Letter from Austin, Matthew S.

Soldier: Austin, Matthew S.
Allegiance: Union
Unit/Service Branch: 5th Infantry
Home State: New Jersey
Date Written: Sunday, November 9th, 1862
Location: Manassas Junction
Correspondence Type: Letter
Subjects: Commanders, Comrades, Daily Life, Eastern Theater, Family, On the March, Rumors, Strategy
9 p.m.

Camp Fifth N.J. Vols

Dear Father

Yours of the 6th, was received last night - you had not noticed the part of our march to this point, although it is mentioned in the papers of late date. We are under command of Gen. Sickles. He is not a Hooker or Kearney. On the 5th we remained in our camp at Bristo. On the 6th (evening) the brigade was advanced towards Warrenton Junction on a reconnaissance and probably passed as unpleasant a night as one could wish it, being very cold - freezing. Same day, I went to Alexandria R.R. after fresh bread. Brigade returned to Bristo on the morning of the 7th, during which day a snow storm prevailed and it was cold indeed. Same evening (night) division changed ground, our brigade going to Manassas Junction, the others towards Warrenton. Yesterday (8th) was occupied in moving tents, baggage and other stuff for our comfort at the point. Since the 6th the weather has been cold, with strong winds from the N. It is now clear (4 o’clock) first time since evening of the 6th. We have just received a tent for the men. They have been living under the shelter tent up to this time. The evenings are so unpleasant as to make writing an unpleasant thing and with business and bad weather, I have delayed until now. If we remain here for a time, of course, we shall make our tents as comfortable as possible so as to make them warm at night and I can promise more regality in this line - but there is talk that we are to return to Alexandria to be detached from Sickles division. (which we hope to be true) etc. I apprehend we shall soon move - but the direction we know not. Lewis Gailack, we are not accurately informed of. The last known of him in the Adj’t office was that he was in one of the Gen. hospitals - Washington or Georgetown - they do not know which. He was said to have been well and feel safe in saying he is all right so far as an absentee can be. He was not over-fond of duty either in camp or on the battle field but was, I believe, actually wounded. I will inquire of his Co. in regard to him. I have just made inquiry and learn that he was with the regiment on our former expedition in this neighborhood but fell out of the ranks on the march from Warrenton Junction to Bristo. The next heard from him was from the College Hospital Meridan Hill DC where he was reported wounded as above. He was not in his company or reg’t either at the fight at Bristo Station or at Bull Run, so that all known of him is from his own account to Capt. Reynolds som 6 or 8 weeks since. So far the advance appears to have been successful. May it lead to a successful issue.

Very truly
M.S. Austin C.S.
Fifth NJ Vols