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In Their Own Words

August 09, 1864

Wounded While in Camp

Wounds and death in battle were bad, but to some even worse were the injuries and deaths caused by sporadic Confederate firing into Union camps, as evidence by this letter from Lt. Col. Fredrick Winkler of the 26th Wisconsin Infantry to his wife:

“I rode over to General Howard’s headquarters this forenoon. They are three miles from here. The rebel pickets have been firing into our camp today very disagreeably. One excellent man was dangerously wounded about ten paces from our fly this morning. This constant firing, when not really fighting, is the greatest annoyance of this campaign, and the losses it involves are so painful. This poor boy this morning seemed to feel it so deeply; he sobbed amid his groans and faltered forth, “Oh, I have gone through so many battles, and now I must be wounded here In camp.” He gave directions to write to his father and said he could not live. In a pitched battle, we have so much to occupy us, but here in camp it is horrible to see our men wounded.”

Source: Civil War Letters of Major Fredrick C. Winkler, in 26th Wisconsin Infantry Volunteers Home Page