6th Wisconsin Graphic Battle Letter – The Wilderness, Laurel Hill & Spotsylvania Court House, May 5 – 13, 1864. The Writer Mair Pointon of Company A Describes the Bullets Piercing his Blanket & Portfolio AND ONE GOING THROUGH THE LETTERSHEET HE IS WRITING ON! – The Finest Battle Letter We Have Owned
Offered is an 8-page letter written in ink. Read it and enjoy. For the Iron Brigade Collector there is none finer. Comes with fully illustrated patriotic stamped cover.
- In the Trenches near Spotsylvania Court House May 20th 1864. Dear Brother & Sister, I received yours of 8th inst. today. It is the first mail we have had in two weeks, but we have had fighting enough to make up for that.
- We left Culpepper on the night of 3 inst., marched to Germinia Ford, crossed about 10 o’clock A.M. morning of 4th. The Cavalry drove all the Rebels off or captured all that was guarding the Ford which was not many.
- The troops marched on the Plank Road towards Fredericksburg to where the Orange Court House Pike forms a junction with the Plank Road. Encamped for the night, very tired, marched all night & day. Morning of 5th packed up and fell in about 8 o’clock A.M., moved off the Plank Road to the right, crossed the Orange C. H. Pike. About 2 miles skirmishing ahead formed line of battle.
- OUR REGT. WAS IN 2ND LINE SUPPORTING THE 7TH IND. REGT. THE BATTLE SOON BECAME GENERAL AND VERY HOT. PRISONERS KEPT COMING TO THE REAR BY THE HUNDREDS. OUR MEN FLUSHED WITH VICTORY OVER THE CAPTURE OF REBEL LINE OF BATTLE, PRESSED ON WITH MORE VIGOR. Our lines of battle crossed the Orange Pike and the line on the right did not have as good success and consequently the lines got broke, the lines on the left hand side getting ahead.
- The Rebels saw the advantage they could gain by flanking us on the left side of the Pike which they did, driving our men back in great confusion. OUR REGT. WAS ENTIRELY SURROUNDED. THEY POURED VOLLEY AFTER VOLLEY IN TO US. MEN FELL LIKE RAIN AND THE REGT. WAS THROWN INTO UTTER CONFUSION. THE LT. COL. TOOK THE COLORS AND RALLIED THE MEN.
- I CLOSED UP TO THE COLORS WITH WHAT FEW WAS TOGETHER. THE COL. ASKED FOR 3 CHEERS FOR THE BADGER STATE WHICH WAS GIVEN WITH A WILL AND THEN COMMENCED TO FALL BACK, THE REBELS FOLLOWING US CLOSELY.
- That was my subtraction and it was a tough one. John Hedges was killed. James Whilty wounded and missing Jarvis Hall. Macy (a recruit), Nelson Moore & Charles Kellogg, missing after falling back to the open ground.
- We formed again and in afternoon moved to the left flank of our Army and joined the 2nd Corps. Was in 2nd line of Battle, drove the Rebels over a mile & a half and rested on our arms. Did not sleep much that night, the pickets firing at one another.
- 6th – attacked them at sunrise and drove them back about one mile to an opening where the Rebs opened with a battery and wounded in our Co., Ike, Fort, W. S. Duch, slightly. A SPLINTER STRUCK MY GUN NEAR MY SHOULDER, CAME VERY NEAR KNOCKING ME DOWN.
- THE REBS FLANKED US AGAIN ON THE I RIGHT, AND THE MEN IN THE 2ND LINE BECAME PANIC STRICKEN AND FLED IN DISORDER, BREAKING THROUGH OUR LINES. EVERYTHING COMMENCED TO RETREAT ON THE RIGHT. ON THE LEFT THEY HELD THEIR GROUND AND GENL. WADSWORTH WAS MORTALLY WOUNDED WHILE LEADING THE MEN FORWARD IN A CHARGE.
- We fell back to the open ground again and formed line. Night, took our blankets out and went to bed. New troops was in front of us. I slept well that night. Morning of 7th got up at sunrise, packed up and made breakfast. The firing commenced on the right, moved us to the right for support, laid in our positions all day.
- JUST AT DARK THE REBELS COMMENCED CHEERING WHICH WAS ANSWERED BY OUR MEN. IT SEEMED AS THOUGH THEY DEFIED EACH OTHER AND WAS DARING ONE ANOTHER.
- A new Regt. on the left of us got scared at something and commenced firing. It was some time before the officers could stop them. 8 o’clock P.M. Marched back to the Orange Pike and then to the Plank Road.
- Everything was kept still so the Rebs could not hear us. We marched all night. 8th – stopped and made breakfast. After breakfast started again on the Spotsylvania C. H. road. Did not go more than 1/2 mile until the Rebels opened on us with a Battery.
