Jeremiah R. Imbri, Wilson Rifles, Co. K, 10th Pa. Reserves.
August 1, 18611
It being a rainy day the noise and stir which usually attends camp has, to a great extent, ceased. The oppressive rays of the sun being shut out by the watery clouds, one can sit beneath the canvassed tents with more than usual satisfaction.
No military information as regards the movements of troops around Washington, that can be relied upon, has taken place. Rumors are plenty, yet we know not of their correctness. Our camp is situated on a level piece of ground, about a mile from the Capitol. Tho’ exposed to the warm rays of the sun, yet frequently gentle breezes waft their way by us.
Report says that we will leave this camp by Monday, and march to Big run, this side of Manassas Junction. Our Regiment, it is expected, will be paid off to-day, which will satisfy most of them as much as any thing else, for a great number have run short of means, the opportunities for spending since leaving home being so great.
Military discipline here is very strict. There are more than a hundred thousand soldiers around Washington, and still more arriving. It is said that the Wisconsin, and the Penn’a 6th will leave to-day for Big run. The excitement originating from the battle of July 21st, between Big run and Manassas Junction, has partly died away. Altho’ our forces met with a tolerably heavy loss, yet nearly all have come to the conclusion, and must admit, that our men evinced the most heroic bravery, with but few exceptions. In those four hours, with the same number of men, history seldom records more heroic deeds than crowned that battle. Altho’ more than a week has passed since this battle, yet it is almost to sift the truth from the man flying reports as to its real causes; but am content to say it would never have happened had it not been for over-anxious men to participate in an engagement. It will, perhaps, teach a valuable lesson, a lesson to confide more strictly in the generalship of Scott.
If the taking of Sumpter touched the hearts of Northern patriot[s], and by which all past political differences were laid aside, the affair of Sabbath week produced equally as energetic [a] response. But we should remember that we are battling with men of undaunted bravery. The one great advantage we have over them is the justness of our cause; and while our troops are supplied with the necessaries of camp life, the rebels are fast exhausting theirs.
The determination is never to give up the Union; its praises will be heard when its foes and friends that now survive shall be mingled together in the dust; it will long be held in high veneration from the Atlantic to the Pacific shores, and wafted in gentle breezes to other lands; wherever civilization makes its way it will be borne upon the Stars and Stripes and proclaim the perpetuity of the American Union.
Jeremiah R. Imbri
Wilson Rifles, Co. K, 10th Pa. Reserves.