Richmond Dispatch, 8/12/1861

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From the Richmond Dispatch, 8/12/1861 , p. 2

LETTER FROM AN IRISH PRISONER. – The following letter, written by a prisoner, who was a member of Col. Corcoran’s (69th) New York Regiment, to his brother in Augusta , Ga. , coincided in sentiment with statements made by other prisoners:

July 30, 1861 .

DEAR PAT: - I wrote you a few lines last week, which a gentleman either posted or took on with him, as he resided near Augusta . I know you were surprised to hear that I was in Richmond , wounded; but if we had got our rights I would have been in New York the day the battle was fought, our term of service having expired the day before, but old Abe or Scott would not let the regiment go home. Well, it served us right, when we were fools enough to fight in such a cause; but I hope the time will come when Irishmen will mind their own business.

Early in the fight I got a ball in the thigh, which broke the bone. I lay on the field 35 hours, a rain falling most of the time, and might have laid there since, if it was not for the kindness of the Southerners – enemies I cannot call them, for they have treated us more like brothers than anything else. I got a hard shaking on the railroad, but now, thank God! I am very comfortable here. I expect to have my leg set to-day. If it is, I hope to recover soon, when I will be a much wiser man.

Owing to the great number of wounded, I could not be attended sooner; besides, the doctor was afraid of mortification; but I think I am now safe, and that, with God’s help, I will have the use of my leg.

Dear Pat, you could not believe the way our soldiers were treated by Scott. There were eight regiments on the field whose time was up, but could not get home. But, worse than all, they left the dead and wounded on the field, and never sent a flag of truce in to know how or what would become of us. It is Colonel Corcoran I blame for keeping us. He is now a prisoner here. Many is the heavy curse he got from wounded and dying men. I wish you could send a letter to my wife; poor creature. Probably she thinks me dead. She lives at 212 West 26th street . Direct, care of Thos. Kiernan. Tell her I hope to be with her soon; also, that I am well treated – get meat three times a day, and splendid soup at dinner time.

I remain, dear Pat,
Your affectionate brother,    B. R.


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