Editor’s Note: George Gove of the 5th New Hampshire wrote a series of letters from the Siege of Petersburg in 1864 to his sister. These letters were placed online in 2012 as: “Parsons Family Papers, Milne Special collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire, N.H.” Gove’s descendant Doug Parsons worked diligently to make these letters available for The Siege of Petersburg Online and we thank him greatly for his effort. The transcriptions of the letters collected on this page are copyrighted by the Milne Special collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire and may not be reproduced without the express written consent of the University of New Hampshire. All rights reserved.
September 30, 18641
In Trenches of Petersburg VA
Friday Sept. 30
I will write you a few hurried lines. I do not know when I wrote last. You must excuse me if it was a long time ago. We have been moving about almost constanly of late. Last Saturday we relieved the 10th corps in the trenches in front of Petersburg. We laid in the trenches 48 hours. Since then we have been laying[?] a short distance in the war. Right before last we packed at 2 oclock in the morning & now been waiting ever since. Ready to move at a moments notice. There are important movements in progress. The 10th & 18th Co. are in the other side of the James. Reports are that they have gained
[—-?] [—–?]. I hope it is all true. The 2nd Corps hold a very long line & the men are distributed very thinly but our works are very strong & I think we can hold them We are able[?] to move at any moment somewhere perhaps to Deep Bedlin[Bottom?] perhaps to the left. We are waiting patiently ready to do what ever be required of us.
I am afraid our regt. will make a very poor fighter. We have over 300 new recruits and only about 25 old men. They have not been drilled at all yet, but I hope we shall not disgrace our good name if we are called upon We have good news from Sherman & you may look for something from Grant that will rejoice the hearts of loyal people my Co. time
is out the 12th of next month-only 11 days more.
I think I shall go out with my Co. I can do so if I choose. I would like to see the war out but I feel as though I wanted some rest. besides I do not like the men that will have command of the regt & the regt. is now composed of the meanest kind of vagabonds it will be a NH Regt only in name. Most all the officers are going home.
I have only 9 men of the original 98 to be mustered out. We were paid off last Monday six months pay. I wrote to James this week.
Hope hear from you soon. Will write the first chance. My health is good
G. S. Gove.
- Parsons Family Papers, Milne Special collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire, N.H. The transcription of the letter on this page is copyrighted by the Milne Special collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire and may not be reproduced without the express written consent of the University of New Hampshire. All rights reserved. ↩