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Camp Boston, Monocacy, Md.

Company C, September 5th - September 30th 1861.


"Union Soldiers from General Nathaniel Banks Army cross the Monocacy River near the Monocacy Aquaduct, September 14, 1861."   Harper's Weekly;  [Canal boats can be seen across the top of the aquaduct].  National Park Service Collection.  (Accessed via

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                The regimental history, Three Years in the Army, by Charles E. Davis, Jr. is silent regarding the detached service of Company C at Monocacy & Frederick City Junction in September, 1861.  Contemporary newspaper accounts, the 2 letters of Albert Liscom and the report of Captain John Kurtz to Col. Leoanard provide some information.  A couple others commented on the company's duties in letters written from Darnestown.  Sergeant-Major Elliot C. Pierce wrote to his sister Fanny:

Captain John Kurtz, Company C

“Capt Kurtz of Co C. stationed at Frederick is the one that broke up the Maryland Legislature taking 18 prisoners you see the 13th is at work.”

    Llewellyn Jones of Company G also commented:

“Company C. Capt. Kurtz stationed at Frederick City arrested twenty three of the secession representatives of the Maryland Legislature who were about to meet and in all probability would have passed the secession ordinance.  It has effectually broken up the legislature.”

    In "Battlecry of Freedom," author James McPherson writes:

"After Confederate victory in the battle of Manassas on July 21, secessionists in Maryland became bold again.  A special session of the legislature in August rang with rhetoric denouncing the “gross usurpation, unjust, tyrannical acts of the President of the United States.”*  By the time another extra session was scheduled to meet on September 17, the administration was alarmed by reports of a plot of a simultaneous Confederate invasion of Maryland, insurrection in Baltimore, and enactment of secession by the legislature.  Lincoln decided to take drastic action.  Union troops sealed off Frederick (where the legislature was meeting) and arrested thirty–one secessionist members along with numerous other suspected accessories to the plot."

  The precise role Capt. Kurtz and Company C played in these arrests is uncertain. Perhaps he was in command of the overall troops that participated in the arrests.  Only elements of the 3rd Wisconsin are mentioned in news accounts. The primary duty of Company C, was to guard the railroad and river crossings at Monocacy and montior regional traffic to suppress aid to the rebellion.   A week before the arrests, Capt Kurtz writes to Col Leonard:

    "General Banks thought we ought to have more troops here and as the legislature meet in Frederick next week it would  no doubt be politic to have enough somewhere near to intimidate them, and thus prevent the passage of a Secession Ordinance, they have in the Barracks at Frederick some Eight hundred men without Arms and the officers are all “plebes” and their moral effect is little or nothing in this vicinity.  I did not know that such a meeting was to be held when the Genl was here or I should have called his attention to it."

      Albert Liscom does not mention the arrests at all, but neither does he mention the resignation of Captain Kurtz.

    Permission from the Government was give to Governor John Andrew of Massachusetts to raise 10 additional regiments for the Union War effort.  Andrew apparently decided to offer John Kurtz, a Lieutenant-Colonel's commission in the 23rd Mass.  We know this because Kurtz resigned from the 13th on September 25th.  First Lieutenant William H. Jackson was promoted captain to replace Kurtz.    

    On this page is Capt. Kurtz's report to Col. Leonard just quoted, and his biography.  There are two letters of Private Albert Liscom, and an interesting newsclipping from the Frederick Examiner.

The Monocacy Bridge sketched by A.R. Waud

Artist Alfred Waud sketched the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad bridge across the Monocacy in 1864.  Company C picketed the bridge and searched passengers suspected of aiding the Secessionists.

*"Battlecry of Freedom" p. 289;  McPherson’s footnote reads Jean H. Baker, The Politics of Continuity:  Maryland Political Parties form 1858 to 1870 (Baltimore, 1973), 58.

PICTURE CREDITS:  All maps and images are from the Library of Congress Digital Collections with the following exceptions:   The Monocacy Aquaduct from the National Park Service Collection accessed via;  Frederick Junction Depot is from the Maryland Historical Trust,; The same site today is from; Roland Morris courtesy of Tim Sewell; Captain John Kurtz and First Lieutenant William H. Jackson from the Army Heritage Education Center, AHEC, Mass. MOLLUS Collection, Carlisle, PA;  ALL IMAGES HAVE BEEN EDITED IN PHOTOSHOP.

