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1 letter from A young New York lady to her friend William who has just enlisted, possibly William Jenkins or William Doerner. Doerner enlisted in the 9th Wisconsin on September 5, 1861. Newstead, Sept 24th 1861 Dear Friend William, I received yours of the 23rd Thursday night and have been trying to compose myself so as to be able to write, and have partially succeeded. Yet what difference does it make whether I write or not? I cannot alter anything and it is useless for me to say a word. You tell me coolly that you have enlisted into the western army [and] not a word of regret, not a thought probably of the grief you knew it would cause. I think you might have let me know about it before you volunteered. If you had only come home first and enlisted here and gone into this division of the army I should not feel so bad. I could hear from you so much oftener. Our papers give full particulars of every movement of our troops in Virginia. If there is any one injured belonging to a New York regiment, their names are given. But we know but very little what is going on in Missouri, unless there is a large battle, but perhaps you prefer going into Missouri. I fear you will have more trouble with Rheumatism than you have had before. You will have to be out in all kinds of weather. The cold Fall rains are coming on and you will have to lay out many a night on the cold wet ground. I can't imagine what you were thinking about. And then the idea of your going into battle to be shot at. Oh God, I cannot endure the thought. You may be killed or taken prisoner and we [will] never hear what has become of you. Oh, William, William this is too hard. I have no comfort, no consolation from any one, but I will not complain any more. I do wrong to trouble & discourage you. You must forgive me. I am so utterly miserable. I hardly know what I am writing. I will stop awhile for I cannot keep the tears back. We are all well. William Gehm is able to be about some, but not able to do anything. Wentz works here. Father and Mother and Mark all send their regards to you and hope you will do well and return safe. Mother says we will pray for your safety and that you may kill all the Secesh [that] oppose you. I don't know about my wanting you to kill anybody. It is a dreadful thought, yet I had rather you would kill then be killed. Ever Yours Ann Eliza
Letter of from Ann Eliza to William [Doerner?] -THE CIVIL WAR -Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum
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Doerner

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Last modified on: December 12, 2009