Yours Affectionately – September 17, 1862

Yours Affectionately – September 17, 1862

From Yours Affectionately,

 C. D. Westbrook

Col. Cornelius D. WestbrookHarriet Brooks Bellows


Compiled by:

Gary M. Ingersoll, Ph.D.

Headquarters 120th Regt NYS

Camp near Fairfax Sem

Sep 17 1862

My dear wife

I sent my trunk to Washington this morning to be forwarded from there to Kingston by express. It contained summer clothes and a Captains uniform[1] for which I have no further use, while the continual movements to which we are subjected render it necessary for me to contract my baggage.

On Sunday marching orders came again & a little before drill I left with five companies & their baggage, marched 3 or 4 miles, arrived on the new ground at about 8 oclock & barracked for the night.

Our present situation is [by] no means an unpleasant one & is a very scenic one between Forts. Yesterday noon we received orders to prepare for marching so I deemed it best to get rid of surplus stuff at once. In my trunk you will find many dirty clothes. When I come home I will fill the trunk again with a better selection of articles for war.

Major Tappan[2] joined our regiment since we arrived here. The Colonel now seems to be in good health, while the Quartermaster and adjutant can attend to their duties without assistance. The regiment also has learned important maneuvers which assist it materially in its movements. The change in occupation of my time is very great & were it not for one of these attack of bilious diarrhea to which I am subject, my position today would be very comfortable. Nothing now detains me from applying for a furlough excepting the fighting that is going on around us in which we may at any time be called upon to take part, and the new arrival of payday. Perhaps the defeat of the enemy & payday will both come along at about the same time, and soon.

The weather here has been very fine & the regiment generally is healthy. My horse is in very good condition, but has wound himself two or three times in his picket rope & consequently has been lame from the cuts of the rope. I [will] be able to bestow a little more attention to him now & will soon have him in good trim. Meantime I have been riding one of the regimental horses which is an excellent saddle horse.

It somehow or other has happened that for three Sundays we have been marching. I suppose you do not know that we must move when the order comes. I mention the fact to relieve myself from the suspicion that I have willingly consented to march on Sunday. This fact has materially abridged my opportunities to write.

Why dont Mother & you write oftener. I should receive two or three letters every week. In my trunk are my bibles; one of which is presented by the bible society. When I regain my trunk, I will take the bible with me, until then I can borrow one.

Give my love to Mother & Mary & kiss the children for me.

With much love I remain

Yours afftly

C D Westbrook


[1]                CDW held the rank of Captain of Engineering in 20th NYS Regiment (Old Ulster).

[2]               J Rudolph Tappen. It was Tappen who assumed command of the 120th after CDW was wounded at Gettysburg.

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