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From Lewisburg Chronicle, May 9, 1862, HARTLEY BOYS AT SHILOH.
Peter Smith, an old citizen of Hartley, removed to Fulton Co., Ind. last spring and his sons, Jeremiah and John were among the first to respond to President Lincoln’s call by enlisting with Capt. Collins who served under Gen. Smith. A letter from these volunteers to their brother, Henry M. Smith of Laurelton, is below:
Shiloh Battle Field, April 20, Dear Brother, I write to you to let you know that John and I are in good health and spirits. But we have had hard times since I wrote you last.
When we left Camp Wood, in Ky. we marched to Bowlin Green, to Nashville, to Columbia and then to this place on a forced March, Monday a fortnight ago. The rebels came up on Sunday, with a Union flag attacked our men and fought all day, the Rebels getting the better of our men, for they had two to our one. But we gave them goss on Monday. We were taken into battle at 7 in the morning and fought until 4 P.M. It was a hard fight. the balls came whistling like hail, and cannon cut down trees 14 in. in diameter. The loss of the 29th Ind. to which we belong was 73 killed and wounded.
I received three shots— the first on the left shoulder, the second on the right shoulder, and the third in the left breast. The last one was the hardest— it brought me to the ground— the ball going through my belt and coat, then strikin my hymn book in a side pocket, tearing and breaking out half the leaves, the blancing off. I think that the hymn book saved my life. Thank God. I am ready to try it again, if necessary— not that I like it so well, for I find the battle field is no fun. I did not mind the dead, as to see the wounded, and hear them groan.
I hope the fighting is over. But the Rebels have made another stand about 20 miles further south, they have got to be routed again and I expect it will fall to our lot to do it.
My best respects and kind wishes to all enquiring friends in old Hartley.
From Lewisburg Chronicls, June 17, 1862, near Fredericksburg, VA.
June 8th— The country through which we passed, from Washington is poor and uninviting, until we come within one mile of this city, now occupied by gen. McDowell’s division. Fredericksburg is the chief town of Spottsylvania County, and is situated on the right bank of the Rappahannock River at the head of tide water, between 50-60 miles from Richmond by railway, and 65 miles by turnpike, in a
northerly direction. Turnpike roads connect with falmouth and Newport, the former by a ferry across the Rappahannock, and another turnpike leads through a wilderness to Orange Court
House, where a railroad connects it with Gordonsville.
The town is situated in a fertile valley and has advantages for commerce and manufactures. The railroad from Washington via Aguia Creek passes through and thereby a large trade or traffick was done previous to the Rebelion. lt is distant from Aquia Creek by railroad about 15 miles, from which point part of the Potomach River traffice used to be carried to Fredericksburg. A good canal had also been constructed from the town to a point on the Rappahannock river, about 40 miles above, by which large quantities of wheat, flour and tobacck were received for exportation.
The river affords extensive water power, which is not much used. The hills in the neighborhood varying in height from 40-100 feet, abound in fine granite and freestone. In 1840, its population was 4,000 souls and in 1850 ten years after it had only increased 88 persons, less than nine each year, being about two per cent in a decade, a remarkably small increase.
Before the Rebellion, it contained five churches, one orphan asylum, two seminaries, four newspapers and two banks.
The county in which Fredericksburg is situated has an area of 400 sq. miles. The Rappahannock forms the boundary on the N.E., the Anna River on the S.W. and the Mattapony rises within its limits. The surface is diversified, the soil generally fertile in the vicinity of the streams. Two gold mines were worked in 1850. The canal running N. W. carries river traffic from above the falls, and the county is intersected by the Richmond and Potomac R.R.
Spottsylvania was organized in 1720, and named in honor of Alexander Spottswood, at that time Gov. of Va. The capital of the county is Spottsvlvania Court House a post village on the Po river, situated 60 miles nearly due north from Richmond, with which it is connected by the turnpike. The last return of the population gave nearly 15,000 persons, over half of whom were slaves.
The adjoining counties of Satafford and King George run along the opposite side of the Rappahannock and together have an area of 426 miles. The surfact of the soil is hilly partially fertile and partially arid. Their united pop. at last returns, was 13,975 over one half of whom were slaves.
Granite, freestone, and gold, have been found here, the two first in great quantities. Stafford is a very old county, having been formed 1675 and named after the English county of the same denomination. The water power and drainage of Stafford County are very good, and if properly used would have been sources of wealth to the inhabitants of the neighborhood.
Fauquier County adjoins Stafford county on its western border. The men of the division enjoy good health generally and feel prepared for a battle any day. Capt. Co. F 56th Regt. P.V. George Corman.
Jottings down in North Carolina, Camp Reno, June 6— A rainy day, yes, if it were the only one, but it has stormed and rained with little intermission, since Sat. 31st, That day, we hear by Rebel sources the battle at Richmond commenced, but they had to quit because of rain. Several loads of wounded men came, they tell us, to Raleigh. We are so anxious to hear but the storms that blew so fearfully around Hatteras, beat off our shops, and stay our news.
We have now a delightful place to stop. It is on the right bank of the Trent, near five miles from Newbern. There is a railway bridge across the Trent at Newbern, and a carriage bridge two miles higher up. About a mile above this bridge, a deep creek enters the Trent, running parallel almost with the river for half a mile, leaving a low, grassy plot, on which they make hay.
Saturday our picketts were attacked by the enemy— their force being according to the prisoners taken from them 40,000 men, when our brigade was formed in line and engaged them at once. After the fight became hot, our regiment were ordered to advance, which we did up to the edge of the dense wood, when we were confronted by a large force. They opened fire at once, which we returned with good will, but they had the advantage in the ground. In half an hour, they drove in the 104th on our left, flanked us and fired on us from three sides. The balls flew around us like hail, and our men fell thick and fast. We were compelled
to retire, falling back a mile and a half. Sumner’s division succeeded in driving back the enemy. Yesterday, the Rebels occupied our old camp gound but were driven out again, and our division is prepared to give them a warm reception. But there are only a thousand men left of our division and our regiment can not raise more than 160 men. Our company officers and two sergts. were wounded
There were four privates killed and several wounded, mostly from Trevorton, Lieut. Cuskaden and Balliet are missing. Stapleton has just come into camp, he was taken prisoner but was rescued. The other Lewisburg boys are all right. Poet, Bower, Mackey, Evans and Pardoe said you should tell their folks that they are safe. My clothes had several hoes put in by balls, and a spent bullet in my left side knocked me over, but did me no injury except tearing my coat. I don’t see how any of us escaped.
When you write send me one sheet of paper and an envelope to write back, only one, I have no way to carry them. You do not know how bad we are situated moving from place to place hardly in one camp more than three or four days, everything works against us writing. but you must write
— Wm. L. Phillips
© Copyright 2012 by Mifflinburg Telegraph Weekly Newspaper
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