From the Archives: Civil War Letter
Friday morning July 29/1864
Yesterday was a great day with a great many especially with the old and young of the reserve. The battle commenced about 4 P.M. on our left and continued until dark. The loss on our side was heavy so I learn and I do not doubt it at all as we could plainly hear the firing. It was incessant; I learn also that we had four Gen wounded Loring and Stuart are the names of all that I have yet learned; the particulars of the fight that we have received up to this time was from a wounded soldier about dark he said when he came off the battle we had driven the yanks out of 3 lines of their entrenchments and we were then fighting in an open field. He said he learned that we had captured 4000 prisoners this he learned as he came off the battle field; should I learn more of the particulars I will inform you this evening; before I send this off by mail; about 5 P.M. yesterday the battle commenced in sight of us between the 2 picket lines which is always the case where 2 armies are confronting each other for this reason they meaning neither party can advance until the pickets are driven in which always extends from one end of the whole line to the other; it was beautiful to listen at to any one that is not frightened; I have become so accustomed to it that it is fun for us to look at some of our boys are yet a little chicken hearted; but Dunwoody teases them until it soon wears off; This fight was entirely between the pickets but the reserves thought Hoods whole army was engaged; the old men looked sad and desponding. They looked as though they never intended to laugh again. It was exactly to the contrary with the little boys or as we call them Joes babies; there is always more danger in the sharpshooters during a picket fight than anything else; it was something new to them. It was very difficult to keep them off the breastworks where they are always exposed to their keen eye and long range guns; several of Hoods army have been killed in this way; About sun down one soldier a picket came in with a wound of the little finger some of the boys remarked to him if he did not think it was a good shot he said he thought quite different to miss his whole body and hit his little finger; from the way things are working I think we will have it to day pretty general; the artillery are having their fun this morning; I think we will wake the Yanks up; all I believe to a man and boy are anxious for it to come off; we are receiving reinforcements on every train from Macon and Wespoint and frequently there are three trains running close to each other and all full; a large quantity came last night; none of the reserves from Wilkes have arrived here yet we do not know the cause as some of the other counties have all of theirs; I shall during the fight or for several days yet to come send my letters all to Washington it is a leisure time now you and all interested can send up every day; I shall write every day if I have but 3 minutes time to let you know how things are you and Mrs Gartrell can make arrangements for you and her it will then be of no inconvenience to you the first time you send write a Note to Mrs Robinson requesting her to send such letters; as you want and to continue to do so as long as you send for them. I will finish this evening.