Letter from our “Wheeling Boy”
July 12, 1864
Letter from our “Wheeling Boy”
Gauley Bridge, W.Va., June 29, ’64.
The Hunter expedition has returned after passing through an ordeal of hunger unknown until the present in the war, several being starved to death. From the 1st of June, when we started, till now, I judge from the best information to be obtained, that our losses and those of the rebels are substantially equal in this Department as regards men, cannon, horses and wagons. We lost so many prisoners in our retreat, consisting of soldiers who tainted by the way from hunger and fatigue, as to equalize all the prisoners we have taken in battle. The balance of account in our favor is some scores of miles of rebel railroad destroyed, millions of dollars of confederate public property burned, also effecting a diverson in favor of Grant by drawing off Ewell’s corps from Richmond to Lynchburg.
We arrived at Lynchburg on the evening of the 27th inst. Gen. Crook immediately engaged the enemy, charged bayonet and captured two Blakely 12-pounders. – Night came on. Morning revealed extensive fortifications. Numbers of prisoners captured on the skirmish line at different times concurring that Ewell’s corps had arrived during the night, we did not attempt to carry the works. They charged us in the afternoon but were easily repulsed. – Our boys wanted to charge in return and could hardly he kept from doing so. At night fall we began our retreat because of the overwhelming force before us. Of the conduct of this retreat I am not at liberty as a member of the army to speak my sentiments, being forbidden by the articles of war from either passing or blaming my superior officers. I therefore say nothing at all as the truth may not be told.
I append the loss of the 12th Va., in the conduct of this retreat I am not at liberty as a member of the army to speak my sentiments, being forbidden by the articles of war from either praising or blaming my superior officers. I therefore say nothing at all as the truth may not be told.
I append the loss of the 12th Va., in the battle of the 18th instant:
Killed. – Private Jas. M. Stewart, Co. F.; Private James White, Co. K.
Wounded. – Co. A., private James Logsdon, right arm, not dangerous .
Co. C., Corporal G. W. Harris, 3rd finger left hand shot off; Corporal Wm. Richmond, flesh wound left fore arm; Private J. W. Founds, left hand, slight; Private Reuben Earliewine, flesh wound, left thigh.
Co. D., Private Samuel Clendenin, left lung, and left in the hands of the enemy in field hospital; Private Geo. E. McCaslin, left should slight.
Co. F., Sergeant F.M. Wells, right breast and right arm, severe, but not dangerous; Corporal J. F. Pitzer, right fore arm, not dangerous; Private E. E. Strum, left shoulder, severely, left in field hospital; near Lynchburg, VA.
Co. G., Corporal Presly Martin, color guard, left shoulder, severely and left in field hospital, to the enemy.
Co. H., 1st Sergeant John M. Jones, left side, mortally and left in field hospital to enemy.
Co. K., Captain John B. Jester, right thigh, slightly; Private C. E. W. Mason, right thigh mortally and left in field hospital to enemy; Private Jocob Knipple, right thumb shot off.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: Undated: July 1864