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Home  Yesterday morning we received the news
Home  Yesterday morning we received the news
Home  Yesterday morning we received the news
Home  Yesterday morning we received the news


Sunderland, Darwin
Sunderland, Darwin
Sharpsburg, MD
Harpers Ferry, WV
Original letter: ink on paper, 4 p.


Between Sharpsburg & Harpers Fery

            Wednesday  July 15th/63
Yesterday morning we received the news that Lee had crossed the river and was on his way to Richmond as fast as he could go and we are now in persuit.  General Mead received a despach from Washington not to attact Lee in his position so we keep watching him untill he gave us the slip[.] yesterday we marched in to his fortifycations [fortifications] and found nothing but a mear show. citizens say that if we had attacted [attacked] him on sunday we could have captured his [force] fer he could neither ford the streem nor he had no bridges acrost them and if he had got away from us then he [would] have had to cut his way out[.] we are now after him as fast as we can go[.] I have heard of  7 or 8 men dieing to day from the affects of the heat[.] one man of company E. and one of J. of our regiment are reported dead[.] we have marched 15 miles to day now and we have got to start again soon[.] I have stood it very well so far[.] I came very near giveing out though our hury is to get between Lee and Richmond[.] they say we can get [?] 75 miles near them he can proably [probably] go but he has got 24 hours the starts that is the reason that they are in such a hurry[.] I think we missed it in not attacting him here in Maryland but others no better I suppose, and it may be all for the best[.] we should have had to sacrafised a good many men fer he had some very good earth works but not so good as our men supposed[.] I will close now and see what tomorrow will bring ferth so good by for this time[.]
Thursday July 16th, Well hear we are some 5 miles from whare we camped Last night, we have jest got news of the surrender of port Hudson and 18,000 prisoners so it is reported hear now but I will not vouch for the truth of the report[.] our cavelry took 8,000 prisoners from the rear of Lees army[.] how true that is I do not know.  We marched 17 miles yesterday in 7 ½ hours, and 6 men died from the efects of the heat, we are now in what is called pleasant valley M.d.
Seven oclock P.M.
Well here we are in rear of Maryland higthes [heights] (or what I call rear[,] it is back from the river and I call that front) we got hear about four oclock[.]  I have been to the creek and washed one suit of under-clothes through out and washed myself[.] we are encamped now some three miles from the Potomac[.] we halted all of a sudden[.] the report is that Muligan met Lee on the other side and that Lee is killed and his troops all cut to pieces and that they are a crossing the river again into Maryland.  I want you should remember that this is nothing but [a] report[.] how true it is I do not know, one of the boys has been to a mill and bough[t] some flower [flour] and I and one of the boys mixed up some of it and made pancakes[.] jest think how good they were mixed in nothing but cold water with a little salt. we took the greese that fried out of the pork to fry them in[.] you may think it rather toughf but it is better than eat[ing] hard-tack.
We jest got a paper about an hour ago that brought the news of the riot in new york in resisting the draft, and that they had called home some of the troops to put down the rebellion in our own state. I should think they had something else to do at this present time and that evry man ought to do all he can now to clean the rebs out this summer. But John & Austin you had better stand you[r] ground and not come heer untill your are obliged[,] then it is time enoughf to come, but thare is some I should like no better fun than to come home and take them and drive them before the bayonet to the battle field.  Nor can I say that I blame the people fer resisting the Draft for this war is carried on so that I cannot see any head or tail to it. I do think as look fer this war to close fer two or three year[s] yet and I do begin to think that the war has got to spread all over the north [before] it is closed.
Friday July 17th 1863 One oclock P.M.
Well hear we are whare we encamped yesterday, it has rained all day as well as part of the night. I have been frying some panka pancakes again to day and they go first rate but I have eat[en] better to [at] home but I did not relish them so well as I do the ones I made but it all in ones three year while hear in the army. thare has been a good many boys heer from the 60 to day.  We have not heer [heard] no news to day [of] what is being done[.] we know nothing of what is being done now but we live and hope for the best. I went through public square while in Washington and saw General Washington on so very firey horse with a drawn sword in his had [hand] cut out of marble life sise [size] and it was as natural as life. The capitol is in the worst place in the city, it is close by the Washington and Baltimore and railroad in a very filthy place for such a building but the war department is up in the city in a very pleasant place, thare is some sple[ndid] portraits cut out of pure white marble around the capitol[,] one of an Indian chief which is as natural as life[.] well my sheet is getting full and I must close[.] we shall probaly move again in the morning but whare I do not know but I guess we shall cross the river. I have not had any mail yet nor do I know when I shall get any[.] you might write a letter once in two week[s] but do not put any thing in it but what you had jest a line any body should read or not and direct [it] to Washington D.C. I am well[.] D.W.S.

Colonel James Adelbert Mulligan U.S.A. was in command of the 23rd Illinois Infantry “Irish Brigade”.



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Original materials may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (more information).
Date Original (Precise): 
July 15, 1863


Digitization Specifications: 
Scanned at 600ppi on Epson 1000XL scanner as 48-bit RGB uncompressed TIFF images. Images resized to 960 pixels wide, 150 dpi, and saved as JPEG (level 10) in Photoshop CS5 with Unsharp Mask of 60:1.
Date Digital: 
September 28, 2011