6th Wisconsin Infantry “Iron Brigade” Letter Describing the Battle of Antietam – Milo G. Sage – “The men’s faces was all black lying in the sun so long.” – He Himself Would Later Be Killed at Petersburg
It is a rare treat to find any letter from the famous 6th Wisconsin regiment of the Iron Brigade… but to find one describing America’s bloodiest one day battle is quite amazing!

The letter is 2 ½ pages, with paper being scarce the half sheet being a portion of paper. Milo G. Sage was a resident of Delafield, Wisconsin and was mustered in to Company F in June of 1861. Sage is writing home to his brother and uses red ink… rather scarce to see this color used as it reminded the soldiers of the blood that they saw in battle. The letter is headed, “Camp Near Sharpsburg, Md. Sept. 21st, 1862”. He states, “I ain’t very well at present, but I think I shall get better soon.”

Here is the great part of the letter:

• “We have been in five battles since you wrote to me before, and we have suffered a great deal. I will give you the names of the battles. Battle of Rappahannock, Granes Hill, South Mountain, Bull Run, Sharpsburg. We have lost nine men killed and thirty wounded. Our Captain and First Lieutenant was killed in the battle of Sharpsburg. We won a great victory at the battle of Sharpsburg.”

• “We marched through the battlefield the next day, but one after the fight it was, and awful to see. There was three dead Rebs to one of ours. I never want to see a battlefield again. The men’s faces was all black lying in the sun so long.”

• “The Rebels never left any one to bury their dead, and we had to do it. We lost about ten thousand men that day, and the Rebs lost about double that amount. I think that this war will soon come to an end. I hope so any how, for I am getting tired of it.”

In the letter, Sage mentions his Captain and 1st Lieutenant being killed. The 6th Wisconsin Regimental gives a great description of their death and the fierce fighting that Sage experienced. (We will include a photocopy) His Captain, Werner Von Bachelle took his dog into battle. The dog was by his side when he fell and stayed with his master. Both were found dead on September 19th with the dog lying upon his body. They were buried together. Condition is very good with the usual aging.

#L708WI - Price $950