North Carolina Letter Describing Battles By a Soldier In The 5th MA.
Letter describing North Carolina battles by a soldier in the 5th MA. The 5th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Militia was originally a peacetime infantry regiment that was activated for federal service in the Union Army for three separate tours. The second term of service lasted nine months, from September 1862 to July 1863 during which they were stationed in New Bern, NC and participated in several expeditions. This four page letter is written, in pencil from Newbern, NC, November 20, 1862 by a soldier who only signs his name as L.C. (The letter in full - spelling not corrected.) Newbern. November 20, 1862 Dear Sir, I will occupy a few moments in writing to you and I would have written to you before had I time, but since we left Mafs, we have been shifting from place to place and I have not had scarcely time to think even of home, I thank kind providance that I am spared through all my journings to wright to you. It would be useless to me to try to tell you of our passage here or of our exhibition, for I suppose you have read the account of it in the papers, but what I have read myself about the expedition, is the most absurd thing I ever saw and I shall try and tell you the truth about it. It was on the 25 of Oct that we received our marching orders and to tak with us 10 days rations on the 29. we received our guns, we got them about 9 P.M. and I think it was rather hard on the boys to march before they saw their guns in daylight. we left Newbern at 3 1/2 a.m. the 30 we took the steamer at 6 for Washington we had a pleasant sail on the Tar River about 10 we passed the rebel blockade which Burnside crosed the time he took Newbern. There were 10 ships in the expedition. we arrived at Washington N.C. on the 31 Friday. we staid there until sunday, friday night we slept on the grass on the banks of the Tar river, and a very pleasent place it is. Saturday night we slept in a cotton mill. The Monday night before we arived into W. (ashington) the rebles drove the pickets in and fired on a Union man's house but did not kill any men. We left W. on Sunday morning at 3 1/2 for a long and dreary march about 11 A.M. we met and drove in the reble pickets one of the General's staff was wounded and his horse killed. About 4 P.M. we met the rebles our artilary fired on them for an hour at which time they retreated, our lose was two wounded men killed. After the battle was over I took a walk over the battle field which is close by the edge of the woods and I saw something and what it was I could not tell and being dark I did not like to go into the woods alone, and I got another fellow to go with me and wen we went to it we found it to be a rebel horse all bridled and saddled its rider I suppose was killed in the fight. We advanced about a mile from the men we were again atacked, the rebles fought more desperate than ever, for an hour and a half the forty forth Mass. charged on them and the 5th were ordered to protect the cavelry one of the boys got killed and 3 wounded and 5 of the Rebels were killed and 2 wounded. I saw those who were wounded and one who was killed and I never saw such a sight as before. It was frightful to behold. it was about 7 P.M. and a lovely moonlight night it was -_____________ on the road to take supper which consisted of crackers and watter but it tasted tip top. A few minutes after supper our artilary advanced about a mile when we were again and the 2nd time atacted by the rebels. they were on the opsit side of the river which is about as wide as from your house to Celley's and which goes by the name of Dears Run, it is about 3 feet deep They fought still more desperate than ever, but our artilary fought so bravely that the rebles had to retreat to a rifle pit which they were then diging it was about the distance of a quarter of a mile, whilst our artilary were half way across the river when they were ordered to retreat whilest in the act of retreating one of the companys left a piece of artilary, but their captain ordered them to bring it with them, and they did so _____ they advanced again crossed the river routed the rebles so that we never saw them again one of the artilary got killed, none wounded saw him lying by the tree, he was shot through the stomach he got shot after he crossed the river. We slept on the battle field that night. I shall wright again wright soon, give my love to your wife and children and all inquiring friends tell Celley that George is well. All the boys are the same and I hope you enjoy the same great blessing. L.C. Co. G. 5th Reg. Vols, Newbern N.C. Yours ___ as well also.
Four pages, written in pencil, very legible