Romulus Loveridge, 3rd U.S.C.I., March 5, 1864
Head Quarters 2nd Brigade SFosters Division
Jacksonville Fla. March 5th 1864
I have just rolled out of bed + without perfecting my
toilet set down to write a line to go in the boat leaving this morning.
You will excuse me for believing you anxious to know whether I wasnt in
+ if so, whether I came out of the late fight. By special permission of Genl.
Seymour I was allowed to go to the front with Col. M. (the 3rd U.S.C.T. has not been under
Col. M. since landing here + that it was not to be was plain to me long before we
went to the front) For that occasion the 54th Mass + 1st N.C.V were assigned to
Col. M. + his brigade formed the rear of the column, in the march. The brigade got
into action a half hour later than the others - the 54th Mass on the left + the 1st
N.C.V. near the centre. Both regiments were exposed to a raking fire + behaved well
lost heavily. The 1st N.C.V. lost several valuable officers. Capt. Jewett - a.a.a.c. when we were
at the Head - was wounded in the neck. He was serving with his regiment leaving me alone
with Col. M. “How did I feel?” “I had no time to feel.” Conscious of the nearness of danger yet I did not ex-
pect to be injured. I was animated + entered into the spirit of the fight. I wanted to drive
ahead + thrash the “rebs”. My horse was wounded in right fore + hind legs - each bullet burry
ing itself + passing through. My sword scabbard (steel) was bent by a bullet. Your humble
servant - thanks to Our Heavenly Father - was uninjured. Near dusk, while I was riding
in search of the Genl. for orders - a rebel regiment or strong line of skirmishers halted me, whereupon
I answered that I was “all right,” “union + in search of the Gen.” whereupon they opened upon me, nearly 50 bullets
whizzing about me before I got out of range. I wonder they did not let me ride along + take
me prisoner. We were under fire 3 1/2 hours - but it seemed no more than half an hour. One is so ab-
sorbed in the fight that he thinks of nothing else. I have no time to write particularly - everything
not personal you will get in the papers. Excuse my saying, Col. M. told me he had praised my conduct in
the fight more highly at my back, that he could do at my face. Colonel Tilghman is comdg a Brigade +
has had me relieved of duty with Col. M. + assigned to duty as actg ordnance officer on his own staff.
How are you prospering? What news from Home? your friend Loveridge.
Wednesday Mar 9. I hope it will not be a breach of friendship if I forward this letter from Loveridge.
Your own good sense will show you that it was not intended for circulation, and limit
its use accordingly. Yet I think it will not interest you more than a secondhand version through me.
George Bissell called on me an hour ago, and we had a very pleasant little visit. He looks very
well. Is paymaster on the U.S. Stmr Mary Lanford one of the Charleston Blockading fleet. She
came to Hilton Head yesterday and returns tomorrow this afternoon to her station off Sullivan’s
Island. The Mary Lanford lay only a half mile distant from the Housatonic at the time
the latter was sunk by a forpedo and it was by the merest chance Bissell was
saved from being sent “sky-high” instead of the other. He tells some funny stories
of the torpedo panic that has since prevailed, every empty barrel or floating
log looms in the darkness to a “monster of the deep”. Once, Fort Wagner, the
picket boats + a gunboat opened with all arms, and bombarded an old
stump with the greatest fury till the mistake was discovered. There is good cause
for caution however + the vessels of the fleet now keep under way all night instead
of lying at anchor as before. Cornelius.