On Picket – Near Petersburg Va.
Friday July 1st 1864

Dear Sister
I rec a letter from
you a short time hence &, as I have nothing
to pass away my time here in this wilder-
ness will write a few lines to you. I suppose
Mother is at Rye by this time so that this will
do for you both and an answer will
be expected from both. I have rec. only 4 letters since
I left Pt Lookout: 2 from Mother and from you.
I wrote to you last on the 23rd I believe, the day after
our fight. It was rather a bad thing for the
old 2nd Corps. we lost about 2000 prisoners and
some artillery I believe. The men were not at
all to blame. I never saw such miserable man-
agement in my life. Had it not been for
Gen Miles commanding our brigade we should
have been all cut to pieces and trains and
artillery all captured. He disobeyed orders

[Editors Note: Along the side of the page continued from the back]

(Evening) Have just got back to camp. the 18th Corps undertook to take one of
the enemys positions last night & were repulsed.
Capt Butler was very badly
wounded in his knee, there
is danger that he will lose
his leg. He was in Gen Smith's staff. Left the
ambulance Corps some
time ago. My health
is most excellent – I have
not taken a bit of wine
since we came to the army.
Johnson is well

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doing as he did but it saved the 2nd Corps.
I see that the papers state that our brigade – the 1st
was attacked in the rear. This is utterly false we
were with the rest of the Div. it was the 3rd Brig
I am happy to say that a like affair will not occur
again. Gen Birney was then in command of the
Corps. Gen Hancock being disabled on account of
his old wound breaking out. but he was given taken
command. We fear no disaster when he is in
command. the best thing possible will always
be done. last Monday we moved back in the woods
¼ mile in rear of our breastworks & cleaned up a
camp. worked hard all one day. dug wells and
made every preparation for at least one week stay
this was by orders from Corps Hd Qrs. Wednesday
we had to leave our nice camp and go forward
into the breastworks again. just as sure as we
fix up a good camp we have to leave it right
away. Last evening we came out on picket
shall stay til this evening when we will be
relieved and back to camp. our picket
line is now ½ mile in front of our
breastworks. We have little breastworks

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thrown up large enough for three men,
these just are about 2 rods apart, all along
in front of this line of pits the trees have
been fallen so it is almost impossible to
get thru them. our picket line could
hold a whole line of battle of the rebs.
Wells have been dug, so we have plenty
of water. This picket line runs along
the whole front of our army & must be 6 or
7 miles long, the rebel line is about ¼ mile
from us at this place. The thickness of the
woods prevents pickets firing & sharpshooting
I have charge of 8 posts, two men in each
post have to keep awake all the time.
I hope you won’t get impatient if the army
don’t do anything for a few weeks. We need
rest and must have it. The army has been at
work night & day ever since the 3rd May harder
than they ever worked before & now a rest is indis-
pensable. I do not think this will be
as much hard fighting as there has
been for the reason that it don’t pay.
It has been generally quiet that the only

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thing to do is to destroy the rebel army
if that the only way to that is
by hard fighting(sic). Now the rebels are almost
entirely on the defensive & the have strong
positions. We have to attack them. We
drive them out of their positions but they
fall back into another position equally
strong & we lose 2 [----?] [--?] [---?]
has been this way ever since the
Battle of the Wilderness. Anyone can
easily tell which army would be
destroyed first in this way. if Gen Grant
had recd no reinforcements he would
not have one third the men he started
with on the 3rd last May. What we
now need is a reserve of 100,000 men
which should have been [---?] & drilled
last winter, to put into this field fresh
now, and this war would soon be over.
I am not discouraged by any means. I think
we shall be victorious this year, tho how
I can hardly see. The rebs may be as near exhausted
as we are, but then an exhausted
man can lay behind a breastwork & fight
as well as a fresh one. The situation here now is
if they attack us they will be repulsed with
great slaughter, and if we attack them we shall
be repulsed with great slaughter, so what will
be done I don’t know, perhaps Grant will
try another flank movement.
My man has just been up with my dinner
he brought me a letter from James.
James says Mother is at Rye and that you
now have another little girl. I thought so.
I must close this now and take a look
along my pickets. It is good that our
cavalry have got into a bad fix and the
9th Corps has gone to help them out.
I hope I shall hear from you soon Love to all
Write me the little girls name. George