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Letter of Albert Liscom, Company C

Frederick Junction as it once stood

Pictured is Frederick City Junction of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad not far from the Monocacy Bridge.  Captain Kurtz's report to Col. Leonard is addressed from this station.  Albert Liscom describes this depot in the following letter.

Frederick Junction Sept 5th 1861
Thursday Morning

            Dear Parents &  Sister

                                We left Sandy Hook last Tuesday morning with all but two companies of our regt.   Our company expected to start on Monday.  We had orders to strike tents we got already to start and expected every moment orders to move.  We waited all day in the hot sun and at night had orders to pitch tents.  We did not know what we had waited for nor what we were to stop for, but went to work and pitched our tents. Some of us then got outside the line on pretence of going for water and went off in search of some supper, we went about half a mile to a log house kept by a free negro who is the father of eighteen children – the boys had been there a number of times  before and always had a splendid meal, the same as we got that night.  I was not very hungry and eat nothing but a few griddle cakes and drank some tea – it was tip top.  The afternoon while we were waiting the Chaplain who had gone to Harpers Ferry to get the mail came riding into camp post haste with

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the news that Co I was having a fight at the Ferry (this was their post) two companies immediately started off to the relief – but Co I did all the fighting.  As near as we can find out there were about fifty rebels (Cavalry) our boys emptied a number of saddles,  only one of our men was wounded – a ball passed through his wrist – and through his cartridge box making a wound in his hip – he is now doing well.  The next morning at four oclock we began to pack up again after we got packed up – four of us went of to get some breakfast – we went to the negro’s but they were all ate out, we had to go about a mile to the house of a “sesesh” – we sat down to the table with the family and had a splendid breakfast.  We had ham & eggs – fresh fish – whet bread – Johnny cake – fired apples – nice honey comb & coffee we paid twenty five cents a piece – they wer very clever people – we did not talk politics with them, we had two or three slaves to wait upon us – and one to stand with a bush and keep the flies off the table.  When we got back to camp we found the regiment all ready to start – with the exception of two companies which were to remain behind to guard the ferry – we marched about a mile to the canal where we all got on board boats with our baggage our teams went by the road – we rode twelve miles to

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Point of Rocks a little mean “sesesh” hole; with about one hundred and fifty inhabitants.  The twenty-eighth Pennsylvania regiment is stationed there.  Our regiment left us there and went on to Hyattstown. We stopped there that night – we slept in an old bowling ally belonging to the Hotel – it was like sleeping on the soft side of a rock but we have got quite used to such things – and do not mind a hard bed, we lie with our heads next to the side of the building with our feet next to each others we slept first rate – we turned out at five and loafed about until two in the afternoon when we took the cars for this place – twelve miles from Point of Rocks – it is the Baltimore & Ohio railroad.  It is a pleasant ride from Harpers Ferry – particularly on the canal – the scenery is splendid all along the route.  Besides the bridge at Harpers Ferry we passed the Abutments of two more which had been burnt by the rebels they were very long bridges – not even a timber is left – the piers – six or seven to a bridge – are all left standing and are in good condition – one of the bridges is at Point of Rocks it was a railroad bridge – perhaps you recalled reading in the papers some time ago of a big rock which the rebels threw from a ledge over the railroad track – meaning to have it strike upon the track and obstruct the road – which we were at P. of R.

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I sat upon the same rock.  I should think it was twenty feet long twelve or fifteen wide eighteen or ten thick – it took them three days to work it over the ledge it made smashing work when it fell – the canal runs right side of the railroad,  It is about eight feet lower - there is a stone wall along the side – when the rock fell it struck the track – grinding it off down through the wall and buried itself deep in the ground – about half of it lies in the canal but does not obstruct it, it did not fall as they intended it should so that in about six hours the road was repaired so that the cars could run.  We are in a very pleasant place here – it is about two miles and a half from the City of Fredericks – there is a depot with its buildings and two farm houses which is all we can see – we are here to guard three bridges and the railroad  - we have to search the cars make every passenger show a pass and then examine their baggage – there is a company from a Wisconsin regt stationed here now – but they are going to leave the place to us – we are on the line to Washington.  I believe it is about forty miles from here.  It is a rainy day and we are here in our tent writing, reading, sleeping, talking &c there are eighteen

