Coit, Charles M. (1838-1878) to his family
Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03603.226
Author/Creator: Coit, Charles M. (1838-1878)
Place Written: Virginia
Type: Autograph letter signed
Date: 23 April 1863
Pagination: 3 p.
Summary of Content: Writes that the regiment has established a camp near the portion of the river that they are trying to defend. Comments about Colonel Ward having command over a few regiments as a ”compliment for his gallant behavior” when he took control of all the troops. Says that he is unsure of the ”shape of the enemy” and that his field glass is very useful.
People: Coit, Charles M.
Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877
Full Transcript: Temporary Camp Thursday eveng Apr, 23., Dear All, After lying out, with only such shelter as we could find from day to day & in all kind of weather, for al- most two weeks we have obtained a lot of A tents & have established a temporary camp near the portion of the River that we are to defend. I have a tent to myself and am quite comfortable. By order of Genl Getty, Col Ward has com mand of all the troops (8th & 21st Connt, 19th Wisconsin & part of 25th N Jersey Regts) for the defense of a certain portion of the River. I think this command is given him in com- pliment for his gallant behavior across the river Sunday night, he then commanded - all - the troops that side until morning when he was relieved by Col. Dutton. On that occasion he showed both judgement & ability as well as great courage. Yesterday & to day we have been making gabbions & I presume continue the same tomorrow. Our job also includes the making of a large number of - fascines -. George must find the meanings of those two words. Genl Harland mounted his ”star” a day or two since. Wm Bond sent him a very handsome pair of shoulder straps by Capt. Moore. Genl Harland commands a long line of works. I dont know what troops he has under him. Every one appears to be entirely in the dark respecting the designs of the enemy. I cannot believe that we have opposed to us any thing more than an immense foraging party who sham a siege of the city while they search the country round for provisions of every kind. The great question with us is whether our Generals know as much about the enemy opposed to us as they ought. Certainly two weeks is time sufficient to ascertain something respecting their designs. We learn to day that the enemy have advanced their rifle pits to within two hundred and fifty yards of the forts & breastworks round the upper portion of the city, near our camp, and from their rifle pits their sharpshooters can pick off the gun- ners of the guns of the fort. - Friday noon. Got so far & had to leave & go out in the storm with two Co s. to support a battery over night and now we have orders to report to Genl Dodge with one days rations. Whats up I dont know but I think we have more than our share to do. I was intending to sleep the chief part of to day as I lost last night. Must pull on my boots & get ready. My field glasses have been of great service to me. I have it with me continually. Carry it instead of a pistol. Best love always, Love, Chas
Keywords/Subjects: Civil War;, Military History;, Union Forces;, Union Soldier’s Letter;, Soldier’s Letter;, Confederate States of America;, Military Supplies;
Sub Era: The American Civil WarOrder Image