from The Southbridge Journal, 1 Nov 1861 (Volume 1 #37),
Extract of a Letter from Alexander Oaks’ to his wife.

“Dear Wife:---I thank God that I am spared and have an opportunity of writing to you after the bloody battle of yesterday. At 11/2 o’clock in the morning we started from Poolesville, and marched eight miles to the river, and crossed the ferry into Virginia. Then we met the rebels, and fought them from 10 o’clock a. m. , until dark. O God save men from such a sight again!---the dead and wounded there lay thick around us, and half our regiment is missing his morning. There are some killed some wounded, others drowned, and taken prisoners---God knows how many, for I don’t. Thank God I am still alive, how and why it is I don’t know, for our company was in he thickest of the fight, and is badly cut to pieces. Our captain has been wounded; but I have only time to tell you how I escaped. I heard the order to retreat or surrender. Thinks I to myself, I will not surrender, and had better be starting , so down the bank I went, here goes live or die, so into the water I went, with all my cloths on and my gun strapped to my back, and after a hard and long struggle, with the bullets flying about me as thick as hail, I reached the opposite shore nearly exhausted. Many of the poor boys that started with me have found a watery grave. I then started for Poolesville, where I arrived about one o’clock.”

[Note: there appears to be another paragraph which is not visible on the fich roll.]