbert is safe, he is one of the lucky kind: but I must close as it is about time for the train to come in.
Love to all & let me hear from you when convenient.
Truly your brother