Letter to wife about life in Washington D. C. in week after Battle of Bull Run


Date Written

July 25, 1861

History Referenced

The following was written 162 years, 4 months, 13 days ago.
It was a Thursday.

Washington D. C.
July 25/61

My dear wife,

Since writing you last the excitement continues tho’ somewhat diminished. The accounts of the Battle at Bull’s Run are very confused; thousands of rumors are in circulation out of which it is almost impossible to sift the truth. One thing however is certain, that our loss was at first very much overestimated. It will not probably exceed 500 or 700 on the Federal side, while the loss of the rebels must have been much larger.

The battle from all accounts resulted in a big scare on both sides, the combatants both running away from each other. Many of our regiments have returned to their old camps on the Virginia side. It is reported that the rebel pickets have been seen as far this side of the battle ground as Fairfax Court House and also within a few miles of the Chain Bridge. I visited the camp of the 1st Me. At Meridian Hill yesterday and found them all well. They are beautifully situated but will probably leave home on Monday. The 6th Me. is at Georgetown Heights at the Chain Bridge with three batteries to protect the bridge.

It is impossible to say when I shall come home, as the result of the battle has somewhat disarranged our plans, but probably not before the last of next week. My health continues first rate.

I expected to hear from some of you before but suppose there is nothing of importance to communicate.

My letters are written at a disadvantage in the Hotel (National) writing room surrounded by soldiers.

George Sherwood’s wound was only a slight one in the arm above the elbow.

The entire loss of the 4 Maine Regiments will not exceed 50 killed and missing and 50 wounded and sick.

The city now is comparatively quiet though troops are continually marching into and through the streets to reinforce the army.

Give my love to all & kiss Lena for Papa.

Y’r aff. husband

Scans of Letter