#L6-22-62NY

Christopher Connolly of the 67th New York Infantry Describes Being Shot During the Battle of Seven Pines – “YOU MAY BELIEVE IT WOULD MAKE US CRINGE WHEN WE WOULD HEAR THE WHIZ OF A 20 POUNDER GO OVER US, OR A HALF A DOZEN SHELL BURST OVER US.” – “AFTER FIRING FOR OVER AN HOUR, I WAS SHOT. A NUMBNESS RAN THROUGH MY ARM, THEN UP IN MY HEAD, AND I FELL ON THE TOP OF MY HEAD. I GOT UP AND MY HAND WAS TWISTED IN TOWARDS MY ELBOW AND IT SHUT UP. I TRIED TO OPEN IT BUT COULD NOT.”



10 pages in nicely written ink!  Connolly enlisted in Brooklyn, N.Y. and reenlisted on Christmas in 1863 even after being wounded at Seven Pines!  Unfortunately, he was wounded again on May 6th, 1864 in the Wilderness.  Here is the content:

  • Annapolis, Md. Hospital June the 22nd, 1862 Dear Michael, I received your most welcome letter yesterday. It grieved me very much to hear of my Father’s illness. I suppose the poor old man thinks I have forgotten him because I have not wrote to him in a long time. When you receive a letter from me, let him have it also, so that when I write it will be one time in two months. Let me know if he is able to walk about or not. If he is strong enough to write to send me a letter himself.
  • YOU WANT ME TO GIVE YOU A DESCRIPTION OF THE BATTLE. THAT I AM NOT CAPABLE OF DOING CORRECTLY, BUT I WILL DO IT AS WELL AS I CAN. OUR CAMP WAS SITUATED NEAR A PLACE CALLED THE SEVEN PINES ON THE MAIN ROAD TO RICHMOND OR BETWEEN TWO ROADS RUNNING TO THE REBEL CAPITAL. THE ROAD ON THE RIGHT WAS A SMALL ROAD WINDING, RUNNING INTO A WOODS. THE ONE ON THE LEFT WAS THE MAIN ROAD RUNNING THROUGH THE FIELD THAT OUR DIVISION WAS CAMPED IN AND JOINING THE FIELD THAT CASEY’S DIVISION. IN FRONT OF US WAS A LOT OF FALLEN TIMBERS.
  • The night before the battle, it rained in torrents so that it raised small streams up to large rivers and wet everything we had. In the morning I got up and my clothes soaked, MY RIFLE WAS COVERED WITH RUST, AND THE BARREL HALF FILLED WITH WATER. I was detailed to go on fatigue, the first thing to drain the water out of the rifle pits, so I had no time to clean my gun. At about half past eleven o’clock, Casey’s Division was attacked. While they were cooking their dinners, I commenced to think of my rifle, so I left the fatigue and commenced to clean it.
  • I had scarcely time to get the inside of it clean when we got orders to fall in. The Regiment had their line formed in three minutes and waiting for orders, the General came to our Colonel and told him to form the left of the Regiment in the rifle pits, and the right to form on the right of there which brought us in the shelter of a small rise of a hill that our camp was on and told him to HOLD THE GROUND AT ALL HAZARDS, so as to cover any retreat that would be made when this was done.
  • Casey’s Division commenced to lose ground, and the enemy gain in Casey’s men was being carried off by dozens, wounded and lost one battery, which they managed to spike before they left it.
  • THE REBELS WAS AT THIS TIME IN PART OF CASEY’S CAMP GROUND AND CASEY’S MEN WAS RETREATING ALONG THE MAIN ROAD TO THE SEVEN PINES.
  • OUR DIVISION HAD GONE OUT TO TAKE CASEY’S POSITION, AND WE COULD HEAR THEM CHARGING ON THE ENEMY AS CASEY’S DIVISION WAS RETREATING ON THE MAIN ROAD, TRYING TO HOLD HIS POSITION ON THE ROAD.
  • On the left of us our artillery took their position in the rear of ourRegiment & which remained in our own camp ground. THE ENEMY HAD GAINED FULL POSITION OF THE CAMP OF CASEY’S AND COMMENCED TO SHELL US, BUT THEIR SHELL BURST SEVERAL HUNDRED FEET IN THE AIR.
  • THEN THEY THREW IN GRAPE AND BALLS. ONE OF THE BALLS CAME NEAR UPSETTING OUR COLONEL BY STRIKING THE GROUND UNDER HIS HORSE’S FEET.
  • HE GAVE US ORDERS TO LAY DOWN OUR ARTILLERY, OPENED ON THEM WITH GREAT DISTRACTION, SILENCING THEM EVERY NOW AND THEN. IT WAS AT THIS TIME I FELT THE MOST EXCITEMENT. THREE CROSS FIRES OF THE ENEMY AND FOUR OF OUR OWN.
  • YOU MAY BELIEVE IT WOULD MAKE US CRINGE WHEN WE WOULD HEAR THE WHIZ OF A 20 POUNDER GO OVER US, OR A HALF A DOZEN SHELL BURST OVER US.
