[Samuel Hodgman letter, November 17, 1862, United States Civil War] : electronic edition
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 p.1 Samuel Hodgman letter 1862-11-17 [page 1]

U.S.A. Gen HospitalWest Philada
Nov 17th/62

Dear Father

I received yours
of the 9th last Saturday &
would have answered it yes-
terday but I got a pass for
all day and went to Church
twice, the first time in West
Phila & the next near the
farther side of the City I
walked the whole distance
without a cane and do
not feel much worse for it to
day My progress on foot is
not very rapid & in a foot
race I rather think I should
come out minces. My wound
is almost entirely healed now
Dr Baldwin says he is surprised
at my getting along so fast  p.2 Samuel Hodgman letter 1862-11-17 [page 2]
and would not have been surprised
to have seen me confined to
my bed several weeks longer
than I was I spoke to him this
morning about getting a pass
for 20 days. He said he would
try and get it for me. I
dont make any calculations
on getting it. I am afraid my
chance in the Regt is rather slim as I learn that there are but Eight companies in the Regt nowUnited States. Army. Michigan Infantry Regiment, 7th (1861-1865)Co IUnited States. Army. Michigan Infantry Regiment, 7th (1861-1865). Company I & KUnited States. Army. Michigan Infantry Regiment, 7th (1861-1865). Company K being distributed
among other cos. I hear that
some of the 7th have joined
The Regulars. I don’t know
how true it is. I will try &
answer the questions in your
letter in their order
I cannot think of any "exciting
to write about although
I have passed through and seen
enough of them to fill a volume  p.3 Samuel Hodgman letter 1862-11-17 [page 3]
I could tell them but cant write
them. I gave a description of
the Hospital in my last to
Mother. I also sent a small
pamphlet to Mr Bowen a short
time ago giving the history &
facts connected with the management of it. I suppose
this is the largest military
hospital in the world. There is
an improvement in the food
since I wrote but it dont
go like mothers cooking yet
It is impossible for me to
give much of an account of
the members of our Company
as I have lost track of the
most of them since the fight
at AntietamAntietam, Battle of, Md., 1862 (an-tee-tam)
but will do the best I can
I will copy the roll and give
such information as I can
in regard to each  p.4 Samuel Hodgman letter 1862-11-17 [page 4]
In regard to the Telegraph I wrote
them two letters and they did
not seem to think much of them
at least not enough to send
me a copy so that I could
see how my name looked in
print I am glad that the
neighbors have so good an
opinion of my veracity I would
like very much to accommodate
them by answering questions for
several days consecutively. I
could do it first rate face
to face with them. I could
tell them how I drank
whiskey last June three times
a day regularly (by the Surgeons
order) and how I dont drink
a drop now because I dont
want it and very many
other little items of interest
concerning my efforts to supply
the wants of the "inner man"  p.5 Samuel Hodgman letter 1862-11-17 [page 5]
I could furnish them with
ocular demonstration of the
effects of "hard tack" on
grinders and of exposure on
hair. I can show them twice
as much gray hair as I carried
away with me. I never supposed
myself capable of enduring
as much hardship as I
have done but there is
something left of me yet
no thanks to the Chickahom-
ing swamps fever & diarrhea
I am glad Bowen has got
a Captaincy. I believe he
will make a good officer
I will re-echo your wish that
I could be there to help ded-
icate the new [Masonic symbol] room
I am glad to learn that the
[Masonic symbol] are to have a hall of  p.6 Samuel Hodgman letter 1862-11-17 [page 6]
their own after so many years
of dependence. Who do you
think of having for master
next year. If Rn Capson wants
those documents tell him
to write to me and I will
send a recommend to R.M.
and an order for the book
or I will do the same by you
if you like
The story about SelbeeSelbee, James E. is pure
fiction I never had any
difficulty with any of the
boys about obeying orders
I never gave orders unless
they were necessary and
never had to punish but two
or three for violation of them,
never for refusal to obey
Selbee fell out on the night
we went into Fairfax C.H.Fairfax (Va.)
(Sept 1st am.) without leave
and has not showed himself  p.7 Samuel Hodgman letter 1862-11-17 [page 7]
since. I have heard in a
roundabout way that he
is in AlexandriaAlexandria (Va.).
