Item Description: Letter from William Martin. He told of being involved in hard marching and heavy fighting at the battle of Cold Harbor near Chickahominy, Va. (7 June 1864). In the same letter, he noted that General Lee’s army was near by and that he had heard cannon every day since 13 May. Martin also described the poor rations, mentioning that the only meat available was mostly rotten bacon.
Item Citation: From the Hattie McIntosh Papers #4794, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
June 7th 1864
Camp near Chickahominy, Va
Miss H.R. McIntosh,
I once more avail myself of the opportunity of addressing you a short communication
this which will inform you that I am well at this time + hope when those lines come to hand they may find you all in the enjoyment of good health.
Since my last we have seen very hard times marching and fighting, we are now about 12 or 15 miles from Richmond at the R.R. bridge of the Richmond + York river RRoad where it crossed the Chickahominy river. Turn over
There is no troops here but our brigade and some cavalry and artillery Gen Lees army is all close here they are fighting more or less every day. Our artillery are firing on the enemy now. they are just across the river in sight of us we can see them any time we wish to. Today marks the 25 day since I have seen a quiet day I have heard the cannons every day since 13 May!
I hear the rattle of musketry since commenced to write the pickets are firing more than usual this morning perhaps there will be an engagement today but I hardly think there will be a fight today. Yesterday some of our men seen a Yankee Wagon Train three miles long. There is a thirty acre field about two miles from here filled with Yankee wagons and horses.
Perhaps something as to our fair would not be uninteresting we get plenty of corn bread and a half a pound of very offensive bacon which is nearly half rotten you may judge how much such meat as this I eat. Since commencing to write two companies of our regt (R and G) were sent to prevent the enemy from crossing the river we fired several times and they returned the fire but nobody hurt. Since morning we have moved about two miles up the river to Cokes’ ford the yankees are very plenty
Well Harriet I beg an apology for not writing more regular but I have not had time or chance. You might write occasionally and send in Mary’s letters for I have not the chance to write much and I always like to send a note home as often as practicable. Today the news is that Grant has taken Staunton They say Grant says he will try Richmond a few days more and if he does not succeed that we may take our Southern Confederacy and go to h__ll with it
Nomore at present but remain very Respectfully yours
Respects to family
W M. Martin
[From the top of the last page]
Give my kind regards to Julian S Bud