Letters from Lt. Giles F. Ward

June 26, 1862 to January 6, 1865

These letters were copied from pages 49 to 75 of Appendix A of A Memorial of Giles F. Ward, Jr., Late First Lieutenant, Twelfth N.Y. Cavalry by William Ives Budington, D.D., Pastor of Clinton Avenue Congregational Church, Brooklyn, N.Y. The work was published in 1866 in New York by Anson D. F. Randolph, 770 Broadway.

Giles F. Ward was a member of the 12th NY Cavalry at the time of his death. He had, however, served earlier in the 92nd NY Volunteer Infantry, and all but the last one of these letters were written while he was a member of the 92nd.

He mustered into the 92nd at age 19 on May 30, 1862 in Fair Oaks, Virginia. He served as First Lieutenant in Co. K from May 30, 1862 to October 1, 1862, as adjutant from October 1, 1862 to December __, 1863, and as First Lieutenant in Co. F from December __, 1863 to October 31, 1864, at which date at New Bern, North Carolina, he mustered out.

Giles Ward mustered into the 12th as First Lieutenant of Co. L to date from December 8, 1864. The AGO report entry reads as follows:
"WARD, GILES F.--Age, not stated. Mustered into the services of the United States as first lieutenant of Co. L, to date December 8, 1864; accidentally killed, January 30, 1865, at Plymouth, N.C. Commissioned first lieutenant, October 31, 1864, with rank from October 24, 1864, vice Hathaway, deceased."

In appendix B of the Budington work it is recorded that Ward was "almost instantly killed by the accidental discharge of a pistol in the hands of Captain Horn." They "had halted at the house of Mr. Stevenson, six miles from Coleraine, previous to engaging the enemy, a few miles distant." Since Jones Frankle, Colonel of the Second Massachusetts Artillery reported Ward's death to Brigadier-General I. N. Palmer on January 29, 1865, I conclude that the accident and his death occurred no later than the twenty-ninth.

Letter of June 26, 1862

June 26, 1862.

We are fortifying our camp very strongly, as we expect an attack from the rebels from Charles City. But we have a strong position, well defended naturally, and plenty of artillery.

They had a severe engagement yesterday in our front, and we hear that our men drove the enemy some two miles, taking two forts and thirty odd pieces of artillery. I was thirteen hours in the trenches yesterday. Major King, who had the superintendence of the work, detached me from my command to assist him in laying out the line of fortifications and superintending their construction; I did not eat a mouthful from breakfast, at five o'clock, until this morning-only drank a cup of tea last night; but was too exhausted to eat.

General Wessels praised our camp and that of the Eighty-first New-York as the neatest, best, and cleanest in the whole division.

Letter of July 4, 1862

This letter was written in pencil on some leaves from his memorandum-book, during the retreat across the Peninsula to Harrison's Landing.

On the March, July 4, 1862.

My Dear Father: When you learn what I have been doing the past week, you will doubtless understand why I have not written you. Last Friday the terrible battle on the right of our lines was fought; and on Saturday I was detailed with sixty men to build a bridge, which was to aid our army in crossing White Oak Swamp. I was hard at work there until seven o'clock in the evening, when we returned to our camp for the night. Sunday morning, at eight o'clock, we took up our line of march, and marched a few miles, and then rested about an hour, when we started again, and marched all the rest of the day, all night, and next day, until ten o'clock, when we stopped to get our breakfast, and then marched until night. At night we slept in a wheat-field, with no tents, and were up at three o'clock in the morning in line of battle, to cover the retreat, as we were bringing up the rear. About noon we started again, and marched till night, and camped in the edge of the woods, sleeping on our arms, as we expected an attack before morning. At two o'clock we started to cover the retreat again, and marched till three o'clock in the afternoon, when we got breakfast, dinner, and supper together; and then the rebels commenced throwing shells at us, when we started down into the woods about half a mile in our rear, to hold them in check until the wagons could get down to the river. Our regiment was alone, excepting two pieces of artillery and two companies of cavalry; and we were to hold our position at all hazards until reenforcements could be sent from the woods in our rear. While we were there, the shells flew over us there the shells flew over us pretty thick during the evening and the next day until night, when we came up to where we now are, thoroughly drenched with three days' rain, and so tired we could scarcely stand; and yet we had to wade through mud up to our knees that was just like quicksand; it would pull off the boots and shoes of the men, and some got stuck, and had to throw away all their things -knapsacks, blankets, ammunition, and every thing-and then half a dozen men pull them out. I tell you, the people of the North little understand or appreciate the hardships and sufferings of their defenders; and the? little know the sleepless nights on pickets, the blistered feet on the march, the wet clothes and hungry stomachs of our brave soldiers! God grant that the war may soon be ended for the good of our country and the happiness of our people!

