Early last year--during those cold, cold late winter days of 2016--I received an email from a Mr. Thomas Golden who had read an article of mine published in February 2016 issue of Civil War Times. The article told of the discovery of a cache of documents, muster rolls, requisitions, and so on, once belonging to Captain William Winlack, the commanding officer of Company E, 48th Pennsylvania Infantry. The Winlack papers had quite literally been rescued from a dump heap; discovered inside an old wooden table-top desk during the demolition of a dilapidated building in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. I told of this remarkable discovery in that article, entitled Treasure in a Coal Patch Town. Mr. Golden read the article with much interest and reached out to me because he had himself just recently come into possession of a collection of Civil War letters. . .
A Sampling of Reedy's Letters
. . . and not just any collection of Civil War letters but the letters of a soldier who just so happened to serve in Captain Winlack's Company E, 48th Pennsylvania.
Like I said. . .sometimes strange things happen. So strange it is difficult to attribute it simply and purely to coincidence.
I could hardly believe the email I was reading. Of the more than two million soldiers who served in Union blue, I thought, this gentleman just so happened to come into possession of letters written by one who served in Winlack's Company E, 48th PA. In my article on Winlack I stated my wonder about what else could possibly be out there...what other treasures that are tucked away in attics or in shoe boxes under beds. As it turned out, I did not have long to wait for an answer, for here were letters--over 100 of them--never before published that were discovered, said Mr. Golden, by an acquaintance who was remodeling a home in Donaldson, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.
The letters were written by Private Daniel Emmanuel Reedy, a twenty-year-old laborer from Donaldson who, in December 1861, volunteered his services. He was mustered into Company E and served for the next two-and-a-half years with the 48th Pennsylvania, campaigning in North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Reedy was captured in August 1862 just prior to the 2nd Battle of Bull Run and confined briefly at Libby Prison. Exchanged, he returned to the 48th in time to participate in the Battle of Fredericksburg. Reedy next traveled with the regiment out west, first to Lexington, Kentucky, and then the mountains of eastern Tennessee. Returning to Virginia prior to the commencement of the bloody Overland Campaign, Reedy survived the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and North Anna, but fell mortally wounded--pierced by at least seven bullets--on June 3, 1864, at Cold Harbor.
Mr. Golden very kindly allowed me to transcribe Reedy's many letters, which, of course, allowed me the opportunity to discover more not only about this young man from Donaldson but also more about the 48th Pennsylvania Infantry itself. Included with Reedy's letters was his 1864 diary, which contained a number of images. Unfortunately, none of the images were identified. There was one image, however, of a soldier wearing the uniform of a private--the others were officers, both commissioned and non-commissioned. I could not say for sure, of course, but if any of the soldiers shown in the images was Reedy, then it was likely the soldier in the private's uniform.
The 1864 Diary of Daniel E. Reedy Contained in the diary were the following unidentified images. . .
Unidentified Private Is this an image of Daniel Reedy? It is likely but we cannot know for sure. . .
The letters, the diary and the photographs, are incredible and their discovery yet another remarkable find--especially considering that my article on Winlack had just, literally, been published when Mr. Golden came into possession of these items, and considering further that Reedy just so happened to have served under Winlack's command! The letters are in great condition, clearly passed down with love and care until tucked away at some point, only to be later discovered during the renovation of that home in Donaldson. Amazingly and interestingly enough, all the envelopes were also kept and preserved, which is something one does not often see.
I wrote to Dana Shoaf, editor of Civil War Times, about this amazingly coincidental discovery and he asked me to do a follow up story, which appeared in the February 2017 issue. The article, entitled Repulsing the Rebs in Fine Style told of the discovery of these letters and of Reedy's service record, including his horrific death at Cold Harbor. Believing all the letters needed to be seen and published, however, I asked Mr. Golden just last week if I can post them on my blog. He very generously and very kindly agreed.
I am thus proud to say that the complete collection of Daniel Reedy's Civil War letters--over 100 in all, chronicling his experienced from December 1861 to May 1864--are now available as a Page on this blog. The link to the letters can be found under the blog's title banner on the home page or by clicking here.
