I am writing to thank you for this wonderful website. I would like to add the information I have from the letters I have that my great great grandfather, Edmund Robinson wrote to his wife, Rebecca. He was in company H of the 28th Regiment of the Michigan Volunteers. His letters may clarify the actual way that the troops were moved toward battle of Wyse Forks, NC, the only battle this company was engaged in.
The first letter is dated 9/30/64 and the last dated 3/24/65. His letter 10/20th finds the reg in Kalamazoo.By Nov 22 his his "address" is Jeffersonville IN, but he talks of standing guard in Louisville KY which is over on the other side of the river. His later letters mention that they left Louisville on the 11th of Jan and went to Nashville, They stayed 2 nights and 1 day there. Then they took a steamboat for Eastport, TN.But when they got to Paducah, they got orders to report to Louisville. They took a steamboat up the Ohio river to Cinncinatti. They were there 1 night. On the morning of Jan 20 they got off the boat and "built fires in the streets of Cinncinatti and then we cooked pork and beans and coffee all we wanted. In the evening we got on the cars again and started we knew not where. We have been traveling 5 days and nights traveling through the roughest country I ever saw in all my traveling. The road is called the Ohio and Baltimore railroad. We stopped most every day. Got off, built fires and cooked coffee. The 22nd at midnight we came to a place called Grafton where they had coffee made for the whole regiment but very few got out to get any. No snow on the ground at that time, but snow fell before morning. The 23rd still on the cars. Snow and quite cold the 24th. Stopped at Martinsburg Virginy and took coffee. Past Harper's Ferry about noon. It showed signs of hard times. A great many buildings burned. The bridges at the Ferry are repaired but down the river for miles the bridges are all gone. We came into this place before daylight this morning.(25th) We are at a place called the soldier's rest. I have not been outside yet. I am well. I stand riding first rate. I don't know how I shall stand it when it comes to walking." "I had a little touch of the ague but soon came round all right again. I now feel as though I had been in camp all the time. We was crowded too many into a car at Cincinnatti. We was very uncomfortable until we changed cars and crossed the Ohio river at a place called Bellaire. We was then in Virginia. Then they put our company into the box cars without seats - a little hay in it to lay down on. We had no fire but more room than before and we got along very well. We could lay down and sleep at night and we had our knapsacks for seats through the day and for a pillow throught the night. Some two or three of our Newberg boys is on the sick list this morning with bad colds. We came through Washington this morning some time before day but very few of us knowed anything about it at the time, as we was most all sleeping. We are in a very neat clean looking place but we do not expect to stay, only to rest a little." This letter was dated Jan 25th from Alexandria VA. In a letter dated Feb 25th he writes: We left Alexandria 19th for Williamsburg by steamboat. We arrived off Williamsburg 21st. Lay at anchor 2 days. We was then ordered to Beaufort Harbor this morning of 23rd. It rained and at 9 o'clock it began to blow. It blowed hard all night. I have been a little sea sick most of the time whilst on board but did not throw up. William Rogers and a great many others gave up their accounts freely. This is Saturday 25th. We have not landed yet but expect to do so pretty soon. We have orders to pack up our things and leave."......"Dear Wife, I commenced this letter 25th but had to quit and leave the boat and had no time since until now 27th. We left the boat and took the cars for New Bern. We arrived here last evening. We had our overcoats on. It rained a little at times. We had to march 1 mile. The sun came out and everything looked like spring. It was so much warmer than we had been used to we soon began to puff. When we got to camp some of the boys that got there one day before us was stripped and in the pond washing themselves. Quite a number was in shirt sleeves. I sat down and pulled off my boots, throwed away my socks, pulled off my wristlets and throwed them away. I think I shall not want such things any more this winter.The frogs are peeping and everything is about like May in Michigan."
The letter dated 3/3 finds them still at New Bern. The letter dated 3/6th states that they have now marched 2 days from New Bern through "low swampy country- sometimes deep mud and water. It was quite warm and it made us sweat pretty bad.....We marched about 10 miles in a day." " We are encamped on cleared land surrounded by woods. We are but a few miles from the rebel lines."The next letter is dated 3/11. It says that they have been in battle for 3 days. This is the battle at Wyse Forks NC although he doesn't call it that. he writes, "We have been in a battle the last three days but not engaged all the time. We have lost some 10 or 15 killed and wounded but none in our company."....."The news has come that the Rebs have left our front. I expect we shall have to move very soon to chase the Rebs. I did not get as excited in battle as I expected. We got where the bullets flew pretty thick twice. Some was awfully frightened. When we first marched into battle, one of our company was so frightened that he had no strength left. He seemed as though he did not know what he was doing. I think I have been as much excited sometimes after squirrels as I was in the first fight." By the 14th of March, they were camped about 1 mile from Kinston.On the 15th of March they moved to a camp east of Kinston. By 3/24 they are in Goldsborough. Edmund became sick with typhoid after this and died at DeCamp Hospital on David's Island NY on April 16th 1865. He left his widow, Rebecca and 2 small boys, Charles and William.