Letter about the slaughter at the second Battle of Bull Run


Date Written

Sept. 3, 1862

History Referenced

Reuben Herbine was 24 years old when this was written.
It was written 161 years, 20 days ago.
It was a Wednesday.

Camp near Alexandra
Virginia Sept 3, 1862

Dear Brother,

I take the pleasure to enforme (inform) a few lines to you to leve you know that I am a life yet. God spared my life through all this hard fighting ware we had. I will tell you that we were fighting some times day and night. I was in three battels. The first fight we had was at Keley’s Fort (Kelly’s Ford) and then we had a hard fight at Bristo Station. There the shels bursted over my head that the peses (pieces) blue on me and the musket balls would a round my head like a swarm of beas (bees).

The next battel we had was at the Bull Run Battel ground. There our battery was fighting too days that was the greatest battel that was fought yet. You ought to seen the dead and wounded there. I seen thousands of them. Some had the legs shot of (off) and some the arms and some had half of the fase (face) shot off. I can not rite to you all how it made. I do not hope to God that I must see such a slauter (slaughter) again. Our battery had very good luck. We had only one man a little wounded and four horses kild and one cannon carage shot of, but I will tell you the balls pased my head not 2 inches of. I do not want to get in a nother battel if I can help it. We are all most worn out now. We had no sleep and nothing to eat. Most of the time we had nothing for our horses for four days all redy eat. They are most dead.

I hope the war will soon be over. I can tel you all a bout it. I never herd the los of lives yet but I ges it can’t under fifteen thousand. The Rebels got the best of you. They drove you back. The Rebels fight well. Our hole forse is here at Washington now. There will be some great fighting don in a few days. In all theas battles that you seen in the paper that was fought for the last too weaks our battery was in duing her duty. In my next letter I will rite you more a bout this. I am hardly abel to rite. We are wore out now.

I got your leter wit your picture in it. I was glad to see you. Rite soon.

Direct your leters to

Cap Durell’s Battery
Gen Reno’s Division
Washington D. C.

Reuben Herbine

Scans of Letter