June 1864 Letter by Private Daniel Taft, 82nd Pennsylvania - Petersburg - "The whole regiment now musters less than 100 muskets"

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June 1864 Letter by Private Daniel Taft, 82nd Pennsylvania - Petersburg - "The whole regiment now musters less than 100 muskets"

150.00

Item No. 9999987

An interesting letter written a week after the 1864 Battle of Jerusalem Plank Road by Private Daniel J. Taft of the 82nd Pennsylvania Volunteers. Writing from the trenches south of Petersburg, Virginia, Taft described having endured “a campaign of pretty good length and some pretty hard fighting.” He further described a June 29 movement of the 6th Corps back to the Weldon Railroad to begin their “work of destruction,” in which several railroad bridges and a canal lock were destroyed. He mentions seeing another soldier from his home town, who said his regiment “now musters less than 100 muskets.” The letter reads in full:

Camp 4 mi south of
Petersburg Va, June 28th / 64.

Friend Calvin
We are once more in camp after a campaign of a pretty good length and some pretty hard fighting, but how long it will be before operations are resumed again is hard for me to tell. We have just received orders to be ready to move at a moments notice. So I presume we will have to “get up and git” again soon.

July 1st
On the p.m. of 29th the 6th Corps broke camp and stuck out for the Petersburg and Weldon R.R. where we arrived in the evening without much opposition and commenced the work of destruction. By noon of the next day about fifteen miles is supposed to have been destroyed—five bridges and one canal lock burned. We then fell back five or six miles to where we now are and where I think I will finish this and forward it.

The weather during the past two or three weeks has been exceedingly hot. There has been no rain of any account (where I have been) since the middle of May and the roads are so dusty that it is impossible for the troops to endure the marches over them.

I saw Port Winn a few days since—he is all right yet, but says there is but one other man left in the regiment who came from our region—his name I do not recollect. A Sergeant, a Corporal, and three privates he says is the whole strength of his Company—the whole regiment now musters less than 100 muskets.

I should like to hear from you again as soon as convenient for you to write.
yours with respect
D. J. Taft

The letter was written on three pages of a stationery sheet measuring about 5” x 8”. It is in excellent condition with light toning and creases where originally folded.

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