I dont see how I could be
commissioned to date back
to Fair Oaks as there was
no vacancy in the Company
officers until Aug 13th or
about that time. I would
like something of that kind
very much as the back
pay would be very acceptable
I got that X all right and
have used nearly all of it
in buying clothing that I
stood in need of and could
not draw from the Govt here
When I return to the Regt I shall
have to get me a Rubber
blanket which will cost me
$3 or $4 more. I will probably
send you my watch which
I leave here unless you  p.8 Samuel Hodgman letter 1862-11-17 [page 8]
have a good chance to
dispose of it before. If you
do let me know & I will
send it along at any
time. While I was in hospital
near the ChickahominyChickahominy River (Va.) I
got hold of a book. "Halleck's Poems" which I prize as coming
from the house in which
Gen Washington got his wife
The "White House". I sent
it to Monroe by Adjt Landon
and a few weeks ago I sent
by a Mr Fournia,Fournia, Charles a discharged
soldier, money to pay the postage
and a note requesting him
to send it to you. I wish
you would inquire into it
If it has not come write to Lieut Henry B. LandonLandon, Henry B., 1840-1929. Monroe MichMonroe (Mich.) & ask him to forward
it & tell him about my
sending the money. Fournia
may have forgotten it  p.9 Samuel Hodgman letter 1862-11-17 [page 9]
I shall not want any of
the clothing that I sent home
at present. If we do not go
into winter quarters I cannot
carry it with me unless I get
a Commission in which case
I would of course have a servant
to carry a part of my luggage
In regard to incidents in
the battle of AntietamAntietam, Battle of, Md., 1862 I had
my hands full in getting
a couple of soldiers who had
heretofore managed to keep
out of danger under fire
By close watching & sundry
threats I got them to face
the music. One of them lost
his life, the other was shot
through the thigh. This last
I suspected at the time had  p.10 Samuel Hodgman letter 1862-11-17 [page 10]
swallowed some tobacco and
commenced vomiting when
within a few rods of the
line where so many of
us were to fall. I did not-
under the circumstances feel
any compunctions of conscience
but placed my sword against
him and pushed him along
Had it not been for me one
would probably have saved
his life and the other pre-
served his leg unhurt- How-
ever my conscience does not
accuse me of murder
I would like to know what
could be the feelings of a
person if he could be in
a position where he could have
seen the whole of the fight
on that bloody 17th of September
It was perfectly awful where we were.Antietam, Battle of, Md., 1862 Infantry in front  p.11 Samuel Hodgman letter 1862-11-17 [page 11]
and in flank. Artillery in flank and in frontAntietam, Battle of, Md., 1862 all
pouring in upon us a terrible
storm of iron and lead
It seemed almost a miracle
that any escaped. I did
not feel in the least degree
any desire to get out of the
way until after I was wounded
I then had to turn my back
to the enemy and was
not very ambitious to see
how long I could stay
amongst the balls. They were
flying all around each side,
over, in front, and behind me
and like plums in a pudding
the shells were bursting in
every direction, still there
seemed to be a clear spot
for me to escape in as
though it was specially ordered
for my benefit. I could not  p.12 Samuel Hodgman letter 1862-11-17 [page 12]
help admiring the scene
terrible as it was and full
of danger at every step. The
bursting shells were the most
terrible and grand part of
the scene. Before we got
into the fightAntietam, Battle of, Md., 1862 I saw a
battery in front & to the right
of us throwing shell
at our advancing lines
about sixty or seventy rods
to our right. The first shell
struck among a group
of ambulances knocking
one or two of them to atoms
and causing the rest to
move to the rear double
quick. The troops were advancing
in two lines about ten or
twelve rods apart. The next
shell exploded directly in
front of the first line at
not more than six or seven  p.13 Samuel Hodgman letter 1862-11-17 [page 13]
feet from the ground and
perhaps 20 or 30 feet in front
of the line. The third exploded
directly in the second line
about breast high. In both
cases the lines never wa-
vered for an instant but
pressed on regardless of
the storm of iron and
lead which soon began
to tell so fatally on their ranks.
