Head Quarters of Clingmans Brigade
June 25th 1864
My dear Col
After long delay your letter reached me in the trenches where I have been for more than fifty days. I have delayed answering it for a week or two in the hope that I might get to some place when I could write with ink but believe it altogether uncertain when I can do that.
You wish me to state particularly what has been the conduct of your son Capt Burgwyn while on my staff. This it gives me great pleasure to do he has always shown himself intelligent energetic & efficient. While at Newberne I had an opportunity of seeing that he carried out orders with the same alacrity in danger that he did out of it. In the campaigns in this state he was equally courageous and prompt. In the charge on the enemy at Drewrys Bluff which decided the contest and defeated the entire army of the enemy though made with only two of my Regiments he was in the front rank of the attack. Both then and at Bermuda Hundreds he rendered good service.
At the latter place he became so unwell that I ordered him to the rear. Nevertheless I was surprised that he insisted on following the Brigade when it went through Richmond. Just after we had gotten through a severe fight on the evening of the 31st of May in which with only three regiments of my Brigade and some Cavalry two Corps of the enemy were held in check and that position saved he came to me in the night though so feeble that I endeavoured to induce him to go to the rear. He insisted on lying with me on the ground that night and next day was in the hard struggle of June 1st in which my Brigade defeated the enemy in front and though attacked in flank and rear because Woffords [sic] Georgia Brigade ran away from our left still held its ground and saved to Genl Lee’s Army that most important position. Capt Burgwyn was very active in assisting to form the new line of battle and while advancing with it to the attack I learned afterwards was wounded. I must have been within a few yards of him at the time on the right of the line but owing to the confusion and noise of the occasion and the many duties that devolved on me I was not aware of the accident to him at the time. It was not until we had retaken our position that I learned from Col McKethan that he had been wounded near him & sent to the rear.
While I deeply regret the injury to him yet I trust he will soon be able to return to the field I learn that the new Staff Bill gives me two Adjt Genls and I shall be pleased to give him one of them if he cannot do better. As I have formerly told him I will give him the preference over any one else if he should prefer to return to me which I hope he will be able soon to do.
As to your other son I know not what temporary employment I could give him that would suit him & hence as he is so soon to return to school again had he not better remain at home. I have written this note finally amid the hissing of bullets & the war of Artillery. I have not been out of the trenches for any length of time for more than fifty days. If you think proper you can have this copied with ink. I do not know when it will reach [was or as?] the mails onward interrupted I shall always be pleased to hear from you and to serve you if I can.
Yours truly & etc
T. L. Clingman Brig. Genl.
In haste to Col H. K. Burgwyn
Source: WHS Burgwyn Papers, North Carolina State Archives, and found on www.ncecho.org