Battle of Big Bethal, Va June 10th, 1861

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Transcription : Megan Resnick


Published by: University of Vermont, Bailey/Howe Library, Center for Digital Initiatives on 2010-10-25

This plan was drawn later than the one in Harding's letter and was enclosed in the letter to my wife of June 20th. R. F. -------------------------------- Page 1 --------------------------------

In the above sketch the dotted line indicates the line of march of our company from their first position to their place of engagement. The 2nd and 6th Cos. and some Mass. troops were with us. During our marching through the woods, shot and shell were falling pretty fast. It is three quarters of a mile in a straight line from our first position to where we engaged the enemy, and to get to the latter point we marched more than a mile and a half, through brush, woods and mire. Since sending my other plan home I have learned from Capt. Ripley of the 10th Company that the 8th & 10th had a pretty hot time of it from a battery. But Ripley hardly seemed to know where the battery was stationed. He thought Great Bethel (a meeting house so called) was stationed -------------------------------- Page 2 --------------------------------the other side of the road. That was not so. For before we left our first position Stover took me up upon his shoulders where I had a good chance to see where the road, Great Bethel and the battery were situated, or at least the place where the firing came from. And it all came from the other side of the road, Ripley did not go down near enough to see the reek. I see that the Daily Tribune has got a sketch from Adj't. Schaffuer of Col. Bendix Regt. That cannot be right. They certainly did not have so many guns as there represented.

The main thing however that I care to represent by this sketch is the position of our company, their march, and their place of engagement.

Of the long and fatiguing march to Bethel and our return the same day, without food, saving two or three crackers. I can have but little to say. Nobody can tell any thing about what fatigue is unless they have endured something of the kind. I walked the last two miles pretty quick. It was the only way I could do. I must either go fast or sit down. I was pretty lame the next day. I could not go without limping. My hip that was hurt when I was thrown out of the wagon with Seym. Brown was pretty lame and stiff, but my feet were not very sore and blistered in but one place. The second day I was nearly as well as ever.

There was rather a limping set of us round here for a day or two. Some of the boys had very sore feet. Two or three had to have help about half of the way into camp. Others had to assist them and some carry extra guns.


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