≡ Menu

NP: September 3, 1864 Cape Ann Light and Gloucester Telegraph: 23rd MA at the Siege of Petersburg, Late August 1864



Co. C, 23d Mass[achusetts].
BERMUDA HUNDRED, Va., Aug. 26, 1864.

MR EDITOR:—Here we are, back to our old place again, as you will see by the heading of this letter. We [23rd Massachusetts] left the front of Petersburg yesterday morning [August 25, 1864], soon after daylight, and took up our line of march for this place, where we arrived in the afternoon.

After crossing the Appomattox River, while we were halting on our march to the breastworks, who should we see riding along but our much-beloved post-commander, Gen. [Charles A.] Heckman.1 And such a shout as went up, making the welkin ring. Three times three were given with a will, which compliment he acknowledged by removing his hat.

There is some talk of our going to Newbern [North Carolina] again2. Gen. Heckman is to take command of the Department, and would doubtless like to have his old brigade with him. I think it would be gratifying to the whole brigade to be placed under his command again.

Yesterday we were paid off, a very gratifying circumstance I can assure you, as we were get­ting short of funds.

Yours,              GUARD. 3


Article Image

18640903CALGTP2C4 23dMALetter



Other Massachusetts’ Soldier Letters in the Cape Ann Light and Gloucester Telegraph


  1. SOPO Editor’s Note: Heckman had been wounded at the Battle of Port Walthall Junction and then captured at the Battle of Drewry’s Bluff in mid-May, 1864.  Heckman had been exchanged by this point, and was given command of the 2nd Division, Eighteenth Corps, Army of the James, which he led at the September 29-30, 1864 Battle of Chaffin’s Farm.
  2. SOPO Editor’s Note: The 23rd Massachusetts had been in the New Berne, North Carolina area multiple times during the Civil War, first with Burnside’s Expedition in 1862 to take the town, and later to defend it against future Confederate attacks.  I’m sure the members of the regiment desperately wished to be anywhere but in the trenches of Petersburg, and they would have mostly looked backed fondly on their old service.
  3. “Letter from the 32d Mass Regt.” Cape Ann Light and Gloucester Telegraph. September 3, 1864, p. 1 col. 5-6
{ 0 comments… add one }

Leave a Reply