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Roland Morris, Company Cof us in a tent we have to be pretty close some nights we can hardly keep warm it is so cold – it is quite comfortable day times but nights it is quite cool.

since we have been out here  we have not suffered anymore with the heat than we should if we have been in Boston – our mess have got to go on guard tomorrow.  I have changed my mess and am now in mess two where I shall stay.  I like it better – as there are many more of the old happy family here – there are Bosworth, Goldsmith,  Dickinson, Seabury, D. Walker, A. Johnson, Collis, Morris, G. Ross and myself – we are all well and happy as ever.  Rowland & Charly wish to be remembered.  Rowland says tell his folks he received the box which they sent to him but no letter and has received none since – he says he shall not write until he receives one from them because he says he is mad – if you could see [Roland Morris of Co. C, pictured, was one of the most popular men in the regiment.]

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him you would not think so – he is a jolly boy – remember me to his folks – we heard that Bill had been appointed Lieutenant in Wardwell’s [?] regiment, we want to know if he is coming out here – we advise him to stay at home.   The boys are all well and in good spirits.  I have never received but three or four papers from you – you no need to send any more for they are not very particular about forwarding them – the last letter that I received from you was dated the 25th Aug.   tell Hannah I will write to her as soon as I get a chance.  We made a good haul this afternoon we stopped two long freight cars filled with stores for a country store – they were mostly West India goods – they were directed to a man in Knoxville but there is no such man there.  Capt. has sent to Col Geary at Point of Rocks (who has command of our company while we are here) to know what is to be done with it.  Please write often Remember me with much love to all inquiring friends – and accept much love from yours as ever


Note:  Rowland is Roland B. Morris.  Bill is probably Bill White.

    The buildings at the junction no longer stand.  The site today is still rural.  The Frederick Branch of the railroad turns off to the right.  The main B & O line to the left.  The station stood between the tracks in the center of the picture.  General Grant met with General Sherman here in 1864 during the Shenandoah Valley Campaign.  The picture is from the website

Contemporary View of the Site

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Letter of Captain John Kurtz to Colonel Leonard

    The main duty of the detached company was to protect the railroad bridge and search and screen passing traffic coming and going from the area.

    Forty-eight year old Captain Kurtz would resign from the 13th Mass on September 25th to accept from Massachusetts Governor John Andrew, a Colonel's commission in the 23rd Mass., then organizing back home.  Perhaps the captain refers to this when he writes Col Leonard, in the following letter,

"I am not at all cognizant of any such honors and therefore I think you have been misinformed."

    It seems Colonel Leonard at Darnestown received the news of the offer before Captain John Kurtz.  The intended promotion is mentioned in Albert Liscom's letter of September 29th on this page.

"We expect to loose Capt Kurtz he has had an offer of a higher Commission he got a furlough for ten days and has gone to Boston to see about it."

    Kurtz was officially commissioned Colonel of the 23rd Regiment on November 11th.

    In the following correspondence, Captain Kurtz reports the recent activity at his post.

Captain John Kurtz to Colonel Samuel H. Leonard, 12 September 1861, Thayer Family Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.

Capt J. Kurtz

Camp Boston Sept 12th 1861.

Col S. H. Leonard

                                                    Dear Sir
                                                                        Yours of yesterday as well as of even date with this are before me.  In reply would say that I made out my pay rolls in quadruplicate before we left Sandy hook.  I gave the roll of them to Adj’t Bradlee + kept one myself and I suppose that is all you want if not send word by return of Mail.

    Yours of yesterday relative to myself is bran new  I am not at all cognizant of any such honors + therefore I think you have been misinformed.

    General John DixWe had a visit yesterday (Tuesday ) from Genl Banks and Dix [General John A. Dix, pictured] they held a long consultation, and afterwards visited the different messes, in our Camp, the Guard turned out, and they expressed themselves well pleased with all of our appointments after strolling about here sometime they bid us good bye and left – We are pretty well situated here our business is somewhat delicate but as we get more accustomed to it we do not find it so unpleasant;  now and then we find an old, knotly ugly specimen of a Secesh of the feminine gender and she calls us pretty hard names + then we require her to empty out her dry goods which she may have in her trunks, reticule, bags Buckets and if she looks full chested her bosom also, and that takes the starch out of them; they play bluff pretty well but we always go them better, and finally they show their hands and we rake the board.  Sometimes they appeal to our generosity and then we smile + again they look very fierce and threaten, and then we smile again, and finally they come to the conclusion that it is outrageous and then we smile again and say Amen! -  Genl Banks thought we ought to have more troops here and as the legislature meet in Frederick next week it would no doubt be politic to have enough somewhere near to intimidate them, and thus prevent the passage of a Secession Ordinance, they have in the Barracks at Frederick some Eight hundred men without Arms and the officers are all “plebes” and their moral effect is little or nothing in this vicinity.  I did not know that such a meeting was to be held when the Genl was here or I should have called his attention to it. –

