Civil War & Reconstruction Civil War First Union Occupation Letter by Charles Morton About Falmouth Skirmish

Letter by Charles Morton About Falmouth Skirmish

The following is a letter that was written by Charles Morton to his mother.  He tells her about the skirmish at Falmouth and the burial that took place at Union Church.

FALMOUTH, (opposite Fredericksburgh) Tuesday, April 22nd, 1862.

Dear Mother: I wrote a long letter a day or two ago to Father, giving him an account of our fight. Lieut. Decker and the men that were killed were buried on Saturday with all the honors of war, escorted by the two Regiments of cavalry and 14th  Brooklyn. Gen. [Irvin] McDowell is very much pleased with our Regiment, and said he always knew we would fight well.

Lieut. Col. [H. Judson] Kilpatrick, in his report to Gov. Morgan, says “the squadron in Major Harhaus’ Battalion, Capts. McIrvine and Cogan, and their Lieutenants, Ferris and Morton, charged up to and over the enemies’ breastworks with the greatest bravery and coolness.”  It was a pretty hard place to get through. The secesh were in the woods and firing at us all the time, and the way the bullets whizzed around and over us was a caution. Dolly [his horse] did not seem to like it very much and coming back through the woods and over the fences she seemed in such a hurry that two or three times I thought she would have left me behind, especially when the bullets came spit spat against the rails and trees.

Lieut. Cummings said it was worse than at Bull Run — he was there with [Capt.] George [C. Morton, 5th New York Cavalry, the writer’s brother]. So I’ve been in as hard a fight as George, and come off unhurt. I hope we will both be as lucky the next time.

We had eight killed and fifteen wounded; four of our Regiment and four of the Pennsylvania Regiment killed. We had three battalions. The enemy had two Regiments of infantry and five hundred cavalry. But they never ventured out to charge us. I think they did not like our style of doing up business. Our men came out after the charge and formed up as cool as on drill. We killed nine of the rebels.  We are now waiting here for the bridge to be reconstructed, so we can cross the river and take possession of Fredericksburgh, which has surrendered. It is a large city, one of the best in Virginia, and vessels come up the river within a mile of it.

It has been raining three days and things are rather damp about here. I’ve just come off of picket duty. There is no secesh this side of the Rappahannock. Col. Davies is still in Washington sick.  We have [damaged illegible] horses. If anyone enquires, tell them [damaged illegible] company boys are all well. Emsley, Egleston, Maxwell, and Sergeant Dobbs, all behaved very well and distinguished themselves, and, singular to say, that though in the thickest of the fight, not one got killed. I remain your affectionate Son,

Lieutenant Harris Light Cavalry.