Yours Affectionately – October 11, 1862

Yours Affectionately – October 11, 1862

From Yours Affectionately,

 C. D. Westbrook

Col. Cornelius D. WestbrookHarriet Brooks Bellows


Compiled by:

Gary M. Ingersoll, Ph.D.

Camp of 120th Regt NY

Near Manassas Junction Va

Sunday Oct 11th 1862


My dear wife


We left Centreville on Thursday last and marched through this place to Bristow where we camped for the night. After our halt I was sent out with over 200 men for picket duty & after posting them went to sleep pretty tired. In the meantime the 3rd Brigade went on to Warrenton Junction about 10 miles below. In the night Col Sharpe was ordered to start with 500 men to support them which he did leaving me behind. In the morning the whole regiment was ordered on & as we were about starting, the 3rd Brigade returned & shortly afterward our Regiment. On that day (Friday) it stormed hard all day with a freezing Northerly wind. I was out in the storm all day & in the evening our Regiment was ordered to march with the 2nd Brigade to Warrenton Junction. We struck our tents in the evening & formed line, but afterwards were ordered to camp for the night. We started early in the morning. I had a hasty breakfast on cold pork & hard bread. We marched to Warrenton Junction with the Brigade where we arrived in the middle of the afternoon. We then learned that our waggons had been ordered to stay on the ground that was left. We were consequently left without fields or forage for our horses. Expecting the wagons to accompany us I had put no provisions in my saddle bag & had nothing to eat but some hard bread furnished to me by some of the line officers. My horse had nothing for 29 hours.

In the morning we marched back to our present camp ground. At sundown after our march of 14 miles I was sent out with 150 pickets to post on new ground back to Bristow & to find a line for them through forest & swamp. Luckily I parted them without much difficulty & returned to camp early in the night a little tired but not yet worked down.

My health continues good[1] although the Regiment has suffered continually from exposure. We have had no fighting as yet, the enemy having retired, and I do not see much of a chance for it unless we are ordered to accompany Burnsides army which is moving from the mountains down the railroad in our front to the Rabahonnick. (sic)

My opportunity for writing tonight is not a good one and I only am doing it to relieve your anxiety. Give my respects to your family & kiss the children.

Yours Affectionately


[1]                CDW’s continued references to his own health were hardly inconsequencial. In a post-war estimate by the Adjutant General, the total casualties included 67,058 killed in battle, 43,072 later died of wounds from battles, and 110,067 died of disease. Among the disease casualties were Capt. McEntee mentioned earlier (on 12/21/62).

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