June 10, 1863

Headquarters Eleventh Corps, Near Brooke’s Sta., Va


I received a good letter from you in which you compare the unsettled condition of your house to my reputation. I hope you have not worked out that business by yourself. […]

Oliver Otis Howard to his wife, Elizabeth Ann Waite [Oliver Otis Howard Collection]

June 9, 1863

Headquarters Eleventh Corps, Va.

Dear Sister Lizzie,

Otis has gone out to inspect the camps of one of his Divns and said to me as he was leaving that he had intended to write you this morning and asked me to do so. […]

Gen. [illegible] has been next up river with a Brigade of Infantry and some Artillery in conjunction with a Cavalry force and this moment I hear very distant firing.

Charles Henry Howard to his sister-in-law, Elizabeth Ann Waite [Oliver Otis Howard Papers]



June 8, 1863

Head quarters 11. S. Forces

Hilton Head, S.C.

Capt. Wm. M. McArthur, Judge Advocate

Captain –

Upon looking over the Records I find that the charge against Sergt. R. Sulton, 1st S.C. Vols. were received and forwarded to you from this office June 2nd 1863. They must consequently be in your possesion.

Very Respectfully, Your Off. Servant , S.S. Stevens

S.S. Stevens to William McArthur [McArthur Family Papers]


June 6, 1863

Camp 20th Maine Vols. Ellis’ Ford Va.

Dear Brother N.

We are having a taste of a soldier’s life just now. We were at U.S. Ford when I last wrote you if I remember correctly. We have had so much changing about of late that I have almost lost my recurring of letters and time — we remained at the ford doing picket duty till Thursday 4th and then received orders to move and down came our tents which we had got so nicely changed and off we started up the river on the [illegible] road.

Remained for the night in a grass field and in the morning came to our present camp distant from U.S. Ford about 14 miles. Are now encamped in a beautiful camp needs on dry ground and good water near – are about 1/4 mile from the river. […]

Holman Melcher to brother, Nathaniel Melcher [Holman Melcher Papers]

June 5, 1863

5Friday.  One of the large rebel guns sent a dozen shells over to our right last evening, but whether they did any harm, I do not know.  Our guns replied but two or three times, very little musketry firing in the night.  This morning there is the usual amount, but no big guns yet.  The weather continues the same day after day—clear & pleasant with a hot sun in the middle of the day.  How the Siege progresses we do not know, as we are confined to a small spot.  We hope, however, that some progress is making[!], & that we shall soon be able to rejoice over the capture of this last stronghold of rebellion in this State.  May God grant us this great favor, & spare life if consistent with his holy will.  At 9 A.M. went out on the breast works in command of half the picket guard, Capt. Crosby having the other half.  Posted the men in the rifle pits, 7 behind the shelters, three or four men on a post.  Each man stands at the breat work an hour & is then relieved by another.  We are perhaps a third of a mile from the rebel breast work, from which an occasional rifle shot comes, but no one has yet been hit.  During the forenoon Gen’ls Banks, Grover & Weitzell came along the line, & inspected the batteries.  Preparations are making for placing more guns or mortars on this part of the works.  Continue reading

June 4, 1863

2Had a quiet night, very little artillery firing, but about the usual amount of musketry.  Slept well & turned out at sunrise, Breakfast of bread, & a small ration of boiled pork & beef brought in.  Our three days are out this forenoon, but do not know whether we are to be relieved today.  Finished up my letter to Pamelia and sent it by the Chaplain, who is going to the landing this morning.  He saw Capt. Blodget of the 14th Maine yesterday.  He was well, & sent regards home.  The Chaplain has ridden the whole length of our lines, & says there is great activity in mounting guns & mortars, & that there is the utmost confidence felt in regard to the result of the siege.  God grant that we may realize our highest expectations & may be spared to see the old flag waving over these rebel works.  Lt. R. arrived about noon with Edgar Holbrook, Stevens, Baker & Ramsdell, having come in yesterday.  We have now 42 enlisted men present, including Ames, who [illeg. word] back near the cook’s quarters.  Wm. Brown, & Small, we left at Baton Rouge, but presume they will soon be able to come up.  Little artillery firing today, but preparations appear to be making for some soon.  I am to go on picket tomorrow for the first time since we have been here.

Diary of Isaac Winslow Case [Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection]

June 3, 1863

Headquarters Eleventh Corps
Near Brooke Station VA,

My dear brother,

We were glad to get your letter directed to Otis, but intended for me I thought.

Tonight it is quite cool and comfortable. I hear the bands playing in almost every direction and if I could lose the consciousnous that we were in the midst of hideous war (as I often do) it would be quite pleasant. You speak of your future occupation. I see no opening in the Army for you but something may yet “turn up”.

Otis wrote in answer to some private catechisms on the subject – that he thought his duty lay in the Field and that some one else better be selected as the nominee for Governor. You were wise not to give any opinion as to his accepting.

I hear you sustained the Senior dignity while at Bath.

We move our Hd. qrs tomorrow into the woods not more than 1/4 mile from here. […]

Charles Henry Howard to Rodelphus Gilmore [Charles Henry Howard Collection]

June 2, 1863

1Tuesday.  Had some hot coffee & boiled pork & bacon brought in for breakfast about 7 ½ o’clock.  While lying here this morning some bullets have dropped among us within a few feet, one of them just grazing the leg of one of the men, but He who observes the fall of the sparrow has preserved  us—praises to his holy name.  Commenced a pencil letter to Pamelia, describing our situation.  Shall add more when I know more.  The folks at home are ignorant of our whereabouts, & for that reason cannot have the anxiety they otherwise would.  Lord, preserve them all, & give them full trust in thee.  Had salt beef & coffee brought in for dinner, & this P.M. have issued two days rations of bread.  Our guns have been pretty busy this afternoon, but they get no reply.  About dark we moved our position a little as the shells are expected to fly thick & fast tonight.  I put my trust in thee, O God.  Slept quietly, few large guns being fired during the night.  Was waked once by a pretty sharp musketry fire.

Diary of Isaac Winslow Case [Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection]

June 1, 1863

F[air]fax Station is only a place to land supplies.  The Court House is a small place, but the field is full of camps.  The soldiers were all eager for reading. … The old c[ourt] house is nothing but a shell, a miserable dirty store room.  The church is all stript inside & has been [used] for a stable. … Just out in the woods was where Gen. Kearney was killed.  Heard heavy firing.  Said to be fighting at Snicker’s Gap.

Diary of Jonathan Edwards Adams [Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection]