Editor’s Note: I would like to thank Chris Peck, the great grandson of Elias Peck, for granting me written permission to publish his ancestor’s letter. This letter is owned by Chris Peck and may not be reproduced without his written permission. All rights reserved. Chris is also the transcriber of this article. I added some comments and notes in brackets, but the rest of the transcription is due to Chris’ efforts. Elias Peck was a member of the 10th Connecticut, a regiment in the Tenth Corps, Army of the James which fought primarily on Bermuda Hundred and north of the James River during the Siege of Petersburg.
Camp 10th Reg CV
Va May 23rd 1864
I received a letter from you yesterday dated May 20th. The last letter I wrote was to Lib dated 21st. You wanted to know why we being so near Richmond did not go in there and take it. If you where to see the forts & brestworks they have got between hear and there you would not think it so easy. We did not come hear to take Richmond but to cut the railroads & to draw troops from Lee’s army. I forgot to mention in my other letters about the schooner that had all our regi-mental tents & boxes and all other stuf that we did not bring with us on board sinking by Fortress Monroe I believe she was run into. The splended suit belong to our band was on to her too. I did not have any thing on board of her but a good many
others did though. May 24th Our reg’t was on picket last night and are on now Our line of pickets are in some rude rifle pits. The men are only a few feet apart. The rebels are about 300 yards ahead. Last night we had orders to send some men out to see if the rebels wher not leaving. some men went out the rebels opened fire on them and us which was kept up nearly an hour. The trees around us hear nearly all show marks of bullets on them. We have got orders not to fire on the rebels unless they advance If we see them moveing around and they fire on us we are ordered not to fire back. I hear the rebels (?) running now. It is hard work for a man to stand and be shot at with out fireing back. The men once get a fireing along the line it is hard work to stop them. I can hear the rebels
chopping down trees now very planely They are building brestworks one of our sargeants has just been out there an saw them fixing places to mount guns We have got some strong batteries built hear which can shell them Colonel Otis went out with a flag of truce the other day he saw a rebel colonel and spoke to him about the picket shooting the rebel col said it did not do any good. Otis told him that our men would not fire on his if they did not commence it. they make an agreement that the pickets wher not to fire on one another unless in case of an advance. The 9th Mas reg’t to the left of us have been popping away all day. The rebels and our regt are only a little ways apart but we have not fired any sinc last night May 25th We was relieved from picket last night by the 48th NY A shower came up just after
we got to camp a shower came up and it rained pretty hard It was pretty quiet through the night. I have not slept with my cloths off sinc we left Gloucester Point and I believe I have only slept with my shoes off once since. We begin to get soft bread and fresh meat now. Evry thing appears to be quiet this morning. I suppose we will be on fatigue today. You want to know when I had got a letter from Gergia Smith & Cristy I have not had one from them in a long while I dont expect to write any more to them. If you can get a good map out of the newspapers of Va or the country around hear I wish you would cut it out and send it to me. Alexander Ferris of company that was shot in the head in the last battle we was in has sinc died. He was one of the reenlisted men & got married when he was home he lived in Old Greenwich and was a nice young fellow & a good soldier I am well You had ought to write as often as 2 a week now. How do Silas & Loursa get along
Elias S Peck1
Images of Letter Pages
- Peck, Elias S. “Camp 10th Reg CV.” Letter to “Dear Mother” 23 May 1864. MS. Camp 10th Reg CV. ↩
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