William McCarter was an Irish immigrant and member of the famous Irish Brigade. He joined the Union Army in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in August of 1862. Only twenty-one years old at the time, McCarter joined the 116th PA and started on the long road to war. The Battle of Fredericksburg was the first major battle in which the 116th PA was engaged. William wrote about his experiences after the war. Below is a passage from McCarter’s memoirs in which he describes some of his first tastes of army life.