8 May 1863: “I have just passed through another of the bloodiest battles of the war.”

Item Description:  Letter, dated 8 May 1863, from Corporal William H. Proffit to his parents.  In this letter Cpl. Proffit provides some details of the the bloody battle on the Rappahannock River, as well as gives an account of the dead and wounded.

Item Citation:  From folder 3 in the Proffit Family PapersSouthern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

May 8th 1863

Dear father and mother:

I avail myself of this opportunity of informing you that I am still alive and in good health, although I have just passed through another of the bloodiest battles of the war.  We have had another desperate battle on the Rappahannock, but I am glad to inform you that victory is ours.  Our Regiment was in the hardest part of the battle and suffered severely.  I received a wound in the jaw on Sunday evening and have since then been at the Hospital, but am not seriously injoured and will rejoin my company in a few days (The hospital to which I refer is near the battle field where the wounded were carried during the fight).  I have not received any correct news from our connection & friends in other Regts.  About 30 of our company are killed and wounded.  Thomas Ellen, William Pilkenton, John Pennel, Samuel Pennel and J. N. Martin have all died on the field.  John Estes had his right arm broken near his shoulder.  Sergt. D. M. Carlton was slightly wound but is now at the company.  Anderson Vannoy and, perhaps, others, of our co. who were your acquaintances are wounded.

I will write you again soon and give you fuller accounts.  I will also very soon write Saml Walsh Jr.


W. H. Proffit

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