Union soldier writes about Fort Wagner

MORRIS ISLAND S.C. SEPT. 26TH

Dear Father,

I ENCLOSE CHECK FOR ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS OF OUR PAYMENT YESTERDAY . IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO USE IT YOU MAY WISH TO INVEST IT IN ANOTHER COUPON AT THE NATIONAL BANK . THE BONDS ARE EXEMPT FROM STATE TAX WHICH I SUPPOSE IS NEARLY EQUAL TO ONE PER CENTUM NOW . THREE MEN WHO WERE TAKEN PRISONERS IN THE CHARGE ON FT. WAGNER , HAVE ARRIVED HERE . THEY ESCAPED FROM RICHMOND WITH LOYAL TENNESSEE CAVALRYMAN AND LIVED 7 DAYS ON GREEN CORN BEFORE REACHING YORKTOWN . THERE UNIFORMS HAD BEEN TAKEN FROM THEM AND DRESSED IN SECESH CLOTHES EVEN TO THERE SHIRTS . GEN. FOSTER TOOK THEM FOR SPIES BUT WAS AT LAST CONSTRAINED TO BELIEVE THEIR STORY AND SEND THEM ON HERE . THEY REPRESENT THE PRISON FULL OF REBEL DESERTERS WHICH THEY ARE MORE AFRAID OF GETTING AWAY FROM THERE UNION PRISONERS. THIER RATIONS WERE 10OZ BREAD PER MAN , 16 LBS BEEF PER 100 MEN . 20 TO 30 GRAINS OF RICE TO A QUART OF RIVER WATER . THEY WERE CONFINED TO BELLE ISLAND IN A KIND OF EARTHWORK. THE GUARD PACING THE PARAPET , THEY ESCAPED BY CREEPING PAST THE GUARD AT NIGHT. DAY BEFORE YESTERDAY WE HAD A GRAND REVIEW OF 21 REGIMENTS AND THREE BATTERIES COMPRISING GEN. TERRYS DIVISION IN HONOR OF MAJ. GEN. GILMORE . THERE IS ANOTHER DIVISION ON FOLLY ISLAND . IT SEEMS AS IF WE HAD TO WORK HARDER THAN EVER SINCE THE FORTS WERE REDUCED . BATTERIES ARE GOING UP WHICH WILL OPEN UP IN A FEW DAYS . GILMORE NEVER TIRES , BUT MEN CAN NOT ALWAYS LIVE IN TRENCHES AND THE TROOPS HERE MUST BE RELIEVED SOON . WE HEAR OF LARGE REINFORCEMENTS WHICH WE DO NOT CREDIT . THERE ARE SOME PROSPECT OF OUR REGIMENT GETTING AWAY TO REST . WE HAD A LONG TURN OF DIGGING BEFORE WE CAME HERE . MR. HARRISON WAS HERE YESTERDAY LOOKING EXTREMELY WELL AND HEARTY . HE EXPECTS TO COME HOME FOR 3 OR 4 DAYS ON HIS NEXT TRIP. SANFORD IS GETTING BETTER SLOWLY . OLIVER I THINK WILL NOT BE SERIOUSLY ILL . MY OWN HEALTH IS EXCELLENT , FOR WHICH I AM THANKFUL. WE HEAR THAT FARRAGUT IS COMING HERE, WHEN WE EXPECT THE IRONCLADS WILL DO SOMETHING TOWARDS TAKING CHARLESTON . WE ARE ONLY INSTRUMENTS IN THE HANDS OF PROVIDENCE WHO GIVES VICTORY OR DEFEAT AS IT WILL FORWARD HIS GRAND DESIGNS. I DO NOT EXPECT THIS WAS TO END TILL THE DEATH OF SLAVERY IS ASSURED PAST RESUSCITATION BY ALL THE GALVANISM OF POLITICIANS . IN THE FINAL TRIUMPH OF OUR CAUSE , MY FAITH HAS BEEN STRONG IN THE DARKEST HOURS . THE HAND OF PROVIDENCE IS VISIBLE MORE IN OUR DEFEATS EVEN THAN IN OUR VICTORIES BRINGING THE MASSES OF PEOPLE TO THE TRIUMPH OF FREEDOM.

Ever Your Affectionate son,

HALSEY

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