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187th Pennsylvania Infantry

Item LTR-607
July 5, 1864 Frederick K. Ployer
Price: $245.00


6 pages, original Civil War Union letter written in period ink and war dated.

Line of battle near Petersburg, Va.
July 5th 1864

Friend Darlhouser

It is with the greatest of pleasure that I embrace the opportunity of addressing you a few lines, notwithstanding the difficulties under which I write, the facilities for writing are very poor and the writing no doubt will be accordingly. I am well and enjoying good health and I sincerely hope these lines may find you and family enjoying the same, kind blessing. The weather here still continues hot and dry, look where you will and you see nothing but dust, dust, dust, but still it is not near so warm as it was last week, as there is a good cool breeze blowing.

For the last week things have been very quiet in our front, the pickets of both sides seem to be taking a good rest. The pickets are very sociable with one another. The Rebs come half the distance between the picket lines and our pickets go the other half and then they trade and barter. The Johny’s generally trading tobacco for hard tack or other eatables, they say that they are short of rations and that they cannot stand it much longer, and I judge it about correct for Grant is in such a position that it is very difficult for them to get supplies forward. Grant has cut four of the five railroads running South of Petersburg and Richmond, leaving them but one railroad and the James River canal open for to bring up their supplies. I see in the papers daily of complaints against Grant for being too slow about taking Richmond, but rest assured that things will come all right side up in the end. In the course of time Lee will have to surrender or evacuate the region round and about Richmond and go further south and if ever he gets started once we will take him much faster than he will like to go.

All is wanted is for the people to stand steadfast and uphold the government and be of good cheer and in my estimation matters will soon come to a successful issue. I suppose the Copperheads about your neighborhood are quite indignant at the nomination of Lincoln and Johnson. I saw a copy of the American Volunteer printed by that arch traitor Bratton. He kind of goes it pretty strong I suppose he would like to have his office destroyed again by some Uncle Sam’s blue coats, just let him go on he will rage and fume worse next November when he hears that Lincoln and Johnson has been elected by an overwhelming majority. I will now tell you about the Fourth of July in the Army. Things came off quite different from what we expected. We were expecting a festival of grape and canister as on last Fourth of July. But everything passed quietly. The day was quite cool and pleasant and the bands were playing national airs all day, such as Yankee Doodle, Hail Columbia, Star Spangled Banner &c. last evening our bands played the Star Spangled Banner and the Rebs hearing it gave three groans while our men all along the line gave three rousing and hearty cheers. Yesterday we had a fourth of a July present, what do you think it was? It was onions, pickles, and cabbage furnished by the U.S. Sanitary Commission. So much for the sanitary fairs held in the north, we have plenty to eat and once in a while we get rations of whisky, but it is in such small rations that you do not get enough to wet your eye, we get about half a gill at a time.

Our loss in the regiment so far will not exceed 200 men killed, wounded and missing. A great many are sick and the regiment has been greatly decimated by disease. Out of 1100 men, we have about 550 men for duty. The old troops do not suffer so much from sickness as they have become used to it. Alex Kennedy, Abraham Waggoner and Joseph Heffelfinger are well, this morning I saw Edward Wilders. I will now bring my letter to a close hoping to hear from you soon. Give my love and respects to all friends, but reserve a due portion for yourselves. A paper once in a while would be gratefully received if you can send me one, that is one of our home papers. As we can buy the dailies here every day.

Write soon

Yours truly Sc
F. K. Ployer

Direct to F. K. Ployer
Co “D” 187th Regt P.V.
1st Brigade, 1st Division, 5th Army Corps
Washington, D.C.

Tell father to send me some letter paper as I am entirely out.