I only have the last two pages from this particular letter written by Henry Augustine Trowbridge, 14th Regiment NJ Volunteers, to his nephew William Earl Woodruff. The letter mentions “Antetem.” I presume Henry meant the Battle of Antietam which took place on September 17, 1862. So the letter may have been written during the latter part of September of that year. This was not long after he entered service on August 26, 1862.
…I told John Henry about William Bennet getting drowned and he said it was no wonder for they was on thin ice or in the water most all the time. that was a sad axident that happened to those people on the north river to lose 27 lives out of 37. that is as bad as to get killed in battle. you said that emma [William’s sister] was invited to a party to jobe tours. I hope she will enjoy herself and have a nice time and not serve the boys as she did Clarrance. you say that you wished that i had went in the 9 months men [those who enlisted for 9 months only] so that I could come home sooner. well, I wish sometimes I had too but from all accounts and what I see and here, I think that we will get home sometime next summer. I would like to be home in time to help you mow away hay and to go to Jersey City for grains and to get my lager Bier for I cannot get it here. it is nothing now for me to see dead boddies. they pass through here every day dead and wounded in every way. yesterday there was five car loades came up from Fredrick City of sick and disabled soldiers and some of them was gray backs that was taken prisoners at Antetem. some of our men had one leg off with a bandage around the end of his leg and a strap around his shoulders. I do not know why Cornelia did not com down on Christmas or New Years only that they had a fair up there and she had to tend one of the tables. I’ll bet if I had been home she would have been there for she said when she was there before that she did not feel at home because I was not there. I do not know what you meant by telling me to forward it on. I wish you would let me know. We spend our time in playing ball and setting in the tent telling stories, writing and a cleaning our enterments. I have not heard from Peet. well, i will have to close for this time hoping to hear from you soon again. Write soon.
From your Loving Uncle Henry Trowbridge