Letter written by Private Noah G. Hill of Company K, 123rd NY Volunteer Infantry, to his father. Hill writes about the fight at Kolb’s Farm, GA, on June 22nd. Hill’s regiment was put on the skirmish line. At one time when the Confederate forces drove forward, Hill writes that they were “so close. . . we could hear them talk.” After several attempts at charging the Union troops, the Confederates “gave it up as a bad job.” Hill writes that he and his friends are doing well. He is unsure of when he will be able to write again, as paper is scarce. He hopes that the campaign will soon be over. He describes hearing heavy cannonading, and remarks on the casualties suffered by his regiment. Hill concludes by writing that he is in Hooker’s 20th Corps, Williams’ Division, and Knipe’s Brigade, and mentioning the arrival of Hiram Young.
Campt In the Brest Works June 26 1864
Dear, Father I thought I would write a few lines to you this morning it is the first chance that I have had well I geuss I will tell you about our fight our Regt was put on the skirmish line & we drove the rebbles aboute 3 miles & then we runn into their line of battle & they charged on us & drove us back & then wee drove them back wee held our ground for 1 [h]our & then they formed again & came on us with such a force that wee had to fall back wee was clost to them wee could here them talk they was in the busheys & wee was in front of them aboute 6 rods when they give the order to forward
wee all jumped up & fired & then wee fell back wee layed some of them cold you can bet they charged on our Batery & got driven back with great slaughter they tryed it 3 or 4 times & then they give it up as a bad job well I geuss I told you all aboute that so I geuss I will tell you that I am well & so is bub & W.R.H. is well bub is writeing & so is William R the Granville boys is all well I have not had any letter from in a long time I dont knowwhen I will write to you again for this is the last scrap of paper any of us has but I am in hopes that this campaign will bee over before long it has been a hard one well I have just had my hair cut Ed Rasey cut it Ed &
the rest of the boys has gon to meeting it is sunday & a lonesome sunday two I have thinking of home to day I would like to know why John dont write I should think he could write more if he wanted to very bad well I dont know of much news to write to day they is heavy cannonading in hereing to day our Regt Lost in killed & wounded (27) & 17 missing Lieut Martin Co 4 was taken prisoner & wee suppose the rest was taken they come so near getting me they want no funn in it you may bet well I geuss I will stop for this time so give my best respects to all so good bye
Noah G. Hill
-Page 2, Upside Down-
wee are in Hookers 20th Corps & Williams Division & Nipes Brigade
Hiram Youngs has just arrived to the Regt for duty he is in good helgth so you can tell the folks that he is here safe & sound
Letter written by Sergeant Miles G. Turrentine of Company I, 1st AR Infantry, to Miss Bettie Waite of Fredericksburg, VA, from Corinth, MS. Turrentine thinks of Waite often, and requests that she reply even though he has heard she is engaged. If he is fortunate enough to survive the war, he plans on visiting her when he returns home. Turrentine then describes the battle of Shiloh in great detail, including the charges against the Hornet’s Nest. The Confederate troops suffered heavy casualties during the battle, including their Lieutenant Colonel. A friend of Turrentine’s was shot through the breast, while a ball blistered his own face. Turrentine writes that he often thought he wanted to be in a fight, but this one satisfied him.
Corinth Miss April 14th 1862
Miss Bettie Waite
Dear Friend. – no doubt you will be some what surprise when you break this Letter and find my name to it. I have taken my Seat more than once to write to you but not knowing whither my letter would be appreciated I could not write, but I have come to the conclusion to write you a few linds to let you know that I have not forgoten you I have often thought of you Since I left Virginia and while I am trying to write to you I wish that I was with you. I made up my mind the day that I left Fredericksburg. to. ask you permission to Correspond with you. but I had but little chance to speak to you about it, & I was informed by Some of your Friends that you was engaged to a Certain young man. & I came to the conclusion that it was asking to much of you, for a Correspondance but at this late hour I Shall ask of you for a correspondance for there is not a Lady living u[nder]
the canopy of the Heavens, that I think more of than you it may possible that you think but Seldom of me, but I do assure you that I often think of you I was verry much disapointed when I was told that we could not go back to Virginia I had made up my mind to enjoy myself with you when I got back but if I should be so fortunate as to live through this horrible war I shall be shoor to pay you a visit for I shall never be satisfied until I See you all again. Well Miss Bettie I surpose you would like to something of the battle of Shiloah near Corinth Miss. Well in the first place on Friday previous to the fight our Regiment was on Picket not fare from the Federals Camps and on Saturday morning we was ordered to strike camp, and on Saturday eavning we camped in sight of the Yankeys fires, and on Sunday morning about six O clock our Brigade was ordered to make the attacke, the ball commence about seven O clockwhen the Yankeys fell back some two miles. when the fight grew verry hot on both sides, about nine O clock we got percession [possession] of the Yankeys camp the Enemy fell
back some two miles, when the fight grew verry hot. our Regiment was ordered to charge on Some Yankeys that was in ambush which we did in good order the Yankeys was well fortified they drove us back with a heavy loss, we was ordered to charge the second time which we did but to no purpose we sustain a verry loss. we was ordered the third time to charge which we did, but my conscience we was repulsed the third time, in the mean time we was reinforsed when we made the fourth charge. we drove them back, but what did I see a sight that I hope never to see agane,, we lost our Leut Carnil [Lieut Colonel] & our major was wounded & two Captains was killed instantly.
we had some fifty men killed not less than 250 Two Hundred & fifty wounded. our little Company had four men killed & thirty one wounded & our Company, got off verry well for what some of the Companys did Capt Martin lost 11 men in less than teen [ten?] minutes & some forty wounded, all of his men was eather killed & wounded but five, Capt Jackson’s Brother-inlaw was verry badly wounded, & poor Thearedon Arnett, is mortally wounded & he is in the Yankeys hands
I was with him on sunday night he sayed that he was willing to die he was shot through the breast he was shot down by me & at the same time a ball blistered my faice. I had two balls shot through my coat & my Gunn shot into. Miss Bettie I have often thought that I would like to get into a fight but this battle has satisfied me. I am willing to play quit with them;
tell Mrs. Hooten that I had five dride vanson hams that I intend to bring her but I had to give them away
when you see miss Kate give her my regards tell her that my brother [Allen A. Turrentine] is with me that I would like verry much for her to see him he is sayed to be much better looking than I am, [in pencil: not that I am good looking] give my love to Miss Mollie & her mother, also to Mr Hooten & Ms Hooten
Miss Bettie I take this liberty in writing to you, if you do not see propper to answer it you will please forgive me.
but I still think that you would like to hear from me if I did not think so, I would not write to you
Miss Bettie you can either make me miserable or you have it in your power to make me happy.
I shall look for a letter from you imeadilly [immediately] write to me at Corinth Mississippi to the care of Capt Little,
write soon to your Friend
1st Reg Ark
Records on Miles G. Turrentine are somewhat conflicted. There is a grave marker for a M.G. Turrentine (1845-1870) at the Atlanta Methodist Church Cemetery, which is associated with a Miles Turrentine of the 1st AR Infantry (Colquitt’s). However, other records such as the 1850 (which can be matched to him by the inclusion of his brother Allen who served in the same company), 1860, and 1870 censuses, list his birth at 1837. Wiley Sword’s records state Turrentine was born in 1837 in VA, though all other documents state GA as his place of birth. If they are in fact the same, then Turrentine enlisted in Company I of the 1st AR Infantry at Monticello, AR on May 8, 1861. He was promoted to sergeant on April 1, 1862, and served through the war. He was wounded in action at Ringgold, GA on November 27, 1863. He was paroled at Shreveport, LA on June 30, 1865. In the 1870 census he is recorded as working as a merchant in Columbia, AR and appears to be married to Demaurice Turrentine and has three children. He dies later that year in 1870.
Allen A. Turrentine was born c. 1840. He enlisted at Monticello, AR on February 22, 1862. He was severely wounded at Murfreesboro, TN on December 31, 1862, and died of his wounds on January 4, 1863.
Letter written by Private William Moore of Company H, 44th NY Infantry, “Ellsworth’s Avengers,” to Joseph W. Luce of Chautaugua County, NY. Moore writes that his regiment travelled down the river to Fortress Monroe before heading to Yorktown, VA. He writes about the fighting at Yorktown, including the dead and wounded. Moore is on picket within range of the Confederate fort. The day before, Confederate forces drove into the pickets, but the Union troops were able to drive them back. He describes soldiers having fun tossing around two unexploded shells that fell into the camp. He also mentions Professor Thaddeus Lowe’s balloon.
and Joseph, April 12th 1862
let them all read it if they can
I received you letter a long time ago and started on a martch the next day and have had no time to write before or to send it out Milton is to washington sick Lon and my self are well and ready to fight we cam down the river and landed at fortress Monroe and have made our way threw to york town one week ado today started from big beathel in the morning and got here at noon and had quite a fight in the afternoon most of the firing with cannon and shell the loss on our side was, 3, and 7 wounded
2 of them was in the batery one had his scull took off with a piece of shell the other was hit with a round shot in the side and cut almost into [in two] the other had his leg cut off below the hip and bled to death the others will get well this I see my self they was burried sunday in front of our camp we have lost 6 men sence on picket and, 8, wounded that is all that we have lost no loss in the 44th Regt only a wounded one in the breast and one in the corner of the eye but not bad to day I am on picket withen gun of the fort we hafter lay down or get shot and crawl on our hands and nees to our post and back then get shot at from the rifle pits
so you see that we hafter lay low for black ducks yesterday there was [# value?] rebels came out to drive in our pickets just as soon as they came out of the pits we give it to them we had 500 pickets and they fell most every shot they carried off, 20, this morning we dont know how many they carried away lat night they wounded 4 of the sharp shooters slitely and run abck into their hole satisfied they throw shell all over from the fort but it dont mount to any thing 2 fell in our camp but did not explode the boys are throwing them around for amusement they have shot
4, or, 5,,, over my head this afternoon I guess about 200 feet high we can here them hum [this?] last saturday one took a boys knapsack and tore it off from his back and never hurt him at all that I see dun they have not hit me yet but they shoot dreaful car[e]less we have been here a week today and have not dun mutch yet we are waiting for something I dont know what it will take some fighting to take this place yet they have got 6 miles of brestworks the old balloon is here so that we can take a peak at them Gen MC was looking at them all day last sunday I think that he knows all about the place I must stop dyrect the same as before I cant tell half I want to so good bye
WILLIAM MOORE enlisted as a private in Company H, 44th NY Volunteer Infantry on September 19, 1861 at Albany, NY, aged 21. He was mustered out at Albany, NY on October 11, 1864. The 44th New York Infantry was one of the state’s most prominent and elite units. The men were recruited according to a specific criteria: to be unmarried, less than age 31, at least 5’8” in height, and of high intelligence. Dressed in Zouave uniforms for the first year of service, they became known for their hard fighting and able service. As part of the 5th Corps, the 44th served in the same brigade as Joshua Chamberlain’s 20th Maine at Gettysburg, and were among the heroic defenders of Little Round Top on July 2d 1863.
Letter written by Sergeant Chester C. Ellis of Company H, 80th IL Volunteer Infantry, to his uncle from Whitesides, TN. Ellis says that his regiment has left the 11th Corps, and are now attached to the 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 4th Corps, under the command of Colonel Grose of the 36th IN. He writes disparagingly of the “Potomackers,” with whom they fought at Lookout Mountain. Ellis describes the battle as the “grandest” and “coolest” thing he ever saw, and writes how the Army of the Cumberland and the Army of the Potomac stood side by side with General Joseph Hooker and the Eastern Corps. Ellis goes into great detail about the fighting, which lasted a few days. The day after Hooker stormed Lookout Mountain, his regiment marched to support Sherman. They were marching to Knoxville when they heard that Ambrose Burnside had defeated James Longstreet. Ellis describes a difficult march back to camp, beleaguered by cold weather and a lack of provisions. Some men marched barefoot when they wore out their shoes.
Jan 4 1864
I received your kind letter when we got back to camp after the fight and was glad to hear from you again And I was glad but somewhat surprised to hear that you had been to Ill I did not get [Pru?]’s letter that you spoke of for 2 weeks after I recd yours. I am in good health and we are all in fine spirits the health of our regiment is excellent. We have left the 11th Corps and are permanently attached to the 3rd Brigade 1st Division 4th Corps. The Brigade is commanded by Col Gross of the 36th Ind. that regiment is here and I saw Mr Turner (I believe his name is) the other day. He has left the hospital &
is with his Reg; We are are all well pleased with our situation for we did not like the Potomackers a bit but they fought like dogs at Lookout Mountain
We were all through the fight at Chattanooga but it happened to be our luck not to be engaged as a Reg: Althought we lost 7 men on our skirmish line ie wounded one (Lieut)
To take the battle from beginning to end it was the grandest as well as the coolest thing I ever saw We left our camp at Lookout Valley about 9 AM of the 22″ and went over to Chattanooga got there after dark the next morning we got up and found the town full of troops: We all knew what was to be done and it was plain to be seen for down on the plain not a mile distant the rebel picket lines
and back of them were their camp in full view although they had moved a great many the night before. Their lines and ours were from 150 to 200 yds apart
We lay here until noon: And if a stranger had been along and seen us laughing and talking he would have said that we did not know that we were agoing into a fight that day
About 12, the troops were all brought out on to an open field of some 80 or 100 acres & there was about enough to cover it the different divisions were assigned their places, that was prettiest sight I ever saw. There the glorious Old Army of the Cumberland stood with one Corp of the Army of the Potomac side by side while still further on the right was Hooker with the other Eastern Corp and we all well knew
that Sherman had gone 8 miles up the river to cross with 2 as good corps as ever shouldered a rifle. such determination I dont believe was ever expressed on the countenances of men as were there shown. you could look over that vast army and see men from almost every state & territory from Maine to California. And judgeing from the flags which waved there they were men of the true blue style for some of their flags had been so cut up in former battles, that had every shred been fastened together there would not have made 1/4 yard of cloth. the staffs were in some places almost cut in two by balls – yet they dared to carry them into another perhaps fiercer contest than ever before. About 1 PM some 8 or 10 Regiments commenced filing off down the hill to form a skirmish line Each regiment followed by 8 or 10 men carrying stretchers to bring back the wounded on. They had not been gone long until the cannon from Ft. Wood opened and then the sharp rattle of musketry announced that the ball was opened. in 20 minutes from the time the firing commenced back came the stretchers loaded with wounded
The men went off down the hill as cool as if they were going
down there to cut wood: every man had when he started, the flaps of his cartridge box raised and buttoned on his coat so that his pills would be handy after they had been fighting some time we started and double quicked it down to the once rebel picket lines 7 found that our skirmishers had driven them from the first line of rifle pits we formed a line of battle & after maneuvering there some time night came on and we lay down and slept sound
The next morning (24″) we were aroused at 2 and after standing around sometime we again lay down and slept until 5. It was today that they shot so many of our skirmishers Sergt Millburn of our Co: was on
the line at noon I got his dinner and took it down to him. I got up to within 60 yds of him he says “be careful Ellis theyll shoot you sure” he was standing behind a large tree, he came back and while he was eating his dinner I took his post And poked my head around the tree to see if they’d shoot. I was soon satisfied that they would by seeing the smoke of a gun & drawing my head back the ball came whistling past me And concluding that turn about was fair play I levelled my piece and took a pull at them and we had it turn about there for some time. It was playing Ante over on a pretty rough scale but there was some fun in it. While I was there they shot at the man on my right now “says he “you tried me a pull
poke your skull a little further around the tree and I’ll try you a shot”. They would stand there & tell each other where they shot whether too high too low of too far to the right or left. If it had been me I would have left it to their own judgement & perhaps they would not have hit so often
About 3 oclock Hooker commenced storming Lookout. I thought I had head cannonading before but this surpassed anything I had ever before heard & they kept it up until 12 that night
The next day we marched 8 or 9 miles to the left to support Sherman who was giving them fits up there, we built rifle pits and lay there until next day when after the fog blew away rebs were gone. but for three days we
here firing from different quarters as they were retreating towards Atlanta. We then struck out for Knoxville and got to within 15 miles of there when we found that Burnside had whipped Longstreet and the latter was retreating. We then turned back & got to our old camp on the 17″ Dec after the hardest marching we ever done. some of our boys marched 3 days barefooted their shoes being worn out & almost every morning the ground would be froze until 10 oclock yet you scarcely ever here a murmur from them. We marched 250 miles in 15 days counting every day that we marched and some we did not go over 8 miles. We had to forage nearly all our provision and when it comes to foraging for 3 army corps you can guess that it makes food scarce If we had went to Knoxville which I was in hopes we would I would have found Hubbard had he been there
Well Uncle I have strung this out about long enough and will quit by asking you to write soon
Chet C. Ellis
Chester C. Ellis, from Rome, IL, enlisted on August 12, 1862 as a sergeant in Company H, 80th IL Infantry. After losing heavily at Perryville, KY, the regiment was mounted as infantry in April 1863. Ellis was captured with his regiment at Blount’s Farm, AL on May 3, 1863 by Nathan Bedford Forrest’s command, but was soon paroled. The regiment was exchanged that fall, and Ellis and the 80th IL participated in the Chattanooga Campaign as part of the 11th Corps. In 1864, having been assigned to the 4th Corps, they fought throughout the Atlanta Campaign, but on September 2, 1864 Sergeant Ellis was killed in action at Lovejoy Station, GA.
Letter written by Private Jacob Dickason of Company B, 25th WI Infantry, to his brother, William H. Dickason, and sister, from a camp near Kingston, GA. The letter recounts events from the Atlanta Campaign. He mentions the Battle of Resaca, writing that the 25th WI, 63rd OH, 66th OH, and 27th MO marched in front. On the last day, his regiment dropped to the ground and fought for over two hours through heavy firing. The four regiments threw up breastworks to cover them from fire. He mentions that after the battle, the Confederates left their dead strewn over the ground unburied. He then describes another fight at Calhoun’s Ferry. The Confederates burned a railroad bridge, but were driven away before the fire did any major damage. Dickason hopes that the war will end soon.
Gorgia May 22end AD 1866
Der Brother and sister it is wih pleasure that I take this present opportunity of riting a few lines to you to let you know how I am and what we have Bin doing since I last rote I have had my health first rate trusting that when this reeches you that it may find you all well for which we should Be thankfull we are in camp near Kingston But are under marching orders By the 23 since we left decatre [Decatur] we have had some prity hot work we had a three days fite at Resaca on the 12-13-14 on the evening of the 14 the 25 wis 633-66 Oh 27 missoura marcht out in front and they opend in on us and they Bullets flew as tick as hail and we dropt flat on the ground and we fot for 2 1/2 hours as fast as we could lode and fire
when the firing ceast in whicht we lost in our Camp 2 killed and 4 wounded they threw some shell directed at our Camp But we watcht the flash of their cannon and we pord in a few vollyes But we soon silanst them we all 4 Regt threw out a detail and went to throwing up Brest works and By day Brake we had an in trenchment threw up sufficiant to hold the 4 regiments so we was under cover so their fire did not affect us we fot all day Sunday and in the evning we was relievd and that nite the rebs evacuated the town and on monday morning some of our Bois went over in town and where the rebs were formd around on the other hill the dead lay thick of which they had left unburied they left their dead all over the ground monday morning we took up our march
to Calhouns Ferry where we had another fite But our forces had got them on the run Before we got there But the firing was prity sharp finly [finally] we was haulted for the nite But Before we al had supper over we was calld up in Battle aray a dispatch stating that the rebs was driving our forces we was marcht out 3/4 of amile and drawd up in line of Battle to welcome them in But they did not come we wated about 3 hours we lay down on our arms and lay there al nite and the next day untill nearly nite when we took up our line of march and marcht about 6 miles of which time we was haulted for the nite the next morning we marcht to the plaice where we now are our advance was fiting their rear guard all the way we did not give them time to fortify at Kingston they left for
Atlanta which plaice the rebs caluculates to reinforce when they left Resaca they set the railroad Bridge on fire But our Batery opend on them that they did now great damage our carpenters went to work imediately and By the time we marcht here the cars came whistling after us the news is incourageing I feel in hopes the war will come to aclose By fall I just recd aetter from home up to the 15 stating that they were all well and that they planted corn on the 12 But I must Bring my letter to aclose Direct Co B 25 regt 4th Divis 16 Army Corpse via Nashville From
Jacob to Wm H Dickason
Jacob Dickason, from Bloom, WI, enlisted on August 11, 1862 as a private in Company B, 25th WI Infantry. Little more than three months after writing this letter, he died from disease during the Atlanta Campaign, on August 31, 1864 at Marietta, GA.
Letter written by Private William H. Morse of Company C, 3rd MI Infantry, to his wife Lucy, from Camp McConnell in Arlington, VA. Morse requests that his wife apply to get money from the county, and asks if she is getting enough to eat. He has seen men offer a dollar for a drink of water on the battlefield, and observes that it has been hard for poor people to make a living during these times. He writes that his friends at home should rethink any decisions to join the army, as “the privations of camp life are far worse than the chance on a battlefield.” Morse mentions being in the battles of Blackburn Ford and Manassas, but writes that he doesn’t think he was any more afraid of dying than if he was at home, and that the 3rd Michigan was highly praised after Bull Run. He concludes by asking his wife to tell their son that his father is “fighting for the Constitution.”
Headquarters Arlington Regt., third Camp McConnell Co. C
July 28 1861
I again sit down to write a few lines to you when I wrote the other day I was in such a hurry I could not write much and as I have plenty of time today I thought I would write another I dont know as you will accept of another so soon but I will send it at a venture when you write again I want you to tell me wether you have received any
money from the County if you have not you had better apply for some for you may as well have it as other families I know of other families drawing money that dont need it any worse than you do and if you have drawn any how much I should like to know how you get along wether you have enough to eat or not tell me wether you have heard from our stears or not. I sent you a little money the other day it was all I had but it may do you a little good money is no object here I have seen men offer a dollar $ on the battle field for a drink of water I shall have some more money before long I hope and I will send you some more poor folks can hardly get a living here it is very hard times for them I tell you
tell Joseph V fairchild I should like their company very much but they had better stay at home for a soldier here and a soldier in michigan the privations of camp life are far worse than the chance on a battle field they may say I am homesick or afraid but I am neither a soldier has to put up with all kinds of fare durin time of war. I have been in two battles and I dont think I had any more fear of being killed than I would at home I have seen many brave men fall by the cannon and musket and I could pass by them without scarcely looking at them all the boys that came from around where we live are well we are in camp now near the City of Washington and I think
we will stay here for some time I hardlg hardly think they will take us to battle again for a good many of our officers have resigned our old Captain got scared and left us just as we were going into battle and we fought a battle of four hours length without any captain the Michigan third ranks as high as any other regiment in the united states service We got all the praise of the first battle July 18 I wish you could been here and heard them hurrah for the Michigan third as we returned from bulls run back to Washington, I shall have to close for my paper is used up be a good girl and dont be scared about me kiss bud for me and tell him his pa is a soldier fighting for the Constitution and the laws. good bye Lu write soon
no more from Bill this time
William H. Morse, age 24, enlisted with Company C of the 3rd MI Infantry at Grand Rapids, MI on June 10, 1861. He was wounded by a gunshot to the knee at the Battle of Fair Oaks, VA on May 31, 1862. The regiment lost 30 men killed, 124 wounded, and 1 missing. He was sent to a hospital in Philadelphia, PA, but later died there on August 8, 1862.
Letter written by Private Luke C. Lyman of Company A, 2nd Battalion, 18th US Infantry, to his family. The letter was written from the headquarters of the 2nd Brigade near Atlanta, GA. Lyman writes that the previous day was difficult, as they had a heavy fight at Utoy Creek, GA. However, the regiment “won laurels” by driving back the Confederate troops. The Confederates attempted to take back their works after dark, but were again driven off by troops under the command of General George H. Thomas. Lyman remarks on the casualties suffered by the 18th US Infantry as well as the 15th Regulars, which he blames on General Absalom Baird. Lyman pities the troops on the skirmish line that night, for if the weather turns foul they will have no shelter. He closes by writing that he has been ordered to the division headquarters.
Head. Quarters 2d
Brigade 1st Division 14th A.C.
7 Miles South West of Atlanta
Georgia Aug 8th 1864
Dear Parents & Sisters
We have been on the move and fighting for a longe time so we have not had time nor a chance to write an answer to your last letter which Phill recieved some time ago, and has it with him out at the front yesterday if it was Sunday, was a hard day for our 2d Brigade we had a heavy fight and the 18th wone lorals [laurels], charged the Johneys rite to their works making them run like whiped dogs, taking about five hundred prisoners killing and wounding a slew of them. The rebs were so chigrined at our success that they waited until dark and then tried to take back their works by a charge our boy[s] waited until they came very close and saved their charges, then they poured volley after colley into them which sent them howling back to mourn their loss and repent their audacious effrontery in attempting to charge any of General Thomas’es men knowing that they are all olde soldiers and know how to handle the Johney [???]. The loss in the 18th is about seventy or eighty men, mostly slight wounds though 15th Regulars lost still heavier on account of an Enfilading fire
the rebs had on them General Beard [Baird] not advancing as he should have done.
I pitty the boys who are on the skirmish line this afternoon and tonight their hard ships are hard ships tonight, for they will be obliged to lay in their pits if it does rain and there is no shelter for them to shield them from the merciless pelting rain and they have to have a cup to dip the water out of their rifle pits so they can stay in them, for to show yourself out of them is a little dangerous piece of bisness. I am glad I have got a place where I can stand and look on and see just
as well. I am ordered to go out to Division Head Quarters, so I will have to close in haste, if it does rain but I have a mule to ride. I had to get up three times in the night and go round. Phill is well and has but three weeks minus three days to stay.
my love to all direct to
L C Lyman
2nd Brig 1st Div
Luke Chandler Lyman was born October 29, 1832, the son of Frederick Lyman and Hannah Chandler. He worked as a shoemaker in Clermont County, OH and married Mary Ann Garster on May 27, 1860. He is described as being 5’10”, fair skinned, with brown hair and blue eyes. He enlisted in Columbus, OH on October 30, 1861 at the age of 29 and served as a private with Company A of the 18th US Infantry. He was discharged on October, 30, 1864 at Lookout Mountain, TN when his service term expired. He returned to Ohio and had three sons with Mary. In 1882 he filed as an invalid to receive his pension. He died April 24, 1922 and is buried in Rivercliff Cemetery, Morrow County, OH.
Philip S. Lyman was born in May 1841, the son of Frederick Lyman and Hannah Chandler. He enlisted August 26, 1861 in Delaware, OH along with Oliver S. Lyman (24) at the age of 20. He worked as a farmer, and is described as having light hair, a dark complexion, and blue eyes. While Oliver died October 27, 1864 at Andersonville, GA, Philip survived and was discharged August 26, 1864 at the expiration of his service term outside of Atlanta, GA at the rank of sergeant. After the war, Philip moved to Chicago, IL and married Emeline Lyman and had three sons. He worked as a carpenter and died on November 23, 1910. He is buried at Elmwood Cemetery, River Grove, IL.
Letter written by Private J. P. Graves of the Warren County MS Light Artillery, Army of TN, to his sister, from a camp near Jonesboro, GA. Graves writes that most of his battery was captured by Union troops, although he and a few others escaped. He goes on to describe the fighting at Jonesboro and writes that they did not leave their guns until the Union troops were on their breastworks, at which time some Confederate men “clubbed muskets with the enemy.” Graves ran to safety as the Union troops mounted their works. He writes that Captain Charles Swett gave a speech to the troops, telling them they had the thanks of Generals Hood, Hardee, and Cleburne for their gallantry on the battlefield. Graves expects to be a regular scout for Hardee, as Lieutenant Harvey Shannon sent the order to Hood for approval.
Camp near Jonesbourogh
September the 7/64
I received Sallies letter the other day would of answered it sooner but did not have any paper as the yankees captured every thing I have, I expect you have heared that our Battery was capture and nearly all of Govans Brigade. Bud, Graves Tennent and myself escaped unhurt I expect you would like to know what Graves Tennent is doing in our Battery. He came up a bout two or three weeks ago and joined our Battery. He is a very good and nice boy. He says he left Holly Spring a bout three months a go. Aunt Mary and Cousin George Bird was well. Well I reckond you want to know something about the fight at Jonesbourough. Hardees Corps and Lees Corps were both at Jonesbou
rough. Hardees Corps was on the left and Lees Corps was ond the right Ond the 31st of August Hardees and Lees Corps was ordered to charge. Hardees was succesfull and Lee was not. The next day Hardees was ordered to the right to contend with the whole yankee army; as Lees Corps was ordered back to Atlanta The enemy was seen to bee massing their whole army in our front our Battery commenced playing ond them; Then the enemy brought up four Batteries and commenced playing and our battery. we keep up the artilery duel until all of our limbers to the guns were shot down. all that time the enemy was massing in a hollow about three hundred yards on our front then they commenced charging. the first charge they were hurl back and skattered like leaves in a whi[r]l wind, but the[y] went back under the cover of the hill and
formed again. They came again but were repulse[d] with the same result; all the time our battery was pouring double charges of canister in to their ranks. by this time their reserved lines had got up. and they come again with overwhelming numbers and our men were driven back with the loss of hald of Govans Brigade and Swetts and Key Batterys, we never left our Guns untill the enemy were ond our Brestworks some of our men club[b]ed muskets with the enemy. we lost seventeen men out of our Battery They were will wounded or captured when I run I thought the yankees would put a bout fifty bullet holes throug my back; but as it happens not a one touched me. I know that nothing safe me but the prayers of my mother. The yanky were mounting our works when Graves Tennent and my self left both of us came out safes–
Captain Swett came down to the battery day before yesterday and made a long speach to us saying that we had the thanks of Generals Hood Hardee & Cleburne for gallantry showed on the field. Captain Swett complimented us very highly; and said he considered evry man of us a Hero. I expect we will now be regular scouts for Gen Hardee as Lieutenant Shannon says evry thing has been sent off to General Hood; and he expects and answer from him to day. and if Gen Hood grants it we will have a pritty nice time. we will be mounted. I have a great deal of news to tell you but have no paper. Bud is well. Tell Sallie I will answer her letter soon. I [sentence illegible]… love to you all. give my love to sister Sallie and Ma and except [accept] a share for your self
believe me as ever your affectionate Brother
J.P. Graves enlisted on March 20, 1864 in Dalton, GA in Captain Swett’s Company L, the Warren Light Artillery. He survived the war and is shown on a muster roll of Confederate soldiers paroled at Greensboro, NC on April 26, 1865.
Letter written by Lieutenant Edgar “Ned” Wilcox of Company H, 3rd Battalion, 18th U.S. Infantry, to his sister Lottie, from Chattanooga, TN. Wilcox writes that he was involved in the “thickest” of fighting at Chickamauga. He describes the recent fighting, as well as the casualties suffered by his regiment. Wilcox’s regiment bivouacked after a retreat, and the next morning he awoke with a fever. Too exhausted to continue with his men, he sat under a tree until the Confederates began shelling, one of which injured his knee. He is writing this letter while stretched on the counter of an empty dry goods store that he found after the shell lamed him. He is determined to continue fighting the next day if able.
Chattanooga Tenn. Tuesday
Evening 8 PM. Sept 22d 1862
I will write you a few lines to night though I do not know whether I can get them into any mail or if I do whether you will ever get them — We have been fighting now for three days very hard and I have been in the thickest of it but have providentially escaped without a scratch so far with the exception of a hit in the left knee with a spent shell yesterday P.M. which has lamed me considerable but did no further injury – All that troubles me is the fever & ague which I have had ever since Sat owing to exposure &c – Our Brigade went into the fight at sunrise Saturday morning the 19th & fought till dark & were repulsed three times with heavy loss – That night we were shelled heavily but we were so worn out we slept till 2 O.clock in the morning full force not over 500 yards from us and that the Balance of our Division had fallen back without letting us know any thing about it – you may perhaps imagine we fell back double quick and I can assure you we did – at day light Sunday morning were in line of battle again and I was ordered out with my comp. as skirmishers – about
By 8 o.clock I had lost 6 or 7 men when the Rebs advanced in force & I fell back to the Reg. who were laying down under a little slope some 300 yds behind me. Here we fought them some 20 minutes but at a terrible loss as they flanked us & we were under a cross fire and we were obliged to fall back again – After this the fight became general for the rest of the day – The enemy charging & driving us and we in them charging & driving them – About noon I heard that Lee Brown was laying on the field where we opened the fight in the morning badly wounded and as I could not leave my comp. sent 4 men and a Sergt to carry him off, they told me he was wounded in 6 places the worst wound breaking his leg but that he was cheerful & did not think his wounds dangerous – At 4 P.M. the Rebs massed up on our left where were & completely overpowered us and we retreated precipitably and as our hospital and ambulances were capture I think Lee was also.
I wrote to Ria this morning that he was wounded but in good spirits & nothing more as I did not want to alarm her unnecessarily. On the retreat I got about 20 of our Brig. together & bivouaced about 12 that night – In the morning I waked up with a burning fever on me but hearing that the brig. or what was left of it was in camp 1/4 of a mile from us I sent them there in charge of a segt and laid down under a tree too much exhausted to go any further – There I staid
until 4 P.M. when the Rebs commenced shelling the road & I concluded to “fall back” on Chattanooga (5 miles) but had not gone 20 yds before a shell burst just in front of me and bim a piece took me in the knee, but it was spent and only lamed me & I managed to get in here where I have been stretched on a counter in an empty drygoods store all day & where I am writing disconnectedly & hurriedly to night – Our Brig. has fallen back to the fortifications in the edge of town & there will probably be on the heavy fight tomorrow & if I am not really down sick I shall go again – Our Brig. now is all cut to pieces and numbers about 200 (200) men but they will fight to the last & you may bet I will be with them if I am able to stand up. – Can write no more to night –
Yours in Haste
Edgar Norville Wilcox was born in Berkshire, MA. He was a civil engineer attending the University of Michigan when he enlisted as a private in the 7th OH Infantry at age 23 on June 19, 1861. He was discharged in December of 1861 and then joined the 18th US Regular Infantry on January 14, 1862. He was assigned as a private in Company B, 3rd Battalion. In May 1862 he was promoted to sergeant of Company H and was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant on June 11, 1863 (retroactive to February 19th). Wilcox was promoted to 1st Lieutenant on September 20, 1863. He was breveted Captain in September 1864 for Murfreesboro, Atlanta, and Jonesboro and after the war was officially promoted to Captain on January 22, 1867. He mustered out January 1, 1871 and lived in Oberlin, OH working in railroad construction. He died May 25, 1892.
