Editor’s Note: I would like to thank Bill Bradlee, the great grandson of Samuel J. Bradlee, for granting me written permission to publish his ancestor’s letters and other documents. With the exception of one, these letters are owned by Bill Bradlee and may not be reproduced without his written permission. All rights reserved. Mr. Bradlee also passed along materials from Samuel’s pension file that offer fascinating insights into the Siege of Petersburg. These are included here as well.
14th Mass. Battery June 27, 1864
Camp in the Field
Near Petersburg, Va.
My Dear loved Wife
Your ever kind letters to me, by the hands of Sergt[?] Morris have been received. Thanks Darling, for the presents contained.
I have not written you lately for several reasons. One is, I wanted to give you the particulars of my misunderstanding here, another was I was in hopes of being paid off, and being able to send you some money, which I know you need. I sold my large top boots the other day as I did not want the use of them [in] this hot weather, and I took a Massachusetts bill you
will find enclosed, to help you a little.
It is only five dollars Darling but it may help you a little until I get paid off.
I have been tried by a Court Martial at my own request.
The testimony of the witnesses provided by Capt. Wright, were all in my favor. Also my own.
I shall be on duty again (so I am informed by a member of Gen. Burnside’s staff) as soon as the time can be had for the necessary papers to be written[?] out. I shall then proceed to prefer proper charges
against Capt. Wright which if I am not very much mistaken will cost him his position. He has endeavored to ruin me, and has failed. God willing, I will send him home to drive truck[?] teams[?] again (his former life) which I think he is a great deal better fitted for than a Military command. Do not fear for me Darling, I have faced the Secesh bullets when they whistled the loudest, and I do not fear the bray of a jackass though he may have Military Clothes on.
Ever your affect. Husb.
S[amuel]. Joseph Bradlee
1st Lieut. 14th [Massachusetts] Battery 1
- Bradlee, Samuel J. “Camp in the Field near Petersburg, Va.” Letter to “My Dear loved Wife” 27 June 1864. MS. Near Petersburg, Va. This letter appears here due to the express written consent of Bill Bradlee. All rights reserved. ↩