        We have in our possession five car loads of mdse [? merchandise?]  that we have stopped since our arrival here, and we are anxiously expecting more. -  I understand there is a Mail Stage from Frederick to your Camp every other day, it goes down one day and comes back the next we see it pass always, as our Camp is upon the Turnpike -  Lt Judson* says that the verdicts are all made up and that Major Gould told him that he would sign them when the Regiment again came together. –

*2nd Lt. Walter Judson

Colonel John Kurtz, 23rd Massachusetts Volunteers; a biography

     The regimental history of the 23rd gives no record of his appointment but does provide a biography of John Kurtz and his service with that regiment.

    The following is from, "A record of the Twenty-third Regiment Mass. Vol. Infantry," by James Arthur Emmerton; W. Ware & Co., 1886.

       Nov., 25, 1862.  Colonel John Kurtz, who had been Provost-marshal in New Berne since June 16, hurt by a severe reprimand from his superior officer for neglect of an order which, through negligence of the messenger, he had never received, resigned, and was honorably discharged.

    John Kurtz son of John Erhard Kurtz, a well-known German baker of Boston, who had married in this country, was born in Boston, 2 Oct., 1813, and brought up to his father’s trade.  He belonged to the old Volunteer Fire Department and was present at the burning of the Ursuline Convent in Charlestown, 11 August, 1834.  Have not learned how early he joined the militia, but in 1837 he was orderly-sergeant of the Washington Light Infantry, Capt. Samuel Adams, and helped suppress the Broad Street Riot 11 June, 1837. clover leaf graphic At the muster that year on the Common, when the Montgomery Guard, the first exclusively Irish company ever organized in the State, appeared, six companies including the Washington Light Infantry, under Sergeant Kurtz, marched off the field under their orderly-sergeants, leaving their commissioned officers in line.  The six companies were disbanded by order of Gov. Everett.  Out of the Washington Light Infantry was formed a new company, taking the name Washington Light Guard, under Capt. William Washburn and 1st Lt. John Kurtz.

    During the exciting presidential campaign of ’40, Capt. Washburn, a partisan Democrat, tried to make the company Democratic.  Lt. Kurtz, an old line whig, resisted.  Feeling ran so high that there seemed no cure but separation and the 1st Lieutenant, with all the Whigs in the company, seceded and formed the Washington Phalanx.  Here Capt. Kurtz’s eminent qualifications as disciplinarian and drill-master came in play and he soon raised the company to an enviable position in the militia, its example elevating the tone of the whole force.  It was his habit, on parade days, to march up State Street, “where merchants most do congregate” and drill the company, with the bugle, before the admiring crowd “on ‘change.”  Capt. Kurtz retained command for several years.  He married 13 Nov., 1844, Caroline T., daughter of Melzar Dunbar of Boston.

    16 July, ’61.  Capt. Kurtz was commissioned Capt. of Co. ‘C,’ 13 Mass. Vol. Infy.  On the battle fields of Roanoke and New Berne, Colonel Kurtz was distinguished by a cool unhesitating obedience to orders.  As Provost-marshal he secured the good will of all well-doers by his speedy and impartial judgments.

    24 Feb., ’63. Col. Kurtz was appointed chief of police for Boston.  He held this position, with general satisfaction, till his resignation 19 April, 1870.  Since that time he was Inspector at the Boston Custom House.  He was several years President of the 23rd Veteran Association.  He died 10 Nov., 1881, unexpectedly, of heart-disease, leaving a widow, a widowed daughter and a grand-daughter.  His funeral was attended by large numbers of his comrades in all his various commands.

NOTE:  This date is reported in the adjutant Generals report on the 13th Mass.  It errs and lists Colonel Kurtz's new command as the "33rd Mass."

