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Five page handwritten letter and original envelope addressed to Catherine Birrell care of Co. Eben Anderson, Detroit Mich, containing news from her uncle Richard who is visiting David Birrell and other soldiers camped in Virginia during the Civil War, including the 2nd, 5th, and 24th Michigan Regiments. The letter reads as follows:
Wash. July 5
My dear Catherine
We went to day to Alexandria [?]. Got an ambulance and started for the 24th we found them camping about six miles from [?] Rd. on Masons Hill the outposts of the army in that direction. I found David fast asleep in his tent they knew we were in Wash. So he was not so much surprised to see me. David is looking very well and is in good spirits. They have a splendid camping ground if the rebels don't trouble them. The rebel pickets are two or three miles from them. David is very well pleased with his company and [?] officers. We spent about five hours with them. They were very glad to see us. The regt. Is in good health and spirits although somewhat tired with the journey from Detroit. After leaving in [?] back to where the 2nd and 5th were camping I found Henry well and hearty. I remained with him about an hour. I will probably get out again on Sunday and see both regts.
There were a great many sick in the hospitals here and they are well cared for. We will probably go to the battle field with a [?] of [?]. I saw most of the Detroit men in the 24th. They were all with our [?] Geo. Dutton[?] is looking [?]. The army are greatly pleased that McClellan[?] is put in command he has their entire confidence almost without exception. Pope is [?] looked on as a humbug. McClellen, Banks, and Burnside were highly spoken of. McDowell[?] is detested. The people in Washington seem to have no fear of this city.
The 2nd & 5th regt. are to march tomorrow for camp in the same places as the 24th. You may tell Uncle [?] as a secret (sure) that his friend in the quarter masters department is going all wrong. We met him on our return from camp. He introduced us to his prize the celebrated General Hooker. We were glad to see the General but sorry to see B. You[?] will be[?] the good spirits about David. He is first rate. He says you did put[?] army pictures in his book album.
I am not sure when I will be home, maybe in a day or two. Probably not for a week or two. Yet it will depend upon what turns up for us to do.
I hope all [?] well in Detroit. I wish I had made some arrangements to hear from home before I left.
Send letters to the care of Judge Edwards, office of the land commissioner, Wash.
Kind love to all kiss the children for me. Tell your aunt & uncle write to him tomorrow.
[?] to Mrs. [?]. I hope she and baby are doing well. [?] were the only [?] I [?]. Sorry to [?] as I am writing in a hurry.
Your Affectionate Uncle
P.S. Matters to me look very discouraging here but you will take care what you say about anything I write. The sick & wounded are well cared for although I will visit the hospital in Georgetown.
|Extent of Description||2 sheets of letters: one 7"x 9" double-sided sheet, another half-sheet double-sided; one envelope|
2nd Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment
5th Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment
24th Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment