Letter to brother describing artillery fire before Petersburg
July 30, 1864
The following was written 154 years, 5 months, 18 days ago.
It was a Saturday.
U. S. Christian Commission
Before Petersburg Va.
July 30th 1864
I received your letter this morning and was very glad to hear from you and also glad that you have got big enough to write to me now. Nettie has gone and I want you to write me real often and write all the news. You would like to be here this morning and hear the cannonading. We were turned out at two o’ clock last night and got in to our breastworks and lay till four when evry Battery we had along the line all opened at once. It was all planned beforehand and you never heard such a noise in your life. The Rebels attempted to reply but out guns soon silenced them and they are as still as mice. We are damageing their Forts a great deal. It is seven o’ clock and it is still going on. Our shells sat several buildings afire inside of their lines and they are all burning now. You said Colbrook had bought the Pews Place and moved up. You never wrote me where Ben Weld went to. Whether he went to Cals, or not.
I guess I got all the papers that you send. I get some most evry week. I am better than I was when I was to the hospital, but I am not well and do not think I will be again till cold weather. But do not have much to do so I get along pretty well. The living comes the hardest to me. I do not want but a little but what I do eat I want something besides hard bread. I will have to close now. Write often and I will do the same. You will have to pay the postage on this letter as I have no stamps nor cannot get any. I sent to Mother for some the other day. From your brother,
John H. Frain