Before this you probably have accounts of the battles which have been fought for five successive days. We fought them; and I do not hesitate to say that in those five days more than twenty thousand men were killed on both sides, putting our loss and the rebels together. We have just been out in line to salute General McClellan, who passed down the lines. Good by; love to all. From


Letter of July 15, 1862

This is an extract of the letter.

Camp near James River, July 15, 1862.

0----! if I could spend a Sabbath evening with you all, and sing those delightful hymns we used to sing, and hear dear Dr. Budington preach one of his good sermons! Just think! seven Sundays I have been away from you, and never heard one sermon! I hope, however, next, Sunday to find a chaplain somewhere in the army, who is going to preach, and I assure you I shall go to hear him. Good by; God bless you all.

Your affectionate brother,             Giles.

Letter of January 6, 1863

New-Bern, N.C., Headquarters Ninety-second
New-York State Volunteers, Jan. 6, 1863.

We left Suffolk on the morning of the fifth December, in a drizzling rain, upon a secret expedition, and marched twenty-three miles by two o' clock, P.M.---one of the finest marches upon record. The next day, passing through Gatesville, we reached the Chowan River, where we embarked upon transports, which brought us to New-Bern on the Tuesday night following. We disembarked Wednesday morning, and camped about one and a half miles from New-Bern, on the Kinston Road.

Thursday morning we started, and after skirmishing Friday and Saturday, met the enemy in force on Sunday morning about nine o'clock.

The Ninth New-Jersey were deployed in front as skirmishers, throwing their line across the road on both sides, in a dense swamp, up to their middles in water, where they engaged the enemy.

They fought about an hour, when the Veteran Brigade of General Wessells was ordered up. The Ninth reporting their ammunition expended, the Ninety-second New-York, Colonel Hunt, were ordered to relieve them, which we did.

Finding that we must leave our horses, Colonel Hunt and myself dismounted, when just as our feet touched the ground, a shell flew by, killing a man just behind me, and then bursting, carried away the top of our flagstaff. If we had not dismounted just at that moment, we must, one of us, have been killed.

Sending our horses to the rear, we filed into the woods, and relieved the Ninth New-Jersey, who immediately fell back, leaving the Ninety-second, with two hundred and fifty men, to hold the position which they had held, being one thousand one hundred strong; but we did it. We were now hotly engaged with the enemy, when some of our companies on the left, (being in more open ground,) under the command of Captains Merriman and Bice and Lieutenant Babcock, charged the enemy with the bayonet; but they were met with a terrific volley, which compelled them to retire to their former position.

At the critical moment, Colonel Hunt ordered me to go to General Wessells and ask for reënforcements; and he (Colonel Hunt) separated his right and left wings, leaving the middle perfectly open, where the enemy were pouring in their hottest fire, thinking we were there, as we were concealed from view by the thick underbrush in the swamp. I hurried back as fast as my weary legs would carry me, covered with mud and dirt, and soaking wet from my hips down.

On my way to the General, I found Major Kennedy with two batteries of artillery firing too far off to the right. He asked me for information, and I directed him where to aim to make his fire effective, and he did so.

General Wesells gave me the Forty-fifth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers for reënforcements; and I led them into the swamp in the opening which I already mentioned Colonel Hunt had made. I told the Colonel of the Forty-fifth to reserve his fire, for fear some of my own regiment were in his front; and we continued to advance silently, until nearly across the swamp, when the enemy opened on us with a terrific volley, laying several of the brave boys on their backs. I then gave the order to fire, and we poured in a volley that paid them back with interest. After getting them pretty well into position, I left them to find Colonel Hunt, whom I found on the left; and by that time the enemy were retreating across the bridge, which they set on fire; but we followed them so close as to extinguish the flames and cross after them.

I had some narrow escapes, but, thank God, escaped with a whole skin.

After fighting them at Whitehall and Evartsville, we returned to New-Bern.

Letter of March 16, 1863

New-Bern, N.C., March 16, 1863.

