||We were in winter quarters near Brandy Station, VA. Our Bugler
sounded the revilee and long role which caused a comotion in camp knowing
full well the time had arrived for the Army of the Potomac to start on
the summer campaign.
We arose at 4 oclock, struck tents, packed our knapsacks, got our breakfast and fell into line. At 6 oclock in the morning we started south crossing the Rapidan river on a pontoon bridge. Marching all day. We encamped for the night in a pine woods. Marching about 15 miles. Was very tired & foot sore.
Arose at daybreak, got our breakfast and fell into line, then resumed
our march southward. Saw Gen. Grant for the first time. Marching
very slow. Very warm. Fighting commenced at 11 oclock A.M.
and continued all day untill after dark. Saw Gen. Burnside.
He is here with 6,000 men. We captured 500 men to day. The
picket firing lasted all night. Slept on the ground with my knapsack
for a pillow and the canopy of heaven for a tent.
The fighting commenced at daylight. The canons roared like thunder.
Several charges were made but very little was accomplished on either side.
Capt Billings of my own company, & Nicholas Beck, by old bunk mate
were both killed by the same shell, and several more comrades belonging
to Co F of our Regt. were killed & wounded. The Provose
Guard were deployed as skirmishers in the rear of line of battle to take
charge of the prisioners if any taken & to hold the straglers in check.
Our lines were broken. The Rebels made a grand charge on the first
Division of the Old 6th Corps & after a hard struggle our line was
broken & driven back but the Provost Guard fixed bayonets & stoped
every man. Our line was soon formed again and at dark the Old 6th
Corps charged on the Rebels and drove them out of the breast works they
had taken from us before l0 o'clock in the evening.
Trees that got in the way of bullets
BATTLE OF THE WILDERNESS
Arose at daylight, we had our breakfast about half cooked when the battle commenced. The rebels came out of the woods in 4 lines of battle, then Our artilery opened on them with Grape & Canister causing them to retreat in confusion & were glad to get out of sight. Very heavy fighting down the left of the line near Chancelorsville. It was reported we had captured between 4 & 5000 prizoners today. Heared good news about dark and Great Cheering prevailed the whol length of the line. We recd orders to be ready to move at dark. We marched 3 or 4 miles and halted untill 2 O clock in the morning by the side of the road. We slept with our knapsacks on our backs. Was aroused from our slumbers by a pack of mules running away. We sprung to our feet, grabbed our muskets & got ready for action. We considered it an attack from the rebels. In a moments time we were all quiet and down we laid until daybreak.
Arose at daylight and marched about 8 miles very fast. Very warm
today. We passed our ambulances loaded with our wounded comrades
& saw lots of men laying by the road side that were wounded.
Some with a leg off, some with an arm off, some a hand, some a foot.
I tell you it was a hard sight to behold. We passed through Chancelersville
and also through a dense pine forest. We saw lots of dead & wounded
all along the roadside. Canonading in the morning but not much fighting
today but at dark we made a charge on the Rebel Breastworks and drove them
from their position. We cut them down dreadfully. The ground
was covered with the dead and dieing. They laid like sheaves of wheat
in a harvest field. Our men slept in the Breastworks & rifle
pits they had captured.
MAJOR GENERAL JOHN SEDGWICK
Arose at daylight ate breakfast and got ready to march. Not much fighting today. A little canonading & skirmishing. Gen. Sedgwick our Corps Commander was killed near our Regiment by Rebel sharp shooters. Some of the boys would dodge when the balls passed their heads & the General said: "boys don't dodge. They could not hit an elephant." And in less than 5 minutes he was hit and soon died on the field. Gen. Morris of our brigade was wounded about the same time in the leg. The rebel sharp shooters were soon discovered up in a tree, 9 of them, when the officer in command called for a piece of artilery from the rifle batery and opened on them and the first shot cut the tree off about 40 feet from the ground & down came Mr. sharp shooter head first. That ended the sharp shooting at this time. It was very warm today. Some of the men were sun struck. The sick & wounded are being sent to Fredricksburg in amblulanees and general wagons. Had a brisk fight at dark of musketry & artilery.
CONFEDERATE DEAD AFTER THE
BATTLE OF SPOTSYLVANIA
|Spotsylvania Co. Virginia
May the 11th 1864
Dear Father and Mother,
Once more I am permitted to seat myself for the intention of writing you a few lines. But whether I will be able to send it through or not I can not tell. I am not as well as I wish but I am so I can do my duty and keep around etc. We have been out of our winter quarters some 7 or 8 days and I have been in battle. Today is the 7th and it is one of the hardest fights ever was known on this continent. It beats Gettysburg or Anteitim or Bull Run or anything else and it is not over yet. Our brigade has been very lucky. They have not lost but 21 killed and wounded out of our Regít. My captain is killed again and Beck is wounded very bad and one or two more out of our Co was wounded at the same time by a shell. The boys donít think Beck will live. He had the flesh shot off of his hip and one had his toes shot off the same time and some others out of Co F. I inquired after Andrew Jorden in his Co. One of the men told me he was wounded through the foot and sent to Washington before we left Bandy Station.
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