99th Pa. Infantry – William J. Dougall Describes Battles at Auburn, Bristow Station, Fairfax Court House, Bull Run, and best of all, A BULLET GOING THROUGH “THAT RED PATCH… ON THE TOP OF THE CAP” (Corps Badge: 3rd Corps, 1st Division, Red Diamond)

William Dougall enlisted in November of 1862 into Company E of the 99th Pennsylvania Infantry. One month later he was wounded at the battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia, 12/16/62. The letter is 4 long pages, the first 3 written in black ink and the last in red ink! The letter is headed, “Camp Near Catlett’s Station Va. Oct. the 24, 1863”.

Here are the great parts:

• “Dear Cousin… It is raining today which makes it very unpleasant. I received your very welcome letter on the 10th of this month, and we packed up the same day and formed in line of battle (expecting to be attacked every minute).”

• “We had two skirmishes with them, one at Auburn, the other at Bristoe Station. We fell back to Fairfax Court House, and we advanced again to our present camp. How long we will stay here I do not know.”

• “We have had very hard times. I will give you a piece of my memorandum. While on this march Saturday, October the 10th, 1863, received orders, packed up, formed a new line of battle, rained, ordered to sleep on our arms, Rebels advancing.”

• “11th, pleasant morning, still resting on our arms, advanced out to support the pickets, had a skirmish and fell back, was the rear guard, crossed Hazel River and the Edgemont after night, water very cold, arrived on the safe side of the Edgemont at 4 1/2 in the morning, water up to our middles, our clothes all wet.”

• “12th, in line of battle on the bank of the Edgemont, expecting an attack, moved at 3 a.m., changed line of battle.”

• “13th, marched past Bealton Station, halted along the Warrenton Branch for dinner, 30 minutes, started again, marched 1 mile through our skirmishes, formed line of battle, Rebels in the distance. We advanced by the right flank to the top of the hill, formed line of battle and charged on them, drove them, had 2 men wounded, marched 8 miles to Greenwich, encamped for the night.”

• “14th, took up the line of march, 12 a.m. halted for dinner near Bristoe Station, took up the line of march through Bull Run to 1 mile of Centerville, halted for the night, 20 miles.”

• “15th, took the line of march through Centerville, marched 17 miles and encamped for the night near Fort Delaware, Va., rained all afternoon, received 3 days’ rations.”

• “6 p.m. General Sickles passed along the line amidst deafening cheers from the first division of which he thinks so much of, commanded by General Birney.”

• “We laid in camp until the 19th when we again took up the line of march, went through Wolfrun Creek, arrived at Manassas Junction at 12 a.m., distance 15 miles, marched 2 miles to near Bristow Station, halted for the night, very warm.”

• “20th, took the advance, marched 3 miles on the wrong road, had to wade a large stream and come back again, marched 5 miles, halted for 20 minutes for dinner, marched through town of Greenwich, 5 miles other side, halted for the night in a field along the road, distance 25 miles.”

• “21st, marched 15 miles and encamped near Catlett’s Station, alongside of the Orange & Alexandria railroad where we are at present.”

• “I received that red patch that you sent me, is very nice but is almost too large. One a little smite smaller would be all the better as it has to be worn on the top of the cap. I AM SORRY TO TELL YOU, BUT THAT ONE YOU SENT ME HAS GOT A BULLET HOLE THROUGH IT IN THE LAST SKIRMISH THAT I WAS IN AT BRISTOW. THAT WAS PRETTY CLOSE TO MY HEAD, THROUGH CAP, AND ALL IT WAS REMARKED BY THE WHOLE REGT. THAT IT WAS A LUCKY PATCH FOR ME. They all think it was my sweetheart that sent it to me. They say that no bullet will ever go through me as long as I wear that patch.”

• “I remain ever your friend and Cousin, Wm. James Dougall Comp. E, 99th Regt. Pa. Vol.”

For the Corps badge collector, we guess this would be the ultimate letter to display with a 3rd Corps Red Diamond… a great letter!

#L728PA.10-24-63 – Price $595

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