Letter from Noah E. Stump Company E, 25th OVI - 1863
All five brothers survived the war, to my knowledge, although three received wounds during their service. John and Alfred were both wounded in Chancellorsville – John so severely that it ended his military service. William was wounded at Gettysburg, and both William and Alfred at Deveaux’s Neck. Alfred was also taken prisoner in September of 1861 during an independent expedition deep into Rebel territory."
Transcribed text of letter:
Brooks Station, VA
April the 12th, 1863
Your letter of March the 28th came to hand yesterday and found me well and in good spirits. We are still encamped at Brooks Station. I thought we would move from here before this time but bad roads have prevented it. The roads are still very muddy and it has been an impossibility to move over these roads this winter and spring. But, the roads are now drying up very fast, we have not had any rain within the last week and I think if the weather continues for a few days longer we will be moving on the Rebels at Fredericksburg. We can’t move far without having a fight, the enemy is at Fredericksburg and the 11th camp [or corps] is eight miles east of that place. The Army of the Potomac was reviewed [?] last week by President Lincoln and Gen. Hooker. This, I think, is an indication of a forward movement. The Army is in very good condition and under better discipline than it has ever been before and I think the troops in the Command are going to do better fighting than they have ever done before. They have always done their best in a battle but they have been unlucky by being commanded by incompetent officers. I have all confidence in our present commanders. Nothing has transpired of an exciting character since I wrote to you before. Everything is great, we drill every day and are kept very busy. If we write any, we must do it after dark. It is now four o’clock in the morning, I am on duty tonight and I came in a few minutes ago and I concluded this was my best chance to answer your letter. I had a letter from my folks last week. They were all well. Cousin Jeremiah is well. I had a letter from Aunt Mary last week. She was in usual health but is growing feeble fast. She is not married. She owns a small farm where she lives. Cousin Andrew J. Reed and wife are living with her. My Brother that was a prisoner came back to the Regt last week. He is in excellent health. John and William are both well. I don’t know what to tell you about this war. You asked me if I would rather fight and endure the hardships and privations of war and conquer them or be conquered. I would most decidedly rather fight two years longer and at the end conquer the Rebels than to be conquered and go home tomorrow. I think we ought to do everything and anything to put down this rebellion and save the government. But I am not in favor of emancipation. But if the Negro stands in the way and we can’t save the Union without freeing them, let us do so and if we can restore the Union by killing all the slaves and can’t have in any other, let us kill every devil of them. But I am of the opinion that this war will end in a few months from now.
I will bring my letter to a close for this time. I will write to you again soon. Perhaps I will have more news.
My regrets and best wishes to you and husband.
Noah E. Stump
Co. E. 25th Regt. OVI
11th Corps via Washington D.C.
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