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Augusta: Joseph N. Ryan to George E. McEndree, December 7, 1887

Ryan discusses the battles of their company and regiment, also sending along a copy of their old company's muster roll, noting that the previous holder had been wounded leaving a large "splotch" of blood on McEndree's name. Referring to the war, he expresses the belief that "we were not whipped but 'wore ourselves out whipping the other side'."

George E. McEndree, Esq.,

Dec. 7, 1887.

Staunton, Va.,

Dear Sir:

Yours or recent date duly received and would have been replied to earlier but for the fact that I have been confined to my bed as the result, principally, of a wound received during the "late unpleasantness". I enclose brief extracts from the only Muster Roll surviving, relating to our old Company. They are certainly authentic as far as they go. They came into my possession - the Rolls of the whole Regimen[deleted: t]t soon after I was disabled, the officer who had them in charge being terribly wounded and the Rolls covered with his blood, a large "splotch" falling on and almost obliterating your name. The Company and Regiment were engaged in innumerable battles and skirmishes, after which you were again wounded and captured (at Fisher's Hill, I believe) in the Wilderness, Petersburg, Richmond and Appomattox. Up to the time you "wound up" our Company had been in about thirty general engagements, and you well know we had the "knack" of having somebody killed and wounded in each. There was no general re-union of soldiers at the Fair.

"Jim" Bryan is still living and his finger hasn't "growed out" yet. He is nearly dried up and withered - sends his respects. I may at some future time get up and publish a sketch of the old Company and Regiment. If so, will send you a copy. The date is so hard to get at. Such of the members of the Company a[deleted: r]s are now living are considerably "scattered" - the most of them, I believe, are prospering.

In regard to yourself, as the commanding officer of the Company for about two years, I take pleasure in saying that your standing in said Comp[deleted: a]any, both as a gentleman and soldier, all the time, was "A. No. 1".

I was grateful to see from the paper you sent me, that in your adopted home you were prospering. It is my sincere wish that you may "live long and be prosperous and happy". As for myself I don't want any more "war" in mine. I got enough of it. You, it seems, were not satisfied with "whipping" you got but must needs go out to fight the "Injine".

Like old Bob Tombs, I will always believe that we were not whipped but "wore ourselves out whipping the other side". Excuse everything. I am compelled to write by amanuensis - being in bed.

Fraternally yours,

J. N. Ryan

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