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Title: Destruction of the Irish Regiment at Fredericksburg.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
Sender Gendermale
Sender OccupationCaptain of the 88th (Irish Regiment)
Sender Religionunknown
Recipient Gendermale
SourceThe Armagh Guardian, Friday, 23 January, 1863.
ArchiveThe Central Library, Belfast.
Doc. No.9508058
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by LT, 11:08:1995.
Word Count404

A Canadian journal (the Sherbrooke Leader)
publishes a letter from the captain of the 88th
(Irish Regiment), a young man who resigned a
situation of 1,300 dols. a year in the Custom
house and raised a company. The letter was
written after the battle of Fredericksberg.
He writes:-

"Dear Father, - Thank God for his
great mercy. I came out of the most terrible
battle day of this war without a scratch. My
brother Edmund is also unhurt. I can hardly
realize the fact that I am so blessed. Oh! it
was a terrible day. The destruction of life has
been fearful, and nothing gained. The battle
opened about 10 o'clock yesterday morning with
a terrible fire of artillery. As we were drawn
up in a line of battle on the front of the city
General Meagher addressed us in words of
inspiration and eloquences I never heard equalled,
after which he ordered every one of the brigade
to place a bunch of green boxwood at the side of
his cap, showing the example himself. Every man
appeared fired with determined zeal and a firm
resolution, which the result proves to have
been carried out in a manner scarcely paralled
in the annals of war. The 88th Regiment this
morning numbers 10 officers and 41 men; the 69th,
7 officers and 59 men; the 63rd, 6 officers and
64 men; the 116th, 13 officers and 57 men. The
28th Massachusetts also suffered heavily, but I
have not the returns. Irish blood and Irish bones
cover that terrible field today, for Irish regiments
were placed foremost, as the reports and returns
will prove. Lieutenant O'Brian, of my company of
brave men is, I believe, mortally wounded. All I
can find of my once fine company is two sergeants
and three men. That noble, brave Major Horgan was
one of the first to fall, shot through the head.
Every field officer of the brigade in action was
killed or wounded, except Colonel Kelly, and he
had a very narrow escape. Lieutenant Granger was
struck by a piece of shell, tearing through all
his clothes and the flesh over his bowels; one
inch closer and he would have been killed. A piece
of shell struck my haversack, tearing it off me
throwing me over. I do not know what disposition
will be made of us now in our shattered condition.
Colonel Kelly is in command of the remnant of the
brigade which does not number half a regiment. I
have got cold in my limbs, and have felt very sick
all morning, but it is nothing more than the results
of exposure and want of regular food, which a couple
of days' rest will remedy."