Soldier writes as shells burst over him on the battlefield at Spotsylvania
May 8, 1864
The following was written 159 years, 7 months, ago.
It was a Sunday.
4th Regiment Co. G
May 8th 1864
My dear friend,
Amid the booming of cannons and the booming of shells once more, I pause to write you. I arrived at Army Hq. Monday & at Co. G. today where I am to be on duty for the present. We are now near Gaines’ Hill some thirteen miles from the Confederate Capital. Our batteries have been quiet most all day, till now, at 4 pm. There is heavy firing at twenty rods from here and the R’s are sending replies over our heads and planting them in the sand around us. I am almost as joyful to get here as I was to be home, not for the same reasons; however. I am glad to get on duty once more. We have heavy work before us, but I hope and pray we may be fully successful, but Abbie–no one, not connected with the Army can realize the resulting losses. It, as hardened as soldiers are said to become, brings the tears to my eyes to look over the handful of men we have left in the Reg’t.
I have received three letters here, forwarded from Annapolis, but none from you. Why is it; why can it be. I watch the mail with hope each day. Do write soon and often. Direct to me as follows. W. B. Stevens, 4th Vt. Infty, Washington, D.C. With sincere affection, I am ever as ever;
W. B. Stevens