26th in a series.
Edwin’s letter to Friend Mary, dated October 7th, 1862
….I have been on the March nearly all the time since we left Harrison’s Landing, which was on the 16th of Aug. Since then I have been in two battles, the first was a small one but the last was the most desperate battle that has been fought on this continent. Our Brigade suffered very bad. We lost over 700 out of the brigade. The 1st Minnesota lost 125. We came off very lucky compared with the rest of the brigade. The 15th Mass. And the 34 New York lost nearly 300 each. One company in our regiment lost over half the men they went in with. We remained on the battlefield four days after the fight and the dead wasn’t all buried the four days and there was over 1,000 men at work burying them every day. I could stand in one place and count 200 dead men. In some places they were two or three deep. I never want to see another battlefield.
The two battles Edwin refers to are the Battle of South Mountain (Sept. 14th in Maryland ) and the Battle of Antietam (Sept. 17th near Sharpsburg, Maryland). Antietam was the single bloodiest day of the American Civil War. Watch a video about the 1st Minnesota and Antietam on the Minnesota Historical Society website at http://sites.mnhs.org/civil-war/videos/minnesota-crossroads-battle-antietam-1862. See the Antietam Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/antietamnps/.