I suppose that there
never has been, in any
battle ever yet fought more
terrible fighting, and in pro-
portion to the number engaged
more slaughter than in
the battle of AntietamAntietam, Battle of, Md., 1862
None avoided the contest
all fought like heroes, both
union & rebel. The rebels  p.14 Samuel Hodgman letter 1862-11-17 [page 14]
had the advantage in positionAntietam, Battle of, Md., 1862
and numbers. We in pluck
and artillery. Had they
attacked us we should
have had the advantage
in position as well as
in arms but as it was
we had to leave our
own position and attack
them in theirs. And had
it not been for the coward-
ly surrender of the almost
impregnable position at Harper's FerryHarpers Ferry (W. Va.) our victory
would have been complete
I cannot give any instances
of personal daring among
our men. They had no
opportunity to distinguish
themselves personally All
stood together to shoot and
be shot We had no hand
to hand fighting. The one  p.15 Samuel Hodgman letter 1862-11-17 [page 15]
that could load and fireAntietam, Battle of, Md., 1862
the fastest did the rebs
the most damage I do
not doubt but if a charge
had been made there
would have been some
desperate and bloody work
done I would probably
got a chance to use my
revolver. As it was it
hung in my belt perfectly
useless. I had to fire it off
after I got to the hospital &
think that I should have
hurt somebody if they had
got in my way. Long as
I have been in the service
I have never yet fired
a shot at the secesh.
I shall have to close
this brief epistle as I
am going to the city this
afternoon to see one of  p.16 Samuel Hodgman letter 1862-11-17 [page 16]
my [Masonic symbol] friends. He keeps
a confectionary & fruit store
Perhaps he will give me some
I will write tomorrow
or next day in regard to
the numbers of our company
so far as I know about
them. I expect a visit from
Sergt PorterPorter, Orlando, who is in another
hospital in a day or two &
will probably get some information
from him I am not
going to write to any body else
till I finish this letter which
I hope to do by the time you
get this part read through
Love to all
Your affectionate Son
Saml. C. HodgmanHodgman, Samuel Chase, 1831-1900 p.17 Samuel Hodgman letter 1862-11-17 [page 17]
Wednesday 19th
According to my promise I
will try and finish this
letter to day. I visited
the camp of the drafted
men at HaddingtonHaddington (Pa.), about
two miles from here yester-
day afternoon. There is a
horse rail-road running
directly to the camp- fare
5 cents each way. I took
supper- some excellent corn
cakes- with Bro Thomas L Clarke
and returned to the hospital
at one and a half minutes
to six o'clock at which time
my pass expired. That was
the second meal I have
eaten at a private house
since I left home. The first
was last winter while on  p.18 Samuel Hodgman letter 1862-11-17 [page 18]
picket near Edward's FerryEdward's Ferry (Md.)
I felt some like a "cat in
a strange garret" but managed
to do justice to the fare. I
think if I were at home now
you would be astonished at
my capacity for stowing away
"rations" I feel as though I
could stow away an immense
amount of choice edibles,
such as ham & eggs. potatoes
and particularly coffee
I haven't had any really
good coffee since I left
home. By the way I asked
Dr Baldwin the other day to
get me a pass for 20 days
He reported progress this
morning and says that
the Provost Marshall has
agreed to arrest any
one giving any more extended
passes So that is all knocked  p.19 Samuel Hodgman letter 1862-11-17 [page 19]
in the head. I had made
arrangements so that I could
get money to pay my passage
home without waiting to have
it sent to me. I dont know
when I shall ever get anymore
money from "Uncle Samuel"
I hope it will come before
long as I see he has made
a raise of a few millions
more It seems that the
cry of on to RichmondRichmond (Va.) is
again raised. "Three times
and out" is the saying. I
hope the "out" will apply to
the rebels this time, that
they will be driven out, instead
of their keeping us out
I received two letters last
night, one from mother
and one from Littleton. They are
all well there. FrankHodgman, Frank says
they are having skating  p.20 Samuel Hodgman letter 1862-11-17 [page 20]
there now, the river being
frozen over. The ground has
not frozen to amount to
anything here yet. We had
quite a snow storm last
week. Snow fell to the depth
of about two inches and
staid on for nearly two days
I dont like to see snow
as well as I did before joining
the Army It isn't much
