Letter written by Lieutenant Colonel Godfrey Rider, Jr., of the 33rd MA Infantry, to his former commanding officer, Brigadier General Adin B. Underwood, from the woods near Marietta, GA. Rider describes a charge on a Confederate fort [Battle of Resaca], as well as the fighting that occurred near another stronghold [Battle of New Hope Church]. He describes the losses his unit suffered and comments on the strategies of Generals Sherman and Johnston. He mentions the number of muskets now in the regiment, and hopes to recruit more soldiers when the current campaign ends. He writes about the current state of several army officers, and mentions several who are vying for promotions.
33″ Regt. Mass Vol Inft
In the Woods between
Ackwood & Marietta
June 8″ 1864
My Dear Genl, your letter of the 18′ ult reached me yesterday, for which I thank you, and glad to hear you are so well situated. We left the Valley the 2″ day of May, and have skirmished until the 15 when we charged a Rebel fort, drove them from intrenched hills, lost that day 86, including Lieut Bumpus killed. Lieut Parker died 2 hours after taken from the field. Lieut Williams bad flesh wound in the left arm. May 25 formed line in short range of another strong hold, lost 56, and 5 prisoners
Lieut Capt Turner slight wound in the rist, in various battles our loss has been about 160 to date – Our fighting has mostly been in the woods with deep ravines in front. I never saw such natural strong positions. Sherman seems to work carefuly, but Johnson is shrewd, often before we know it we are in front of a mare’s nest. But the country grows less mountainous, and once in a while can see daylight. We start tomorrow, supposing that the Rebels have gone across the River, We now number 163 muskets. After this Campaign I shall try to get home to fill up, unless it is to last all summer. My throat continues very weak, and no voice, but the Major
can do all the ordering. and has been great help to me. Col Wood commands the Brigade, about the same as he did his Regt. but with more dignity and a big staff. I think he is too partial to his Regt, the have lost less and done less than any of us. Col Gamby and his major were killed May 15. Capt Powers is senior, but Col Wood ordered him relieved and is to be examined. Wood will get fitts when leisure time comes –
Genl Steinwehr was ordered to a Brigade in the 14 Corps but went home on “sick leave,” Schurtz I hear is in charge at Nashville.You know he asked for investigation of Hookers charges. Wood, Jones of the 154 & Bushbeck were the board. Wood & Jones sustained the report. Bushbeck opposed it. Bushbecks time is out and gone home. Wood is anxious for a Star & Faulkner for the Eagle, but probably neither will get it. The 20″ Connecticut & 26 Wisconsin have joined us Col Long has been away sick 2 months, how lucky he is – the 2″ Mass I see often but as Coggswell is at home you will doubtless see him. The 12″ Corps so far have not done so well as the 11″.
I am sorry that my throat is so bad, but dont let my wife & parents get hold of it, my Bro of Chicago came to see me in April – Prospects are good for success, but hard work, “Carry me back to old Virginia” Butterfield commands our Division, Excuse this, I will write you as often as I can, and hope to see you in July or August
Your Obt Servt
G. Rider Jr. Lt Col Comdg
Godfrey Rider, Jr. enrolled as a captain on July 31, 1862 in the 33d MA Infantry. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel April 3, 1863 and resigned September 17, 1864.