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Primary Sources for the 3rd Delaware Infantry
Letter of Martin M. Tuffman, 3rd Delaware Infantry, US Army Heritage and Education Center.
Relay House, July 11th 1863
I received yours of the 8th, came duly at hand today and I was very glad to hear from you that you was well and sorry to hear of Sis not getting any better I am well and hope these few lines may find you the same. The cars are running through here steady with soldiers & they are sending company by company away, out of our regiment, and freight cars loaded with Grubb & ammunition they are lined on the inside with iron with 12 portholes on each side and on what was formerly the door is printed or rather painted the two deceiving words Government stores, that is to deceive the Rebbles so that when they come on the train and make a grab for the Government stores they will get just the kind the Government issues now. They have already tasted some of that Grubb but they did not like it much, they said it was too salt. I expect it will be our companys turn next to go. Nor I dont care how soone for I am tired of this place already. You asked in your letter who and what our Colonels name it is Samuel Howell Jenkins are Lt. Colonel's name is Wm. B Dorell and our majors name is Frederick Hackett. I saw the 2nd Delaware day before yesterday and out of 5 hundred men they only have 150 left that is thinning them out pretty well. I saw one of the awfullest sites this morning that ever I saw in my life before there was a train of soldiers going by and while going round the turn above here there was some large stones sticking out from the bank & this soldier was a setting with his legs out the door when one of the projecting stones struck his legs and snatched him out of the cars and drug him some 20 yds before he fell & after he fell there was eight cars passed over his body smashing and tearing his body, so that they put him in a box 3 foot long and 2 foot wide I believe the only part that was whole was his two legs from his knee down, they were sticking in his boots, and from his shoulders to the top of his head his head was not smashed it was only split open he is a single man but he has a mother and a sister depending on his small pay from the government. If you can send my watch down anyway at all I wish you would as it would be as much of a companion as I can have as. Give my respects to Mrs. Addshead & the children & also to Mr Gitten(?) &, if sis is with you tell her to write I must now close by giving my my Respects to all inquiring friends so no more at present from your affectionate son.
Direct to Martin M Tuffman
Co A 3rd Regt. Del. Vol.
please write as soon as you get this as we may moove
[written across the first page]
Dear Mother This is a 20 dollar Cecesh note that was give to me you can keep it for a curiosity for it is worth keeping for that & that only, Yours Truly
Delaware State Journal and Statesman, July 24, 1863
The Third Delaware are guarding the Baltimore and Ohio Rail Road and the Relay House. They were not in the battle of Gettysburg.
Delaware State Journal and Statesman, November 24, 1863
RETURNED TO DUTY. The First Delaware Cavalry returned to duty at Drummondtown, Virginia, on Saturday night last; Capt. Nields' Battery to Washington, on Sunday; the Third Delaware to the Relay House, near Baltimore, at noon, yesterday…
Union, April 1, 1864
The Delaware Regiments —The First Delaware Regiment is encamped at Cedar Grove about 12 miles from Brandy Station, Va., in the front of the enemy; the Second Delaware is encamped near Sheppard’s Grove, Va.; the Third Delaware in still at the Relay House, Md,; the Fourth Delaware is at Fairfax Court House, Va.; the First Delaware Battery is encamped in a public square in the heart of New Orleans; a portion of the First Delaware Cavalry is encamped near Baltimore, and a portion at Camp Smithers Brandywine Hundred. Commonwealth.
The Baltimore Sun, June 29, 1864
KILLED, whilst leading his regiment in a charge upon the enemy’s works at Petersburg, Va, on Saturday, the 18th instant, Lieutenant Colonel W. B. DORRELL, commanding the Third Regiment Delaware Volunteers. He was the son in-law of Major James McGowan, of Ellicott’s Mills, whose youngest daughter. Addie V., he married only five brief months ago. He was one of the first to volunteer in 1861 under the call for troops to serve for three months, enlisting as a private. On the expiration of his term he re-enlisted for three years, with the rank of Captain, from which position he earned his promotion to the post he held at the time of his death, in the 25th year of his age. Young as he was, it is not too much to say that no nobler life than his has been laid upon the altar of our nation’s freedom. A sincere Christian, he was as remarkable for the habitual modesty of his demeanor as he was for coolness and courage in the hour of battle and danger. He lived after receiving his wound only long enough to send a loving “farewell” to the young wife he was never more to meet on earth, and to say to the soldiers who carried him from the field, who loved and honored him as a friend and brother. “Fight on, boys, your cause is holy!”