Frank Wicks, the creator of the Civil War play Soldier, Come Home, based on his ancestors’ letters to each other during the Civil War, has graciously allowed me to reproduce some of those letters here at the Siege of Petersburg Online. Frank’s great-grandparents were Philip W. and Mary Pringle, and their letters to each other while Philip was a soldier in the 102nd Pennsylvania form the basis of his play. Some of Philip’s letters written during 1864 and 1865 were penned while he was present at the Siege of Petersburg, though as a member of the Union 6th Corps he was away for a few months in the Shenandoah Valley. The letters which appear below mostly pertain to the Siege of Petersburg as observed by a 6th Corps Pennsylvania soldier. All of these letters are the property of Frank Wicks and may not be reproduced without his express written consent.
Nottoway Co. Va.
April 4, 18651
Camp in the field
I have taken my pencil in hand to drop you a few lines to inform you that I am yet alive but had a very narrow escape. I was hit on the back with a mini ball but not very bad. We took Petersburg Sunday evening. On Monday morning we carried all the Rebs works and a great many prisoners and artillery. There was but a small loss on our side. We are now on the march to Manchester. The news is extremely good. We have Richmond and we have the Rebs in a trap and are taking prisoners hourly, any amount of them. you may hear the news in a day or two. I must close for the present as we are going to start the rebellion is said and will soon have peace.
I remain yours
as ever P. W. Pringle
- Soldier, Come Home – by Frank W. Wicks A play based on family civil war letters. 2010-2012. 2 August 2012 <http://civilwarplay.com/>. These letters are used with the permission of Frank Wicks, and may not be reproduced without the express written consent of the owner. All rights reserved. ↩