I cannot thank Mr. Golden enough for allowing me to publish Reedy's letters, though he did very rightly request that they not be used for any commercial reason or for any publication without first getting his permission.
Captain Francis D. Koch and his wife Mattie
(Courtesy of Ronn Palm/Museum of Civil War Images)
Oliver Bosbyshell remembered quite vividly the moment when Francis Koch was shot.
It was at the Battle of Fredericksburg, on December 13, 1862, and more than thirty years later, in his history of the 48th Pennsylvania, Bosbsyshell was sure to include a mention of it, so vivid an impression did it sear into his mind. In discussing the regiment's actions that Saturday at Fredericksburg Bosbyshell wrote of what he labeled as the "rather singular circumstance" of seeing Koch struck down. He recalled that as the fighting was winding down, he saw Koch and Captain Henry Pleasants standing next to one another, talking, when, in a flash, a minie ball struck Koch in the chest, "and came out his back passing through the rolled blanket he had slung over his shoulder." Serving all four years and rising to the rank of major himself, Bosbyshell saw many a man shot down on many a different field. But what made this one different, at least as Bosbyshell explained, was the fact that his eyes at that very moment had "just happened to rest upon the exact spot where the bullet made its egress from the blanket," and he remembered with perfect clarity seeing the "separation of fibers [of the blanket] as the bullet passed out," before he even knew or realized that Koch had been hit. It was a serious wound, for sure, though not a mortal one.
"Fortunately," concluded Bosbyshell, "the bullet did not end Koch's life."
That life had begun twenty years earlier, in the summer of 1842, near McKeansburg, Pennsylvania, in the rich agricultural districts of southeastern Schuylkill County. His early childhood was seemingly spent on the family farm, for in the spring of 1861, when he responded to his country's call and volunteered to fight, he listed his occupation as "Farmer," though by then his place of residence was Auburn, some ten miles south and west of McKeansburg. The United States had been rent asunder by civil war, and Koch, like so many others his age, decided to leave his home and family and take up arms in defense of the country. He served first in Company F, 5th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, having enlisted on April 20, 1861, less than a week after President Abraham Lincoln's first call-to-arms. The 5th was a three-month unit and in late July, it was mustered out of service. Koch, for his part, had entered as a private but was discharged as a sergeant. One month after returning home and just a few days before his nineteenth birthday, Francis Koch enlisted once more, this time signing up under Captain John Porter, whose company would soon become Company I, 48th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. He was mustered in as a sergeant and, physically, was described as having a Light Complexion, Blue Eyes, and Brown Hair. At 5'10" in height, he stood among the tallest soldiers in the entire regiment.
Koch served with Company I, 48th Pennsylvania, until the regiment's discharge in the summer of 1865. He remained a sergeant for most of that time, but on March 16, 1864, with the regiment being recruited back up to full strength and just prior to the outset of the bloody spring campaign in Virginia, he was promoted from Sergeant to Second Lieutenant to First Lieutenant. Surviving the horrors that was the Wildnerness, and the hell that was Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, and Petersburg, Koch was ultimately promoted to captain following the death of Benjamin B. Schuck in the trenches of Petersburg.
On December 1 of that year, the soldiers of Company I presented Koch with a "very handsome sword, sash, and belt." A ceremony was held, and Private Charles Wagner, selected by the members of the company to formally present the gifts to the flattered captain, spoke "Sir: I have
been selected by the members of Co. I to
present to you, in their behalf, this sword, sash and belt, and however I may
feel my utter incompetency to fulfill the task assigned me I still know that
perhaps no one feels more the deep responsibility resting upon me, in giving
vent and free expressions of the entire sentiments of the company, which is
honored by your commanding; yes, we are proud to say our commander, and we have
long as we do now, looked on you with pride, knowing you by long experience, to
be well tried and trustworthy. And when such a feeling exists you can feel well
satisfied that whenever duty calls we will follow."
