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15th Massachusetts Infantry - Wounded at Gettysburg

Item LTR-5573
September 24, 1862 Albert Everett
Price: $750.00


Original Civil War soldier's letter (4 pages). War dated and written in period ink. Letter comes with stamped envelope addressed to his father.

Bolivar Heights, VA
September 24th 1862

Dear Father,

I have got a few minutes to pen a letter in before the mail goes out and do so that you may get the news (if my other letters have miscarried) that I am well and uninjured from the fight which was the most dreadful we ever knew. But Lon was killed instantly. Being shot so as to bleed to death in a moment, as it were. Our brigade was flanked and the rebels had a cross fire on our line besides their fire in front and a battery which stood in our very front on a knoll within musket range. “But none of those things moved us.” And it was not until old Sumner rode up on the top of the ledge behind us and waved his sword and shouted with all his might “fall back men, fall back” that we stirred. And then our regiment didn’t half mind him. Most of them had already fallen back, on the ground, either dead or moaning in agony. Part of the rest did not obey him. I looked around as he reined up his horse on the ledge behind us, but I could not tell what he said in the noise and rattle of the guns and kept on at my work. But only loaded two or three times more before someone of the company said the order was “fall back.” Ruf and I looked round, we were all alone and one of the companies was half way up the ledge two feet and told us the order. The rest were all over and gone. We rose to our feet instantly and started. I took a last look at Lon and started thinking. Rufus was at my side, but when getting a few rod off could see nothing of him. Afterwards found that he was shot through the hand as we started together to come off. The rebels held the ground the next day as well as the remainder of that. But the third they left and at 7 o’clock, our men went on and found out who were dead and who living. Two men were detailed from each company to go and bury the dead and bring off the wounded. I could not get a chance to go there and could not bear the thought of not seeing Lon again. And about 10 o’clock left the ranks and went down there without leave. Lon looked the most natural of all. He had bled so that he didn’t swell and turn black as others did. I took my blanket off my shoulders and wrapped him in it and sewed it on with strings and dug a grave and buried him apart from others. So if Mr. Bacheller wishes to, he can get the body. Forty men of our regiment were buried in one grave nearby. I have a letter and comb which the rebs threw on the ground when they picked his pockets. A burton which sent off his jacket and his housewife and a little red, white and blue silk bag which Amanda Fairfield gave him. Tell Mr. B. I will send them as soon as I can get money to do so. We are now 10 miles from there. May stay here several weeks.

I will write again soon. My love to all the family.