Skip Maine state header navigation

Agencies | Online Services | Help

Skip First Level Navigation | Skip All Navigation

Home > Civil War Sesquicentennial > Orsamus Symonds Transcript

Orsamus Symonds Transcript

Camp Near Falmouth
Jan 15+ 1863

Hon. sir

I feel it my duty to inform you of some of the facts in regard this war   I can not give you but a light show in the first place   I am from maine and my observation will be more limited to the treatment of our troops    1st our sick are not half cared for nor can they be here    we in our Regt which is called healthy  we have lost 24 in 17 days and they drop of every day   we have got no winter quarters but the poor 7 cent cloth to cover us with   what banking we put around them we have to buy more than half we live on    the men from the North can not get used to it   they will all die   it is a sad thing to have so many of our best men die here   I have been on the field in battle in the hottest of the fight  the horrors of that was awful but it was not half the misery of this war   the deaths in camp and hospital is enormous    within one mile of me there is over 50 grave lots with from 5 to 50 graves in each place and this is a mere speck compared to around the battle field    the men are getting discouraged    in whole the papers say the men are in good health and ready for the fight again    it a mistake    the whole thing   I will sacrafice my life on this statement    there is not one in each 100 000 that would ever lift the gun again if they could get rid of it in any way    they are all most insane to get this thing closed up somehow    the old Regts some say will never fight again    the officers seem to have no care for the men    a part in particular there seems to be but one object with them    it is to get what whiskey they want and make a show and the men carry the loads as much as a mule would carry and lie down on the ground in the wet at night    you have no conception of the thing nor can you have unless you live the soldiers life a while     maine can never be made whole again from the losses of her best men blood spilt on the soil of the south    there can be something done on the part of somebody or some influence used to bear on the government that will have some show to fix this up    I do not know what you can do if any thing but you should know about this matter   I have just heard from one of our company who left us a few days since for the hospital has died   we hear from some every hour from our Regt and Co   it is sickning   we shall all die soon here unless something can be done and soon to    verginias soil will cover the men from the North at an astonishing rate   let maine wake up and other states and get her men home or some where that they can live    god only knows when this will come to pass but we have as the head executive of maine to you I will express the wish and prayer of every soldier from maine that you make some demonstration to change the position and better the condition of the men   a state ought not to stand still and see the destruction of her best sons without making one grand effort to check the progress of this awful slaughter of human beings     all our battles in this state have been a wholesal slaughter of men  there is an awful neglect somewhere on the part of some department   I have not changed my views in a political sense   I am in for the administation and ever have been   have voted for and sustained it but there must be something done or we all die in this miserable condition   I have not written more than half the truth nor can I    this is all from my own observation   it is poorly composed for my chance?? Is on the ground in my little shelter tent    take this in a friendly way to your Hon. Abner Coburn from your Obedient

Orsamus Symonds Co C 17 Maine Regt.