Hiram H. Barton to Lyman Barton

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Fort Gray July 16/63Dear Brother

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I now take this oportunity to answer your letter I received the 8 dated 28 June I am well and hope this will find you the same I hope you will have better luck than the army did last year up there you got up there easier than we did and I hope you are in Richmond before this time and I hope there wont be so much fighting as there was last year I never was at White house we crossed the Chicohomina at Botom bridge went to Savage station Fairoaks Station had a fight ½ mile above Seven Pines and went back to White Oak Swamp the 28 June 4 Co’s of 96 1 Co 12th N.Y. Cavelry was going out to surprise the rebels at Gardners Bridge about 15 miles from here we was to be ready at 8 evening we got out in line in a shower got well wet

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and started at 9 in mud and wet we went out on to the main road and stoped (it is 4 miles from here that was not the place we was to stop) The Cavelry was coming up the road from Plymouth to join us at an other place when we heard them the Col. told Co. C to get back in- to the corner of the woods and be ready in case it was rebels when they was about 4 or 5 rods from us the Col halted them and asked who comes there the Capt says friend the Col says give the signal the Capt says what Regt 3 times the Col said give the signal and the Capt asked what Regt 3 times then the Capt Ordered his men to break into fours and fire they fired into the woods where we was and there was a few shots fired from our side but we knew they was our own men so we fell back a few rods till the mistake was discovered

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there was no one hurt I dont think the Capt is any to blame for it was an old rebel picket post and the agreement was to meat at an other place if the Col had told the Regt it would saved all trouble it saved us a march of 25 miles for we came back to camp

The 5th July we was ordered to be ready at 8 night to march with 3 days rations all except Co A went The 85 N.Y. V. 1 Co. of Cavelry 2 12 pdrs brass went by land The 101 & 103 Pa. V. went up the river on 4 gunboats we was to engage them in front and they was to land above and come up in their rear This Bridge is on a Creek 6 miles from the river We went up drove in their pickets put Pickets in the woods at the end of the bridge and fired hot day at everyone that showed his head shelled them some and waited till 3 P.M. and dident hear from the

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the river forces fired on by guerillas we came back got to camp at dark about 9 the gunboats commenced firing and fired all night they went up farther and shelled Williamston The next morning all went back that was able to my feet was so sore I could not some of the 96 charged with the cavelry the Cavelry went to the bridge dismounted and volunteers was asked for to cross none but the 96 boys went the rebs had all gone but one dead and one wounded man and took their guns with them a man there told our boys the rebs had 6 brass and one iron gun our pickets could not see but one they dident fire it and only a few muskets They saluted Officers more than privates they was told that the rebs crossed the bridge when they left and come this way the gunboats drove them and it is said burnt Williamston They all come back in the afternoon Write as soon as you get this for I want to know how you got along H H Barton Co.C 96 N Y V Plymouth N.C.