Description[Brandywine Guards]. Union Soldier Lewis Robinson Archive comprised of twenty-eight letters spanning the years 1861 through 1863. Lewis R. Robinson (1843-1907) enlisted in Co. "A," 30th Pennsylvania Regiment (1st Pennsylvania Reserves, the Brandywine Guards) on June 4, 1861. After several months guarding the headquarters of Gen. George A. McCall, Robinson found himself on the march. He comments in a letter [addressed, as the majority of these letters are, to his mother] of February 24, 1862, that the men of the Army of the Potomac hear of Union victory after Union victory and he speculates, in a subsequent letter (March 1862), that "the back Bone of the rebelion is broken and they can not stand it much longer and it is my honest opinion that we will get home next summer if not sooner." By June 20, 1862, on the eve of the Seven Days Battles, Robinson is near Leesburg, Virginia, where there is "heavy cannonading . . . I think that they are fighting but you will know more about it that we will in a day or so."
Robinson and his regiment engaged at the Seven Days Battles and, on July 4, he again takes pencil in hand and writes of the week of "hard fighting" he survived, in part as written: "I have seen all the fights that I ever want to see. I have tramped of dead bodys of men and the bullets flying around my head so that it was a miracel how we escaped . . . Gen McCall was taken prisnor on last Monday and . . . Gen Biddle was killed Lieut Bady was shot Brig Gen Mead was wounded Brig Gen Reynolds was taken prisnor . . . col Simmons was shot through the head col. Gallager was killed and the reserve was cup up very bad and our old capt Lieut Col Mcantire had his leg amputated and is in the hands of the rebels . . . we have got the rebels on the retreat and I hope we will be in Richmond befor long."
The following month Robinson was suffering from dysentery in a hospital at Harrison's Landing when the rebels made a midnight attack on the Federal position. Within a short amount of time "our gunboats was in full operations and after firing about 1 ½ hours it stopped . . . the solid shot came past the hospital so as to make the noise sound quite plesant to a nervice person." He spent the next few months in and out of the hospital, but by December he was back in the field with his regiment. On Christmas Eve 1862, he reflected on the war and the tremendous loss of life, as at the Battle of Fredericksburg two weeks earlier: "Oh that the war was over so that no more will be killed but there is but one who knows how many it will take yet, in the battle of Fredricksburg sixteen hundred and twenty four was killed out of our division and what good did it do only make more sad hearts at home."
Lewis Robinson remained in the service of his country until he was wounded on the final day of the Battle of Bethesda Church, May 30, 1864. He was mustered out of the army two weeks later and returned home to Pennsylvania.
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