Morris’ letters: 24 March 1814 – thousands lost in battle, disillusionment with military life, requests help with cost of acquiring his discharge


Winchester Barracks 24th March 1814

Dear Parents  To let you know that I received your  Letter dated 16th Inst on the 20th, and am glad to find that  you are all enjoy your usial health as I am at present thanks  God for his tender Mercy towards us at all times, According to your  Letter I have being Talking with John Williams Concerning his  promise to write to his Grandmother and he Told me that  he Could not have time to write, About 3 days ago a great  News Arives here Concerning Lord Wellington he had a very  heavy General Engagement with General South and his Army and Lord Wellington got the Field at last after lost many  Thousands of the British Army, We have not yet heard a tr[ue?] account of the Action but we have heard that 6 or 7 of  of our 1st Batt. Officers is left in the Field either Lo[st]  or wounded it is not known yet,

I have a very great favour to Beg of you as you a[re]  my Father I have no one eles to Apply but you, and [I]  think no one eles would do the favour to me with greater pleasure then you if its Lays in your power, and I hope to God that  you will Endevour the best in your Power to get me this favour, That is to get my Liberty Discharge from this Regiment  Because I am tired of my life with this People because a man Cant think nothing of the world is to Com, is  this place which we always aught to do espesialy a regular soldier because he dus not know the manite they will send  him to face the Enemay or to some foring parts –

So mush Cursing and swering ammongs the men in General  that makes me ashame to be near thier Company bec[ause?]  I trie the best in my power to think and Depend to  make my self redy to die whenever God s please to ca[ll?]  me, because I see that I cant be hapy in this world and the happiness of this is not to compare to that of the  world is to come, you may be surprise by Reading this Let[ter]  but Indeed I do not write nothing but what is real [ … ]  one oClock in the Morning I thought my heart would brok[e]  I could not help crying till 7 oClock the same morning  when I look Back and see the wicked world that I [was?]  being Through and see the wickedness that I have dun  and it is out of a man,s power think but little to th[…]  [h]e ought to do in the Situation I am in at present –

This is my Plan of geting my Distcharge I do not know  whethr it will please you or not but I hope it will, if  y[ou]  will make the Thirty Pounds that I got make them up a thes[…]  Guineas or if that will not do make them up 40 Guineas  and go to Mr Lewis of Clinvew and Desire of him if  [Poss]ible Can be, to write to the Member of Parlamant of  Pembrokeshire and Desire of him to write to the Commander  in Chief or the Prince Regent, and Beg the favour of his  Royal Highess to get me Distcharged for the sum of money that  you please, and if that wont do I have no hopes being  Discharged for ever, and you must mention to Mr Lewis  the situation that I am in the Regiment and that I had Voluntered from the Cardigan but dont mention for how long a time you  may tell that you Could not I am to the knowledge of  what time that I Volunteered for, and if you will make it  come to pass I shall never go from home no not 10 miles  I shall settle home to help you and my mother so long as  you Live I am willingly be as your servant so Long as you Live  If I had 2 or 3 Hundred Pounds I would freely Depart with  them for my Discharge, Nothing in this World would  be to Dear with me to Depart with for my Discharge  and I hope you will Endevour the best you can to do what  I Desire of you, and let me know an answer of this  by the return of Post dont Let no one know the contents  of this Letter Exept my mother and my Brother W[illiam]  and if that will not come to pass I shall be ruin f[ … ]  and that is a very hard thing for a man to say –  I have no more to ad at present but Desire upon you  and hope to God that will com to pass no more  at present from your son and Humble servant

Morris Williams Corporal

2nd  Batt. – 23rd Regt

[John Williams, Morris’ father, writes]

Mr John Owen is the Member in parliament for Our County, and Mr Lewes of Klinuieu voted against him the last Election But Mr W’ms Cumgloine was with him, I will Try Mr W’ms for you the next Days, And if that will not come to pass take you aheart of anew and perform your Duty Towards God and man as a true and a faithful servant, I will not leave a stone without turn it for you. I am your well wisher, we are at home in our usual health and we hope these lines find you Enjoy the same Blessing, your Mother know nothing of this affairs, I cannot tell Her, And God Almighty give you mercy before your  superiors and grant you what you Desire

John William


  1. after Ireland

3rd after Volanteer