Henry Joslin on the Banks of the Potomac

Last week, Henry left us, and his mother, hanging.  His regiment encountered a skirmish, and although he was not harmed, Henry could not share the details until a few days later.  On Sunday, October 27th, he tells his mother about the encounter, and his swim to safety.  Below are some highlights.  You can read the entire transcription here.

Although I have sent you one letter this week you will probably be glad to hear from me again as I only assured you of my own safety.  I will now write a little more about the affair of last Monday.

We had to go up a steep bluff in a cart path.  It was a hard fight and the enemy having reinforcements compleatly [sic] routed our small force and the order to retreat was given at about dusk.  We retreated to the river where we had to stop as there was only one boat and that was quickly swamped by the troops crowding onto it.  Then we had to swim the river or stand and be shot as they poured the balls down after us after the commanding officers had sent up a flag of truce.   So taking off my shoes and belts and throwing my fun into the river I plunged in to swim for dear life the bullets raining into the water like hail from the top of the bluff.

When I got to camp I was just about used up but considered myself lucky to get back at all.  The boys kept coming, the next two days by 2s and 3s.  The number of missing is 26 including the Captain, one Sergt and one corporal there is several wounded ones in the hospital I do not write the particulars of the fight nor the names of the missing.

As more events unfold while Henry is on the banks of the Potomac, I’ll continue to share them, on their 150th anniversary.  Stay tuned!

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  1. Pingback: New Year’s on the Potomac « Past is Present

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