Battlefield near Spotsylvania CH, Va
May 19th 1864
My own Dear wife,
By the mercy of God I am still spared to write you a few, rather hasty lines. On the 12th of this month my Brigade did some of the best fighting of the war. My loss that day was very heavy, especially in men. The officers were quite well comparatively. I was slightly wounded through my right arm just below the elbow. My Yankee horse was shot severely, but yet he still lives. I also received four holes in my overcoat. Some of the troops which were driven early on in the battle behaved shamefully.
The Yankees have been quiet for nearly two days, with the exception of a feeble assault on our lines yesterday the 18th, which we easily repulsed. I think they are attempting to strike the Railroad in our rear. Their loss has been immense – 50,000 is the current estimate. Ours is about 15,000 in killed, wounded, and prisoners, 5,000 of those being prisoners. May God give us a victory which will insure peace and independence to our struggling Confederacy.
The Railroads appear to be and are cut in this part of the country, so I suppose I will not hear from you in quite some time. Your last was received two weeks ago. Pray for me and pray for our noble army and the success of our Cause.
Source: Christopher Watford, ed. The Civil War in North Carolina: Soldiers’ and Civilians’ Letters and Diaries, 1861-1865, Volume 2. (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2003). Original in Stephen D. Ramseur Papers, Southern Historical Collection, UNC-Chapel Hill.