3rd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery
May 10, 1863
2 pages, original Civil War Union letter written in period ink and war dated.
May 10th 1863
Mr. Levi Kirk
As I have not written to you since we have landed on the sacred soil of Virginia, I will now attempt this beautiful May morning to occupy a few of my leisure moments in writing. After three weeks of excitement and anxious expectations of meeting the rebels, we have again to settle down into the dull routine of camp life. Although we were not engaged, the excitement was the same for we did not know at what moment we would be. We slept in the Fort on the platform with the guns for several nights. Often the excitement subsided a little and we were allowed to go to our quarters at night. But were called out about three o’clock in the morning. But now the rebels are gone and all is quiet. I suppose General peck will be the next candidate for President as he succeeded so well in letting Longstreet escape. Generals Corcoran and Getty wanted to go out and engage Longstreet while he was here but Peck would not let them until the enemy had gone and then he sent out a sufficient force to capture all of Longstreet’s army. But it was like the Irishman’s flee. It wasn’t there I think in time they would lay Peck on the shelf with McClellan. It is generally believed here that Peck could have captured the whole of Longstreet’s army had he of sent out one half of his available force in the right time. The boys say the reason he did not go was that the roads were such that he could not take his horses and carriage along.
Well I suppose however hard it may seem we have to acknowledge if not fatal, a temporary defeat of the Army of the Potomac. But I think “Fighting Joe” will not lay back long, ere he makes another attack and should he make another attack at his own will, I think or at least hope, he will be more successful. For I think the suppression of this unholy rebellion depends materially on Hooker’s movements. It is reported now that we are going to Fortress Monroe in a short time. But I hope it is not true. We would much rather go on towards Petersburg, or else go to help Hooker out of the scrape. I suppose Milt is more sanguine than ever about the war lasting forty years. The Captain went to Fortress Monroe yesterday to see about us going there but has not returned yet. I sent some money to William P. Harris by Express from Norfolk last Thursday week but have not heard from it yet. I also sent him a letter containing the Express Company receipt for the same at the same time.
I suppose the 122nd Regiment will be home now in a few days.
With my best wishes to all the family.
Please write soon.