My dearest Constance,
Well, my darling, the Confederate army has come and gone, and we have been thoroughly trounced. I don't know why I am still alive. General McDowell led us to Manassas, and the troops were so sure of our victory, they began to collect souvenirs. Spectators gathered to watch us give the Confederacy a beating, with champagne and picnic baskets at Bull Run Creek. Those civilians received a nasty shock, as did we all. The "Johnny Rebs" broke apart our army, and we fled, the spectators running with us.
The casualties are totaled at 2,896 men. We returned to camp with our tails between our legs, positively thrashed. Men hop around on crutches, missing legs. Piles of limbs are everywhere. I have lost my smallest finger to a bullet. I thought I would receive worse.
I shall likely remain on this Earth for but a short time longer. Farewell, dear Constance. My love for thee shall never die, even if I do.
Your loving husband,
Captain Bruce Stanton