Captain Koch was touched by the sentiments and responded that he was perfectly surprised by the occasion. "A
sword as a token of your respect is far more than I ever expected; I am at a
loss for words to express myself in a manner no doubt that you expect me to
respond. I feel that I am incapable to delivering an oration at a time like
this, on such an occasion being entirely unprepared; however, I hope that I may
be prepared at a time more trying than this, when I may not lack the courage as
your commander, to lead you forth in battle to brave every danger, be it ever
so great, that you may achieve a glorious victory, in conquering your enemy,
whereby we would connect that link so long broken. I trust that in studying to
promote your honor, I may insure my own, and never bring the gray hairs of your
doting parents with sorrow to their graves by a disgraceful or cowardly act of
mine, which would give you a reason in after years to curse the hour you
honored me with this sword, the esteem and respect of noblemen, tried and true
soldiers. I am well pleased to learn from
the expression of those who I have the honor of addressing, that you are
satisfied with what you have done in presenting me with this gift, which I
fully appreciate. My greatest pleasure is in knowing that its donors are safe
and contended, and that I have done my duty as your commander, in caring for
your welfare, and that of our country. For this honor you have bestowed
upon me in presenting this sword, sash and belt, accept my fervent thanks with
that only hope that I may never sheath it disgraced.” Following Koch's remarks, the company gave three cheers for its "noble commander." Captain Francis D. Koch remained in command of Company I through the duration of the war and on July 17, 1865, was mustered out of service.
Francis Koch's Handmade 9th Corps Badge
Koch had taken ill in mid-September 1862 and was sent to Harwood Hospital to recover. While recuperating, it appears that he was able and well enough to serve as a nurse in the hospital, no doubt helping to relieve the sufferings of those who fell at Second Bull and at Antietam. By early December he had returned to the 48th only to be shot down and seriously wounded at Fredericksburg, as related by Bosbyshell. The bullet that wounded Koch, though, did not enter his chest as Bosbyshell assumed. Rather, it struck his left clavicle, fracturing it, then passed diagonally downward, exiting his back near the 2nd dorsal vertebra and grazing the spine. On its way out, the bullet tore through the blanket slung across his back, which Bosbyshell so vividly remembered. Taken first to a field hospital, Koch eventually found himself back in a D.C. hospital before going home to Auburn to better recuperate under the care of the family physician.
After the war, Koch settled down to family life. On January 17, 1865, having taken leave from the army, he married Martha Jane Huff, whom he referred to lovingly at Mattie. The couple would have four children survive to adulthood: Allen, (b. 1868), Howard (b, 1873), Benjamin (b. 1875), and George (b. 1875). Sadly, the couple's only daughter, Minnie (b. 1870) died in childhood. Departing Schuylkill County for presumably better opportunity, the Koch family moved to the suburbs of Philadelphia, settling first in Manayunk and then finding a more permanent home in Conshohocken. It was there where Francis and Mattie celebrated their Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary in 1915 and it was there, two years later, on December 5, 1917, where Francis Koch passed away at age 75.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The Diaries and Journals of Francis D. Koch
A number of years ago, I was fortunate enough to come into possession of items that once belonged to Captain Koch, including his 9th Corps badge, the diaries he kept during the conflict, as well as other journals and papers he kept afterward. Included among the collection was a clipping from the Miners' Journal of December 14, 1864, which related the presentation of the sword he received from his company. Among his post-war items, is a small booklet--or journal--that he used to begin writing what seemed to be a history of the 48th Pennsylvania. He wrote a Preface, including an overview of the regiment's service record, as well as rosters of each of the ten companies. There was no real narrative, though, so I am not sure if Koch just never did get around to completing it. Nevertheless, in the back of this little journal are a number of pages that list nothing but the regiment's "Arrivals and Departures" and "Distances" traveled throughout his time in uniform. At the end, Koch tallied up that he and the regiment had covered no fewer that 5,507 miles.
Below are a few pages of this journal:
Departures and Arrivals--1861-1862
Distances Traveled (1863)
Total Miles Covered By 48th Pennsylvania
The diaries Captain Koch during the war are also largely incomplete; the entries for many months, for example, are empty. When he did record his thoughts, they were rather short and to-the-point, which was common, especially since the diaries themselves were so small and did not permit for much text. His entries covering the Fredericksburg Campaign do include a rather abrupt mention of his injury:
December 11, 1862:
Today our men shelled and took FredericksburgVirginia
December 12, 1862:
This morning we entered Fredericksburg we were
under shell all day
Tonight we are in town
December 13, 1862:
This morning we went into battle. I
fired 45 rounds and then fell with a shot in the shoulder.
