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19288  Daniel J. Taft   23rd Pennsylvania Infantry  Daniel J. Taft  
Johnson Island Prison Guard.
31/2 pp, 8vo., Dark blue ink ALS.  $250

In Camp near Bell Plain Landing 55 miles below Washington and 9
miles from Fredericksburgh  May 15th 1864.  Friend Cal, You see
from the upper works of this article that we have moved our camp
from Johnson’s Island.
We left the Island on the ninth inst and arrived in Washington the
thirteenth where we halted long enough to get bread and coffee and
then took a boat for this place which is now used as a depot for
prisoners and supplies to the army.  There are now about 9,000
prisoners here and more are expected from the front.  I understand that
164 officers and 500 privates were sent to Washington on the day we
came here.
They have been doing a big job of slaughtering at the front, the result
of which you probably know better than I.
The wounded are coming in here day and night and are being sent to
Washington and other places.  The three regts (65, 67, and 122 NY) of
this brigade which left the Island about three weeks before we did are
reduced by killed, wounded, and prisoners to less than 400. Gen. Shaler
the commander of this brig is reported to have been wounded and taken
prisoners. Gen. Sedgewick commander of the 6th corps is killed.  The
road from Fredericksburg to this place has been lined with such of the
wounded as can walk since we came here.  All of the ambulances and
the whole supply train on their return from the battlefield are loaded
with wounded.  A wounded sergeant of the 65th NY just stopped here.  
He says out of the three regts mentioned they could muster but 260 men
for duty when he was wounded. What were taken prisoners were
wounded. Both the reb prisoners and our men say there never has been
anything like such fighting since the war commenced.  The color
sergeant of the 65th had 18 balls shot through him so the men state.
I expect we will soon be relieved from here and then most likely we
will go down to the scene of action. As all mail communication is cut
off at present this may be the last letter I can send for awhile. If you
see any of our folks just tell them I am “all right” and where I am .
I wrote to them but it may not reach them or this you for I will have
to send them to Washington by some civilian.
No more at present. My respects to the folks in general.
Yours truly, D. J. Taft

Daniel J. Taft

Residence was not listed;
Enlisted on 8/26/1863 as a Private.

On 8/26/1863 he was drafted into "A" Co. PA 82nd Infantry
He was Mustered Out on 7/13/1865 at Hall's Hill, VA