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Arrests of Secessionist Members of the State Legislature

Major-General Nathaniel Prentiss Banks

    A special session of the Maryland Legislature was scheduled to meet September 17, 1861, in Frederick.  In the Spring, Baltimore secessionists rioted in the streets and attacked soldiers of the 6th Massachusetts Infantry as they marched through the city to catch a connecting railroad line to Washington.  Six soldiers and 12 citizens were killed, with countless others wounded. The mob pulled down telegraph lines and destroyed railroad bridges cutting off communication and transportation to the capitol city.  The “States Rights” democrats swore no more troops would pass through ‘neutral’ Maryland to aid the tyrannical Federal Government in Washington, then gathering troops to oppose rebellion.    Because Maryland surrounded Washington on 3 sides, the city was cut off and isolated for a week.  Fear and panic seized the city’s inhabitants and Lincoln despaired of receiving any more help from the northern states.   That changed on April 25th when troops finally started to arrive.  General Benjamin Butler had circumvented Baltimore and opened another transport route to bring troops to Washington.   With an increased army presence in Maryland, martial law was declared in Baltimore on May 13th.  The insurrectionists were arrested and Maryland’s majority Union sentiment asserted itself.  The Secessionists grew loud again however, after the Federals lost the Battle of Bull Run July 21.

    At a special session of the Maryland State Legislature in August, the President’s policies were denounced and threats of secession were again made. Government authorities in Washington ordered General Banks, commanding the military department  to prevent this from happening.  The next special session of the legislature was scheduled to meet September 17.  General Banks received orders from General George B. McClellan in Washington, "Have everything prepared to arrest the whole party, and be sure that none escape.   It will go far towards breaking the backbone of rebellion."  Secretary of State William Seward sent General Banks a list of names of men who needed watching.

    The newspapers carried the story.

Sources:  "Battlecry of Freedom," p. 289, James McPherson, Oxford University Press, 1988; "Fighting Politician,"p. 59, Fred Harvey Harrington, University of Wisconsin, 1948.

The Highland Weekly News

Highland County Ohio, October 3, 1861.

Arrest of Members of the Maryland Legislature

    The Government having intercepted letters from the Confederate authorities to prominent Secession members of this body, disclosing a plan for the passage of a Secession ordinance and the simultaneous crossing of the Potomac and occupation of the State capital by Gen. Johnston and his army, determined to defeat the movement by arresting the leading Secession members of the Legislature. This was successfully done at Frederick City on the 17th of September, by Baltimore police officers under the protection of the Third Wisconsin regiment.  Ten of the members were arrested at Frederick and conveyed to Fort McHenry, and subsequently other members were arrested in Baltimore, leaving the body without a quorum.  It is known that a majority of the members were Secessionists, and had they been permitted to carry out their treasonable plans, they would no doubt have passed an ordinance declaring the State out of the Union. - -   About 30,000 copies of a strong Secession document, printed by order of the Legislature for general circulation, were seized by our officers and publicly burned.

    This prompt and energetic action of the Government has struck terror into the ranks of the Maryland traitors, and is warmly approved by a large majority of the people.

The Cincinnati Daily Press

Cincinnati Daily Press
September 19, 1861



    Frederick Md., (smallcaps)  September 18 – Immediately after the farce was gone through with yesterday afternoon, of calling the roll and adjournment, an unusual stir took place in the community.  Some companies of Wilson’s Regiment were observed passing through the city in different directions, and soon it was found that the city was walled in.  No one could go out without a pass from the Provost-Marshal, whose office was soon crowded with an excited throng of people who had been stopped and turned back.  In the mean time, Lieutenant Carmichael of the Baltimore Police was moving quietly about with his officers, accompanied by a squad of military, making arrests, commencing with the officers of the Legislature, and especially the Clerks, who contended that they would keep the legislative machine going until a quorum should arrive.

    The first occupant of the guard-house was the Clerk of the house, Milton Y. Kidd.  His assistant, Thos. H. Moore, could not be found till late in the evening, but was finally arrested.  The Clerk of the Senate, Mr. Kilmour and his assistant, Mr. Carmack, were also found with much difficulty, and taken to the same destination.  Mr. Gordon and Mr. McCubbin, of Allegheny, were next taken, and soon Messrs. Solman and Durant were arrested, at a late hour.  Mr. Kessler was arrested, but Mr. Mills, at the last accounts, had not been taken.