The most thorough and most descriptive of all of Koch's diary entries pertain to the opening of the 1864 Overland Campaign, particularly May 1864, which was a devastatingly bloody month for the 48th. During this time, Koch served as the company's First Lieutenant and did his best to record his impressions and thoughts of this sanguinary month. But then, again abruptly, the entries stop on May 20, and are not resumed.
Below are the transcribed entries for the spring of 1864 from Koch's diary, published here for the first time, and using Koch's own spelling. They recount the regiment's activities and actions from its camp at Annapolis, Maryland, through the Wilderness, to the blood-stained fields of Spotsylvania, Virginia.
This morning we formed line at and marched a ½ of a mile and
rested but afterwards made a right start. Gen Burnside rode through the camp of
the corps this morning and was cheered by thousands as he rode on. Lt. Helms’
Mess and ours formed one this morning. We arrived at Fairfax this evening at and encamped for the night. I noticed
the colored troops out drilling as we passed their camp. I nearly pittied them
having to march all day and drill in the dark after they camp. In the evening
Lt. Helms, Capt. Schuck and myself went to town to the sutlers, and returned to
camp by abt. There
are 1500 troops stationed here under command of Brig Gen Tyler
Army of the Potomac
This morning we left camp at Just before leaving Camp we
received a mail which contained three letters for me, one from Sister Hattie,
one from Kate M. Huff, her Cart de Visit enclosed, & one from My Dear
This morning we struck tents at formed line marched a few paces
stacked arms, and rested. While we were resting I sat down along side of an
empty Cracker box and on the top of it wrote a letter to Dear Mattie. I was
relieved on Guard this morning by Lieut. Joseph Edwards.
We fooled around here for nearly all
day and _____ succeeded in getting a camping ground in top of a high hill near
Bristoe Station. The Reserve Corps was all moved to the front and we relieved
them to guard the rail road from here to Exander [Alexandria?] Virginia. The Reserves were not pleased by
Bristoe Station VA
This morning I succeeded in sending
away the letter to Mattie that I wrote yesterday. This morning Capt. went on
Picket duty and every thing was left in my hands to fix up, I was as busy as a
bee all day writing and making out our pay Rolls. We were mustered by Col. H.C.
Pleasants at every
thing passed off very nicely. The weather has been very nice during the
forenoon but in the afternoon it rained every now & then. Troops are
passing here every day on the cars to the front. This evening I received a
notice the Private Lewis Garber of our Company died in Div No. 2 U.S. General
Hospital Annapolis MD on the 23rd past of typhoid fever.
This has been a beautiful day. We had
an inspection of company this morning and Services by the Chaplain at at dress parade we had a
prayer by the Chaplain.
In the evening Lt. Edwards, Capt.
Bosbyshell, Doc Blackwood several others and myself met at Doc’s tent to
organize a choir we sang several pieces very well and all passed the evening
amusing ourselves very much. Trains have been passing all day with troops going
to the front to reinforce Gen Grant.
This morning I received two letters,
one from Brother Jerry and one from Cousin man Reed. I wrote a letter to Sister
Hattie and one to the Miners’ Journal in regard to the deaths of two of our
men. In the evening it began to rain and storm still continues. I retire
This morning we have clear but cold
weather. I took the company out on drill this morning. When I came in the Capt
handed me a letter from My Dear Mattie which could not well be more interesting
than it was. I answered it immediately writing her a letter of 8 Pages.
This afternoon we had Company or
rather Regimental drill by Col. Pleasants. I was in command of Co. K. I got
along very well. This afternoon and evening we were busey all the time at
packing up our things ready to leave. During the day we received marching
orders to be ready to move if called on. The men received Six days’ Rations
this afternoon. 3 Day to be coocked in haversack, and 3 in knapsacks.
