from The Southbridge Journal, 31 Oct 1862 (Volume 2 #?), contributed by Mike Branniff
| Army Correspondence of the Journal
From the Fifteenth Regiment
Near Frederick City Md.
Mr. Editor: The events which have taken place since the date of our last communication have passed along so rapidly that we find it impossible to keep pace with them. The rapid and forced marches from Tenallytown to Frederick; the grand reception that we met with as we hurriedly passed through; the pleasant countenances that we beheld; the flags that were flying from house to house, are still all vividly brought to mind.
Still we passed on over the mountain, where we arrived on Sunday night, the 14th of September, and took the place of Reno’s Division and held the field until Monday morning. We quickly followed on the retreating foe, driving them till Wednesday morning, the 17th of September, when the engagement became general. General Sedgwick’s Division advanced across Antietam creek, fording the same up to our knees. At nine o’clock A.M., we found ourselves advancing in the face of shot and shell.
Thus we went on, tearing down fence after fence for nearly a mile, and also passed over the dead bodies of both friends and foes, till we found the enemy in large numbers, then we met the deadly fire. Still we passed on, not heeding the shower of leaden hail that was poured upon us, and the command of our officers, who were all the time cautioning us not to press forward so eagerly.
Here let us say that our new recruits, who had not handled a rifle previous to this, acted most gallantly and did nobly. Poor fellows! many of them are gone to their last resting place, in common with the rest of our boys, and we feel as if we cannot be too thankful that we are permitted to communicate through your paper to our friends once more; and although we are not able to give them a full description of the several battles of South Mountain Pass and Antietam Creek, and the severe ordeals that the 15th boys passed through, as we should like to, yet I can truly say that I am thankful to Him “who doith all things well,” that I was permitted to escape that terrible engagement with only a slight flesh wound. We are in hopes we shall be able to join the Regiment by the first of December, ready to do battle for our country’s cause.
As we lay here on our cot, we would stop and think over the past and look over that battle ground. When we were obliged to leave our wounded and dying comrades, and weep because they are gone, more especially would we refer to our brave and kind hearted friend, Lieutenant F. Corbin, who was shot through the body three or four times and died that same night. Oh he too is gone, long shall we remember him.
Our Regimental boys are scattered all around in different hospitals. The Hoffman farm took a large share of us. Since then we have been transferred to different places. On Oct 3, eight of us were sent here. We will here pay our compliments to Dr. C. F. Kelsy, of the above hospital, who belongs to the 64th N.Y. Volunteers. He and his assistant were very faithful indeed in dressing our wounds and taking care of us. Their names deserve to be mentioned as some of the few exceptions to faithfulness among the wounded soldiers. There are five of our Regiment in the hospital at the city, and some we left behind who were not able to be moved.
There were about eight hundred brought here the first week in October, and placed in tents of eighteen in each, with two nurses to take care of us, and the whole camp is arranged into wards, sixty-four men in each, under the charge of our surgeon.
The rations that we have had daily, consist of one small loaf of bread a day, coffee for breakfast and supper, fresh meat or potatoe soup for dinner, and no change but boiled rice and molasses twice a week. Here we have been eighteen days, and it seems that the head surgeon has not got the camp arranged yet. Why? we would ask, why is it that we are not better cared for? and why are we not provided with better rations, such as a wounded man needs? We are only a mile from the hospital at the city, and yet we are told by the ladies and attending physicians up there, that our boys have good care and plenty of good rations. We know thar Government provides; now we want to know who is to blame for this negligence! We would that we could speak so it might be understood. Who, he is to blame.