Editor’s Note: This item is part of a collection of letters and diary entries from soldiers of the 8th New York Heavy Artillery written while the unit was at the Siege of Petersburg. Researcher and author Kathryn Lerch generously donated all of the items in this collection for use at The Siege of Petersburg Online.
Lieut. T. J. Dean letter1:
July 14th 1864
In the Field near Petersburg Va
I am permitted once more to write a few lines Hopeing they will find you enjoying good health and good spirits. we have moved several times since I wrote last but not a great ways. we have not been in any fight since and have met with no casualities. I heard yesterday for the first time Bert Fuller was dead by way of Lt Loomis. he came back yesterday from sick at City Point. he is now quite smart. I hope he will be able to keep with the Company as it will be much easier for me. Gillis is in the Hospital yet getting along finely. I think I will get a leave of absence soon and go home. they ysyaly [usually] give them twenty and sometimes thirty days. I would like to see you all but when I do I would wish to be enjoying good health. The weather continued verry dry. we had a verry slight shower night before last but nothing could be seen of the afects at nine o clock the next morn. the dust flew just as bad as before. Wm Osborn went to the Hospital or into the ambulance wagon yesterday. he is quite unwell but not dangerous. we started for quite a long march but the order was countermanded. I think we will start for City Point soon. that was where we was ordered yesterday. that is some ten or twelve miles from here. I just understood that our Regt was transfered into another Brigade Under Col Smith acting Brigadir. I expect we will go soon expect we will be ordered every minute. we are now doing pickett duty. quite a change is takeing place in the second corpse [corps]. I dont think the change will be much for the worse. I never did like the Brigade we are in. we cant tell where we will be an hour from now. a Soldiers life is a curious one especialy in the field. we can march at aney time and not go far and meet the Rebs. I dont know as I can send this letter out till after the change is made. I will write soon as I can after and let you know all about it. perhaps we will be at City Point perhaps into a fight. there is no knowing. The Boys that are now with the company are all very well. I supose the Rebs have got quite numerous around in the western Va and Md. I understand the People of Bal wishes the old Eighth back ther and are doing all they can to get us back but I dont supose all they can do will amount to much. I dont think we will see Bal or washington untill after the campaign is over around Richmond and that may be until snow flies. there is no knowing what a few days will bring forth. I must close for this time. Axcept my best wishes all. From the Soldier Boy
Lt T J. Dean
- In possession of Kathryn W. Lerch and part of manuscript history of Eighth New York Heavy Artillery 1862-1865 ↩