Wheelock G. Veazey to Julia A. Veazey
I have been field officer of the Day for the past 24 hours & was up nearly
all night so I cant write much. Have been writing to you at home as I forgot yr
address at Lowell & concluded you would make a visit home before a great
while. Am very glad you enjoy yrself so well & keep up such good spirits,
for it is the best way & I dont know when I shall be able to see you. They
will kill us all by hard work ere long I think if we don’t get some help. It is
unaccountable to me that we dont have more men sent along. If a reg’t is raised in the course of 3 or 6 months it is put into some fort or kept back from all service 3 months more & a few of us have to do the work. Our reg’t have not had a full nights sleep for over a week. I have not slept at all hardly the past week, have been up a part or all of every night. 250 of our reg’t were sent out on picket last night with positive orders not to sleep, with the penalty of death & I went the rounds twice in the night to examine them & yet some of those men had not slept for 60 hours
The same was true of the 250 of the N.Y. 33rd And then the men have to work on fatigue duty every moment when not on military duty. You would not believe it possible for the few thousand men we have here to do so much work in so short a time. Besides this we have not men enough to make us safe ag’st an attack. It is mighty easy for people at the North who dont know anything about it, to say that Washington is perfectly safe & want the rebels to make the attempt. The truth is, & I know it, they could have carried our post here in spite of us within three days.
We had not artillery enough to stop them. They could then have shelled Georgetown from our own works here with the heaviest kind of guns or crossed the river, or flanked our army at Arlington or done all at the same time & they could not have been resisted with the force we have & then they could have dictated peace at the point of the bayonet. or marched to N.York & done it. The only reason they did not make the attemp was because they did not know our weakness It is nonsense to say they will never attack us. they have two good generals for any such policy. they will attack us just as soon as we will them, I.E. they will attack the first weak point they can find & when pretty sure of success. We shall not attack them
sooner than that. Our activity since we crossed over here has been our salvation. Our expeditions alarmed them & put them on the defensive. No report has yet done our reg’t justice in the fight we had the other day. You can never judge anything fr those reports any way as they are written by a member of a particular reg’t who dont remember any body but themselves. We really did the most work that day & were most exposed to the attack as the whole line halted when we were in direct range of the rebel guns & these none killed shells that I can learn of
out of our reg’t. The shell fell all about us, but only one dropped in our ranks directly- that killed 2 & wounded 8. Several shells burst directly over us- some knocked the rails from the fence by the road side. Yet the men did not move from the ranks at all, nor disobey an order, nor hurry. An order came to take distance so that a shell could not harm so many at a time. I gave the order to my wing of the reg’t & they obeyed instantly, the men all halting & letting those in from gain & these distances they presevered till ordered to close up. Capt Griffin of Griffin’s
battery, said no reg’t was exposed to so severe a cannonade at the Bull Run fight & that probably never should be again in a dozen fights. Yet this was done when no man could lift a finger in defence. The men begged to be led on to the rebel battery, but as we were not out for a fight & only wished to act on the defensive we just drew up in line of battle, the 3rd directly behind & in support of the battery that silenced the rebels, & challenged them to come on. Our reg’t marched in advance on the way out & more than half the Cos were advanced as skirmishers more than two miles ahead of
the main body & one party overtook a party of rebel pickets near enough to exchange shots with them, & one of our men was wounded & to appearance several of the rebels. After the firing closed a squad of Co. C. went back & got our dead & wounded & one man shot, of the Indianna. Yet the papers state that these men were brought in by a party fr the Indianna reg’t. No man ever when back fr that reg’t. I would not exalt the 3rd Vt to the disparagement of others, for all did splendidly but I would simply & truthfully state the facts inasmuch as we have been a little traduced by perhaps the envious Excuse all this stuff. God bless & guard you ever.
Yr devoted husbandW. G. Weazey
Monday morn. We are just called out under arms, to repel an attack I suppose.