Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

Post image for War Letters of William Thompson Lusk.

War Letters of William Thompson Lusk.

November 19, 2012

War Letters of William Thompson Lusk.

Near Fredericksburg,

Nov. 19th, 1862.

My dear Mother:

Here we are at last on familiar ground, lying in camp at Falmouth, opposite to Fredericksburg. I have been unable while on the march for the few days past, to write you, but am doing my best with a pencil to-night, as one of our Captains returns home to-morrow, and will take such letters as may be given him. It was my turn to go home this time, but my claim was disregarded. You know Lt.-Col. Morrison has command of the Regiment in Col. Farnsworth’s absence, and Morrison never omits any opportunity to subject me to petty annoyances. I am an American in a Scotch Regiment, and in truth not wanted. Yet I cannot resign. The law does not allow that, so I have to bear a great deal of meanness. Stevens in his lifetime, knowing how things stood, kept in check the Scotch feeling against interlopers like Elliott and myself. … I do not exaggerate these things. I used to feel the same way in old times, but had been so long separated from the regiment as almost to forget them. I have borne them of late without complaint, hoping the efforts of my friends might work my release. In the Regiments of the old Division I think no officer had so many strong friends as I. In my own Regiment I may say that I am friendless. (I except McDonald). In the Division I had a reputation. In my Regiment I have none. After eighteen months of service I am forced to bear the insults of a man who is continually telling of the sacrifices he has made for his country because he abandoned, on leaving for the war, a small shop where he made a living by polishing brasses for andirons.

Forgive me, my dear mother, for complaining. It does me good sometimes, for then, after speaking freely, I always determine afresh that if these things must be, I will nevertheless do my duty, and in so doing maintain my self-respect. Love to all, dear mother. Good-bye.

Very afFec’y.,

William T. Lusk.

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