Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers
Company A, Inc.
March 7, 1999
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A letter to the commander of the Eighth Connecticut:
In the past, our units have met on the battlefield, and I have held you in the highest regard, respecting your command abilities, and feeling that under other circumstances, we might go so far as to be comrades. A recent occurrence has, however, caused me to re-evaluate this judgement. As a commander myself, I realize that it is impossible to know the intentions and activities of all the men under your command, but at the same time I take responsibility for their actions as a unit, and hope that you do the same. The incident of which I speak took place on Saturday, March 6 past. I had moved my men from their winter quarters and set up a temporary bivouac at Camp Sloper, with the intent of interacting with the local citizenry, and affording my men some much needed drill, after a long winter of inactivity. While my men were gathering and preparing for the day's upcoming details, several individuals found their way into our camp, and showing familiarity and acquaintance with some of my men, began to prepare to join us in our activities. I must mention that these men appeared familiar to me as well, and so were welcomed into our company and shown hospitality as best we could offer. I realize now that these were men of your unit, and that I was duped into believing that they were stragglers separated from one of our associated companies. I should have been more suspicious when these men showed ignorance of some of the rudiments of the drill practiced in our army, but ignored in yours. I attributed this lack to the long winter layover, and variations of emphasis on drill within our own companies, and attempted to instruct them, and polish their skills. After a morning of marching, maneuvering and practice, I released the men for lunch. My men shared what provisions they had with the newcomers, and at some time during this period, a dastardly plan was hatched. After refreshment, and visitations by curious locals, the five strangers hung back in the company of one of my sergeants, whom I had no reason to suspect of being sympathetic to your cause, but who obviously was. While the rest of my loyal troops moved out into an open field to resume their drill, your interlopers skulked into the shelter of the forest surrounding the field. At what they felt was an opportune moment, they opened fire on the unsuspecting company, and immediately dropped several good men. The others, stunned at the underhandedness of the attack, were able to regroup, and push into the woods. Although several more of my men were casualties of the ensuing skirmish, the entire traitorous patrol was dispatched to meet their maker.
I am writing this letter to inform you of the fate of these men, and to protest this brazen, dishonorable act. To infiltrate our company under the guise of amicability for the dubious purpose of spying is unconscionable, but to open fire on an unengaged detail is truly despicable. I can not begin to fathom what might motivate one to commit such an act. I can only hope that these men were operating on their own independent initiative, that this betrayal of trust was not officially sanctioned. If, however, this is the level to which your army of invasion has sunk, I shall personally look forward to avenging this cowardly attempt at deception and destruction at our next meeting on the field of battle.
I eagerly await your response concerning this incident, and remain,
Maj. L. Jones
First Maryland Regiment, CSA
Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers, Co.A, Inc.