Carmany family papers  1862
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The collection contains six letters, three from Adam Carmany, two from Murray and one from William Carmany, all written to family members in Lebanon County. Each of the three are fine, literate writers.

William Murray's letters were written at a time when he was making efforts to resign his commission. Noteworthy are Adam Carmany's description of pillaging horses and anything alive and edible during the march to Fredericksburg, "we killed every thing we met, went into pig stables took out all the pigs and killed them, also all the chickens, turkeys, geese, calves, oxen, and in fact everything we met that was fit to eat." He also provides an interesting discussion of camp shortly after the regiment's arrival outside of Washington, including horse stealing and foraging, and an account of the vaccination against smallpox for those members of the regiment who were not already taken with the disease. By far the highlight of the collection, however, is William Carmany's account of the Battle of Fredericksburg, the rout of his company under fire, and his grisly description of burial detail under a flag of truce. Most of the bodies of Union soldiers, he reported, had been stripped naked, and the Confederates assigned to burial duty, "the hardest looking men I ever did see," were wearing an odd assortment of Union blue and Confederate grey.

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