Letter from Austin, Matthew S.

Soldier: Austin, Matthew S.
Allegiance: Union
Unit/Service Branch: 5th Infantry
Home State: New Jersey
Date Written: Tuesday, January 13th, 1863
Location: Philadelphia
Correspondence Type: Letter
Subjects: Family, Home, Patriotism, Politics, Rumors, Slavery, Strategy

My Dear Son

I received your of the 7th inst., at 10 a. of this day & hasten to answer in few words that I will go up to T. tonight & have your orders into Owens had at once. I will also say to you & other of our officers do not be discouraged or disheartened at the appointment of vigor in the prosecution of the war so far, as the Army of the Potomac is concerned. I have little doubt that the President feels the influence of the great mass of the friends of his Administration is not rushing that army on the Richmond to fight the rebels, those now in their own chosen & thoroughly fortified position. While our losses must necessarily be far too great, for the possession of ?mall City which by other moves of warfare or attacks at other & less fortified positions, will neutralize all their differences there & cause them to fall into our hands without loss. I do not pretend to know the plan of operation but from the best sources of information it is believed that Washington & Maryland will be securely protected & the fighting transpired to South & North Carolina so as to threaten the safety of their greatest source of strength & supply, their Negroes! Without their aid or with the loss of it, the war would end in one month. I have ever opposed Abolitionism until lately when it became apparent that slavery was the sole cause of the Rebellion - its present strength. In fine, its existence must cease or our Rebellion must. Slavery & free government are at war, one must fall and which shall it be. Of our officers & men are heartily united in the choice of a Country, rather than the ? of a few Aristocrats, we shall triumph, if divided we shall have neither home or country much longer. I fear our army have been weakened greatly by such papers as the NY World & Herald. Report says that they are always ? into the lines while the Tribune & other hundred papers are not permitted a fair & free circulation & it is hinted that sympathizing officers have a hand in their exclusion & the pre-circulation of the first named. I am requested to ask you if this is so or if the two former are not more numerous that the Republican sheets, which if so, would indicate that these were some wise working, to place them there - contrary to the natural devise of the majority of the men who are known to be Republican (officers excepted).

We were repulsed at Vicksburg & have lost the ? Lane at Galviston & whipped the rebels at Springfield MO. & at M?.

There is a large force concentrating at Newburn NC & our ironclads are in the vicinity of Wilmington NC or not far from Charleston SC. I will write you again soon but do not delay yours on that account - we are all well.

Truly yours
Russell Austin