Frank Wicks, the creator of the Civil War play Soldier, Come Home, based on his ancestors’ letters to each other during the Civil War, has graciously allowed me to reproduce some of those letters here at the Siege of Petersburg Online. Frank’s great-grandparents were Philip W. and Mary Pringle, and their letters to each other while Philip was a soldier in the 102nd Pennsylvania form the basis of his play. Some of Philip’s letters written during 1864 and 1865 were penned while he was present at the Siege of Petersburg, though as a member of the Union 6th Corps he was away for a few months in the Shenandoah Valley. The letters which appear below mostly pertain to the Siege of Petersburg as observed by a 6th Corps Pennsylvania soldier. All of these letters are the property of Frank Wicks and may not be reproduced without his express written consent.
I take my seat this morning to drop you a few lines to inform you that I am still in the hospital but not sick of my account. I think I will go to my Regt. in a day or so. I received your welcome letter a day or 2 ago. Was glad to hear from you that you are all well. What is Father doing this summer and have you any potatoes planted and how are things looking about the old Furnace. etc. You stated that the bees swarmed. Are they doing will this summer? I suppose little Sadie will forget me altogether. Oh, how I would like to see her. I suppose she is growing fine. She has no trouble the dear little girl. Be good to her and make her obey you in everything and love you. Do not pet her too much and she will be nice girl.
There was quite a time before Petersburg yesterday evening. The rebs made a charge over our rifle pits but was repelled with loss. The firing was rapid and heavy. There’s firing going on all the time in front of Petersburg. Friend George is still in our Regt. and is well. You wanted to know if Nicholas Cameron died in the hospital. A man from his company told me that he was wounded in both legs and they carried him to the hospital and there he died and was buried in the hospital graveyard. I saw the graveyard. They was buried nice in rows. There are quite a lot of our boys buried there. They told me that Nick was a brave soldier and they thought a great deal of him. No more but remain yours as ever. Give my love to all my friends. P. W. Pringle
- Soldier, Come Home – by Frank W. Wicks A play based on family civil war letters. 2010-2012. 2 August 2012 <http://civilwarplay.com/>. These letters are used with the permission of Frank Wicks, and may not be reproduced without the express written consent of the owner. All rights reserved. ↩
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