My Dear Father: In the mercy of God, I have been spared through another fight. As I told you before I left home, our regiment is on the east side of the Neuse River, opposite New-Bern, and alone, where they have built a fort. Well, last Saturday, the anniversary of the taking of New-Bern, about five o’clock in the morning, our pickets sent in word that the rebels were advancing with artillery. We aroused the camp and got into line of battle, three hundred and fifty strong; and just then the pickets commenced firing. Our pickets shot from fifteen to twenty of them, and then came into the fort. By that time the rebels had planted two six-gun batteries of Parrott guns, about eight hundred yards from the fort, and one battery on each flank, about one half mile distant, making twenty-four guns in all; and we had not a piece of artillery in the fort.

General Pettigrew, who commanded the rebels, sent a captain of his staff with a flag of truce, demanding a surrender, which was refused, and we asked for half an hour, to send across the river to ask General Foster if we should surrender. It was only to gain time, though, for him to send us reënforcements. It was granted.

At the expiration of the half-hour, our boat not having returned, General Pettigrew sent down word that he could give no longer time, and again demanded a surrender. Our answer was: “We will not surrender.” He then opened on us with eighteen pieces of artillery, setting fire to our camp and riddling the tents with balls, killing two horses, wounding three men, and both my horse, one after the other.

They shelled us three hours at a terrific rate. I was struck by a splinter in the leg, just above the knee, but it did not break the skin.

Our gunboats at last got the range of the rebels, killing and wounding some fifty of them; and they then drew off for the night, losing one piece of artillery, which was dismounted.

General Foster then sent over the Eighty-fifth New-York to our assistance; but the fight was over. The next morning I took a company out and skirmished through the woods about three miles; but they had retreated.

I must close now. God bless you all!!

From             Gilie.

Letter of April 7, 1863

Headquarters Ninety-second New-York
State Volunteers, April 7, 1863.

I was much disappointed on the arrival of a mail to-day, to receive no letters, but shall expect several the next mail.

I believe I wrote that there had been some fighting about twenty-five miles from here, at Little Washington, North-Carolina. There has been less firing to-day than on any day for a week.

It is reported that the rebels are fifty thousand strong, with eighty pieces of artillery, and that they have got our troops into a pretty tight place. General Foster is there, and can’t get away, for the rebels have surrounded him and blockaded the river, so that our gunboats can not get within six miles of the place without a “right smart fight.”

Our provision and ammunition-boats succeeded, however, in running the blockade the other day; and General Foster can now hold out for a month, at the least calculation, and in less than a week the rebels will have something in their rear. I could tell you more, but military necessities will not permit; but if you should hear of a big fight, and a brilliant victory, don’t be surprised.

The rebels got sold pretty well the other night by us. Our pickets in the daytime are thrown out about a mile; but in the night we draw them in to about one thousand yards from the fort. Our extreme left-flank post, in the daytime, is at a house called “Gascon’s house;” but at night it is not within half a mile of it. Well, the other night about eleven o’clock, the rebels, about twenty strong, crept through the woods to this house, hoping to shoot some of our men; and when about a dozen yards from the house, they fired a volley, and run, supposing of course that they had killed half a dozen or so; but the joke of it was, we had not a man within half a mile of them.

You see by this the kind of men that Jeff Davis employs—I don’t mean to say that all their army are such; but their guerrillas are the meanest, most despicable, cowardly murderers—nothing more or less.

As I write, thousands of troops are landing at our fort, bound for Little Washington. God go with them!

Letter of May 10, 1863

Fort Anderson, May 10, 1863.

What is the feeling at home in regard to the draft, and a vigorous prosecution of the war? I do wish the people were more enthusiastic. If the Government allow themselves to be lulled into a feeling of security by the reports of famine in the South, the rebels will find means of supplying themselves for a vigorous fall campaign. But if, on the contrary, we push forward and constantly engage the enemy wherever we meet them, I believe we can dishearten them sufficiently to cause a revolt among the people.

I know the truth of the reports of famine among them; day after day, men, women, and children come to our lines to get into New-Bern to buy bread, and beg to be allowed to enter the lines; the women weeping and the children crying for food: but it can not be; many of them are spies, and we can not sacrifice our cause to alleviate the sufferings of a minority; but it can not last long. Those men will not stand idly by and see their wives, mothers, and children dying of hunger, and their sons oftentimes taken by force from their homes, to fill the ranks of the tyrant government that has reduced them to these sufferings. They will cry aloud for justice; and I believe a few victories on our part would give spirit enough to the haters of the rebel government to cause them to revolt against it. Already several bread riots have occurred in this State. Women, armed with axes and knives, have gone to the government store-houses in Wilmington and taken flour by force; I have settled into an inveterate hatred of the North-Carolina rebels. The cowardly manner in which they carry on their guerrilla warfare—shooting our men from behind trees, and in the swamps—makes me despise them.

Letter of June 28, 1863

Headquarters Ninety-Second New-York
State Volunteers, June 28, 1863.

This is the evening of a beautiful quiet Sabbath, upon which I have been thinking often and much of home. My duties to-day kept me in camp, and I have really enjoyed the calmness and security of the day.

This morning a mail arrived, bringing me a number of papers, but no letters; which is accounted for, I suppose, by your having sent them to Dr. M.

I wish very much I could see all my dear family this summer; but it can not be. We have sent a great number of our troops from here to the Peninsula, leaving us a mere handful to defend the place, if attacked; but those left are men to be relied on.

Thank God that I belong to a regiment universally acknowledged as “a fighting regiment,” not one struggling under the imputation of cowardice, afraid to give their lives to their country, or to trust them with God.

I think that in this, the darkest hour of my country’s need, I love it better, reverence it more than ever. One life seems too little to offer to my country.

We have raised a fine flag-pole in our fort; and to-day the “Star-Spangled Banner” first floated o’er our works. Got grant no rebel flag may ever usurp its place!

I have a friend in the regiment whom I hope one day to introduce to you. I am very much attached to him, and I think he is to me. He is not a Christian, but he is an honorable, upright man, and I hope one day to see him become a true Christian.

Letter of July 11, 1863

This letter has an apparent reference to Gettysburg.

July 11, 1863.

Last night about ten o’clock, I received your welcome letters and papers of the seventh, with the news of our glorious victory in Pennsylvania, and the surrender of Vicksburgh. You can have no idea of the enthusiasm of the troops at this news. From all I can learn, the loss of life must have been equal if not greater in Pennsylvania than in any other series of battles during the war.

We are looking for a demonstration from the rebels in this State soon. I think if driven from Virginia, the rebels will make North- and South-Carolina the battle-ground; if so, “hurrah for active service!” I am heartily tired of inactivity, and would give six months’ pay to be with the dear old army of the Potomac. I expect if you could look in upon us now, you would ask if these were the hardships of war. We have nice, new, clean tents, the camp laid out handsomely inside of the fort, and everything as comfortable as could be.

Letter of July 12, 1863

July 12, 1863.

This morning, after ‘guard-mounting” I was walking toward my tent, to lay aside my sword and sash, and happened to turn around to speak to an officer, when pop! pop! pop! went the guns on the picket-line.

We took no notice of the first two or three; but when they continued about as fast and thick as popping corn, the order was given to “fall in!” and man the guns and breast-works. I heard the firing on the extreme picket-post, on the left flank, and immediately surmised that the rebels had either made a dash on that post to capture it, or were driving in the pickets to attack the forts.

I immediately went to the Colonel’s quarters (who is sick in bed) and asked him if I might drop a few shells against them. He assented, and I ordered the guns loaded, and gave them a couple of thirty-two pound shell, which burst very near them, and they immediately “ske-daddled” for the woods. We continued shelling the woods for several minutes, and then deployed skirmishers down to the front; but they had left, taking with them a sergeant, corporal, and three men, who were on the outpost; also a young fellow, who lived in a house right there, as a conscript.

It did not amount to any fight at all; and I only speak of it to show how little one knows of to-morrow. But I have permission to go out to-morrow with a company of cavalry, and I think we can “spot” some of them.

I hope the news from General Meade, and the army of the Potomac continues as encouraging as the last we had. I am very much of the opinion, that if driven from Virginia, the State of North-Carolina will be made the battle-ground of the rebels. I hope so.

Letter of July 19, 1863

In this letter he appears to be referring to the draft riots in New York,

July 19, 1863.

