Ransom W. Towle to Friends

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Hd Qrs 4th Reg Vt. VolIn the Field near Yorktown April 6th 1862 Dear Friends,

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I just now recd a line from Laura with some paper and envelopes, which I hasten to use Should liked it better if one of the sheets had been written on last Friday we left our Camp near Newport News and advanced some ten miles up the James River to Youngs Mills upon a Rebel Fortification We advanced upon it in line of Battle the Vt 4th in front and took it with little opposition The Enemy who were but few in number fired a few volleys and fled. We had none killed and but one wounded He belonged

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to the Rutland Company 5th Reg wound in the Shoulder not dangerous The balls whistled over my head a little too near to be pleasant. The 5th being in battle line just behind us Yesterday we marched most of the way in line of battle upon the line of defense here and opened Siege in the PM The Enemys works are quite formidable and reach entirely across from the James to the York River Our force is so disposed as to attack the whole line at once the right upon Yorktown under McDowell we under Keyes. The Country here is low and swampy covered with bogs and marshes, and aside from obstructions of the Enemy is difficult to march over. We have thus far come quite Slow and carefully with Scouts and Skirmishers in advance Yesterday our Artillery did little else than to get the range not being able to bring but three or four pieces to bear as they could not get their heaviest pieces through the Swamps. This AM they are being got in position as fast as possible. Our loss yesterday was four killed and several wounded. The Enemys fire is very good and so is ours Yesterday the Enemys Colors were shot away twice within the Fort probably the hottest fighting will not be done Today but get our guns in position and find out what can be learned of the Enemys position and Strength There is a continual fire kept up between

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our Skirmishers and theirs but I must stop as the man who carries the letters is waiting.

The Same Ransom