9 May 1864: “We have met the enemy at last and so far we have whipped him completely…”

Item Description:  Letter dated 9 May 1864, from James Augustus Graham to his mother.  This letter describes a skirmish with Yankees and the injuries and deaths within Graham’s company following the confrontation.  In terms of his own injuries, Graham tells his mother, “Do not be at all uneasy about me as I have only a flesh wound and am doing first-rate.” James Augustus Graham was a resident of Hillsborough, N.C., and an officer in Company G (Orange Guards), 27th North Carolina Infantry Regiment, Confederate States of America.9May18641 9May18642 9May18643Item Citation:  Letter dated 9 May 1864, found in folder 3 of the James Augustus Graham Papers, #283, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

 Item Transcription:

Gordonsville, Va
May 9th, 1864
We have met the enemy at last and so far we have whipped him completely and I hope will continue to do so until we kill them out or drive them across the Rappahannock.
On last Wednesday (4th inst) we left camp about 12 o’clock and started down the Plank Road towards Fredersicksburg. We reached Mine Run about 15 miles from Orange C.H. that night, The Yankees had thrown their whole force across the River during the day. On Thursday morning about daylight we started again our division being in front, Kirkland’s Brigade leading and ours next. About 7 o’clock we came upon the Yankees and Kirklands Brigade was thrown into line of battle across the plank-road, skirmishers thrown forward, and soon we commenced driving the enemy. Kirkland’s Brigade drove them till 11 o’clock (about 6 miles). Our Brigade was then thrown to the front and relieved Kirkland. We drove them for about an hour (about 2 miles) when we came upon their tine of Battle. Our skirmishers fought their line of battle for some time, but were at last compelled to fall back to our line of battle which was formed and ready for the Yanks. We were in the thickest forest of little trees that I ever saw. About four o’clock the enemy advanced upon us three lines deep and soon we were at it hot and heavy. Though greatly out numbered, our Brigade and Davis’ which were in line stuck to them. After a short while they flanked or brigade on the right, but still we stood and fought them until Walker’s Brigade was thrown in to help us. I don’t know very much about the movements after this as I was struck about this time and had to get to the rear. I was struck by a minnie ball about two or three inches above the knee. The ball has not been extracted yet, but I am getting along splendidly and will get a first rate 60 days furlough. I expect to go to Richmond today or tomorrow.
Our Co suffered pretty severely. The loss as far as I know is as follows viz killed – R.C. Davis – wounded Sergt T.B. Whitted in head, Serg’t O.F. Hatch in leg & taken prisoner, Corp’l Jas. Miles in shoulder, Private Wm H Crabtree – in hip, G. M. Dorothy in face, M. Delany – arm broken, A.J. Forrest – hand, slight, D.C. Paul – hip, slight, M.Ray hand, slight, E.H. Strayhorn – neck, slight, Wm Thompson – head.
I was not with the Company during the fight, but was with Gen Cooke, and don’t know whether this is a full list or not. Maj. Webb had his arm broken on Friday Morning by a Yankee sharp shooter. He is with me and is getting along splendidly. I don’t think our Brigade has been actively engaged since Thursday evening, but can hear very little from the battle field except that we whip them every time and are still driving them.
Capt. Walker Anderson, Ord. Off. of our Brigade was mortally wounded Thursday evening and died about 9 o’clock that night. I must close. Do not be at all uneasy about me as I have only a flesh wound and am doing first-rate. Love to all. I remain
Your affectionate Son
James A. Graham
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