William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

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May 17th 1864My Darling wife

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Since I wrote you last we have been laying quiet, waiting I expect for our reinforcements to come up. The head of the column of 24,000 fresh troops is passing here now going around on our left and I presume we shall go at it again tomorrow. we are still lying in front and close to “Spotsylvania Court House”, but working all the time to the East and South to get in the enemys rear. I believe we shall flank him again by tomorrow and force him to fall back again and thus it will be fight and flank until they

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are worried out and whipped and the war ended. All feel that this is the last desperate struggle of the south and I believe that ten days more will whip if we do not meet with bad luck anywhere. I do not write you many of the particulars of the last 15 days fighting for you can get it all much better from the daily papers but I have been through some awful scenes, and have seen sights that were terrible to behold, but will wait to relate them by the family fireside after thie “cruel war is over”. Last night

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we received a mail for the first time since the 4th and I recd 9 letters – 3 from you – one from “sister Katie” one from Emory – and one from John Bradley. Also one from Gov. Smith which made me feel sad for on account of the Major making objection to Capt Frost, the Gov. declined to send us any commissions at all, and as we only lack 15 men now to loose our chance of being mustered, I do not think any of us will get a promotion. This is very unjust I think in Gov. Smith, and I think he will be sorry for it some time – still I am going to do

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my duty just the same but I will bet something that I shall not be troubled with Major Chandler much longer for the very first time he gets drunk again (and that will be as soon as he can get Whiskey enough) I shall prefer charges against him and get him out of the service. Those officers that signed the paper, now they see how it has turned out are mad enough to bite their fingers off, but all that does no good now. It is very mean and provoking not only to myself but to Capt Frost and others – but I suppose we must stand it all for the good of the service. We expect another mail tonight, and I hope to get some more good letters from you. Oh! how much good they did do me last night – tell Katie I will answer her kind good letter as soon as I get an opportunity – boys all well.

As ever William