Shiloh Battle Letter – Andrew Tuttle, 77th Pa. Infantry – “THE GROUND WAS ALMOST COVERED WITH DEAD BODIES, SOME WITH THEIR HEADS SHOT OFF AND SOME ALL TORN TO PIECES.”
This 5-page letter is written in nice dark ink in beautiful hand writing. Andrew J. Tuttle enlisted in Company D on October 14th, 1861. Here is the wonderful content:
- Pittsburg Landing May 1st, 1862. Dear Brother, It has been a long time since I have written to you, but I will try and write oftener hereafter. It has been some time since I heard from home. I rec’d a letter from you of March 23rd two or three weeks ago.
- I suppose you have heard all the particulars about the battle that occurred here long ago, but no one can imagine except those who see it. WHAT AN AWFUL SLAUGHTER IT WAS ON BOTH SIDES FOR A DISTANCE OF FIVE MILES ALONG THE RIVER AND THREE OR FOUR MILES BACK.
- THE GROUND WAS ALMOST COVERED WITH DEAD BODIES, SOME WITH THEIR HEADS SHOT OFF AND SOME ALL TORN TO PIECES.
- TREES WERE COMPLETELY MOWN DOWN WHERE EVER THE HEAVIEST FIGHTING WAS. I SEE SOME A FOOT AND A HALF THROUGH CUT CLEAN OFF, BROKEN ARTILLERY WAGONS BENT UP, MUSKETS, KNAPSACKS, HAVERSACKS, CANTEENS, AND DEAD HORSES BY HUNDREDS WERE LYING ABOUT IN EVERY DIRECTION.
- IN SOME INSTANCES ALL THE HORSES TO A BATTERY WAGON COULD BE SEEN LAYING DEAD, TWISTED UP IN THE HARNESS IN EVERY SHAPE.
- I was not in the fight. We had been marching seven days through a burning hot sun and over dusty roads when the order came for us to do double quick, and I, not being able to keep up, had to stay back with the Baggage train. I find I can’t stand much since I had the measles, but I am gaining slowly.
- Our Regiment reached the Battle ground Monday morning. We could hear the cannonading on Sunday morning at a distance of 35 miles, and it was just one continual roar until dark.
- There was only one killed and seven or eight wounded in our Regmt. Two of them belonged to our Company. Ed Cavil was shot through the leg with a musket ball. It is only a flesh wound. The other was a German from Pittsburg who was slightly wounded in the temple.
- I see the House Democrat reports only a thousand of our men killed, but you must not believe any such statements as that. ONE OF OUR COMPANY SEEN 1200 ALL IN ONE ROW SIDE BY SIDE. I DON’T DOUBT BUT WHAT THERE WAS AT LEAST 5,000 OF OUR MEN KILLED AND A MUCH GREATER NUMBER OF THE REBELS.
- DEAD REBELS COULD BE SEEN LAYING ABOUT TEN DAYS AFTER THE FIGHT. IT WAS SAID 235 WERE BURIED IN ONE GRAVE. LOTS OF THEM WERE BURIED WITH THEIR FEET AND ARMS STICKING OUT, AND I TELL YOU A PERSON WILL GET A VERY UNPLEASANT SMELL IN WALKING OVER THE BATTLE GROUND NOW.
- We are now encamped seven miles from Pittsburg Landing and seventeen miles up the Tenn. River from Savanah. We are only 13 miles from Corinth, Miss. I believe the Rebels are intending to make another stand there.
- We are under marching orders & expect we will leave here today or tomorrow. We are getting really far down in Dixie; but I suppose they will stick to it until we drive them off into the Gulf.
- Don’t hardly believe we will get home to plant corn this year. The weather here is about as hot as it is at home in July. Peaches are getting quite good size, and there is a prospect of an abundance of them all through this state.
- I must bring my letter to a close. You must write as soon as you receive this and write often. Don’t wait for me. I am glad to hear that the Band are a getting along well. I dreamed the other night that I was home and playing the Ole B Bass with you down at the School House, but when I awoke, I found that I was away down in Tenn.
- I wish I might be there and this Cursed War was over. Tell Del I am going to write to her the first opportunity. Send me some papers. I have not received any in a long time. Frank, Dan and Geo. Carr are well. Give my respects to all. From your Affectionate Brother, A. J. Tuthill. Direct to Louisville, Ky. Col. Stumbaugh’s 77th Regiment P. V. In care of Capt. H. W. Derby. Friday evening 8 o’clock – We have just got orders to march at 9 o’clock in the morning. Where we are going I do not know.
Condition is fine with only minor aging.
#L5-1-62PA – Price $1,395