Post Hospital, Camp Randall, Madison Wisconsin, Sunday July 26, 1863
Dear Wife and family:
Yours of the 22nd came to hand Friday morning last and I thought I would wait till today as I had very little news to write. I have been quite well since I wrote you last. I have not had a letter from Manly since I was at home. I look for one soon.
The war news is good if the newspapers are reliable and yet the Wis. regiments that were in the great battles in Pennsylvania were cut all to pieces, being more than one half killed and wounded. We know this is true as lists of the killed and wounded have been sent to the governor of this state. Consequently if the troops from other states have suffered as much as the Wisconsin troops have the army is more than half killed and taken prisoner. But alas such is not the case. The brave and stout-hearted Wisconsin troops, together with Illinois, Iowa and Michigan, were put in the front of the battle to make a breast work for New England and New York troops to hide behind. This is creating dissatisfaction amongst the western soldiers and it is no wonder that it does, for they see the partiality used by the officers of the army. I believe there will be a more fearful reckoning for Eastern generals than for David who put Uriah in front of the battle. The object of David was to have Uriah killed so that he could get his wife. I believe the Bible constitutes him a murderer for the act, but the object of the generals in putting the Western soldiers in front was because they would fight the best and would not run. The bravery of the Western men has become proverbial with the Rebels. I have conversed with many paroled prisoners in this camp and they say the Rebels told them if the Federals would send only eastern men against them they could whip us if our numbers were as the sands of the sea shore, but that the western men fought like devils incarnate. I would propose in the next great battle that is fought that the Western men be put behind the down easters as a guard to keep them from running.
Eb Hayden left this camp a few days since. He got a telegraph dispatch that his wife was at the point of death and started immediately home on a pass. I was talking with him when the sad news came and had only learned he was here the day before. He seemed much pleased to see me. He thinks of going in to the invalid corps and so do I, but do not know for certain only this: there is a squad of men going to my regiment from here tomorrow and I am not to be sent with them. I asked the doctor whether he was going to send me to my regiment or put me in the invalid corps. He said he did not know and asked me if I did not think I was doing very well here. I told him yes. Said he then, That's all right. This is all I know about it. There are quite a number of Mineral Point boys here that I am acquainted with: George Legate was killed at the battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. His father has gone to get his body to fetch it home to the Point. General Blunt has had a fight with the Rebels at Fort Gibson, Ark. and whipped the dog water out of them. Three companies of the third cavalry were in the fight and did good fighting. The Rebels were three to one of our force.
I guess your bell is not very good, or the cows could not get out of hearing with it unless the wind blew hard. I was very glad to hear from you with all the events narrated therein. Write as soon as convenient, as the time, as usual, passes sluggishly away. It is a great treat to hear from you at all times. Kiss the children for me, as usual, and remember me as ever your affectionate husband,
Chas. N. Mumford