Battle Letter from the 1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery, Famous Unit that had “the Dictator” – Major Thomas S. Trumbull Writes on May 31st, 1864 – “JUST AFTER I LEFT MY TENT A SHELL BURST IN MY REDOUBT, THROWING A FRAGMENT THROUGH THE MIDDLE OF MY TENT FROM SIDE TO SIDE. ANOTHER STRUCK ONE OF MY MEN IN THE CHEST KILLING HIM INSTANTLY.”
This 2 ½ page 8 x 10 inch letter is written in nice dark ink. Thomas S. Trumbull was a resident of Hartford, Connecticut and later in 1864 became Lieutenant Colonel of this famous regiment. The letter comes with an excellent stamped envelope. Thomas is writing his parents. The Trumbull’s were a famous family in Hartford, his father being a Judge. Here is the content:
- Battery No. 3 May 31st, 1864. Dear Mother, I received your kind letter of the 24th inst. last evening amidst some excitement and confusion. I need not tell you how welcome it was.
- Two or three hours before it came, I was sitting in my tent dozing when a Rebel shell burst over my head, making it plain that they had commenced hostilities again. I rushed to the Parapet, turned out my men & very soon we had warm work.
- THE ENEMY OPENED ON US FROM THREE BATTERIES, GIVING US A VERY TROUBLESOME CROSSFIRE. BUT HOW WE DID PLUG IT BACK TO THEM. WE NEVER MADE BETTER SHOOTING. WHEN THEY FIRST OPENED THEY YELLED LIKE DEVILS AND I SUPPOSED THEY WERE MAKING AN ASSAULT, BUT I SUSPECT THEY MADE A DIFFERENT KIND OF NOISE AFTER A COUPLE OF HOURS HAD PASSED, FOR WE SAW THE STRETCHERS CARRIED ALONG THEIR WORKS FOR THE KILLED & WOUNDED.
- JUST AFTER I LEFT MY TENT A SHELL BURST IN MY REDOUBT, THROWING A FRAGMENT THROUGH THE MIDDLE OF MY TENT FROM SIDE TO SIDE. ANOTHER STRUCK ONE OF MY MEN IN THE CHEST KILLING HIM INSTANTLY. A THIRD KILLED OUR SURGEON’S HORSE HITCHED JUST OUTSIDE THE WORK. A FRAGMENT STRUCK A SERGT. IN THE BOWELS, HURTING HIM SEVERELY, PERHAPS NOT MORTALLY, AND THE AIR WAS FILLED WITH FRAGMENTS & BURSTING SHELLS.
- It seems wonderful that no more men were hurt, but it shows the value of a strong work. All day yesterday and this morning, even while I write, can be heard the sound of distant cannonading making it evident that a great battle is being fought between Grant & Lee, though we can hear nothing of the facts. We cannot help feeling very anxious, though my faith is strong.
- You can hardly tell how difficult it is for me to write connectedly, situated as I am, and then too, I am not accustomed to use my knees for a desk and the very position makes me nervous.
- Please thank Mary for her kind letter which I received on Sunday. I saw Henry night before last, on my way back to Hdqrs. He was well & in good spirits. He does not have quite as much of the excitement of late as I do, as the Infantry have little to do at present, excepting that now & then his Regt. goes out just ahead of us on picket, and he always accompanies them. Love to all the family & give me a word whenever you can. Most affectionately, Tom T.
#L5-31-64 CN – Price $695