Like Grass before the Scythe: The Life and Death of Sgt William Remmel 121st NY Infantry

By William Remmel

Uncommonly articulate letters from a tender German-American soldier with the Union forces.
During a clash that observed dying stopover at many families within the land, this can be the tale of a tender recruit’s devotion to kin and kingdom. William Remmel’s letters conceal greater than complete years of carrier within the 121st long island Infantry Regiment in the course of the Civil conflict, from August 1862 to October of 1864. they supply information on army and social heritage within the japanese theater of operations and at the event of the homefront in upstate big apple between a principally immigrant, working-class kin and group. like all different soldier in any other struggle, Remmel’s reports are either common and particular. they're common in his adventure of boredom, privation, ache, and finally, obliteration. His situations have been idiosyncratic in that he used to be an immigrant boy, critical, considerate, articulate, who represents a constituency of one.
Sergeant Remmel’s unit (which was once for a time commanded by way of Emory Upton, a huge determine within the post-war military) used to be a part of the sixth Corps, military of the Potomac. He used to be a German immigrant who had settled along with his mom and dad and family members in a long way upstate big apple. the writer wrote in English and it seems that his mom and dad answered in German. probably this cultural distinction led Remmel to be relatively cautious in his writing and to provide an explanation for occasions with strange precision.
In addition to the $64000 fabric on an immigrant family’s event, Remmel additionally bargains with the query of slavery, disorder and health center care (when he was once wounded), the matter of tough war/total struggle, in addition to the campaigns of Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and the Shenandoah Valley in 1864. He disappears, MIA, on the conflict of Cedar Creek, October 19, 1864. His family members believed he died as a POW at Andersonville legal, and so they spent a great deal of effort and time vainly attempting to ensure his fate.

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It sort of feels like one of those Sunday to us, for we're nearly regularly at the circulation and feature yet little time to leisure. considering that we left the Rappahannock i feel, adequately conversing, our corps has marched 250 miles and there's a reasonable likelihood of marching as a lot farther earlier than the summer’s crusade will shut. it truly is inspiration right here that Meade intends to move off Lee at Richmond and provides him conflict. Meade strikes very fast and he perhaps capable of perform his layout. the rustic wherein the military handed is nearly desolated. Grain, to a good volume, is destroyed. Fields all chop up with roads, fences approximately all destroyed for cooking and different reasons. Farmers have mostly no longer a cow left; the rebels having taken all of them. infrequently a superb horse was once to be visible. i'm having fun with strong wellbeing and fitness, yet our heavy marches put on upon me. i'm so drained that i will infrequently rise up, yet nonetheless we need to maintain doing, for maintaining with the regiment we needs to or be punished. Many males are deserting the military now. they suspect they could escape. forty two Moses Bliss got here to determine me this present day. He appears to be like rugged and fit. How friendly it really is to shake fingers with previous buddies. i cannot try and write anymore at the present. out of your affectionate son, William Remmel Camp of the 121st Regiment close to New Baltimore, Va. August the eleventh, 1863 pricey Brother Augustus, Your very variety letter of the thirty first immediate has been duly got and had I had time i might have replied it prior to. Our regiment in basic terms final evening again from a three days scouting travel, which has made it most unlikely to jot down any for numerous days. I belief that via kindness and sound attention you'll back pardon me. forty three 50 / bankruptcy 2. 1863 The final letter I wrote you, i feel, used to be dated Snickersville, Virginia; now we're faraway from there and masses closer Washington. where close to which we're now staying is termed New Baltimore. where is an insignificant one, there being no more than four homes within the position. This, including part a dozen outdated barns and a few nigger huts, varieties the proud urban of N B [New Baltimore]. N B isn't the position at which we halted after our overdue march. Warrenton was once the [place] at which we first stopped; a as soon as thriving little city on a department of the Alexandria and Orange Railroad, approximately forty miles from Washington. We stopped at this position approximately one week and was once then ordered to our current place to protect the various roads resulting in where, to avoid the seize of the provision trains of the rebels less than the famous guerrilla Mosby. Trains [are] agoing to our cavalry alongside the Bull Run Mountains and within the area of Thoroughfare hole. the gap from right here to Washington is ready five miles and, even though there's virtually a continuing shuttle occurring among the following and there, but it really is a few dicy to enterprise from the following with offers with out an escort of guards to avoid assaults from prowling guerrillas. forty four i'll now inform you a bit a couple of scout, which our regiment, including eight cavalrymen, had considering the fact that early Saturday morning final. it truly is now Tuesday (P.

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