from The Webster Times, 4 Oct 1862 (Volume IV #29),
| A Visit to Antietam Battlefield
Our friend and old correspondent “Defiance” sends of the following account of his observations on the Sharpsburg battlefield, which locality he has just visited. The letter is exceedingly interesting, and although it embodies a few facts already published, we nevertheless give it entire.
I left my home in Burrilville R. I. ; on the Monday following the late battle at Sharpsburg Md., direct to the battle field, via Harrisburg and Chambersburg to Hagerstown, thence by private conveyance to every part of the fields and Sharpsburg. Our company consisted of eight persons, and we were looking for friends who were supposed to be among the victims of the fatal 17th of September.
We learned the fate of all for whom we were seeking, seeing those who were well, sick, or wounded, and visiting the graves of our dead. I returned via Harpers Ferry, after spending nearly two days on the field; from Harpers ferry to Washington, thence thus far towards home.
If no one from your town has yet visited the graves and hospitals of Webster’s brave sons engaged in the late struggle, perhaps a description of what I saw and learned there will be acceptable to you and your readers.
Nearly all of whom I saw requested me to tell their friends at home, through the columns of The Times, of their condition and circumstances, which of course I do with pleasure. For this reason I have taken pains to forward you the facts. A good writer would give you a very readable letter, by chronicling all I saw on my round trip of ten days; for I have had a fine view of Generals McClellan and Burnside, and all their troops, Harpers Ferry etc. But I do not feel competent, and will give you only the following list:
Capt. Amos Bartlett, Company H. is now quite well. His injuries were not severe, although he had a very narrow escape. A fragment of a shell hit his left breast, but did not break the skin. He is now only pained by a long breath. I dined with him Saturday last, in his tent, and remained with him three hours in their camp on Bolivar heights, Harpers Ferry, Virginias side. While I was there, Sumner’s corps was ordered to march that afternoon. Capt Bartlett says, tell his mother he was a good boy.
E. D. Clemans is well,
I saw most of the above, but could not find all; many have been removed to distant towns or cities, mostly by way of Frederick. The list of killed you have already published. I may say however that there are conflicting rumors respecting Thomas Munyan [: later died 17 Oct 1862.] and Alfred Tourtellot [: later died 19 Oct 1862.] , one report stated that they were killed and buried on the field. Capt. Bartlet says there may be doubt in regard to the last; possibly they may be at some hospital. The known killed from Webster were buried with others of the 15th Mass. on the field, in the corner of a garden, near where the last of the contest took place, half a mile from the cornfield about which so much has been said and written. The writer does not feel disposed to make comments.
George L. Avery wishes his wife to know of his wound; he is in the hospital, shot through one foot. His wife (Mary) is in Fiskdale, Sturbridge, Mass.
It will be impossible for friends to find their wounded at present. Government is moving them rapidly from Western Maryland. Nearly all who could be moved, have been already. Twelve hundred are in the Capital, seven hundred in the Patent Office, at Washington, and in every available city thousands more are accommodated. They are coming and going continually.
I will close by saying that I have a cord, ring and two other small pieces which were taken from the neck of George Butler (killed) before his burial. These are for his friends.
Yours, very truly