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Read Family Correspondence

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Document Type: Autograph Letter

Author: Thomas Griffin Read
Date: July 11-12, 1863
Place: Camp near Hagerstown, Maryland
To: Martha White Read

Physical Description: Ink on paper; 6 pages (16 x 11 cm and 8 x 11 cm) on 2 folded sheets

Number: MSN/CW 5015-16

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Page 1      Images: 150 DPI100 DPI72 DPI

Camp near Hagerstown Md.
July 11th/63
Dear Wife,

     Yours of the 25th of June came to hand three days ago, & I ought to have answered directly, but you may imagine how we are situated here, & that there is no regular mail; am glad to hear that you were all well, & the news seemed more welcome as we are so much farther apart. We are now camped (just stopped) about midway between Hagerstown & Williamsport, it being six miles from the former to the latter place

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We've had no regular camp since we've been in Md. & Pa., and have had but very little rest we are all tired out, & rest now is one thing needful. I suppose you've heard of the fight near Gettysburg; our division was in it the second day, & fought the enemy in their breastworks on top of a hill; we were all in it, & our Brigade was in twice from about 4 o'clock A.M. till eleven, when we withdrew, and came back about 1 o'clock, staying until about 10 o'clock when we moved out, though the fight had been over several hours. I cant give you any particulars of the fight, except as to our Regt. which

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was not heavy, neither was there a heavy loss in the Brigade; our Captain (Eastham) [i.e., Captain George C. Eastham, Company I, 33rd Virginia Infantry] was killed the evening before the fight while we were lying in line of battle, & during the skirmishing we suppose he was killed with a ball (overshot) coming from the skirmishers on the other side the ball entered the head above the ear, & came out about the top. he was not heard to say anything after being shot. H. Brown [i.e., Private Henry T. Brown, Company I, 33rd Virginia Infantry] was wounded, and the only one that was not taken off the field, whether he was killed, or taken prisoner afterwards we have not yet heard there were some seven others of our Comp. wounded, but they are all said to be across the river, & I suppose on their way

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home, nine of our field officers were hurt, & I think only six were killed out of the Regt. Thanks be to God, the most of us came out safe, & are still left to praise, & thank Him for all His mercy, & kindness towards us Sinners.- Take it altogether, we've had an easy & a hard time, the most of the time, we had plenty to eat. we drew sugar, mulasses, coffee, & have had plenty of beef we also got plenty of cherries, but they are now all gone, am glad you have some of them at home, put up as many as you can, they will come in so well in winter - I was very sick the other night in my bowels, & stomach, having pain nearly all night, but I am now about as well again as usual having taken some laudnum & salts of the Dr. & resting two days back with the wagons.

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Sabbath morning July 12th

Dear M; I have just arisen from a pleasant sleep that I had last night & after thanking God for his goodness in preserving us, and permitting us to enjoy it, I am now finishing my letter that I commenced on yesterday - This is a cloudy morning & it threatened ran all night

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though it still looks something like clearing off. Forgot to tell you that we have been in line of battle since yesterday 10 o'clock, & yesterday our men threw up breastworks of rails & rocks all afternoon & we now have a very good place to get behind if the enemy should attack us here - which no one thinks probable, but the work may prevent a fight & in that way do great good - God grant it! The reason we have stopped so close to the river is - that there is no way to cross yet, though they are fixing a bridge now of boats which will be done in a day or two

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Transcription last modified: 01 Mar 2007 at 01:36 PM EST

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