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


4 pages


Camp between Dodd's Tavern + Spottsylvania CH. May 13. 64 My Dear Wife: A mail leaves camp to-day + I avail myself of the opportunity of telling you how I was + how I have been getting along. In the first place, then, I have escaped untouched so far, altho eight officers out of seventeen have been killed or wounded and one half of my men are killed, wounded or missing. We have had an eight days' fight and will have more fighting before the enemy is dislodged from his present position. Hill Lowe and myself were together in the fight yesterday morning. He also has escaped so far. The losses of the enemy have been very heavy - forty one *divs* of the entire army being hors de combat. The fellows who got slightly wounded early in the fight have been the lucky ones. I should be very happy to exchange places with some of them. I sent you a note after our first fight, which I hope has reached you and relieved you of your anxiety to some extent. This will relieve your mind still further, *since* I know you will be uneasy until the thing is over and you know how I have come out of these battles. Fighting is a beastly business, and I am sick of it. Here I have been fighting the rascals for eight days + have not seen a single one of them except as prisoners. Their balls have fallen around me like hail and their shells have exploded over and around me in perpetual succession for hours at a time. My regiment has been worse than decimated, for *since* the enemy was so completely concealed by the thick pine woods that it was impossible to see them. The *way* we fight now is this; we find the enemy in occupying a wood and go in to attack him. The bullets whiz past and inform us that he is in front, where upon we begin to fire, and blaze away for hours with out *seeing* each other. The enemy is generally concealed in rifle pits while we have nothing to protect us. *Recordings* our loss *exceeds* theirs very much tho' they are reported to have suffered *dearly*. We have seen no newspapers since we crossed the Rapid Ann + read no letters. I hope we shall get some soon. ~ I wonder who has been appointed into the Bureau of *unclear*. I *care* not the man I *supposed* *?* has *escaped* so far; Putnam *(Leapt)* is away; Stacey is with the waggons than been in no danger. In the Wilderness I saw some of the most beautiful wood-violets that I ever saw. I gathered some where we did the first fighting after we crossed the river. The two upper petals are a fine very dark purple, while the others are a much pale blue than ours. I send you also a little white flower, gathered at *Germanna* Ford, just after we crossed. The little yellow flowers I got on the battle-field of May 9th. Try my dear to keep up your spirits + cheerfulness. I may get out without being hurt, after all. It is said this morning that the enemy has disappeared from our front - but I do not think it quite true. Give my love to all for *unclear* + kiss our dear little ones for me. Thine Till The End L B Bruen



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