September 2, 1863

Headquarters Eleventh Corps, Army of the Potomac.

My dear mother:

The day I wrote you from Washington (last Saturday) at half past seven in the evening we reached Catlett’s Station …I found my horses all looking well after their long rest.  Yesterday Otis reviewed one of the  Brigades and today another.  He has just returned from the Review.  I have been at home as my presence was not required and have been listening to music both from Piano and melodeon by a Capt of General Schurz’s staff.  Monday Otis with manual assistance from me and an occasional help of memory or other suggestion, made out his report of the battle of Gettysburg.  I was writing from early in the morning until late in the evening, but finished it all up in one day, 37 pages on paper like this.  I am writing in my tent which is shared by Capt. Stinson who is now sitting upon my Cot.  Our tent is just in [illeg. word] of the house, north, under the shade of locust trees.  Little Lottie Catlett is just in here, a little girl of 5 or 6, prattling and playing.  She is quite a roguish little piece. …

Charles Henry Howard to his mother, Eliza Otis Howard [Charles Henry Howard Collection]

August 3, 1863


To J.L. Chamberlain, Dear Sir

Your very kind and gentlemanly letter was received to night and on behalf of all our family, friends, we deem it a very great kindness, that you, a total stranger, should send us tidings, of so precious and yet so sad a moment.

We have never heard from my brother, since that terrible batter at G–g. and have long since mourned him as dead, and it will be a kindness the memory of which death only can efface, if you will forward the book to C.H. Towne Esq. Rockville, Ct.

Very Respectfully, M.S.Morse.

M.S. Morse to Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain [Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain Collection]

July 9, 1863

Hd. qrs. 11th Corps, Boonesboro Gap Md

My dear Major

I received your letter while we were at Gettysburg and feel grateful for it. You know very well how difficult it is to write upon an active Campaign and I have never written so few letters as since we reached Md. and Penna. In fact we never drove business quite so hard before. Day before yesterday we marched about 30 miles. Our Corps is in advance of all. Schurtz Divn. went forward beyond Boonesboro last night to support Buford’s Cavalry which had been fighting all day – The other two Divns. took up position on the sides (west) of the mountain to hold the Gap at all hazards until the other Corps get up […]

Charles Henry Howard and Oliver Otis Howard to Major Eliphalet Whittlesey [Oliver Otis Howard Papers]

July 4, 1863

7-4 SheaRectoGettysburg

Dear Father and Mother Brother and Sisters

I will write a few lines to you This being the last that I ever shall write I was wounded with a mimie ball the second day of July in the left Brest but I die like a hero [inkblot] that I have done my duty in defence of my country It is a glorious death to die Most all of our Co is killed or wounded it was a hard fought Battle but our men are victorious their was been no fighting to day tell the folks that I dies a glorious Death

I must close Good by now and forever

Weep not for me, S B Shea





7-4 SheaVerso[verso]

Gettysburg July 10 /63

Mr Shea This letter you Son rote it was the last he ever had the privilage to tell you he fell Your Son don his whole duty to his God and his cuntry and he diede with his Sences and he did not apear to sufer much He was struck in the left Brest and I think it past through his Lunge He had as good care taken of him as could be expected placd where we are I have done all I could for him and all the rest of our Com but he like some others of our Com, could mot Live with the Best of care he diede the 9th of this month at [illegible] in the evening and was buried this morning He did not say anything about home Poor fellow he has Fought his last Battle died like all true Soldiers. I was wounded the same day he was buy slight. I now am attending on the rest of our company, it is a horred sight to see some of them, we buried poor James Heal this morn with your Son, he likewise died at four yesterday eve he I think did not sense anything he was left of the field for dead, and the fourth day after the fight I reconised him and tried to bring him too but failed he never tasted anything for eight days I tried to get some down but could not and he died the eight day after the fight our Loss is heavy and we all done our duty nobely and our core Saved the Battle So dead Sir I say with your Son if we [illegible] all fall we die like heroes to save our Beloved Country and thank God we have come [illegible]ctorous with great victory.

With respect to you I write this to you to let you know how he diede and we buried him well. Jesse Mitchell Co K 19th Maine Vol

Samuel Beal Shea and Jesse Mitchell to Shea Family [Civil War Miscellany]