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49th Pennsylvania Infantry - Assistant Surgeon

Item LTR-443
January 27, 1863 Samuel B. P. Knox
Price: $215.00


2 page original Civil War soldier's letter written in period ink and war dated.

Camp near White Oak Church, VA
January 27th 1863

Mr. F. A. Fidler

Dear Cousin,

It is near evening and as the principal part of the business of the day is over, I thought I would now fulfill my promise of writing to you. You no doubt wonder how I like the service. Well, pretty well. The weather has been exceedingly disagreeable since I came out. I have been exposed a great deal, yet feel none the worse on that account. It is pleasant in many respects to be here, but there are many things I would like to have otherwise. I am now the only medical officer in the Regiment and you can imagine how very busy I must be. Another disagreeable thing is that we have no Chaplain and officers and men are exceedingly profane. The 49th Regiment has seen severe service, has always been in the advance and all the men are reckless, daring, veterans with all the virtues (if any) and vices of old soldiers. Officers and men have received me kindly. All doing what they can to make my life as agreeable as possible. On my way out I remained at Aquia Creek two hours, but the Regiment to which Dr. Quick is attached had moved. So I was unable to see him.

We are now within four miles of the Rappahannock, on the opposite side of which the rebels are encamped. This is a most desolate country. No habitations are visible. The soldiers are pretty thoroughly clearing the land of the timber. So far are we from any town that the officers fare little better than the privates being unable to purchase delicacies of any kind. During the advance, lately made, I was here. Not joining the Regiment until its return. To give you some idea of the amount of mud in this part of the country, thirty horses were unable, the other day, to draw a twelve pounder. Is it any wonder that Burnside cannot advance?

The health of the Regiment is good. I only have 60 on the sick list at present. Excuse brevity—consider my labors. Remember me to Mrs. Fidler and Helen. Also to your sister-in-law, whom I boarded. A letter from you or Mrs. Fidler will always be welcome.

Affectionately yours,

S. B. P. Knox
Assistant Surgeon
49th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers