Letter written by Sergeant William Farries of Company E, 24th WI Infantry, to his brother, from a camp near Vining, GA. Farries writes that he is unsure how long his regiment will rest, for as long as Ulysses S. Grant is fighting near Richmond, VA, they must press General Joseph E. Johnston in GA. He describes a charge at Kennesaw Mountain made by the 14th Corps against General William Hardee’s Corps. Farries writes that the Union division was poorly handled resulting in heavy losses. Farries writes that General William T. Sherman forced Johnston into a different position across the Chattahoochee River. He also mentions that from a hill near camp, he is able to see the tops of some buildings in Atlanta.
Camp near Vining Ga
July 6th 1864
I do not know what is the reason but I dont get any letters from you now. I do not think I have received a letter from you since I last [???]. We have had a rough time for the past two weeks but at present we are having a little rest how long it will last I am unable to say but I do not think it will last long for as long as Grant is fighting near Richmond we must press Johnson here. On the 27th of last month our Division & Davis’s of of the 14th Corps made a charge against the rebel center held by Hardees Corps our Division was so poorly handled that the rebels repulsed us with but little trouble our loss was heavy I never saw men fall so fast in all my life the rebels had a cross fire on us with both artillery and musketry and instead of being ordered forward on the “Double quick” we were halted and told to lie down what they were waiting for I could never ascertain our men stood it some time when they got up and ran back to our breastworks without orders our loss will show whether
the men acted right or not the loss in our small Division was nearly 800 more than one fifth of the men engaged the loss of our Regt was slight compared to some of them and the reason was we were in the rear line Gen Harker commander of the 3d Brigade was killed he was a brave officer and his loss is severely felt hy his command the only field officer killed in our Brigade was Col Chandler of the 88th Ill. the loss in our Co was two Wm Shallock wounded in the face & G. Urbatsh (a new recruit) flesh wound in the thigh A. Denny got a slight rap from a spent ball but not enough to prevent him from doing duty. Gen Sherman has forced Johnson from one position to another he has forced him a cross the Chattahoochee River & the left of our army is within ten or twelve miles of Atlanta from a hill a short distance in the rear of our camp we can see the spires & several prominent buildings in Atlanta (I forgot to tell you that our Corps is on the extreme left) the left of our army all moved to the right when Johnsons fell back from the Kennesaw Mountains. Byron Albert has returned to the Co but he has not brought my watch I do not know the reason why he did not bring it. I wish John would send it by mail for a watch at home is of but little use to me tell him to put it in a little box and I think it will come through all right. My health is as good as usual and I hope this will find you all the same tell Arty to write to again
Your Brother William
William Farries, from Wauwatosa, WI. He is listed as a farmer, born in Scotland, about 5’9″, with hazel eyes dark hair, and a fair complexion. He received a $25 bounty for enlisting for 3 years service. He enlisted on August 6, 1862 as a corporal in Company E, 24th WI Infantry. He was later promoted to sergeant, and was wounded November 25, 1863 at Missionary Ridge, TN. Sgt. Farries was mustered out of the army June 10, 1865 at Nashville, TN.