Editor’s Note: This article was provided by John Hennessy and transcribed by Jackie Martin.
BEFORE PETERSBURG, July 27.
EDITORS REGIS[T]ER: Although the telegraph reports “all quiet” here, a peacefully disposed person, unused to the panoply of war, would hardly think so. The continual crack of the rifle, the thunder of artillery, and the bursting of shells never cease, and often burst out with great violence, at times, shaking the earth for miles around. And yet, to the veteran correspondent all is quiet, for these spasmodic firings mean really but little. All will not remain “quiet” for a great while longer, without all signs fail. Last night a cavalry expedition, supported by a corps of infantry, started out to the left with six days’ cooked rations.—This means another tearing up of railroads I suppose. For two days, also, heavy firing has been distinctly heard here in the direction of Gen. Butler’s lines. All the hospitals have been ordered to be cleared, and everything is at present on a fighting basis. Heavy reinforcements have lately arrived, and as soon as the mines, which are nearly finished, are ready to be sprung, some warm work will be done here. If the Johnnies do not take care we will drive them out of this place on the double-quick.
The colored troops have won a name for themselves, which we are very proud of.—We have been in some tight places and have never faltered.
We now occupy the trenches close to the rebel works, and it is not a very good place for an excitable man as myself to write a letter, especially when I have to write with my knee for a desk and the ground for a chair. This duty in the trenches is the “dirtiest” business I have ever been engaged in, politics not excepted.
J. S. Mc C.,
Lieut. 5th U. S. C Troops1
- “Army Letter.” Sandusky Register. August 3, 1864, p. ? col. ? ↩