Til Death Do Us Part - Love Letters From the Civil War

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I feel so in that way now. Give me all news you can. Tell Parker and John and the girls to write although I can not answer them all. Tell Parker I will answer his as soon as I can. In this letter I send you a bit of gold lace such as the rebel officers have. This I cut from a rebel officers coat on the battlefield. He was a Lieut. I have made the acquaintance of two rebel officers - prisoners in our hands.

One is a physician - both are masons - both very intelligent, gentlemanly men.

Each is wounded in the leg. They are great favorites with our officers. One of them was brought off the field in hottest of the fight by our 5th N. Now do write soon. Love to all. Yours as ever W.

Mississippi soldiers

This has been indeed a fearful day, and it is by God's kindnes alone that I am here to write this We woke up early in the morning I went out and read The Bible and a prayer. In a few minutes the enemy began to throw shells at us from a battery which they had planted near us, killing several of the 8th C.

The shells burst all around and in us. Our Chaplain had his coat pocket torn by a fragment of shell, and one of Co.

149 years later, Civil War letters in attic reveal a famine Irish immigrant’s life

I was wounded in the arm. After lying in the woods awhile we were formed and marched about 2 mile over hills and through valleys, fording a river about knee deep. From the ford, we were marched to a side hill near it. Here the Rebels again opened on us from another battery, wounding some of our men. We were after awhile formed and marched over the hill and finally in a sort of valley, behind our battery - here we had to lie down under the bursting of the enemy's shells.

One shell burst so near as to scatter dirt in my face as I laid upon the ground. After staying here a short time we were ordered over the hill and were formed in a cornfield upon the opposite side.


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While we were lying here we were suddenly ordered to come to "attention", as we were obeying this order, a most terrific volley was fired into us - Spiens? A were here wounded. It is said that the rebels carried the American flag and called to us "don't fire on your own. We went up the hill to the fence in a storm of shell and shot. The battery soon was withdrawn and we with the 11th C.

A mustered 6 men beside the Capt. Went over to see Thayer who was shot through the shoulder. Came back and laid down to sleep. Thus ended our first day of battle and a fearful one it was. David L. II, p. As I approached him I stooped down and as I did so I perceived a bloody mark upon his forehead It showed where the leaden messenger of death had produced the wound the caused his death. His lips were compressed, his eyes half open, a bright smile played upon his countenance. By his side lay his tenor drum, never to be tapped again. Sunday Sept. I should have written you before, but did not know for a certainty where to direct.

You will doubtless have learned the details of this great battle before this reaches you. The loss of the 11th is dreadful. I followed in the rear of the Regt. Until it reached the fatal bridge that crosses the creek, this bridge is composed of 3 stone arches and the stream is about the size of that one just west of Berlin. The enemies sharpshooters commenced the action being posted in trees and under cover of a wall on the high ground on the other side of the creek, the order was for the 11th to take and hold the bridge until the division of Genl.

Rodman passed. The action soon became general all along the lines, language would fail me to describe the scene. I was in company with the surgeons and we laid ourselves down between the hills of corn and in a lot west of the bridge being a corn field. I had a bag of bandages and some few other things in hand, we lay low I can assure you and the way the bullets whistled around us is better imagined than described. The shells also bursting over our heads and on the ground around us. The attack was perfectly successful, we fell back to a brick house a mile in the rear and established a hospital.

I took off my coat to dress wounds and met with a great loss. Some villain riffled my pockets of several packages of medicine, my fine tooth comb and what I valued most my needle book containing the little lock of hair you put in. No money would have bought it. It was not the value that I cared for, but the giver. Can you replace it. I should be pleased with your photograph which you spoke of. I think that it will be so that I can get a little box by express soon. I am still in the hospital near the battle ground the Regt. I will tell you where to send the box soon.

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- The Washington Post

You need not put Co. K on my letters in future, but simply Dr G. Bronson 11 Regt. C Burnside division with name of place Washington for the present. One moment of time before the mail leaves. I am well and in good spirits. We have just had a big battle day before yesterday. The baggage wagons are in sight and we will all not fit. We have not sent any mail for about a fortnight and I would have written more had I known we could have sent it.

Will write more the first opportunity I have. We are on the move and are going into Virginia probably now. We have served in the last two battles. You know that we lost our good Captain and now they think they must put me on guard, and I sit right down on the ground and write just as fast as I can to let you know how I am getting along. Not much you had better believe. My hearing is not as good as it was when I left Madison, and my health has not been good since I was on this hill not far from Harper's Ferry, but I keep about and train all the time is wanted of me.

It seems rather hard to be a soldier, but I have got to be one after all, I think. But I can tell you one thing: If I ever live to get home, I won't be another I can tell you, but I suppose that you are making some cider. If you get a chance to send me anything, send me some cider put up in bottles, and some apples and a little bottle of pain killer, and don't try to send me any cake or anything that will get smashed, but I want anything that will keep a week.

I have not any news to send you today because I wrote to you the other day and suppose that you will get that first. Give my love to all the neighbors and tell Mister Hill that I received his letter and was glad to hear from him and will try and answer him as soon as possible. Tell little Charley that I think a great deal of his letter. I used to say that he could read better than I could read better than I could and he beats me at writing and spelling both, and I could read it very fast, his letter.

Civil War Letter Filled with Bad News, Hope

I am glad to hear that your crops are as good and I hope that all the folks are good because we don't have nothing to eat here, and so I hopes you have got something to eat there. I will try and answer as fast as I can, but won't you answer me as fast you can because that it makes me feel pleased to hear from home. Give my love to all the folks and tell them I want to see them all. Unless struck in the head or about the heart, men mortally wounded live some time, often in great pain, and toss about upon the ground.

History of the 35th Massachusetts Volunteers, p. Shot and shell shrieking and crashing, canister and bullets whistling and hissing most fiend-like through the air until you could almost see them. In that mile's ride I never expected to come back alive. NewYork, , p. Ezra E.