Line of Battle
July 13th 63
After I wrote you the other day, from Tilmington we soon halted, & prepared to stay for the night. As bad luck would have it, I was Detailed for Picket, or rather to support Skirmishes.
After Marching an hour or two, we were posted for the night, we staid here until 3 in the morning when we were ordered to advance, as they had moved the line. Yesterday all day, we were Reserve for the Skirmishes & had to keep just so far in the rear of them. In the afternoon it got to be rather Hot, as the Sharpshooters, had pretty good Range of us.
Last night about 9 PM, I was Relieved & on my return to Camp found all my back Mail Which I was very glad to get. I suppose you are very anxious about me at home. well you may be, there is Danger here all the time Both on Picket & Skirmishing. Thus far I have come out all right, & I hope it will continue so. I shall run no needless risks but I shall do my Duty, whatever I do. There will be an awful Fight in my opinion here, if we act on the offensive, then I do not think we shall loose [sic] many men. but if we act on the Defensive, & attack them, then the men will be Slaughtered, by Wholesale.
We have a Heavy Force here & our Line of Battle completely surrounds them. This Fight will be the last for a month or so, Wither we shall win a glorious Victory, & Defeat Lee, or we shall be repulsed & have to fall back & [recruit] up. It was reported yesterday that we had 500 Pieces of Artillery here, We are all satisfied in regard to the result Though we should prefer to starve them out which we know we could do. We have got them Surrounded & they have got no chance to get Supplies. We can hold them where they are. If this Battle will (end) in the Total Defeat of Lee, & I be spared, then I shall feel, fully paid for all my Troubles. I think after the Battle, We shall rest, for a month or two so to recruit the men up, God knows they need it.
I can not tell you [how] glad I am to hear from you, now more then ever. Write just as often as possible. It does me a great deal of Good. You may be sure I shall write just as often as possible. This morning I am nearly tired out but writing home, rests me somehow. Kiss Maggie for me, Enclosed I send Maggie & Rosa a Ring. Tell them I made it for them