better than a blanket to
sleep in and doesn't keep
ones feet very warm. Although
it does not affect me
much one way or the other
while in the Hospital
If I was able I would visit
all the points of interest in
the city- and there are many
of them- and write you a
description of them. With my
next sheet I will commence
an account of "our company"  p.21 Samuel Hodgman letter 1862-11-17 [page 21]

Capt LovellLovell, Bexaleel W. Dismissed
Lieut ShafterShafter, William R. Major 19th Mich V.United States. Army. Michigan Infantry Regiment, 19th (1862-1865)
" PhetteplacePhetteplace, Elhanan At home wounded Sept 17th
Saml C. HodgmanHodgman, Samuel Chase, 1831-1900 Hospital W. Phila
H.P. McFarlinMcFarlin, Hulet P. last heard from at
Stuarts mansion Hosp. Balt
M.J. SeymourSeymour, Marshal J. Died on passage from White
House to Washington June 1862
Benjamin P HutsonHutson, Benjamin P. Dischd for disability last July
George. W. TravisTravis, George W., d. 1862 Died Sept 29th of wounds received
in battle of 17thAntietam, Battle of, Md., 1862
Cyrus W. WhitneyWhitney, Cyrus W. Here. wounded in foot Sept 17th
Stephen Patterson.Patterson, Stephen In hosp. Wash.n Typhoid fever
James A McDonaldMcDonald, James A. " " " wounded 17th
Elias Foote.Foote, Elias Hosp 12th & Buttonwood. Phil. Debility
Frederick H. Gould.Gould, Frederick H., d. 1861 Died last April near Yorktown
the best man in the company
Pitt Blackman.Blackman, Pitt Taken prisoner at GlendaleWhite Oak Swamp, Battle of, Va., 1862 since exchanged. Dont know
his present whereabouts but think he is in Alexandria
 p.22 Samuel Hodgman letter 1862-11-17 [page 22]
Orlando PorterPorter, Orlando Wounded at AntietamAntietam, Battle of, Md., 1862 Now Sergt of guard at hospital
12th & Buttonwood St. Phil.
David R. HusonHuson, David R. Drum Major have not
seen or heard of him since
the battle
Phendlon B. Homan.Homan, Phendlon B. Wounded in thigh
one of the two I have mentioned
previously. Dont know where he is
Darius WilkinsonWilkinson, Darius S. Wagoner with Regt
Orman Armstrong.Armstrong, Orman The last I knew of
him he was on duty in
Regt Hospital & unwell
Ashley John B.Ashley, John B. Wounded at GlendaleWhite Oak Swamp, Battle of, Va., 1862 and
was here a short time
before I came. dont know
whether dischd or sent to Regt
Agan HiramAgan, Hiram Wounded 17th. Is at Washn
has lost one leg
Benson, Charles E.Benson, Charles E. Left the Co. sick when we
crossed the Chickahominy.Chickahominy River (Va.) He
is in Hospital somewhere
I cant tell where
 p.23 Samuel Hodgman letter 1862-11-17 [page 23]
Brown Winslow.Brown, Winslow Deserted Sept 10th
Boorom Joshua.Boorom, Joshua Went to hospital at
White House last spring
Dont know where he is
now, but think at Washington
Brimmer Albert. E.Brimmer, Albert E. Wounded 17th At Harrisburg
A good soldier
Beckwith LeroyBeckwith, Leroy Here wounded in the
arm. 17th gets along poorly
Crump HenryCrump, Henry I think is with the Regt
Collins George A.Collins, George A. Wounded & taken prisoner at
GlendaleWhite Oak Swamp, Battle of, Va., 1862 & afterwards exchanged
Dont know where he is now
Cole Chauncey G.Cole, Chauncey G. I think was wounded 17th
With Regt
Dont know where he is
Cady Lucius M.Cady, Lucius M., d. 1862 Killed at Glendale June 30th
Cole StephenCole, Stephan, d. 1862 " " AntietamAntietam, Battle of, Md., 1862 one
of the best of soldiers. Always
ready for duty & never complaining
Clemence Nathl F.Clemence, Nathaniel F. Wounded at Glendale. In
hospital at Baltimore
Clemence EdwardClemence, Edward Division Teamster
Carter Phineas-Carter, Phineas with regt
 p.24 Samuel Hodgman letter 1862-11-17 [page 24]
Deming William.Deming, William Sent away from H. Landing
sick. In hospital somewhere
Evans WallaceEvans, Wallace Discharged for disability
at Harrison's Landing
Farnsworth DavidFarnsworth, David, d. 1861 Died of Cholera at H. Landg
Flynn JohnFlynn, John Wounded at AntietamAntietam, Battle of, Md., 1862
Dont know where he is
Fouts AlonzoFouts, Alonzo With Division teams the
last I knew of him
Forbes Andrew J.Forbes, Andrew J. Was in the fight at Antietam
Have not heard what became
of him
Glass AlonzoGlass, Alonzo The last I knew of him was
in Alexandria sick
Gifford Wm R.Gifford, William R. With regt
Hatch ThomasHatch, Thomas Wounded & taken pris-
oner at GlendaleWhite Oak Swamp, Battle of, Va., 1862 Since
exchanged Dont know
where he is
Howe John AHowe, John A., d. 1862 Killed at Antietam
Hawks. James B.Hawks, James B. Here. Complaining of
pain in his breast.
Been sick some time
 p.25 Samuel Hodgman letter 1862-11-17 [page 25]
Harder Peter.Harder, Peter Discharged last spring
Kelley Caleb.Kelly, Caleb In hospital at Washington
when last heard from
I presume he is now discharged
Knappen L.P.C.Knappen, Leonard P. C. In Hopsital, I think at
Alexandria Washington
Lewis Solomon E.Lewis, Solomon E. I think was in the fight
at Antietam,Antietam, Battle of, Md., 1862 if so he was
wounded. Dont know where he is now
Lewis Daniel S.Lewis, Daniel S. Wounded, I think, at Antietam
Dont know where he is
Matteson. Albert V.Matteson, Albert V., d. 1862 Died, I think at Washington
Last summer
Mead, HiramHiram, Mead With Regt
McClellan John H.McClellan John H. Discharged last summer
McCoy. James H.McCoy, James H. Brigade Teamster
McLeod Tho.s H.McLeod, Thomas H. Dischd last summer
Mason Russel B.Mason, Russel B. Wounded at GlendaleWhite Oak Swamp, Battle of, Va., 1862
Now in hospital Washington
Moyer MahlonMoyer, Mahlon, d. 1862 Died last Summer at
Portsmouth Grove R.I.
 p.26 Samuel Hodgman letter 1862-11-17 [page 26]
Norton JamesNorton, James, d. 1862 Killed at Antietam
Outman George W.Outman, George W. In Hosp. at Chester, Del.1sick
Outman Wm B.Outman, William B. Wounded slightly at Antietam
Dont know where he is
but think he is with regt
Outman David J.Outman, David J. In hospital at Washington
since last spring
Philips James H.Philips, James H. I think was discharged last
Summer but never had
official notice of it
Palmer Charles H.Palmer, Charles H., d. 1862 Died last spring at
Pangburn Nathan.l S.Pangburn, Nathaniel S. Slightly wounded at
Antietam.Antietam, Battle of, Md., 1862 Now in a
hospital in Philad.a
Riley David D.Riley, David D. In Convalescent camp
at Alexandria
Seltzer Philip.Seltzer, Philip Slightly wounded in
the head at Antietam
Was taken prisoner & escaped
by feigning to be dying
Returned in a few days
to the regiment for duty
 p.27 Samuel Hodgman letter 1862-11-17 [page 27]
Selbee James E.Selbee, James E. Deserted
Smith WilliamSmith, William, d. 1863 Sent to Gen. Hosp from
Harrison's Landing.Ball's Bluff, Battle of, Va., 1861 Dont
know his whereabouts
Smith Charles A.Smith, Charles A. Discharged last spring
Scoby CharlesScoby, Charles Brigade Teamster
Sweet Kylar.Sweet, Cayler Sent from H. Landing sick
Have not heard from him since
Spaulding Saml. P.Spaulding, Samuel P. Wounded at Antietam
I suppose returned to Regt
Tripp Wm A.Tripp, William A., d. 1863 Wounded at Antietam. With Regt
Travis James M.Travis, James M. I think was wounded at
Antietam. Dont know where he is
Taylor Henry M.Taylor, Henry M. Discharged last summer
Tyler Cyril H.Tyler, Cyril H. I think he is in hospital
at Washington
Trumbull Charles H.Trumbull, Charles H. The last I knew of him
was in hospital at Alexandria
Tyler John S.Tyler, John S. Wounded at Antietam. Dont
Know where he is
Valentine Henry L.Valentine, Henry L. Discharged last spring
Warn EphraimWarn, Ephraim With Regt
Whiting Zeno.Whiting, Zeno Wounded & prisoner at GlendaleWhite Oak Swamp, Battle of, Va., 1862
Last heard from in Bellevue Hopsital N.Y.
