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September 19, 2012

Letter from Charles Goddard of the 1st Minnesota Regiment to his mother from the Antietam battlefield – September 19, 1862

Filed under: Civil War Daybook — Lori Williamson @ 9:00 am

“On the Battle field near Antietam Creek, Sep. 19th
Dear Mother: On the Battle ground which we now are in possesion of.  there was on last Wendsday one of the Bloodiest contests of the War, and many of the brave soldiers of the Union Army as well as those of the Confederate Army have bit the dust while sustaining there collors[.]
Our Regt have lost a good many. the loss of the Regt I do not know but the loss of our company was 9 10 killed and wounded*. Capt. G A Holzborn, Corporal William Smith, private William Martin, killed; of [Manings] Sargt D B Dudly, Chas. Countryman, S Burgess, H C Winters, Corporal Carpenter wounded[.]
I enclose a lock of Corporal William Smith’s hair which I wish you would pleas give to his mother (if you can’t find out her wherabouts advertise in the Winona Daily for the residence of his mother. of Corporal William Smith of Co K 1st Regt Minnesota Vols)[.] tell her that he fought bravely while sustaining the stars and stripes. his remains will be seen to by the boys of K company.  Chas. Ely is all right and come out without a scratch also Chas. North [spoke] Lynn Hiram Brink.  If the horrors of war cannot be seen on this battle field they cant be seen any whare. the Rebbles fought well and I will give them credit for that.  In Maryland it seems more like fighting at home.  the citizens [camed] with there buggies and wagons to carry off the wounded Union soldiers, which you may bet they did not do in Virginia.
We very much regret the loss of our good and brave Captain[.] the boys thought all the world of him.  We buried him at midnight the night after the Battle, and for the life of me I could not help but think of the burriel of Sir John Moor**[.]  All the boys we lost were trim soldiers and beloved by all the company (Pleas give my best respects to all of my friends and love to Brother Orren,
Chas E. Goddard”

*List of 1st Minnesota Company K casualties at Antietam (from a “Soldiers Memorial” poster transcribed by the Winona County Historical Society):
On Goddard’s list:

  • Captain Holzborn, Gustavus A. — Killed at Antietam
  • Corporal Smith, William — Killed at Antietam
  • Private Martin, William — Killed at Antietam
  • Private Manning, William — Wounded at Antietam
  • Sergeant Dudley, David B. — Died of wounds received at Antietam
  • Private Countryman, Chas. C. — Wounded at Antietam; enlisted in 7th U.S. Regular Infantry
  • Private Burgess, Samuel W. — Wounded at Antietam; Discharged Jan. 27, 1863
  • Goddard lists Private Winters, Henry C — wounded at Antietam, which is not reflected on the Soldiers Memorial poster. Winters was killed at Gettysburg

Others casualties at Antietam:

  • Corporal Carpenter, Alfred P. — Wounded at Antietam and Gettysburg; Promoted Sergeant Oct 21, 1862
  • Private Coy, William A. — Wounded at Antietam.  Discharged Feb. 18, 1863
  • Private Sherman, William M. — Wounded at Antietam; enlisted in U.S. Regular cavalry

**Sir John Moore was a British General who died at the Battle of Corunna (1809) and was memorialized in a poem written by Charles Wolfe entitled “The Burial of Sir John Moore after Corunna” (http://www.bartleby.com/101/603.html)

Citation: September 19, 1862 Letter from Charles Goddard to his mother, Correspondence 1853-1862. Smith, Orrin Fruit and Family Papers, 1829-1932. Minnesota Historical Society. [P1434 box 1]

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