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.
Va June 6th 1864
The last letter I wrote was to Julia dated June 4th We went out on picket that night It rained very hard all night and all the next day. We was not allowed to sleep any through the night but all had to keep awake and on the watch. We have a line of rifle pits for to protected the pickets from shell & bullets. It is surpriseing to see how many rebel shell that have not bursted are laying around the woods there. We picked up 6 19 pound shell close by our post yesterday that had not bursted. We was relieved from picket at 5 oclock PM. All was quite while we was on but just after we got into camp the rebels opened with all their artillery on our batteries and kept up a very sharp
fire for about ½ an hour our batteries returned the fire. We got a new york paper last night dated June 4th  which had good news from Grants army I hear that Bill Lane is killed June 7th  We was on fatigue yesterday throwing up rifle pits for the pickets while we was there a doctor went out with a flag of truce to the rebels when he came in he had a lot of rebel news papers. There was not any fireing at all last night or yesterday. A deserter came in and said that the rebel iron clads are getting ready to come down the James river to attack our iron clads. they are going to have fire ships to float down and torpedoes. We can see the smoke of the rebel rams from hear. The James river is very narrow all along hear you can throw a stone across it any wares along hear. We have got four monitors laying hear beside ½ doz. wooden gun boats
one of the monitors has got two turrets.1 If the rebel rams do come down we can see the fight from hear. We had a nice shower of rain last night. How dose Seth Lounsbery get along now adays. There is one sulter near hear but evry thing is very high. The new york daly papers cose 10 cents apeace hear We have to live on uncle sam all together now. And the harder we have to work the less we get to eat we begin to live better now we get as much fresh beef hear as we ever got but we dont get any salt beef. We get pint of coffee 4 hard tack & a small piece of meat for breakfast for dinner we get 4 hard tack a piece of meat or beans for supper we get a pint of coffee 4 hard tack that is what we get now. We have a loaf of soft bread instead of hard tack some days. one spell we did not get but ½ pound of pork &
9 hard tack 1 quart of coffee a day. We have just been payed 2 monts wages payed up to the first of May $26.00 The raise of soldier pay did not commence untill the 1st of May the owe us 1 monts pay now. I will send $10.00 home in this letter when you get it write and let me know The rebels have just fired the first shell for the day. I am well and so are the rest of the boys. Paul is all right.
Elias S Peck
Co I 10th CV
Elias S Peck
Comp I 10 Reg CV
Fortess Monroe VA2
Images of Letter Pages
- SOPO Editor’s Note: I am fairly certain the only double turreted monitor in the James River squadron in June 1864 would have been the USS Onondaga. ↩
- Peck, Elias S. “Bermuda Hundred, VA.” Letter to “Dear Mother” 6 June 1864. MS. Bermuda Hundred, VA. ↩