Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Bryce Suderow and is included in a collection of Union and Confederate accounts of the fighting on July 27, 1864 at the First Battle of Deep Bottom. His transcription of this article is published here with his written permission.
Who Will Write Up the Deep Bottom Fights
To the Editor NATIONAL TRIBUNE:
I was a private in Co. D, 183rd Penn. Volunteers, 1st brigade, 1st Division, 2nd Army Corps; had my first baptism in the Wilderness; was slightly wounded in the chin at Deep Bottom on the James River on or about the 12th of July, 1864, but was only away from my regiment a few days. Will not some comrade write from his diary the battles that took place between the 3d day of May, 1864 and the 16th of June of the same year, and if this request should be seen by any of the boys of the 1st Brigade, 1st Division 2nd Army Corps who are handy with the pen, will they not give a few lines about Deep Bottom, where three regiments of our brigade captured four 24-pounders? I was not in at the death, but I have a recollection of marching across an open field while the “blasted” shells were tearing up the ground, and then starting up the hill, when the infantry opened on us, and one of those little fellows that make such a “sickening thud” when a fellow happens to be in the way, scraped the bark off my chin and stopped me from eating hard-tack and salt horse for a few days. –B.F. Naylor, Co. D, 183rd Pa. V.I., San Juan, CA1