Camp In The Field
This morning we left camp at and moved pretty briskly. We
had a very hard march during the day. We marched 14 miles. The weather was
beautiful it was pretty warm but a nice cool breeze continued to blow the whole
day long. This morning Col. J.K. Sigfried bid the Regt. farewell. He made a short
speech after which we gave him three Hearty cheers. We regret to part with such
a noble commander as he has been. He takes command of colored Brigade in the 4th
Division of our Corps (9th) Before leaving I received two letters
from Brother Allen the other from My Dear Mattie. God bless her noble heart and
make her a future a happy one. I wrote two letters to day. One to Brother Jerry
to other to Cousin Man Reed. We sleep under the Guide off an Almighty
Providence to night.
On the march during the day I made
good use of my time by reading the Travels & Adventures of Capt.
GrantSpeekes [?] which was indeed very interesting. The Army of the Potomac in front is said to have mooved at last night across the RapidanRiver. Success to Grant & his Command.
This morning we left camp at 5 ½ A.M.
and marched pretty fast during the day until We have
marched over the Rappahannock and RappidanRivers and now encamp for the night in
the woods on this side of the RappidanRiver about 4 miles. We
cross the River at Jamimaks [?] Bridge but on a pontoon we constructed and
layed across. The enemy are not far from us this Evening when we stopped to
encamp our artillery was engaged then pretty hot with the enemy. We came about
15 miles today.
Camp in the Front
During the last night we were not
allowed to make a bed but were obliged to lay down with out anything to lay on
or cover us with. I did not get any sleep by the orders we had to obey. This
morning we left at
marched about 2 miles and then found ourselves in the midst of ___ enemy but in
their front. I was sent out on our right with 150 men to form a line of
skirmishers to watch any flank moovements the enemy would undertake to make. I
soon came in contact with the Picket line of the enemy I ordered my men to
forward at once. They did so. The enemy charging on us at two different times
but I repulsed them on bouth _________. We drove them about 4 hundred yards and
kept then at bay from daylight this morning untill when I was relieved by the 1st
Michigan Sharpshooters. I then marched over 2 miles ere I got to may Regt. I
joined it while under a heavy fire of infantry. The fighting has been very hard
on all sides and the loss very heavy. Our Regt. is now on Picket line on the
left We lost Gen.
Wadsworth today. He was shot through the head. Thomas Yerks, Co. G, 51st
N.Y.V. wounded today in both legs.
Still on Picket on this Morning at a
place called the Wilderness via 5 miles Chancellorsville & 15 miles from Fredericksburg. We
remained on Picket till
when we were relieved by the 2nd Brig of the 2nd Division
and then we marched out into the open field where we lay until During the day we were
skirmishing with the Enemy in front of us continually. Yesterday our Regt.
charged the enemy in the two day fight we lost 4 men killed and 7 wounded. The
loss in bouth armies was very heavey during the day we flanked the enemy on the
left and in all it is supposed we beat them. The Enemy have been Retreating all
day. In the forenoon they charged on Old Benjamins Battery which resulted in
very heavey loss on their Side. Benjamin paid them the same compliment he did
at Knoxville, Tennessee, November 29th 1863. I presume they
will not be apt to forget him supported by the 9th Army Corps. The
enemy’s force is said to have been 80,000 men on the 5th Inst. &
Commanded by Generals A.P. Hill, Longstreet, Ewell, and the Great Gen. Lee.
Today I read while at leizure the Life of Minnie the Child of the Wreck.
Camp at Chancellorsville
This morning we left the Wilderness
and marched to this camp where we encamped once more for the night. The first
time for the last three nights it was quiet. A curiosity to sleep in a tent
once more. About I
was ordered (after we had marched 5 miles and stopped to Camp) to go two miles
further on with a detail from each Company to draw 4 days rations and cook them
which was all done very nicely and in the Evening brought up to the Regt. Col.
Pleasants formed the Regt into a Square and told us that the Enemy were in full
retreat towards Richmond as fast as they could travel and two corps of ours
driving them like forty.
