Sgt. Albert F. Sharp of the 10th Connecticut Infantry Writes Home Describing the Battle of Bermuda Hundred, Virginia, May 21st, 1864. Sharp would die from wounds 3 months later
This 4-page letter is written in nice dark ink. Here is the great content:
- Bermuda Hundred, Va. May 21st, 1864. Dear Ones at Home: This is the 14th day of the spring campaign with the 10th & 18th Army Corps. notwithstanding the pressure of events, and the crowding of important military operations into the last two weeks, depriving all of rest and sleep, the whole army so far as I am able to learn is in fine order and are willing to do and endure yet greater privations if the present campaign will in the main terminate this terrible war.
- YESTERDAY IS MADE MEMORABLE BY ITS HAVING BEEN ANOTHER DAY OF BLOOD AND DEATH. THE CATALOGUE OF HUMAN WOES IS AMAZINGLY INCREASED.
- Early in the morning of Friday (10th inst.) firing between pickets of both armies commenced. Both sides showed much grit and neither was willing to yield the least advantage. At length the contest became desperate.
- THE REBEL’S WILD WITH EXCITEMENT MADE CHARGE AFTER CHARGE ON OUR MEN BUT WERE AS OFTEN REPULSED, WITH GREAT LOSS.
- Reinforcements were sent from our entrenchments to the front about 10 A.M. from this hour until 4 P.M. the battle raged along two miles of our rifle pits. About 2 o’clock P.M. an attempt was made by the enemy to carry a portion of these.
- ON COME A LONG LINE OF RAGGED DIRTY LOOKING MEN HOWLING LIKE A HOST OF FIENDS.
- At the first a brigade of our own troops gave way, but rallied and in turn drove the Rebs, who LEFT HEAPS OF DEAD AND WOUNDED IN OUR POSSESSION. This was the fiercest part of the days fighting.
- THE CLANGING OUR GUNS, THE WHISTLE OF GRAPE & SOLID SHOT, THE ROAR OF MUSKETRY, AND THE EXPLOSION OF THE ENEMY’S SHELLS, FILLED MILES OF FOREST WITH AWFUL TUMULT.
- At night the enemy retreated. Gen. Evens (Rebel) was badly wounded, Maj. Gen. Walker (Rebel) was wounded and left on the field, and is now at our own hospital. Our main works were not attacked at all. The whole battle was fought in the woods and in front of small rifle pits.
- The sun went down with victory covering the union troops. This is the fourth battle in which I have been since our arrival here. I am safe. This morning (I commenced this letter on Picket) the enemy come down again to our front.
- When our regiment took its position no one knew just where the Rebs were posted, and it was essential that we did know, I was sent out to scout, going some distance. I STOPPED BEHIND A LARGE TREE TO MAKE OBSERVATIONS. SOON AS I HALTED A BULLET FROM A RIFLE IN THE HANDS OF A REBEL CONCEALED IN THE BUSHES LODGED IN THE TREE NOT MORE THAN FIVE INCHES FROM MY HEAD.
- My object accomplished I turned to go back to the regiment, when another rebel attempted to shoot me, but his cap missed fire – I returned safe. Surely our God upholdeth me. Yours my love, A. F. Sharp
- I close this letter late at night – Tho I have had no sleep of consequence of late felt that I ought to write to all at home. I have read but one letter since I left you. A. F. S.
- I don’t know when I shall get paid. Borrow money – we will have plenty by and by. – A.
Letters that give personal accounts of “almost being killed” and giving God the glory for protection are especially desirable in our opinion.
We will include a color copy of Sharp’s Medal of Honor certificate and the newspaper announcement of his death.
#L5-21-64 CT – Price $595