 p.28 Samuel Hodgman letter 1862-11-17 [page 28]
Wade Charles O.Wade, Charles O. Supposed to be a deserter
White Philo T.White, Philo T. Wounded at Antietam
In hospital in this city.
Whitaker Isaac F.Whitaker, Issac F. with Regt
Wilcox Robert.Wilcox, Robert I think is with the regt
Wilcox Daniel.Wilcox, Daniel With the regt
Wise EdwardWise, Edward I think was wounded at
Antietam.Antietam, Battle of, Md., 1862 Dont know where he is
Bell WilliamBell, William Severely wounded at
Antietam. I think he is
at Washington
Mead Stephen.Mead, Stephen Cook in Regtal Hospital
Chapman JohnChapman, John Discharged last winter
Munsell J.W.Munsell, John W. " " "
Gerrue AnothnyGerrue, Anthony " " "
Kendall Andrew M.Kendall, Andrew M. " " "
Kilmer DavidKilmer, David H. " " "
Rose IrvingRose, Irving " " "
Wilcox EleazarWilcox, Eleazar " " "
Warner Amos WWarner, Amos W. " " "
Stilwell James HStilwell, James H. " " "
Bradley Robert FBradley, Robert F. " " "
Fouts Augustus M.Fouts, Augustus M. " " "
Kidder Joseph A.Kidder, Joseph A., d. 1861 Died last winter
 p.29 Samuel Hodgman letter 1862-11-17 [page 29]
Sackett Martin.Sackett, Martin Wounded at AntietamAntietam, Battle of, Md., 1862
Dont know where he is
Booth WilliamBooth, William Deserted at the time
of the seven days fight
Connell William H.Connell, William H. Brigade Blacksmith
Acton Frederick.Acton, Frederick Accidentally shot
at Fair OaksFair Oaks, Battle of, Va., 1862 and sent
away with Seymour Not
heard from since but
supposed to be dead

I have given you a brief account
of all the members of our
Company Many of them I know
nothing of their present location
or of the extent of their injuries
If anybody wanted to know
anything more particular
about any one, if they will
write I will give them all
the information in my power
 p.30 Samuel Hodgman letter 1862-11-17 [page 30]
I dont like to do this on
a venture as I might waste
paper & ink on what would
interest no one that I know
and the information given would
not reach those who would
be interested in it
Dont you think I have
done pretty well this
time. I have used eight
sheets of paper & ink in
proportion. Whether it has
its due share of brains
you must be the judge
If I was with you I could
furnish it by word of mouth
much faster and cheaper
and more satisfactory to
both of us and all con-
cerned. I hope this war
will soon be ended and
all of us at home again
enjoying the comforts  p.31 Samuel Hodgman letter 1862-11-17 [page 31]
of our own firesides, and
the society of our neighbors
I believe I shall be contented
to stick to the shop when
I get home "barrin" the
usual hunting and
fishing. I shall soon be
ready now to rejoin my
regimentUnited States. Army. Michigan Infantry Regiment, 7th (1861-1865) and ask for my
company or my discharge
I dont care very much which
I think I have a fair claim
to one or the other and
shall ask it. I cannot predict
the result.
I think, but am not positive
that I have written to Brimmer
since he has to me. I
will write to him soon
any way. I am very sorry
to hear that mothers sight
fails so fast. Cannot some
remedy be found  p.32 Samuel Hodgman letter 1862-11-17 [page 32]
I have now gone as far
with letter as will be
profitable so I will bring
it to a close by sending
my respects to all my friends
and love to all the family

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