From the

11th Pennsylvania Volunteers


Annapolis, Md.

March 16, 1862


I arrived here from Harrisburg last evening, and found the Regiment in excellent condition – no company more so than our gallant Carbon County boys.  I am told that last Sunday was an exciting time here.  The news from Hampton Roads reached the place by telegraph and it was believed quite possible that the monster Merrimac would visit the place, destroy the vessels in the harbor and seize the valuable government sores in the navy yard.  About 150 of our Regiment under command of Captain Kuhns (company A) were sent some 80 miles down the bay to keep a sharp lookout and the vessels in the harbor were sent to Baltimore for safety.  Had the Merrimac succeeded in passing out of Hampton Roads and up the Chesapeake, all the property here belonging to the government would have been destroyed – resistance with the few small guns here would have been useless.  But whilst preparations were going on here for such action the “Yankee cheese box” – the “Monitor” fortunately settled the matter, at least for the time being. 


As there is now a prospect of getting into more active service, very soon, I intend to quit the clerkship of the House forthwith.  Where we will go, or when, I do not pretend to know.  The health of the Regiment is remarkably good.  Whilst there are some cases of slight indisposition, there are at the time only seven men confined to the hospital.


I just picked up a copy of the Baltimore Clipper, and find in the Annapolis correspondent the following allusion to the gallant Colonel of our Regiment:


“There are now here three Regiments of infantry – the 11th Pennsylvania, 2nd Maryland and 53rd New York.  The first named is commanded by Col. Richard Coulter – a man who has seen active service both in Mexico and in the three months campaign.  He is emphatically sui generis, somewhat rough in his manner of address; but of noble and generous emotions, courageous as a lion and honest as steel.”


This is truth well stated, in a few words.  I do not believe that a braver man then Col. Coulter lives.  No better man ever left the Keystone State than he. 


I hoped to be able to see our friends of Mauch Chunk before my final leave for Dixie, but that seems now to be out of the question.  But, no matter.  We will be back when the war is over.


                                                                                                E. H. R.





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Jack Sterling

October, 2003