6th Ohio soldier describes wounded soldiers being burned to death

Undated…

Since Commencing this letter Letter [sic] I Read a letter from you dated May 3rd which was written to a dead man But think I am as good as 2 dead men yet. So you will not have to wear any mourning yet awhile. Fear nothing for when I am dead I will write and let you know. You will do well not to believe more than half of the lies you hear expechialy when it comes from Pick Hayes. I seen death in all its hordes, but the worst sight I witnessed was to see the wounded laying in the woods and it on fire. The woods was dry and fire run like mad hundreds of poor fellows wounded so they could not help themselves wer Burnt to death. Others came hopping out on one leg, or cralling on all fours. anyway they escape the flames. Such sceans as this is some of the horrors of War. Which might of been closed but for the damed infernal God forsaken “Copperheads” dam em and may god dam their souls if they have any

I would have writen to you while the fight was going on had I had a chance to do so and if I had writen I could not of sent it out. We should not have been out so long had it not Rained and Raised the River so we could not cross. We wer through Culpper and out to that long to be Rememberd Mountain where the first battle was fought last fall by Pope before his Retreat from the Rappahannock. Before the fight it was called Cedar Mountain but after the slaughter of our troops by bad Generalship it was called Slaughter Mountain and goes by that name yet and always will by that witnessed the Battle. Bully for the young Haden. Tell Hulday if she wants it to carry the name of an infidel to call it Bine. Who if not true to his god is same view it dam true to a better cause that of his country. If you see sist give her my Compliments and tell her this. I have sent you $75.00 which will come to Warren J.P. Hawleys name I intended to pay the expressage here but could not do it so you will please pay Tom what ever he may expend and for his trouble if he will take it if not thank him for me, and tell him if I ever catch him in any fix and I in his place I will do the same or more for him if I can. I want you to get some one to stir up that matter of County fund. get some good advice and get some one to Run the thing for you if you have to pay all you get and my wages two Rumor [?] & to hell and gone but they come to termes dam Kellogg dam any man that had any thing to do with it

Cole Rising owes me $18.00 which he promised to take home with him when he got his discharge and pay it to you if he does not go home I expect he will it to Electa & give it to you. so you get it is all I care for

I guess I have wound up the Fell family I donot get any letters onley from Malvina. she is all right, But cuss the one that opens on me with any abuse

You Kneed not send me any Stamp for some time if not longer as I have Bought a lot will let you know when I am out

Our dismounted Men are yet at Dumfries they have to go on scouts dismounted stand picket and do more duty than we do here. Bully for them most of them are lay backs who always try to get into some dismounted camp or something of the kind so they will not smell Burnt powder or fresh blood they got the dead wood this time. Them those 2 new Co are mounted. Lake he is hired out to Capt. Dickenson for a while he can go home when he wants & he is here with us Major Ben Stanhope is in command of the dismounted camp at Dumfrie he will not let a man come to jear his troop (Co) Capt Barrett still says he will Resign if Stanhope comes to take command of Regt over him. If he does resign the 6th O.V.C. might as well [sh_ ?] out all the boys of the Regt. like Capt all want to go with him for all of any of the Regt in a fight if any one up your way wants some basswood timber to make nail kegs I will furnish a supply cheap. For the 6th O.V.C. has got the damdest set of Basswood Commishioned Officers ever saw fact by God they dont know enough to chew fully [?] a Receipt and then they chew the Receipt. Nothing more this time.

Yours as ever

Oscar of Troop D.
6 O.V. Cavalry

*********************

Albinus R. Fell enlisted on 9 December 1861 as a private in the OVC. He was promoted to Corporal in 1862 and then Quartermaster Sergeant in 1863. Known by several self-ascribed names, he primarily signed his letters “Bill” or “William”, although he did, for some unknown reason, occasionally sign off as “Oscar”, “Paul Clifford”, “Sixteenstring Jack”, “Orpheius Kin” or various other obscure names. He does state in one of his letters “…my name I will not write that for various reasons…”, so perhaps it was to purposely conceal his identity. His wife Diana – whom he also referred to as Lydia – had a bit of trouble in her later years claiming his pension due to the discrepancies regarding his name ! A General Affidavit was submitted on Diana’s behalf attesting to the fact that Fell served in the Ohio 6th, that he was the only “Fell” in the company, and while in the service “…Albinus Fell always went by the name of Bill Fell…”. His discharge took place on 12 December 1864 in Petersburgh, VA.

Born in 1840 in Mercer County, PA., Fell – according to his letters – seemed to have had a very difficult time growing up, and in one instance referred to abuse he suffered at the hands of his father. His bitterness regarding his family of origin is palpable and made for a brave, fierce soldier. Fell and Diana married on 14 December 1861 in Trumbull County, Ohio and following his service, went on to have 3 children – Clara, John and Jessie. Fell was employed as a retail druggist and merchant.

eBay auction item – February 2008 – Item #250214041994

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