Camp Near Fredericksburg
This morning we ran around untill when we formed line &
Stacked arms for about an hour. The order came then to march and we were Soon
on the road. We marched back & forwards untill dark then pulled out at
double quick for about 2 miles to catch up with the other troops. We marched
untill 12 Oclock and then Camped for the night. The day has been a beautifull
one. The 2nd & 5th Corps have been fighting all day
near Spottilvania Court
house. we Camped within 3 miles South East of Fredericksburg for the night.
About we passed the
2nd provisional Regt. of the 112th Pa. V. Artillery and
Camped. I met 3 good Friends, David Blair, James Reed, & M. Huff all of
Pottsgrove & vicinity. The latter is an Uncle to Mattie J. Huff. Gen.
Sedgwick is reported to have been killed this morning by a ball from the Enemy.
In the morning the Sun is very warm.
We lay still in camp until
when we again packed up our things and soon formed line after which we received
orders to forward and we did forward for about 6 miles and finnally found ourselves
on the extreme left in line of Battle and under a very heavey fire of Shell
from the Enemy. We are now laying on the advance on Picket line.
Still in front throwing up
intrenchments this morning right in front of the Enemy. We held this post
untill dusk and then we fell back for about 1 ½ miles and at 8 P.M. we advanced
forward again and lay in other intrenchments within about ½ miles of those we
Pleasants Send me out on the advance with a detail to find a line of Battle and
Skirmishers of ours reported in front. I advanced a ¼ of a mile but could not
find any thing. I then formed a line of Skirmishers or rather a Picket line
which I held until 1 Oclock in the morning when I was relieved by a detail of
the 14th N.Y. heavey artillary. I fell back to the Regt. 4 wounded
in the Regt to day. Missing to day W.F. Scheerer.
At our whole division mooved forward and drove the
Enemy about a mile. We lay in line of Battle fighting the Enemy untill when our Regt. and the 17th
Vermont charged the enemy but were repulsed with a heavey loss and were obliged
to fall back about halfway where we Soon threw up Rifle Pits and Kept ___
position under a heavey fire, during the day our loss was 26 killed 88 wounded
and 19 missing out of Regt. Lt. Jackson of Co. G was among the killed our
Company had one Killed an 9 wounded and 5 missing. I got through very safe to
day. I had my sword strap shot off. About 100 of the Enemy came in and gave
themselves up. We whipped the Enemy pretty well during the day their loss is
much heavier than ours. The 2nd Corps drove the Enemy on our Right
capturing 8000 prisoners and 13 pieces of artillary. Among the Prisoners was
Gens Steuart & Johnson. William Henn was wounded through the right breast
very seriously afterward shot himself. Simon Hoffman wounded in Ankle. Henry
Shultz wounded in right side and Arm, all from Auburn, All members of Co. K
Casualties of Co.
Killed H.J. Ege
Wounded D. Klase, F. Boner, C.
Lindemuth, J. Brown, C.W. Horn, Wm. Tyson, J. Ongstadt, M. Dooley, C. Delong,
We are still laying in front this
morning in our intrenchments and are determined to hold our ground. During last
night the enemy tryed our line on the extreme left but were repulsed about
about 1 Oclock. To day they charged on the 36th Mass Vol. but were
repulsed with a very loss. We have been skirmishing with the enemy all day
long. No regular engagement was brought on during the day. We had three men
wounded in the Regt. to day. During to night the Rebs charged our left 4 times
in Succession and were repulsed every time without severe loss.
Missing since the 6th
B. McArdle & W.F. Bierley
Our Regt is still in the intrenchments
in front keeping up a continual Skirmish fire with the Enemy all day. We lost
no men to day. Lt. Schnerr returned to day from Washington. He reports Richmond in our possession. The 2nd
Corps came from off the right to reinforce us to day. They are now laying in
mass in our rear. This Evening Capt. Frank Leib came over to See us this
evening. He belongs to the 116th PA V. Irish Brigade of the 2nd
Corps. He reports the Orderly Sergt of Capt. Wellington Jones Company wounded.
Kline is his name a school teacher from Auburn.
2nd Lt. Frank Sterner of
the 51st Pa V. was killed on the 12th inst.
