United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865; Bruen, Luther Barnett--Correspondence


4 pages


Camp Near Bealeton Station Monday Dec. 7. 1863 My Dearest When I wrote you last I had no idea that so many days would elapse before I wrote you again. I sent you a pencil note some days since, which I suppose you will receive to-day, but that I do not call a letter. The evening of the day I wrote last from our camp at Peola Mills, or rather the night, about 12, an order came to march in the morning at 7. Accordingly at that hour on Thanksgiving day we started, - crossed the Rapidan at Culpepper Ford + marched passed the Culpepper Sold Mine + went into camp at what had been an old tavern, called Tavern in the Wilderness. The next day we marched forward + got on to the Orange + Fredericksburg Plank Road. When we got to a place called Parker's Star; the firing ahead was pretty sharp. We halted a little while, but were soon started a head, and in a little town met the Horse Artillery coming back, and the Stretcher Carriers because of the wounded. We went into line of battle + marched thro' into a piece of dense pine woods, the shot + shell shrieking + exploding over our heads. We bivouacked in line of battle all night, we having got in just a little before Sunset, the fight being pretty near over. The next day we went back + crossed over to a turnpike road which *ran* between Orange + Fredericksburg. Bivouacked at Robertson Tavern, sharp picket firing as we were reaching the tavern the next morning before day, we marched forward + formed in front of the enemy's work + remained in line of battle all day, bivouacked in the same way all night - cold night. Slept on the ground in our blankets. At twelve, midnight Col Burbank sent for his Regimental Commanders and told them that it had been determined to assault the enemy's works on the right where they were supposed to be weakest. We were to march at 2 A.M. + make the assault at 5. By some blunder my regiment did not get started till 3. We reached the ground however in time for the work. It was a bitter cold morning, but cold as it was, the soldiers would throw themselves down on the frozen ground and sleep. The assault was postponed till 9, at 8 the Artillery opened on the left, and soon woke up their guns; their shells came right among us, one struck the ground, but did not explode, about twenty feet from me. Although there were nearly twenty thousand men huddled together in the woods only two or three were slightly wounded. One of the artillery sergeants was killed + some others were wounded. Two or three English officers who came to see the fight, found the woods too hot for them + pronouncing it devilish good practice got on their horses + rode away. We remained in the woods all day. It was the coldest day we have had + fires were prohibited, so that both officers + men suffered greatly. Two or three died from the exposure. Gen Meade countermanded the order to assault at nine + we lay in the woods expecting to make the assault at 3. Meantime the lads who had a very strong *frontier* were *build and build*, making it stronger. Had we made the assault then would have been a horrendous of life + I doubt much whether you would ever have received any more letters from me, as my regiment was in the first line of our brigade. The assault was to have been made in the *Cina*. From our position we had a pretty fair view of the enemy's works, + could see their earthworks + cannon. After sundown we marched back to our camp of the night before. After a good supper + with a good fire which we had found awaiting us we soon felt very comfortable; + rolling ourselves up in our blankets we slept soundly till morning. We lay in camp till 7 in the evening when we began to fall back. The night was bitter cold + the march painfully slow. We marched all night, crossed the Rapidan at Germanna Ford about 6 + went into bivouac at 6 1/2. We soon had a working fire before which I slept till breakfast was had. At 8 we were on the march again + went into camp near *Gutenburg*, not far from our old camp at Peola Mills. I was sent out as Field Officer on the Picket 800 strong *two volunteer companions*. *Commader Levy* (who is here as a Second Lieutenant of the 17th Inf!) was one of my officers. The next march the command moved + I marched the picket up to the camp of the Brigade, near Rappahannock Station, not far from our camp on the night of the battle of Rappahannock Station. The next morning we marched + I went into camp with four companies of my regiment at *Kettle Run Bridge* on the railroad We stayed there two days + were just getting ready to fix up our quarters for *entire* when we were ordered to march to this place. You see we have had a good deal of hard work to do since you heard from me last. - I have received two letters from you since we got into communication with Washington. I ought to have received more as the Your last was dated Nov 25th. I suppose you have been in a terrible state of anxiety about me + could not help thinking you might be reading my last letter about the time I was getting my head blown off by the rebs. - They have had quite an accident at *McKimball's*. Some time since the stables burnt down, burning all the horses, *bamboozled*. But for a slight shower of rain the house itself would probably have gone too. *Stacey was found* within a day or two. He says *Mrs* Livingston has lost her youngest child. *Stacy* had Emma made a Laundress, so that she will get food + fuel for the girl. He says she is very poor.#There is a good deal of talk about the army falling back to Centreville. How much truth there is in it I don't know. I hope I shall hear from you often now + think I shall soon be able to come to see you. I should like to be with you tomorrow but that can't be. Whether I shall be able to come by the holidays is uncertain. As soon as I can get leave you may be certain I shall be with you. A Pay Master's clerk just from Washington says, I am Lt Col of the 18th. This Regt for *unclear* Qr at Columbus. Love to all Goodbye L.B.B.#



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