William Smith, 14th C.V.I., August 11, 1864


William Smith, 14th C.V.I., August 11, 1864


United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Sources
United States. Army--Pay, allowances, etc.
Siege of Petersburg (Virginia : 1864-1865)
Presidents -- United States -- Election -- 1864


William Smith writes to his wife about missing money that he sent her, picket duty outside Petersburg, the danger from snipers, the large number of desertions, and the conduct of the election in the camp.




Camp 14th – C V in front of Petersburg
Dear wife I received your long locked
for letter and was Sorrey to hear you had
not got the money I rote you a letter the
4th day of August and a long letter
to with 20 dollors in it george he sent
twenty allso he directed the letter to you
in care of Mr Hubbard the Same as
he allways did but it tis gone it tis
hard earned monney to loose it know Dear
wife we neaver had Duty as we have it
know there was for 8 days I never slept
in the camp but 6 hours and a half
it tis on the Skermish line or on the
breast works all the time it tis a hard
place but it tis all in Soldgering there
is not a day but what there is Duty
Duty it tis pretty cold hear nights we are
within Speaking Distance of the Johneyes
we donth have mutch firing in the day time
but at night Zip Zip all the while there
is a good many gets wounded with
the Sharp Shooters in day time it
[page 2]
tis a nise sight in the night time to See
them when the open there mortors the comince
on both sides the burst up in the air
we can see them in the night but we cannot
See them in the day but we can hear
them Dear wife there was one of the band
wounded yesterday abbout a mile in the
rare the bullets whistles through our camp
all the while we have got so used to
them we donth mind them I donth See
how it tis that there is not more
wounded than what there is when we
go on the Skermish line it tis dark
So as the Johneys cannot see us we
have got a place cut through abbout
8 feet high for a road so as we
can get on the Skermish line Some
times we are in pretty good friends
with the Johneys but the have orders
to fire when the are going to fire the
will Sing out lay down yank So
then the will fire over our heads
there is Quiet a number of our
[page 3]

men diserting to the Johneyes the have So
mutch duty to do there is two of them
to be Shot to day the ware cot before
the got into the Johneys lines 7th new york
we have come to a Stand know we
can See petersburg Quiet plain the
have had Quiet a fire last night
the bells was ringing for a long time
Dear wife I received a letter from
Margret and 2 papers from David
Dear wife I would have ritten to
you but waiting to hear from that
money but george getts 2 letters evrey
week So I can hear from you but I will
Send you one evrey week there has
been Some more of the fellows lost Some
money but I Shall not Send any more
by mail you told me not to worey abbout
it but it tis hard to lose it these times
is So hard I hope we will not stop
hear this winter for there is know wood
abbout hear it has taken all the wood
to build breast works and forts
[page 4]

Dear wife you mentioned in your letter
Abbout father and Ellen having now work
that is bad but times will briten up again
After Election they have been hear from Connecticut
taken the Soldgers votes the day that the ware
taken them I was on the Skermish line So I did
not vote it twould not made mutch Difference
to me Anney way for I donth care abbout there
voting All I want is to get home to my wife
And Children is All I ask it tis a hard
road to travel hear but with the help of
God I will be abble to Stand it if a man
Complains Aginst doing duty he is tied up
to a three for 24 hours and then Sent on
picket know one knows but a Soldger
himself it tis all verey fine abbout them
putting in the papers that the Soldgers
is in fine Spirits but before this winter
is out there will be 3 of our fellows
Desert for the one Johney Dear wife
I had to Come in from the breast works
to rite this letter george he is gone to wash
his clothes he is well he takes it all in good
parts they are arround getting men to Enlist
in the regular Armey for 5 years I cannot
See the Point 10 months is my time with the
help of God All the money unkle Sam
has got could not hire me aggain Dear wife
give my love to father and family Mr hubbard
and family David John and family Dear
wife not forgetting you and the children
I remain your loving husband
William D Smith kiss the children for
me good boy hills and hollows Keep
up good Courage george and himan is well
rite Soon

Original Format





“William Smith, 14th C.V.I., August 11, 1864,” Linda Lear Center Digital Collections and Exhibitions, accessed August 9, 2022, https://lc-digital.conncoll.edu/items/show/1746.