  • THE FALLEN TIMBERS IN FRONT OF US HID US FROM THE VIEW OF THE ENEMY, SO IT WAS ONLY A CHANCE SHOT WOULD PICK ONE OF OUR MEN, BUT IT WAS FRIGHTFUL TO SEE THEM STRIKE THE GROUND IN FRONT OF US AND THEN BOUNCE OVER US.
  • Another battery came and took their position on the road on the right of us, the right wing that was laying down in the field which I was in, had to leave their place so as to give the artillery a chance at. They fired grape at the enemy so we went to the road on the right, and left the left wing in the rifle pits when we gained the road formed in line in the woods on the right of the road.
  • The right of the Battalion made a half backward wheel which brought us facing the enemy, though we could not see them. A few peaceable spent musket balls came in to us, so we got orders to lay down.
  • Our division commenced to get a little the worse of the war. The wounded was retreating in numbers. THEY TOLD US THAT OUR BRIGADE WAS OUTFLANKED, THAT IS SURROUNDED AND HAD TO FIGHT THEIR WAY OUT WITH THE BAYONET. The enemy was concealed in a brush in front of us, not over fifty paces from us, but they could not see us as we were lying down in the woods. Also a rider came and told our Colonel that reinforcement was coming. He then told us. When I heard it a feeling came across me, and I thought the reinforcement was going to do more hurt than good to us, which turned out to do so…
  • …FOR THEY CAME RUNNING UP AT A DOUBLE QUICK, SHOUTING AND HOLLERING, AND JUST AS THEY GOT IN FRONT OF US, THE CONCEALED ENEMY OPENED A VOLLEY ON THEM SO SUDDENLY THAT IT PANIC STRUCK THEM SO THAT THEY RAN AWAY. SOME NOT WAITING TO DISCHARGE THEIR PIECES.
  • IT WAS THE 48TH BROOKLYN [KNOWN AS PERRY’S SAINTS]. OUR BOYS THEN CALLED OUT TO THEM TO STAND THEIR GROUND. US SPEAKING BETRAYED US AND SHOWED WHERE WE WERE. THE 48TH FORMED IN AGAIN AND JOINED ON THE RIGHT OF US BUT OUR PLAN WAS SPOILED.
  • THE ENEMY IN FRONT OF US CAME TO REACH OUR RETREATING MEN, AND WE MIGHT OF GIVEN THEM THE SAME SURPRISE HAD NOT THE REINFORCEMENT CAME TO US AS OUR RIFLES NEVER FAIL TO STRIKE THE MARK.
  • THEY THEN COMMENCED ON US IN FURY, BUT WE ANSWERED THEM SO SHARPLY THAT ALMOST EVERY SHOT TOOK EFFECT THE FIRST VOLLEY. THIS TIME WAS THE FIRST TIME WE DISCHARGED A PIECE DURING THE WHOLE DAY. I THINK THERE WAS NO LESS THAN A WHOLE BRIGADE AGAINST HALF OF OUR REGIMENT, BUT WE STOOD IT AGAINST THEM AND KEPT THEM BACK FOR OVER AN HOUR.
  • THE ONLY THING SAVED US, THEY COULD NOT SEE US SO THEY THOUGHT THERE WAS MORE OF US THAN THERE WAS. AFTER FIRING FOR OVER AN HOUR, I WAS SHOT.
  • A NUMBNESS RAN THROUGH MY ARM, THEN UP IN MY HEAD, AND I FELL ON THE TOP OF MY HEAD. I GOT UP AND MY HAND WAS TWISTED IN TOWARDS MY ELBOW AND IT SHUT UP. I TRIED TO OPEN IT BUT COULD NOT. I THEN LEFT THE FIELD. IT WAS THEN ABOUT FIVE O’CLOCK. AT TEN I WAS PUT IN A BAGGAGE WAGON AND SENT TO THE RAILROAD THAT BROUGHT ME TO WHITE HOUSE LANDING THEN TO ANNAPOLIS, WHERE I READ THE PAPERS ABOUT THE BATTLE OF THE FAIR OAKS, WHICH I DID NOT SEE ANYTHING ABOUT OUR DIVISION EXCEPT THE LIST OF KILLED AND WOUNDED.
  • THE NUMBER STATED OF OUR REGIMENT WAS 194, BUT THE SERGEANT, MAJOR AND TWO MORE THERE WAS NOT IN IT, SO WE WILL SAY THERE WERE AT LEAST 200 KILLED AND WOUNDED. THIS IS THE NEAREST I CAN GIVE A DESCRIPTION OF THE CONTEST.
  • ALL OUR KNAPSACKS IS LOST AS WE HAS NOT CHANCE TO PICK THEM UP. I HAVE SAVED ALL THE LETTERS I HAVE EVER RECEIVED, BUT THEY ARE ALL GONE WITH EVERYTHING ELSE.
  • Tell Uncle Christy to write to me as I won’t write to him as long as he can get this from you, as he is working with Hugh. I am glad to hear that Cousin Christy is able to work at his old trade again.
  • THE SKIN IS COVERED OVER MY WOUND, THOUGH MY ARM IS STIFF YET. I MAY REMAIN A WEEK MORE YET, BUT I THINK NO LONGER.
  • Give my love to Hugh and Mary, my Father, Uncles and cousins and all my friends. No more at present, but remain your affectionate Brother. Christopher Conolly

Condition very fine.  A wonderful 10-page letter.  Our friends Brian and Maria Green sold this back in 2015 for $1,100.  Worth every penny, but will let this one go for $200 less. 

#L6-22-62NY – Price $895

























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