NP: July 16, 1864 Cape Ann Light and Gloucester Telegraph: 13th MA, Last Days at Petersburg



in July 1864


3d Division Hospital, 5th Corps,
In front of Petersburg, July 5th, 1864.

MR. EDITOR:—Everything appears to be going on here in a satisfactory manner. Our troops are daily gaining on the enemy, and have cut off their railroad communications, and hold possession of their means of getting supplies. The Johnnys will have to shut themselves up in Richmond, and stand a siege, or meet us in a grand battle in which both armies must fight until one is whipped and will stay whipped. I only wish they would give us the chance for a fair field fight; we would surely whip them. If they will retreat into Richmond, we can surely take the whole army by starving them into submission. It may take six months to do it, but we have the means to carry on the siege much longer than that. The Rebs, not being able to get any more supplies, are using up their means of subsistence without adding to them, whilst we are having our communications open and can get all we want. It is only a question of time, but victory is certain.

Our army is in splendid condition, and well fed and clothed, and are in such a position that they can make themselves comfortable. The only thing they suffer for is a supply of good water; they have tobacco and whiskey rations two or three times a week, also vegetables and pickles.

Cannonading is going on night and day, without hardly an intermission,–sometimes on the right of the line, sometimes on the left or centre. Volleys of musketry are heard at intervals, showing that some put of our line, or the rebels’, are making a charge or relieving their pickets.

It is very dusty here, as we have had no rain sufficient to lay it, for more than a month.

The time of the 13th [Massachusetts] regiment is almost up. You may look for us about the 20th of this month, as we leave here on the 16th for the old Bay State.

Yours,                           A. J. L.1


Other Massachusetts’ Soldier Letters in the Cape Ann Light and Gloucester Telegraph

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18640716CALGTP1C4to5 13thMALetter


  1. “Letter From 13th Mass.” Cape Ann Light and Gloucester Telegraph. July 16, 1864, p. 1 col. 4-5


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