We are still laying in the
intrenchments in front. During the forenoon the 2nd Corps moved to
the front on our right and intrenched themselves. It still continues to rain.
This is now the 5th day that it has been raining bouth day &
night, during which time we have been exposed to it all times and as wet as
drowned cats, laying in the mud without any blankets or shelter of any kind
untill this evening we built up a barricade (The Captain and I) and by good
luck favoring us we got hold of several gum blankets and one piece of tent with
which we made a shelter and a bed for the night. About to day the enemy fired several shells into
and over us without effect. Our Artillary soon answered them and in short all
was quiet accept an occasional Shot from the intrenchments. One man of Co. H
was wounded through the neck this Afternoon. I sent a short note to my Dear
Mattie this afternoon.
This morning Gen Burnside had all the
troops wakened in the Rifle Pitts at 3 ½ Oclock, to be prepared for an attack
from the Enemy. Lt. Col. Pleasants reduced Theodore Pletz to the Ranks this
morning for absenting himself from the Battlefield without Authority. Corp.
James McReynolds was promoted in his place to the Rank of 5th Sergt.
This forenoon I sent a word or about 15 words to Mattie and in the Afternoon I
wrote a pretty long letter to Hattie and one to Father. During the afternoon
Lt. Col. Pleasants read orders from Gen Grant or rather official dispatches
viz. that 24700 reinforcements were on they way to join us from Washington City
by way of Aquia Creek, further that Gen Butler has taken the outer works of
Fort Darling and our Cavalry force under Gen Scheridan has taken the outer
works of Richmond whipped Steuart cavalry and cut the communication off from
Lee’s Army from Linchburg western Virginia. Gen Thomas has whipped the enemy
and drove them beyond Dalton
which is in Georgia.
We are still in our old place. Things
have been pretty quiet all day. The re-enforcements came up today. Two
regiments were engaged on our right for a short time this evening. Sgt. Allebach wounded slightly in head to
This morning at we were relieved by the 58th
Mass Vol. and our Regt moved further ahead and held a line there until when we received orders to
fall back relieve the 58th Regt and take our old position. We did so
in good order. One division of the 2nd Corps mooved forward and
attacked the enemy. They drove the Enemy and took their front line of
intrenchments but could not go and further it being too hot in front of the
Enemy’s batterys for us. They are very strongly fortified. Our forces Captured
500 Prisoners, but fell back to their former positions. John Huntzinger from Auburn died yesterday of
a wound received on the 12th. Christian Seward wounded slightly in
the head to day. Sergt. McReynolds with his Pioneirs buried in front of our
Pitts (43) Rebels they have been laying dead Since the 12th inst. and
have turned perfectly black. A Colonel was among them.
Lt. Col. Pleasants threatened to send
Lt. Sticter to the rear under Guard for Allowing a man near him to ___ ship
within 15 yards of the Rifle Pitts this Afternoon.
I received three letters to day. One
of the 8th inst. from Mattie and one from the 12th Inst
from Mattie the other was dated the 3rd inst and from Cousin M.C.
Deibert. This mail I received about and at
I received three more. One dated the 1st one the 3rd inst.
bouth from My Dear Friend Mattie the third I opened was dated 1st
Also and was from Mary Conrad ____ ____ She had inclosed which I think a very
good Copy of the original.
This morning at One Oclock our Corps
left our Rifle Pitts and marched untill 3 Oclock toward the left during which
time we marched about 4 miles and then layed down in a clear field and slept
untill 6 in the morning when we fell in and stacked arms until 9 A.M. when we
again moved off to the left a mile or more and rested there until 6 P.M. when
we the right wing were sent out on Picket Guard we relieved the 14th
Delaware Regt. and the 170th New York. Bouth Regts belong to the 2nd
Corps, 3rd division.
Our position is rather a critical one
the line runs about 3 miles west of the corps to the Ny River and we had no
reserve to fall back on. In the early part of the evening Gen Eual tryed to
capture our wagon train with his corps but we happened to be on hand with three
Brigades of the 5th Corps under Gen Birney who fought Johnny for
a short time and gave them a complete whipping and drove them off again.