63rd Pennsylvania Infantry soldier's letter/ Battle of Fair Oaks



Soldier’s Letter, 4 pages, 8vo., Camp Heintzelman’s Corps, Battlefield Fair Oaks (Virginia), June 21st 1862. Sergeant John R. Guthrie (Co. F, 63rd Pennsylvania Infantry, killed 8/29/62 at 2nd Bull Run, Virginia) writes to his wife on a rare Genl. McClellan patriotic lettersheet:
“…I have not been very well for sometime but at the sametime I can scarcely say I’m sick…We have moved camp once since I last wrote only about 1/2 mile. We lay pretty near the front. McClellan is entrenching our line from right to left & building redoubts to work cannon in. “Secesh” was very restive yesterday. They kept up a wicked cannonading commensing on the right in the morning but give the left a touch in the evening. This morning they threw a few shots and shell. One shot went brooming over our Camp away into the woods on the other side & one fell just to one side the camp. Lt. McGonegle has been in the Hospital from about the 4th or 5th of June with fever, this morning Doct Markes’ negro boy came up to tell Capt. Reed that he died last night. This will be sad news for Mrs. McGonegle. He is the third member of our company that came off safe from the battle field of the 31st of last month to be stricken down with disease.
The Regt. is out today on Picket duty. I did not go out as I did not feel very well…I’m still in hopes that Richmond will decide the war with Secession…Our Regt. has got no pay yet in about ten days more we will have four months due. We are pretty near all strapped. I have been nearly all the time since pay day. I would give one dollar for one quart of good rich milk. It is over three months since we got any soft bread except one days rations while at Fortress Monroe. I can scarcely bear the sight of them & often dont eat two per day when there is beans soup or rice soup. Ten or twelve crackers is a ration per day…J.R.Guthrie”.
Very Fine.


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