Editor’s Note: The Soldier Studies web site (http://www.soldierstudies.org) collects and publishes letters written during the Civil War. Owner/editor Chris Wehner was kind enough to grant me written permission to publish a selection of letters from his site which focus on the Siege of Petersburg. Look for letters to appear here during the 150th anniversary of the Siege of Petersburg and beyond. These letters may not be reused without the express written consent of Chris Wehner. All rights reserved.
Spring Hill Fort on the south
bank of the Appomatox River five miles
above City Point Va. Aug 7th 1864
Dear Brother George
I presume you may think that I have not done first right in not answering your letter before this, but I have only one excuse to offer and that is this I have not received any letter from you since you returned home, and should not have known that you had written at all only that Mother informed me that you sent me the dollars worth of Stamps that I wrote to you for about a month ago, that letter must have gone some other way for it never came to me I am sorry to say for I am almost out of stamps at this time, and shall need some very soon and cannot get them here. I have plenty of paper that has been sent to me by Mother & Mary—
I was sorry to hear that you had been sick but rather expected it by your changing climate— My health has been very good this summer although I have had two attacks of Billious Diarhia – but I was off duty only two days, and the rest of the month of July I did two mens duty Act. as Ord, Serg. and doing my own duty all of the time besides— the remainder of the time I have been quite well.
Our company occupied a 30pd. Parrott Gun Battery & an 8in. Siege Morter Battery. I was with the 3 – 30pd guns, Lieut. Jackson had command of the 2nd Platoon of the company with the 4th Morters – on the height of Petersburg we remained there six weeks without being relieved had 5 men killed & 3 died of disease & we have 17 men in the Hospital at this time – so you see our company is pretty well run down at this time. Lieut. Jackson has 26 of our men at this time in charge of a 13 in. Morter mounted on a car on the City Point & Petersburg R.R. the remainder of the company is here and have but little to do there is no firing from this Post at present—
While we were before Petersburg our three guns fired about 2000 rounds of Ammunition and our four morters fired 2300 rounds – so you see we had some work do in six weeks—
How long we shall remain here I cannot say but we are reembarking our train and therefore I think we shall soon return to the Fortifications (but cannot tell). Hoping to hear from you soon I close. Much Love to you and all of our folks – James
[ written in the margin of the last page ]
Pete Morris sends his best regards & enquired after you1