    The aim of the officers was to arrest all the members who voted for Mr. Wallace’s famous report, about thirty thousand copies of which were yesterday seized as treasonable documents. 

    During the evening the Union members of the House and Senate met in caucus, and resolved that the action of the Senators present in not assembling having virtually brought the Legislature to an end, they would return to their homes, and not again attempt to re-assemble.

    Mr. Long in the mean time was delegated to prepare a brief statement, to be signed and published by the members present.

    The arrest of the clerks will prevent them from calling the roll, and so the Legislature is at an end.

    Several of the most noisy and active Secessionists in town have also been arrested. 

    The prisoners will remain in the guard-house all night, and be removed to Fort McHenry in the morning.

Daily Nashville Patriot

Daily Nashville Patriot
September 28, 1861

    The number of members of the Maryland Legislature under arrest at Baltimore is thirty-eight.  Lincoln has “put his foot down firmly” on that State.

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Flag Presentation, September 26, from local residents to Company C.

    First Lieutenant William H. Jackson assumed command of Company C upon the resignation of Captain Kurtz.  Jackson was later officially promoted captain, retro-active to the same date.

Frederick Examiner
October 2nd 1861

    First Lt. William Jackson, Co. C

    Flag Presentation. – An imposing and gratifying event happened at the Monocacy Junction on Thursday last. Agreeable to private arrangement, there was quite an assemblage of ladies and gentlemen from the vicinity gathered there to pay a well merited compliment to Company C, of the 13th Massachusetts Regiment, Lieut. W. H. Jackson, commanding.  This company has been stationed at the Junction for some time past as picket guard, charged with delicate and responsible duties, and by their uniform courtesy and good conduct so far ingratiated themselves in good opinion of the neighborhood, that the presentation of a stand of colors was decided upon as a fitting token of esteem.  For this purpose, the gay company met, and at 4 o’clock P. M., the presentation was made by C. Keeler Thomas, Esq., in a speech, alike creditable to his head and heart.  The beautiful “Star spangled banner,” so dear to every soldier of the Union, was received by Lieut. Jackson, in appropriate and pathetic acknowledgement, and now waves in glory over “Camp Boston,” as the gallant Bay State men have named their bivouac.

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Ready for a Fight; Letter of Albert Liscom

Col Geary and the 28th PA at Harper's Ferry    Through the month of September, Confederates threatened operations along the canal.  Skirmishes ocurred Sept. 20th at Senecca Falls, the 24th at Point of Rocks and the 29th at Berlin.    

    Albert Liscom describes an alarm on the river whereby members of Company C moved to the aid of Col. John Geary, commanding all Federal troops between Point of Rocks to Antietam Ford.  According to Albert, Company C gained favor with Colonel Geary, which explains his use of those troops in the Battle of Bolivar Heights, a couple weeks later in October.  

    In this letter Albert first mentions to his father he is having  pain in his teeth and chin, a re-occurrence of something he experienced a year previous.   It becomes obvious from his letters, as time progressed, that he was suffering from some kind of degenerative disease.  Things  continued to get worse for poor Albert as time wore on, - and the service got harder.   

Frederick Junction Sunday Sept 29th 1861

Dear Parents & Sister,

        I hope you well pardon me for neglecting so long to answer your last letter dated Sep 11th.  I did not receive it until the 20th we do not receive our letters at all regular now we are not with our regt.  – your letter is the 1st  one which I have received – the mail came yesterday but there was nothing for me.  I was very disappointed – why is it; don’t anybody write to me – or what is the trouble.  I have received letters  from you – one from Hannah – one from Bill Locks & one from S. Wood which is all the letters I have received.  I have answered them all but Chas Wood’s.  I don’t care about corresponding with him.  I hope I shall get a letter soon for I am anxious to hear from home.  I should have answered your letter before but for a number of reasons – we have to go on guard every other day – and when we are off we have to drill and to do fatigue work – getting wood and water to cook with – cleaning up our parade ground &c – something is wanted most of the time – you can judge how much time


