Justus F. Gale to Sister

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8th Regt. Vt. Vols Co., AOppelasus La,May 1st/63 Dear Sister & friends,

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I take my pen once more to write you a few lines to let you know that I am well & hope these lines will find you comfortable & wish they might find you well. we are here at the same place where we was when I sent the letter to Mother wrote with a pencil.

We are now 180 miles from New Orleans nearly west. I wrote before that we had had two days fight - perhaps you wou ld like to hear a little about it; we started from Brashear City the 11th marc- hed up the Teche where we went in Jan and the 12th we came in contact with the enemy. our Co. was a head skermishing

Maj Grout is quite slim now for a few days. I am with him to day waiting on him some. The rest of the boys are well and lively.

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that day and had some pretty clost firing through the day til a bout 3, O’clock when the general engagement comenced with artil- ery; we skermishers then droped down into a dich and both sides went to sending shells - grape – solid shot - railroad iron &c over us at a rate that couldent be counted; several shells went just over me and burst; some peices struck within a few inches of me - but done no harm; the our regt. was back behind us a peice. had one man killed and 6 or 7 wounded; none of our Co. were hurt; Col. Thomas had his hat taken of by a shell or shot - and Lieut Col Dillingham had a slight scratch by a peice of shell - but did not lay him up at all. this engagement lasted til nearly dark; when we were ordered to fall back. The next day we shoved up again and the artilery began to play upon them and kept up most of the time through the day; some of the time verry terri ffic. we dismounted several of the Enemys guns riddled their Earth works through & through.

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The next morning the rebs were gone and every thing they could take with them, and we started after them like hounds after a deer. Gen. Grover was sent around to come in above the rebs and cut of their retreat but they man- aged so that most of them got by him.

Our loss on our side was about 60 killed and wounded beside what Gen Grover lost.

The rebs loss was more than three to our one beside the prisoners we took; and more yet we have destroyed the gunboats that the rebs took from our men; the Dianna -the ram Queen of the West and several others for the rebs. Our regt. the Bloody Old 8th took the lead right through; we occupy the right of the Brigade and our brigade went ahead: Gen Banks said he never see a regt that would go a head so fast and stand it so long as ours would; we were called by the other regts the Vt Calvary.------------------- Col Thomas is a brave man - and a carefull man and his men are ready to follow him.

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I recd your letter of the 5th of April and also Almedas of the 20th of March yesterday and was glad to hear from you again; I recd a letter a few days ago from Em Taft and her picture; it looked good to see the face of a friend from the north once more. I have been looking for little Herberts picture but dont come yet; I should like to have all of your pictures but a Soldier hasent room to cary any thing more than what he can get into his wallet, but never mind I hope it wont be long before I shall get through and come home - if my life should be spared - and then we can talk and not have to stop to write and send letters.

I am verry thankfull to you and Almeda for your presants. I shall have to send you a little presant that I took out of a seceshs house where they had run and left everry thing when they heard that the damd yankees was coming. I will send them to you and Mother and Almeda and you may do what you are a mind to with them. I took over one hundred dollars of Confederate money out of the same house - and see lots of nice silk clothes, but could not do any thing with them even if I had tried; I saw one splendid silk cape; Oh, how I wished I could send it home. I cant write half I want to for this is the only sheet of paper I can get here now; we left our knap sacks and every thing we had only our blankets at Brashear - and we havent got them yet. I expect we shall go on further before long; dont worry about the old boy for he isent of much consequence anyway. give my love to all and except the same yourself. write often and oblige your Brother. Wesley hasent got so as to come up to the regt yet so that he is up around.

J. F. Gale

I dont suppose that scrips will be any thing new to you, for I suppose you have a plenty of them now at the the north. perhaps this will be a little different from yours. most of the money I got is regular Richmond Treasury notes. last fall it sold for from 25 to 40 Cts on a dollar; I dont know whether it is worth any thing now or not. I will keep the rest to write [the] next time