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Description: UNION SOLDIER'S LETTER DESCRIBING SHILOH
Fine content A.L.S. by "Lester", 4pp. legal folio, Pittsburg, Tenn., Apr. 10, 1862. Lester writes to his wife in pencil just three days after the historic Battle of Shiloh. Spelling and punctuation not corrected, in part: "...I have passed 5 as hard days as I ever saw. You have I suppose ere this send an account of the terrible battle fought at this place last Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, it was the worst...I ever saw. Thousands of lives lost and among them Brother Marshall he fell after having fought from six AM till about 2 PM Sunday. He was shot in his left side above the hip bone I did not see Wm. Robt Wilder and others saw him. He fought like a hero all say. He through down his gun unbuckled his belt threw off his Cartridge Box & fell face down I did not hear of it till that eve I could not get to him On Tuesday I then dug a grave wrap[p]ed him in Blankets and buried him Jim Gintry was the only acquaintance with me It was an awful sad time for me. I cut off a lock of his hair and will send it in this letter. Doubtless you will have read the account of this terrible Battle before this comes to you...I will mention a few items David Culver is mortally wounded Capt Haggard was wounded and can't be found. Also Capt. Mann there were 18 killed 30 missing and 43 wounded in our regiment. Old Man Holliday is among the missing. Col. Logan is very badly wounded I stayed one night with him shot in back. You will see the list before I shall. I wish you would have a paper till I come home I would like to see it. We expect hourly another big battle here they are not yet satisfied. The secesh took everything we had they smashed my trunk...to day I found your Bible...I tell you it was a sad sight here the field for five miles I guess is covered with dead the Camps boats & Every place convenient is filled with the wounded & dying we have not begun to get the dead buried yet I am completely worn out I have not had a nights sleep this week 3 nights I was out in the rain I have had nothing but saw ham & hard crackers to eat I have seen enough of war if it was in my power I would leave for home tomorrow on foot If i live to see you there again I shall be a happy man I never shall enlist again Poor Marshall he was enjoying himself I believe up to his death I wish I could have got a coffin & sent him home but this was impossible He looked very natural I think he must have died instantly I could not find anything in his pocket but a letter from Saml Longstreet I sent it...Friday Morn 3 oclock AM Our pickets have been driven again and the army are drawn up in the line of Battle It is raining hard our poor soldiers are having a hard time I do not have to go into battle but believe it is worse to see the outside Horrors We have just heard that Island No 10 was taken If we beat them again here or at Corinth they will I think give up Wm Veddar would give anything if he was out but no one can leave We have to stay and take it...Marshall's death it was a sad blow to me as any ever I had He was the only one here I could go to with my troubles we met often...It is strange to be the one selected but such is life It is strange to me how any one escaped Ball Shell & Bullet fell as thick as hail I can't realize it all seems like a Dream or Ledger story Should we go into another battle here I don't expect to come out as sound as I did this time...pray often for me...". Pencil is traced over in areas with pen, folds and wear, very good overall.

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March 30, 2011 11:00 AM EDT

Stamford, CT, US

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