The news from New-York City is truly appalling. I am very anxious, my darling mother, to hear from you, whether there has been any serious riot in Brooklyn, and whether the disturbances have reached your section of the city. I hope and trust that our government will enforce the draft against all and every opposition. Oh! if our little brigade were only in the city now, we would show those ungodly men that those who have faced death an hundred times were not to be intimidated by a lawless mob, nor overwhelmed by any numbers that might be brought against them. I wish I might have the privilege of helping to put down the riot; but until the danger is more pressing, I feel that my duty keeps me here. I wish you were all in S______ during these troublous times.

We had divine services in camp to-day, and quite a good attendance; and I don’t think I ever had a sermon comfort me so much as this one from the text, “The Lord reigneth.”

Letter of January 12, 1864

January 12, 1864.

Just to think, that in a month more, and it will be a year since I have seen you, my darling S____. How many changes have taken place in that year! Often at night in my room I sit and conjure up before me the forms of those I love so dearly; and I love to think that they have not changed since I last saw them. How I long to come home and see you all! I can hardly wait; but duty bids me do so, and I suppose I must.

Do you remember my telling you last winter that I had bought a horse for you? Well, I have him still, and he is acknowledged by every body to be the most beautiful horse in the department, as well as the best. I can jump a six-rail fence with him as easily as most horses would jump four; and I have jumped him over a road that was blockaded by the rebels for a quarter of a mile by felling large trees across it where it passed through a swamp.

On an expedition a few weeks since, I led a troop of cavalry over such a place where almost every horse in the troop was thrown and some of the men badly hurt, while “Wheaton,” as I call him, went over it like a squirrel. He is a perfect beauty, and if I keep him until the war is over, I think he will be the pride of the family; he has been wounded twice, but I think all the more of him for it.

Letter of April 21, 1864

Here is a brief report of the Battle of Plymouth.

Headquarters, New-Bern,
April 21, 1864.

My plans, as regards coming home the last of this month, are broken up again.

Three days ago the enemy attacked Plymouth, North-Carolina, and by this time it is probably in their hands.

An iron-clad ram sunk one of our largest and best gun-boats, steamed past our forts without firing a shot, and quietly anchored below the town of Plymouth, without having shown a man or a gun.

A hundred-pound Parrot-shell, fired at from twelve to fifteen feet from her, made no impression; and a nine-inch Dahlgren shell, fired at the same distance, was broken to pieces against her sides, and four of the pieces rebounded, killing Captain Flusser, of the gunboat Miami, one of the most brilliant and daring officers of our navy.

General Wessells, our old brigade commander, was in command at Plymouth, and although nothing definite is known, I am afraid the poor old man is on his way to Richmond.

We shall probably have it thick and heavy here in the course of a few days, but feel confident of our ability to withstand a very determined attack. Further news I can not give you, as this is all that can be divulged at present.

God bless you all, is the sincere prayer of yours,           Giles.

Letter of May 10, 1864

May 10, 1864.

Last Wednesday night, about dark, Colonel Savage, commanding our cavalry out-posts, telegraphed that he was attacked at Deep Gully, (ten miles from here,) and driven to Rocky Run, (two miles nearer).

About ten o’clock the General ordered me to take an orderly and ride out to Rocky Run and remain with Colonel Savage, and if the enemy did not attack us at daylight, that we should attack them. I did so, and at daylight we attacked them with four squadrons of cavalry and two pieces of artillery; but they were too strong for us. We fought them until ten o’clock, when we retired to Rocky Run, and I rode to New-Bern to report to the General. At twelve o’clock that day the general ordered me to take the “Monitor,” am iron-clad car which we have here, and which is musket-proof, and carries two pieces of artillery, and to attack the enemy on the railroad, which I did. They replied to me at one o’clock with six pieces of artillery, but I silenced their battery four times. At four o’clock, two gun-boats were sent by General Palmer down the river to assist me—he seeing that I was having a pretty hard time—and in about an hour after we had completely silenced them. About five o’clock I fell back on New-Bern, having fired two hundred and fifty rounds of shell, exhausting all my ammunition. That night I allowed my men to rest, and the next morning ran down to the edge of the woods to open on the enemy again; but they sent in a “flag of truce,” asking a personal conference with General Palmer, which he refused them, and authorized me to receive their communication, which was a demand for the surrender of New-Bern.

