[1] Camp Near Williamburg 1862 [May]
Day after the Battle
Dear Mother
I indite these few lines
to you to let you know I am safe
and ease your anxiety at once.
The Rebels evacuated Yorktown
Sunday and we packed up our traps and
started after them in hot haste we
had a very unpleasant march and
did not encamp until about 10 o’clock
PM. on Sunday evening it was raining
and we were too tired to attemp to
[page 2]
pitch our tents and therefore we
cast our wearid bodies on the
damp ground rolled ourselves in our
Blankets and those that were not
to cold went to sleep We were
awakened at sunrise next morning and immediately
formed line and marched onwards
to meet our foes. were well within almost
two miles of the rebels where we encamped
we had a heavy march, it had been
raining all night, and all our clothes
Blankets, overcoats & Equipment were
soaked with water, and consequently
heavy. the roads were knee deep
in mud and slush, we marched
almost one mile when our skirmishers
first commenced they kept up a
stragling fire and drove the Rebel
advance picket within their lines
it was a terrible morning for a fight
raining hard our muskets all dripping
with water and our first charge was
useless we could not fire them off
[page 3]
so that we had to stop and draw
our charge clean out our gun and
then we were ordered to support a
battery Right. this at abouts 6 oclock
A. M. When we commenced on their
Entrenchments with three pieces artillery
i tell you it was terrible uncomfortable
laying on the ground saturated to the
skin and our teeth chattering with
cold and with out any breakfast
and shot shell and rifle balls flying
in every direction. our skirmishers
were [raiting?] in their balls like thunder
and the wounded and dying were being
brought in by [trios?] at 10 oclock we
we ordered to the left to repel an
attempted flank on their part and
the battle then commenced in earnest
I must close now as the mails
are going, Bill, Dave and I am
all safe and I wish you would send
this down to Jane after you read
it. I will send a full account next
[page 4]
mail and a description of the
field next day. So good bye with
Kind Love to you all from your
Affectionate Son
Jerry Downs

  1. Patriotic illustration at to of page
Date Note: 
May 1862


Co. D, 11th Massachusetts Infantry
Residence (County): 
Essex County, MA



From State: 
From Municipality: 

Transcription/Proofing Info

Elizabeth Stoyeff
Transcription Date: 
February, 2015
M. Ellis
Proof Date: 
March, 2015

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