from The Worcester Spy, November 6, 1861 , (Volume 90 # 44), 

The following letter from Col. Devens was addressed to Hon. A. B. Bullock, in reply to a letter making inquiry concerning the wants of the regiment and asking especially in what way their friends at home could serve them most effectively.

Camp Foster, Poolesville Md.

Oct. 27, 1861

Dear Sir, I am exceedingly obliged to you for your note of sympathy and encouragement received by Mr. Pratt. Although the loss to the regiment was perfectly terrible, my list of killed, missing and wounded, being 310, while 625 was the largest number I had during the engagement, yet its courage was most noble , brave, and enduring. The battle was hopelessly lost before Col. Baker was killed, yet the cool manner in which the regiment, half an hour after, marched over from the right of the line to protect the left, would have won for it a historic name if it had been done on one of the historic battle fields of Europe.

The men here of course lost almost everything in the way of clothing and equipments, but I trust the government will make immediate provision; if it does not ,I will have no hesitation in appealing to yourself and other patriotic citizens for aid.

Before this disaster I had intended to write that each man in the regiment ought to be supplied with an extra blanket and mittens (not supplied by the government) by the towns by which the regiment comes, and this I am very desirous should still be done. The brave companions whom we have lost cannot be restored to us, but their number may, Will not the towns of the county of Worcester, from which these companies come see to it that each company is recruited again to its maximum standard, with vigorous and resolute young men from their own town or its immediate vicinity, and not leave us to be filled from recruiting offices of cities.

Let the determination of no one at home waver. The courage of the regiment is unshaken; two nights ago, at an alarm, it turned out as calmly as if nothing like this calamity had ever happened, and the sick in the hospitals would be brought to the windows to see it march. It brought its colors from the field, and be its original members many or few, they will yet be seen to wave high above the emblems of treason and secession.

Allow me to ask you to communicate this note to his honor, the Mayor, to whom I am prevented from writing fully, and believe me with many thanks for your expressions of kindness.

Yours most truly

Chas. Devens


15th Massachusetts VI