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  (transcriptions only)

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Manuscripts of the American Civil War
John M. Jackson Letters

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Document Type: Autograph Letter Signed

Author: John M. Jackson
Date: June 5, 1864
Place: Near Cold Harbor, Virginia
To: Betsey Mower Jackson

Physical Description: Pencil on paper; 4 pages (21 x 13 cm.) on 1 folded sheet

Number: MSN CW 5017-19

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Page 1      Images: 150 DPI100 DPI72 DPI

Behind a breast work said to be 8 miles from Richmond Va.
June 5th 1864
Dear Mother

     I have thus far written every time there has been a chance to send letters but now we have communication with White House Landing & they tell us we can send a mail every morn. I cannot write again until I get something to write on.
     We have seen another sharp fight [i.e., the battle of Cold Harbor, 1-3 June 1864] & this time we had the misfortune to lose our dear Capt. [i.e., Captain William R. Ham, Co. D, 32nd Maine Infantry] A better officer never entered the field. We have met with a loss that can never be made up to us. Benj. Larrabee [i.e., Private Benjamin B. Larrabee, Co. D, 32nd Maine Infantry] was also killed. A braver soldier or a more willing boy for duty never lived. Our Co. was sent forward on the skirmish line. I dont think our officers knew the position of the enemy. if they had I dont think we should ever have been sent there but

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God can protect a man any where let the bullets come thick as they will. I dont realize as I should my obligation to my Maker & my dependence on Him still I trust Him as I never did before. This seems but little like the Sabbath. The rebs have a battery over here that they occasionally shell us a bit but none of our boys have been hurt today. there is continual skirmishing in our front but that dont amount to much any way. our fight came off Friday & it was the first fight we have been in when it seemed to do any good whatever. this time we whipped them good though they were strongly intrenched in pits & we had to advance on them. Our Co. or what of them went forward were under the fire of both lines. Corp. Wm H. Nevens [i.e., Corporal William H. Nevens, Co. D, 32nd Maine Infantry] was severely but I think not dangerously wounded two others were wounded that you dont know. We have lost seven killed

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& eighteen wounded in all & two or three are missing probably prisoners. We now muster but eighteen muskets & have no commissioned officer with us. I expect our Sergt. Maj. will soon be commissioned & take command of our Co. he is from very near the Col's. region & was in the 27th Me I like him very well & I want some officers. I have not suffered from any of any consequence but "hard tack" has been sold from our Co. for $1.00 a cake & I am told that this morn. a man offered $5.00 for one cake. Today rations came by way of White House Landing & there was a great amount came so I hope the boys will not suffer any more. I have had a chance to make any quantity of money out the boys by taking advantage of their hunger but I cannot do it. I have given away considerable when I had any that I could spare but have not sold a cake as yet

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     I hope to write pleasanter things soon but I have to write what I see at present. I cannot write more now for the mail is going out now I was struck three times this last fight but was not much wounded I should have gone off the field if the Capt had not been hit so bad.
     Pray for me

Your son

I love my folks more & more

Transcription last modified: 11 Nov 2004 at 11:05 AM EST

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