The weather is pleasant [1]
and summer
Camp near White Oak church
Va, May 17th, 1863
Dear sister
Your letter with its mieellanous
contents was duly recived the
cargo of dry goods were all in
good condition, The rosette was
a trifle larger than was needed
you ask what I was doing
May day, I was looking at the
rebs most of the time, but the
second day was the day that I
shall long remember, I say that
I experienced the hardest days
ride of my life will fail to give
you any idea of what was done.
Ten men with myself were detailed
to go with the Gen. that day as
escort. The first corps had occupied
the extreme left that is we were
some five miles below the city
[page 2]
one division of the corps across
occupying a portion of the old battle
ground the troops had lain in
this position for the past three
days the pickets of each army in
talking distance but no fighting
except an Artillery duel that
would occasionally occur at long
range between our guns on this
side of the river and the rebels
beyond the plain on the other side
the distance between them was nearly
a mile and a half there was but
little harm done on either side
at least it was on ours and I
dont think our folks done [any?]
better shooting than did the rebels,
It seems strange that so many
cannon shot and [???] will sometimes be
fired without hurting any one.
then again one of the infernal
machines will kill and
[page 3]
wound a score of men and horses
But to my ride the troops
of the first corps commensed early in the
morning to move up the river to
U. S. ford twenty miles from
our present location after waiting
till every thing belonging to his command
was on the march the Gen started
[Gulfin?] like we rode to the
ford and then six miles or
more to Hookers Hdqrts where
a desperate fight was then going
on, [then?] back nearly to the river
after his own troop who had
marched all days then again
to the front and rode all
night getting into position so
as to give the rebs a warm
reception, Dont imagine that
I done all this, I was only
one of the escort merly a Cypher
[page 4]
The result of this great battle
like all others was a great slaughter
on both sides with no decisive
result to either I think the
rebel loss was the greatest
but it comes nearer a victory
to them than it does for us
Com. L. is all promoted
it is all here except sixteen
at the division head quarters
in this Corps.
I have no news to write
Dont put on the Reg or Com,
when writing to me simply
F. N. Holman
Headquarts- 1st army corps
Washington D. C.
Hoping to hear from you again
soon I [subs?????] myself your
Brother F. N. Holman
My love is always understood if not [expect?]

  1. Written vertically in top left corner
May 17, 1863


Co. L, 1st Maine Cavalry


Residence (County): 
Oxford County, ME


From State: 
From Note: 
Camp near White Oak Church


To State: 
To County: 

Transcription/Proofing Info

Allyson Page Dale
Transcription Date: 
April, 2015
M. Ellis
Proof Date: 
April, 2016

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