"Battle of Drainsville" letter by 9th PA Reserve Sergt. Major Andy Porter Morrison.
Here is a typed transcript:
Thursday night Dec 26, 1861
When I tell you that I have been very busy ever since your last letter was received I know you will hold me excused for not having answered it sooner. "Business before pleasure" is in adage most pointedly true when applied to a soldier & however much I may wish to write to an old friend I cannot it absent myself from the most trifling duty to do so- sometimes I might have found time at night but tired limbs and sleepy eyes would not permit and to tell the truth I never had anything of much importance to communicate
Of course you know all about the “Battle of Dranesville" long before this reaches you and I will not bore you by entering on any detailed ac
-count of it at this late date- I cannot refrain however from saying in behalf of our Regiment that we have not been fairly represented by the Philadelphia papers. Because Col. Kane of the “Bucktails” and Col. Taggart of the Twelfth both hail from the “City of Brotherly love”- which in this case might be interpreted the City of Selfishness- all the glory of the fight is given to them and their Regiments- The fact is that the “Twelfth" did nothing at all- and the “Bucktails” (the First Pennsylvania Rifles) did ‘nobly' but not more so than our own “Ninth”- These two Regiments were in the hottest of the battle- and together with the Artillery did most of the fighting.- And let me also say for my own company that I am still now more than ever proud to belong to the “Pittsburgh Rifles". I think we can now safely assert without any fear of contradiction that we have seen and done "active service"
War, my dear friend is in all its aspects a horrible necessity- Alas, alas! for poor human nature that there must still be "wars and rumors of war”- But a battle field is the most terrible of all- I will not attempt to describe the appearance of that Dranesville woods- with the grounds covered with the dead and dying. During the fight I saw men fall close to me- I saw others carried from the field, some on a comrade’s back some borne along between two men- some carried on litters all pale, and blood stained- I saw it all- but at the time it severely drew my attention for a moment- My duty was of a different kind- my attention was turned in a different direction- does it not seem strange that the hour & a half of the fight seemed to me only a very few minutes? I suppose it must have been because my every faculty was
absorbed in the one anxious effort to see and defeat the Rebels. It all ended in a glorious victory! Our march home that night about thirteen (13) miles was very trying on me and on all our boys- We started back at dark- we had done hard work through the day we had been most intensely excited- we were hungry and shivering in the cold frosty air- the excitement was all over- our muscles were relaxed- and for myself I had hurt my right knee a little and it became very painful- But at last we reached Camp Pierpoint with thankful hearts. I trust, for our safety and our success.
A few words more on a more pleasant subject- I hope you and Mrs. Clancy spent a very Merry Christmas and I wish you a happy New Year's I was doing guard duty yesterday & last night but it was a happy day with me for I indulged in happy thoughts- thoughts of the friends far away-who by that time most certainly have been assured of my safety. It was the first Christmas day I ever spent away from mother I think.
One word more, John, I think you asked me in your last whether a few cigars would be a acceptable gift or not. I am not a "habitual smoker" but I do enjoy a good cigar very much, occasionally- if you have a good chance send them on and they will be appreciated.
I know you are kept pretty busy friend Clancy, but still I think of you ought not to wait for me to answer every letter you write- at all events write as often as you can. My special regards to Mrs. Clancy- and all kind remembrances to all my friends-
Yours etc. A.P. Morrison"
Four pages, comes with original postal cover. In fine condition, with wear as shown in the photographs. Comes with research on Morrison as well.
$295.00 plus shipping