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By September 25, 2014 Read More →

Letter from Antietam Creek

Post 09 22 14 photoThe Monadnock Center has a large archive of military materials including letters and diaries of Peterborough Civil War soldiers.  The following letter was written by John Addison Cummings (1838-1887), a young Army captain.  He mailed this letter from Antietam Creek on September 28, 1862

“Dear Mother:

We are lying in camp here on the bank of the Potomac.  The rebels are opposite and occasional dashes at them are made by our troops.  There has got to be one more great slaughter somewhere this fall, it may be near here but probably the theatre of operations will be changed soon and our army will move into Virginia again by way of Washington.  We seem to have severe battles and both sides claim a victory but no decisive results come from it.  I am sick and tired of it sometimes; it seems so much like nothing but huge butchery.  We have got the best of them now however and the spirits of our soldiers begin to recover from the depression caused by the defeat at Bull Run. …Write me often.  With love to all I am Your Son John A. Cummings”

A week earlier, on September 17, one of the bloodiest battles in U.S. history was fought at Antietam.  By the end of the day, 23,000 men were dead, wounded, or missing.