Letter – Penbrook, 3 September 1864


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Letter written by Private Penbrook of Trenton, NJ, serving in Company G, 2nd Battalion, 18th U. S. Infantry, to his motherfrom a camp near Jonesboro, GA. Penbrook is writing to let her know that he is alive and well with his regiment in GA. He describes “one of the greatest charges of this whole campaign,” referencing the Battle of Jonesboro. Though he was in the Confederates’ works twice, Penbrook was forced to fall back each time lest he be captured. Penbrook writes that the Confederates were well-fortified, though could not hold back the 14th Army Corps. He mentions seeing a few friends and family members recently, and writes that the campaign may end soon. He wants to come home, but not as a dead soldier like so many of his comrades, neither does he want to be taken prisoner by the “infernal Rebs.”

-Page 1-

Camp near Jonesboro Ga,

September 3rd 1864

Dear Mother

It is with the greatest of pleasure that I take my pencil in hand to scratch off a few lines to you to let you know I am still alive, well and harty. I received your kind and welcome letter of the 20th a few days ago and was happy to hear from you. I am with my regiment now I came here the last of Aug. just in time to be in one of the greatest charges in this whole Campain my Regiment lost killed wounded and missing only 95. our Brigade charged twice and was drove back both times. I was in the rebs

-Page 2-

works twice myself and was obliged to fall back both times or be taken prisoner we had an open field to Charge a crosst about 40 rods wide and about a mile long. the enemy was well fortified but not well enough to hold back the 14th army corps our corpse took over 600 prisoners the 4th A.C. tooka great meny also I saw Pete Swick the other day he was over to see me he is well. Uncle Elie I have not seen him since I wrote to you last I saw his Reg yesterday, but he was not there he was sun-struck the day before. there is great talk of this Campain a comming to a close before long. you said something about all of the rest comming home but me Well for my part I dont want to come home as hank and Bill Atkinson did. to be sure bill is all right but for my part I dont want to ever fall in the hands of them infernal rebs. I had rather stay my time out with comming home. than to get out all up as a good meny I saw day before yesterday. I cannot tell you half as much as I want to tell but if I ever get back I can tell all so I will close for this time you must not look for a letter from me when I can write I will do so so good by

from your son


Co. G, 2nd Batt

18th Inft USA

2nd Brig 1st Division

14th Army Corps