Letter written by Private William E. Hooper of Battery K, 4th US Artillery, to his uncle, dated August 24th, 1864, from the Battleground of Deep Bottom. Hooper writes that he is in Battery K, though he belongs to the 10th MA Battery. He says that his battery suffered heavily at the Battle of Deep Bottom. He mentions the wages he receives, and the amount he will get when the war ends, if he doesn’t “expire on the battlefield.” Hooper’s regiment will soon begin marching to Petersburg again, and he writes that the 5th Corps has cut the railroad to Richmond. Hooper is adamant that he does not want peace if it comes at the price of southern independence, he would rather the Union remain intact at any cost. He is confident William T. Sherman will get Atlanta, and Grant will get Petersburg. He mentions seeing both Grant and General George Meade frequently.
Battery K 4 U.S. Artillery
Aug. 24th deep bottom on the James river
Tis with much pleasure that I improve these few moments to write you. Again I am in the war. I enlisted the 2th of last January My health is good, I have been through every battle during Grants summer campaign, I am in Battery K the 4 U.S. artillery but belong to the 10th Mass. Battery, this branch of service I like much. we wer all through the wilderness
and Spotsylvania fights also at Coal [Cold] Harbor, and so for in front of Petersburg, I am in the Old 2th Corps. the Artillery Brigade we have now jut came out of the battle at deep bottom at this place my Battery suffered heavly, but we drove the enemy, and captured 4 Cannon and 2 morters beside a lot of prisoners.
Well Uncle. the war looks somewhat dark on our side yet, but success is shure in time Petersburg must go up, and it shurely will then Richmond is ours Have patience with you and we will do the same in the field. Patience and
perserverance only issues success in any department of study, and such we are trying to do in our wholly [holy] cause. I hear that Grant father is dead. He died at Aunt Marrys did he not. wer you down at his burial. The folks are all as well as Usual at home Emily and Charles are married. Charles is in Philadelphia a nurse in a Gen. Hospital. His wife is also there. He was married in Baltimore. Emily lives in Lynn, Mass. She is married to a shoe dealer. Lucinia is in Portsmouth at work on her sewing machine. and James and Georgia are at
home. William is in the Army, and here expect to stay for the next two years, and 4 months. When I came out I received $25.00 with 16 dollars per month. and one hundred more bounty at the close of the war, or expiration of my time. if it dont expire on the Battlefield. Where is Albert. Give him my best respects and tell him to come out and help us take Richmond. I send my love to all of my cousins. and hope that I shall live to see them all again. Did you get much of a drought with
you this summer. The weather has been very hot here during august but the season has been pretty cool, We are now just again to commence our march back to Petersburg. The 5th Corps has cut the Railroad running to Richmond, but I am doubtful if they can hold it. we continue shelling the Enemy in front all the time. They are pretty saucy yet and want to be let alone, and want their Independence badly but I dont see it, and hope the Nation will fight them to the last man
and all go up together if any goes up at all. Peace we can have by withdrawing our armies from the suthern territories, but shall we do this, and give up the best part of our Union. No, but fetch every man into the field, and conquer or all perish together. Sherman is doing well at Atlanta, and will have the place as shure as US. Grant got Vicksburg – That Grant is here among us now, I see him about everyday. and where do you suppose he is seen the most. It is where the Cannon and musketry is thundering the loudest and he is always smoking
Gen meade I see two or three times a day. His headquarters are close beside me now. The Johnnys put away at meades headquarters once and a while but dont do much damage In my last Battle at deep Bottom we My Battery fought them hand to hand fight. They came near taking my battery, but we poured the Grape, and canister among them so hot that they fell in piles before our Cannons we had many men in my battery and many horses. I cannot think of much more to write you now. But will you write as soon as you get
this. I should like to hear from you.
Address you letters
Wm E Hooper
Battery K 4 U.S. Artillery
2th Corps Army of the Potomac
William E. Hooper, a clerk from York, ME originally enlisted at age 21 in Company K of the 27th ME Infantry on September 30, 1862. He was discharged for disability on May 7, 1863. Then he reenlisted with the 10th MA Light Battery on January 2, 1864 but was assigned to Battery K, 4th US Artillery. He was again discharged for disability on December 30, 1864 at Fort Washington, MD.