123rd New York Infantry soldier's letter/ Battle of Atlanta



Soldier’s Letter, 2 pages, 8vo., Head Quarters 1st Division, Supply Train, 3 miles North of Atlanta, Georgia, Saturday, July 23rd, 1864. Harlan P. Martin (Co. E, 123rd New York Infantry) writes pertaining to the Atlanta campaign and the Battle of Peach Tree Creek, Georgia.
“…The regiment was in a fight the 20th and lost heavily. Our brigade was used up pretty badly. John Davis was shot through the head and died yesterday about 2 o’clock PM. The ball went in the backside of his head and came out over his eye. Poor fellow lingered along time two days after he was shot, he never knew anything after he was hit. George Donly of our company from Hebron was killed and Alvin Gray, Robert McEachron, Sam Stiles and Darius Brown were wounded. Darius Brown is wounded slightly in the finger. The regiment lost 88 in killed and wounded. They lost the least of any regiment in the brigade. The 141st N.Y. had every officer but 2 killed and wounded and they have but 60 men left in the regiment. The rebels charged on our division in 6 or 7 lines of battle and they were repulsed with heavy loss. Our men had no breastworks and lost heavily but no so heavy as the rebels. They tried to break our center but failed to do it. Our train moved up 6 miles yesterday and we are now within 3 miles of Atlanta and within a mile of the front. We can see the edge of the city a few rods from here…They were building breastworks within a few rods of the rebel works. There was heavy fighting on the left towards night and the report is now that General McPherson was killed yesterday. They are cannonading some this morning. We could hear the cars as plain a could be running into Atlanta last night. Our regiment begins to look pretty small and if they keep on much longer there will be not much left of it. There is lots of dead rebels that are not buried on the battlefield, the maggots crawling over them…I don’t know as they ever will be buried…H.P.Martin, Co. E, 123rd N.Y.V., 1st Brig., 1st Div., 20 A.C., Chattanooga, Ten.”
Pencil, otherwise legible and fine. Comes with the original postally used cover.


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