Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Friday Sept. 26, 1862

Lizzie canning quinces again today.  Last night Lieut. Henricle and a squad of soldiers came down on the engine and went over during the night and arrested Basil Chalfant, a deserter from the 77".  He deserted after the battle of Pittsburg Landing, getting on to the steamboat with the sick, pretending to be a nurse.  He has been skulking about ever since.  
Tonight Lucy came down with the good news of Rufus' safety.  I do desire to thank God for His great goodness in thus keeping him unharmed amid such fearful carnage.  He writes thus to his mother:
Before the enemy near Sharpsburg, Sept. 18th.  My dear Mother.  I have come safely through two more terrible battles.  South Mountain and the terrible battle yesterday.  Our regiment is almost gone.  We have lost near 400 men in killed and wounded in the late battles.  Seven out of twelve officers in the last battle were shot.  We are now under Hooker and will probably be annihilated as a regiment before he or our Brigadier will let our brigade be relieved.  The men have stood like iron and been worth any two Eastern brigades in the army.  Lt. Col. Bragg was wounded yesterday.  I commanded the regiment and was obliged at one time to carry the color to keep the men up to save a cannon.  It was riddled to ribbons in my hands, but God bless them every boy from the Badger State in sight rallied around me, and we saved our battery.  We lost 160 men out of 400 in the fight.  The battle may be renewed at any moment.  Your aff. son, Rufe.
The more we learn of the surrender of Harper's Ferry the more it appears there was base treachery and cowardice at the bottom of it.  I never had faith in Col. Miles.  He was a drunken, miserable wretch and should never have been trusted with so important a post.  He dies unlamented with a blot upon his name.  The rebels boast of the valuable opportune stores they obtained there.  Among other things they took 1800 splendid horses.  The rebel loss during the late battles is estimated at 20,000, our own loss at 10,000 killed and wounded.

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