Major Read, of the rebel artillery, delivered the message to me, and I laughed in his face. I could not help it. I delivered the message to General Palmer, who gave me my instructions, and I then went back to the Major and told him that General Palmer desired me to say to him that he considered his demand a mere “ruse de guerre,” and hardly worth an answer; but if he wanted New-Bern he must come and take it; and that he could have thirty minutes to get back to his lines before Lieutenant Ward opened on him with the “Monitor.” I then saluted the Major, and got on my horse, saying to him as I turned to go away: “I hope we shall meet this afternoon, Major.” He replied that, “he didn’t think we would.” In half an hour I opened on them with my guns, shelling the woods as I ran down, and getting to where their battery was posted the day before, I found they had left.

Letter of August 2, 1864

New-Bern, August 2, 1864.

I returned day before yesterday from an expedition up the Chowan River, (not the one I wrote you about; that has been postponed for the present,) on which I was quite successful. A week ago to-day the General called me down to his house, and pointed out on the map where I was to go. I started that night with the steamer Massasoit, sixty-five men and two guns; went to Roanoke Island, and from there to the mouth of the Roanoke River, about seven miles from the rebel ram. Captain Macomb, of the navy, placed the gunboat Whitehead under my orders. The Thomas Collier reported to me from New-Bern. I then started up the Chowan River, stopped at Winton, where I captured a quantity of cotton and tobacco, burnt a large amount of commissary stores, and then started up the river to Manning’s Ferry, at the head of the Chowan, to draw the enemy’s batteries up the river. I then turned right round, came down to Gale’s Ferry, landed with twenty men, started up the road to Gatesville, where I captured the rebel steamer Arrow, (which they captured from us last year on the canal,) put a detachment on board of her with a pilot, (also ten bales of cotton which she had landed there,) and sent her down the creek, capturing her picket-boat as she came down. I then went to Coleraine, where I captured a large quantity of cotton and tobacco—which, by the way, I had pretty hard work to get down to my boats, as I had to catch the horses, find wagons, make harness or ropes, and impress “contrabands” to drive them; and when I got the bales and boxes to the river, I had six men pick up a bale and wade in up to their waists, load a launch, shove it off to the steamers, unload it, and go back for more. The enemy made their appearance first at Winton, which place they shelled about two hours; they then came down to Coleraine and commenced driving my pickets in just as I got the last bale of cotton on board. I hauled out into the stream, said “Good evening!” to them, and left. But the best thing of all was, the ram dared not come out of the Roanoke River and chase us.

By looking at the map you will see that by coming about ten miles from Plymouth she could have blockaded us in the Chowan.

If she had done so, I should I [sic] have run into her with the Thomas Collier, and something would have gone down.

On the expedition I got about one hundred thousand dollars’ worth of cotton; about twenty thousand dollars’ worth of tobacco; and miscellaneous stuff, such as leather, bacon, etc., to the amount of ten thousand dollars. I don’t know the value of the Arrow.

Letter of January 6, 1865

This, the last of his letters and written approximately three weeks before his accidental death, is the only one in the collection that was written while he was actually a member of the Twelfth New York Volunteer Cavalry.

Plymouth, N.C., January 6, 1865.

At last I have arrived at the height of my ambition, the command of a troop of cavalry, and I have proved what I always believed, that I could whip two rebels to one.

I was sent on the thirtieth of last month in command of an expedition, consisting of two companies of infantry, one piece of artillery, and my own troops, in the direction of Williamston to develop the enemy’s strength and position. I built a bridge at Jamesville, left my infantry and artillery there to hold it until my return, and pushed on with my cavalry, (about forty men,) at three o’clock in the morning, toward Williamston. A large and deep creek runs down to the Roanoke River, about two miles this side of the town, and about three miles this side of the creek the road forks—one fork leading to Leggett’s Bridge, and the other to Foster’s Mills.

I took the right-hand fork to the bridge, and found it burnt; I then marched back at a trot, intending to take the other road; but when I got back to the forks I found the rebels, about two hundred strong, in line of battle across the road. Well, there was only one thing to be done, and I gave the order to “charge with pistols,” and we dashed through them like the wind. When I got through, “my blood was up,” and I gave the order to “wheel about and charge again,” which we did scattering them into the woods.

I picked out the nearest man, rode him down, mounted him behind one of my men, and started for home at a trot. We got safely back with the loss of one horse shot.

I am very well indeed, and hope to see some active service this winter; and if my life is spared, will come home as soon as it is over to make you a short visit.

Good by, my darling mother; God bless you, is the prayer of your loving son,


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