Washington City
Friday, July 31st, ‘63

My dear Father,

You will be surprised, no doubt, to find that I am in this city.

But the incessant & rapid marches which our division has performed Since the 25th June, had used nearly all of our horses up, they being either killed or worn out, rendering  it necessary for us to recruit. So last Sunday we were ordered to return all our unserviceable horses & report to this place for fresh ones, but many of our horses gave out entirely on the way, my own among the number.  Of course we lost all our equipments & after we arrived the authorities failed to provide us with the necessary equipments & so quite a number of us had to remain behind. John Irwin is with me here.

My dear father, you have, no doubt, frequently heard from us through the papers, and of the valuable services the Cavalry regiments have rendered this campaign.

Since we left Fairfax the 25th June, the 6th Mich Cav’l has been engaged in eleven different battles & Skirmishes & I have been with it every time. Just a week ago today, we had a hard brush with a large force of the enemy, at Battle Mountain, near the Blue Ridge. In that fight Company K lost two men killed & two wounded.

One of those killed is, I have to lament, my much esteemed friend Jonathan Smith. He was Shot dead as we were advancing. I have written to his mother. The other killed was Ira Kelsey.

The wounded were Jimmie Hunt in the right shoulder slightly, & Fred Bergman in the right leg just above the ankle, fracturing the bone to some extent. I saw Fred to-day. He was very cheerful & Said if he got able to do Service he was willing to go back & try it over again. He is doing well now, He is in Mount Pleasant Hospital Ward No. 2 Washington.  The patients are all well cared for. You may tell Johnathan’s Mother that She can draw a pension of eight dollars per month from the date of his death, if she makes application for such pension before the expiration of one year.

I am now in what is termed a Dismounted Camp near Alexandria, Va. There is a large number of Cavalry waiting here for horses, I could not tell now when we Shall leave. We may Soon, we may not in Sometime. We came here yesterday before I could finish this.

My health is tolerable good, Johnny is well, as were all of the boys when I left.

Love to all
Matthew

Dismounted Camp
Near Alexandria, VA.
Aug. 1st, 1863

As mentioned in a previous letter, Jonathan Smith was killed near Amissville, Virginia on the slopes of Battle Mountain near Newby’s Cross Roads.

John Irwin enlisted in Johnstown Township in Barry County, Michigan in 1862. He was made Corporal in 1865 and mustered out shortly after. He married Priscilla Sams in 1866 and settled in Kansas where he was a farmer. They had 4 children together. He died in 1943 at the age of 100 and is buried in Centralia Cemetery in Nemaha County, Kansas.

John Smith is listed in a previous entry. Ira Kelsey enlisted in Co. K in 1862 at the age of 36 and was killed in action at Newby’s Cross Roads, Virginia on July 24, 1863.

James Hunt (Jimmie above) and Frederick Bergman were discussed in a previous entry, and their wounds were not fatal.

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Who’s Matthew Baird?

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