- THE 2ND BRIGADE OF OUR DIVISION FORMED LINE OF BATTLE AND WAS SOON HOTLY ENGAGED WITH THE REBEL INFANTRY. THE FIGHTING WAS HEAVY. THE TWO LINES WAS ABOUT 200 YDS. APART AND A HOUSE ON FIRE BETWEEN THEM.
- Our Brigade moved to the right flank of the 2nd Brigade, formed line. Our Regt. on the right. The Rebs was making a flank movement. The first thing we knew, the Rebs was pouring their fire in our flank. We fell back and rallied on a crest of a hill behind some rails that had been thrown down.
- THE REBELS CAME ON WITH THEIR FIENDISH YELL, BUT OUR BOYS POURED SUCH A FIRE INTO THEM, THEY HAD TO STOP AND FALL BACK. Lt. H. F. Pruyn was killed while rallying the men. He was a brave officer and loved by all of us. E. Dawley (a recruit) was wounded in hand. We formed the Regts. again and built rifle pits. The pickets kept firing all day.
- 9th – firing commenced on the skirmish line about 3 o’clock A.M. All fell in. A BULLET STRUCK ONE OF THE BAYONETS LEANING AGAINST THE PITS. THE PIECES STRUCK BILL PALMER AND I IN THE FACE.
- A little firing all day by the pickets. Sundown the Rebels made an attack, drove the pickets in. We lay waiting for them but they would not come. We strengthened the skirmish line and drove them back. 10th – skirmishing all last night and morning. Afternoon advanced. Our Div. was in first line, drove the Rebels in to their rifle pits. We got within 50 yds. of them.
- THE REBELS POURED A MURDEROUS FIRE FROM 3 WAYS INTO OUR REGT. THE MEN FELL LIKE HAIL AROUND ME. IT WAS MURDERING MEN TO PUT THEM IN SUCH PLACES.
- I HAD NO SOONER GOT IN THAN A BULLET STRUCK MY KNAPSACK ON ONE SIDE PASSING THROUGH AND GOING OUT ON THE OTHER SIDE, MAKING 6 HOLES IN MY RUBBER BLANKET, 10 HOLES IN MY SHIRT AND RIPPED THROUGH MY PORTFOLIO, THIS SHEET AND THE OTHER ONE HAS THE EFFECTS OF IT.
- ABOUT ONE MINUTE AFTER I WAS STRUCK ON THE ARM NEAR THE SHOULDER CUTTING THE FLESH, MAKING MORE OF A BRUISE THAN A WOUND. I FIRED TWO SHOTS AFTER I WAS HIT THEN MY ARM GOT SO LAME I COULD NOT RAISE IT, SO I TRAVELED FOR THE REAR.
- The Div. soon fell back to the works again. Bill Palmer, Sargt. Saare, A. M. Long, Frank Graham and myself wounded that charge. Frank had his leg.
- 11th – The Rebels shelled us considerable, moved the rifle pits back about 60 rods. 12th – Advanced on the Rebel’s works in 3 lines of battery (in the same place). THE 1ST LINE WOULD NOT GO FORWARD (THE BUCKTAILS) SO OUR BRIGADE PASSED THROUGH, FORMED THE FIRST LINE, THE REBELS KEEPING UP A HEAVY FIRING ON US.
- The 2nd line would not go. Lt. Huntington wounded slightly. The troops was ordered back to the works. The Rebs shelled us heavy. THAT MORNING WAS HEAVY FIGHTING ON THE LEFT BY HANCOCK, HE CHARGED AND TOOK THE REBEL WORKS. GETTYSBURG WAS NOTHING TO IT.
- We moved there in the afternoon. Night moved part way back and built rifle pits. 9 o’clock went to the left again and held the ground that Hancock took. I STOOD IN THE MUD ANKLE DEEP ALL NIGHT, FIRING AT THE REBELS BEHIND RIFLE PITS.
- 13th – Moved up to the Rebels’ pits, found nothing but a skirmish line. Captured all of the Regt. Relieved; fell back to the rear and made coffee. Afternoon moved back to the right, formed line of battle, made breastworks. Just at dark fell in and marched within 2 miles of Spotsylvania C. H. on Burnside’s left.
- We marched all night, built rifle pits on 14th and are laying in them yet. The Rebs are in plain sight. The Sharpshooters are bringing heavy fighting on the right. Last night they drove our pickets in, but did not make an attack.
- I will have to hurry to get this in the mail. Love to all from your affectionate Bro., M. Pointon Co. A, 6 Wis. Vols.
The best of the best and the prize of our collection. Purchased by us 18 years ago for $3,500.
#L5-20-64WI – Price $4,500