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.
Sgt. T. J. Dean Letter June 25, 18641
June 25 / 64
In the Field front of Petersburg
I seat myself again to inform you that I am yet this side of the grave. Since I wrote last we have moved off onto the left wing of the Army. we are now about 4 miles south of Petersburg holding a very important position from the Rebs on the railroad. our regt was in a fight the 22nd inst. our loss was small. only 6 wounded in the Co about 130 loss in the regt. our loss was the lightest of aney engagement in proportion that most aney of the other companies owing to the position we wer in when on the advance. our company hapened to behind the crest of a hill whare it was more of a a rise than some of the others. All of Co I Officers are gone and I am in Comd of the company. I have led the company now some three or four days. Stafford Loomis & Gillis are in the Hospital sick. none of them verry dangerous but quite badly worn out redused down. no strength in fact [we] are all of us nearly whiped. our company is redused down to 54 men present and eleven of them are not able to march. the hospitals are so full they can not get in aney more and what there is in them does not get much care without they are badly wounded. they get served first as should be. we havent had aney rain since the night of the third inst and the weather has been verry hot daye times and some nights quite cold. quite a good deal of difference in the climate of her[e] and Home. the Boys are mostly troubled with a diareah caused a good deal by drinking swamp water and eating unregular on our marches. The dust is verry bad yesterday while on the march. beat aneything I ever saw. I could not see two rods by times ahead. some times it was so think it fairly blinded. we are at the present time whare it is verry quiet not much fireing going on. it seems somewhat like the sabath at time (of old). I expect there is something brewing. there is always a calm before a storm as well as after. I have not recd that Letter Chas Reed was going to write. I saw Fred Hibbison yesterday. he was all right. they havent been into as many fights as we have near. No casualities in our Co since the 22nd inst as I stated before. I see I recd a letter from Bert. he is getting along finely. he is in the Hospital with Czar Dunning whare he gets the best of care. We had a good nights rest last night for the first time in some time. Wm Osborn is all right. We did not get aney mail yesterday. expect it to day. I hope I shall get one from N.B. [North Bergen] though I have no reason to complain. I hear quite often from you. A paper Boy just rode through the camp. I got a paper dated the 23rd inst. There appears to be another General movement in the Army in this vacinity. I dont know what it means. things move in a misterous manner. we dont know one hour whare we will be the next. Give my best wishes to all. I remain as ever the soldier Boy a friend to all.
T J Dean
- In possession of Kathryn W. Lerch and part of manuscript history of Eighth New York Heavy Artillery 1862-1865 ↩