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Mark Dunnell Transcript

Alexandria Va. Jul 24

My Dear Sir:

I need not stop to inform you of the particulars of our grand defeat on Sunday last. It was terrible and complete. One thing is certain. The North has not rightly estimated the power of the South. Beauregard has 70000 men at Bull Run. I must be brief. We have lost all of tents, cooking utensils, blankets, knapsacks, fifty horses, twelve wagons, and every officer any article of property except what they had on at the time.

We are in a forlorn condition. Nothing remains of the records. The regimental books of the whole brigade were lost. We are poor and our officers are suffering for they have given the last dollar to their men to keep them from real suffering.

Now when we reached Washington June 28th the government had no preparation for our reception – we had nothing for a supper or breakfast and were ordered to make purchases for ourselves. The Capts’ went and purchased for their men the supper and breakfast. Genl. Mansfield said the Regt. could not pay it, as they were not notified of the arrival. The General considers that Maine pay the bill as it was one of these claims which could not be met in any other way.

The bill is for 211.50. The officers need it immediately and earnestly hope not an hour will elapse before it is it sent to us. The officers have not a dollar and but one shirt and one pair of socks and these have been worn a whole week. We are suffering.

You can forward the money and the necessary voucher shall be furnished or I can be responsible for the money.

I have a small bill against the State for expenses which I incurred in the discharge of my duties as Col. and which were made necessary by my situation. As you know I went to Augusta twice making an expense of sixteen dollars – express bills, postage, telegraph freight bills, stable bills in Portland and Washington in reporting to the Gov’t. I don’t want one dollar which belongs to Maine but I am too poor and have lost too much for me to give the state anything. I had the bills made up but all was lost in my chests. I have but the clothes I stand in. The same is true of Col. Berry, Col. Marshall and in fact all of us. I cannot speak of Jameson for he was under a different commander. Col. Howard lost all things which we just had sent forward to Manassas by Col. Howard before we had conquered the place. It was a mistake – but one which could not have been anticipated. 

The bill to which I refer amounts to $36.00 and I trust there can be no objection to its payment because its accrual was pursuant the duties. If I had been careful the bill would have been much larger. We shall hope to hear from you by return mail for we need your aid at this time. Our Q.M. was compelled to pay over the money which Capt. Hight advanced to the Brigade Q.M.

Your

Mark H. Dunnell