Letter to the Editor,
The Indiana Messenger
The 78th Pennsylvania Volunteers
December 25, 1861
Source: The Indiana Messenger, January 1, 1862
Transcribed by Shirley Pierce
Munsonville, Hart Co. Ky.
Dec. 25th 1861
Dear Eds: I will endeavor to give you a few lines of what is transpiring now in the old Corn Cracker State, and where the old Keystone's 78th is. The main body of the army is now on the advance for Bowling Green, which is about forty miles distant; yet there is a rebel force about eight miles from here, on the Railroad. Our Regiment has been here since the 17th inst. We arrived from Bacon Creek just in time to hear the last of the firing across the river. We were drawn up in battle line, and marched about a mile, when the order was given to halt; and, much to the disappointment of the 78th, we had to march back to camp. So back we came, and were hardly in the camp when we were ordered out on picket.
We have enjoyed ourselves fine since our arrival at Green River. We have a delightful camp, only we labor under one great disadvantage; this is, the water has to be carried about one mile, and up a very steep hill. On Sunday last we were ordered out on picket, across Green River; and being sent on the farthest end of the picket line, we there had a chance of viewing the battle ground where the 32d Indian Regiment and Texas Rangers got into each other's wool.
The health of the Regiment is much better than it was up in Camp Negley. There are a number of the 78th in the hospital in Louisville; and four of Company D, the Cherrytree Guards; but are all improving. Two have died, Samuel Stutchel from White township, Archibald McLaughlin, of Green township. The first was unwell when he came to camp; and the fatigues and hardships of camp life are only for the stout and healthy to encounter. There are about fifteen or thereabouts in the hospital here, but none who are not likely to recover.
This is Christmas here in Kentucky, as well as it used to be in old Pennsylvania, and Uncle Sam treated all his boys to some old Rye this morning. Col. Sirwell gave a dinner at one o'clock to the Captains and Leutenants of his Regiment; and Gen. Negley is going to give a supper to night to the head officers of the Brigade; and the musicians are going to give a serenade.
A little incident occurred to-day in our Regiment, and I don't know how it will terminate. The General sent some of his waiters out to a farm house for some produce, and two members of our Regiment happened to be out scouting around, and got somewhat intoxicated, and took the General's horse, and were riding around over the hills large as life. When the Colonel got wind of what was up, he sent some six cavalry after them.
They brought them back, and the boys are now carrying a rail in front of the General's Head Quarters, our company received many valuable books today, sent by the ladies of Freeport, Armstrong county. Several boxes of clothing have come to the different companies of the Regiment within the last few days, from their friends at home. As the time has come for me to be on duty, I will close.Yours &c., A. C. B.
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