I have to write – another reason why I waited – we have been expecting a fight – but I am sorry to say we have so far been disappointed – if you have any doubts as to our inclination to fight you should have been here at our camp one week ago last night – when at about eight oclock the whole company were ordered to fall in.  I was on guard that day and I would have given five dollars to have been off when I heard the order.  It takes twenty four men each day for guard duty – it happened that day that the best men were on guard  eight oclock was the time for me to go out to my post – the relief had just been ordered to fall in – I tried to find some one to take my place – but it was of no use – the boys were all crazy for a fight – four of the least important posts were to be deserted – my post was on the bridge and could not be left but this? was? made? alright as the  guard was reduced to twelve – the smallest men and those who are not so well drilled were put in our place and we were relieved and ordered to fall in with our canteens and haversacks – we got about forty cartridges   filled our canteens and took some hard bread in our sacks – we mustered sixty men – we all had our places and our names were taken – every thing was got ready and then we were ordered to turn in and get all the rest we could before the


Col. John White Geary, 28th PA cars come which had been telegraphed for to take us to Point of Rocks where there was a fight expected that night – we were to join Col. Geary by his order – he has sixteen hundred in his regt. he had a company of Artilery of six pieces there and had ordered a company of Cavalry – at twelve oclock we were called and in three minutes every man was in his place and ready to start;  we marched about ten rods to the cars and got aboard these we had to wait for a telegraph order to start which was expected every minute the Engineer said he could run us up there twelve miles in twenty minutes – we waited in the cars until after day light and not hearing anything we came back to camp with orders to be ready at any moment – the cars with the engine all fixed up stood here on the track until Tuesday waiting for us – but we have not gone yet – the cause of the alarm is that the rebels on the other side of the river opposite Point of Rocks are trying to build a battery – if they should succeed they would stop all passage on the rail road and would command Point of Rocks and would then try to cross the river – to this side.  Col Geary has scouts over there who are watching their movements – they reported they had seen cavalry and troups in a large force who appeared to be making preparations for a fight – they are trying every way they can think of to get on


this side for provision and plunder – they fired across that night and Geary thought they were going to make an attempt to cross if they go on with their battery – Geary will cross and rout them he has taken a great likeing to our Company and says he will send for us if there is any chance for a fight.  We shall probably leave here tomorrow for Harpers Ferry.    Friday night two of our baggage teams came here with orders for us to pack up and join our regt with the Division in the morning the order was countermanded by Gen Banks ordering us to Harpers Ferry to join Cos I & K of our Regt. – our three companies will be all the force stationed there at present – there should be more than this for there is likely to be an attack there – in the afternoon we struck tents packed up and got everything on board the cars – had got on ourselves we were waiting to start when the order came for us to stay here until another company should come here and relieve this post – we came back pitched our tents and put everything the same as it was before – but we shall probably be relieved in the morning.  I was on guard yesterday but had to come off last night – my teeth and chin pained me so I could not stand it.  I am going to have another good time with my chin such as I had one year ago  last February it commenced to pain me


yesterday noon it kept me awake most all night last night it is very painfull to day so that I do not feel at all like writing, if I did and had more time I would tell you some of the risks we run for the sake of going outside the line and having some sport but if I write everything I shall not have anything to tell when I get home as it is I think I will not write much more now, and if I don’t get some letters soon I think I shall stop writing.  I want to hear from home often.  I don’t think of much more to write this time.  things go on the same as usual, my health is and has been very good, the boys are all jolly.  Edward? Cody is well, his folks live No 5 Jackson St near the monument – give my love to them.  Rowland is well and as happy as a king, give my love to his folks.  We expect to loose Capt Kurtz he has had an offer of a higher Commission he got a furlough for ten days and has gone to Boston to see about it. 


why don’t Father write to me and let me know how he gets along and what there is going on up country.  I want to hear from him.

You spoke of my writing to Cm(cousin?)  Butrey/Bestry? I don’t wish to correspond with her you can give my love to her and the whole family, tell her I shall not have time to answer more letters as my time is so much taken up did Hannah ever receive my letter if so I should be happy to have here answer it, the weather her is quite uncomfortable we have wharm days and cold nights, some nights we almost freeze in our tents.  I hope we shall get into barracks soon, we had a pouring rain here last Friday it blew a perfect hurricane all day and night we had hard work to keep our tent any where our things wet through.  (all for the Union) but I must close this now give my love to all inquiring friends and accept a large share for yourself, and remember me as your aff Son and brother

(Please write soon)                    Albert

Graphic of an early B&O engine

    On September 30th, Company C left their outpost at Monocacy, and joined, Companies I & K, at Harper's Ferry, per Col. Geary's request to General Banks for re-enforcements.

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Page Updated February 28th 2014

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