Soldier on the way to fight at Antietam

Date Written

Sept. 11, 1862

History Referenced

Member of Series

The following was written 156 years, 8 months, 10 days ago.
It was a Thursday.

September the 11th 1862

My Dear Brother,

I got your letter and was glad to near from you. I got that money and was glad I got it. The --- and we have been on a 6 days travel and I did not get time to write. Frank just got a letter tonight from Rachel. He is reading it now. I am well. I stand it like everything.

We are marching to engage the enemy. We are within 8 miles of them tonight. We are in Maryland. How we expect a fight here soon. We expect it in the morning. We are on the look out now. This may be the last letter you get from me. We have got to march again in the morning I expect. Tell Jim I got his letter tonight and was glad to read it. My eyes are blinded with tears. We have had a hard tramp for a week. Back there is about a hundred and fifty thousand men with us. The woods is lined with them. It would be a sight to you to see cannon. But I hope that if I am in the Battle I will come out safe but we can't all expect to come out safe.

Frank has not got time to write so I will write a few lines for him. He is well and let Rachel read this. Jim, (I) want you to be a good boy and take care of yourself and remember me. I sent that bill in a letter to Lib and I (thought) that you have got it by this time. I can't think of any more now. If Joe Rodbourn don't get that money for me I will have revenge if I ever come back. My love to all and Frank gives his love to all. Kiss the children for him and me. I will write again as soon as I get time. Direct your letters in the same place they a go to Washington and then they come where we are.

We are camped on the prettiest spot of ground that I ever see tonight. The drums are beating for roll call. We have just drawed our rations tonight for two days.

Good bye, Jim, maybe for the last time but I hope not. Good bye all. We have hard crackers to eat now. Fare well everybody. Write as soon as you get this.
(William E. Vanauken)

Scans of Letter