Thursday, May 31, 2012

1862 June 1 4 1/2 miles from Richmond


                                            4 ½  miles of Richmond. Dr. Garnetts farm,
                                                     9 mile or New Bridge road
My Ever Dear Father                                              June 1st Sunday
                          Yr. letter of the 25th mailed the 27th
reached me on the 29th. I was extremely glad
to get a letter of so recent date from
home. Frank Williams tells me you were
looking quite well. You say George is left
in a puny state by his sickness. I most
sincerely hope this will not continue.
     Yesterday’s battle of considerable  
dimensions began, away round on
our right towards James river. There,
they were driven back by our men – we
made the attack in this fight. It ex-
tended from where it began to the road on
which we are stationed. Just in
front of us there was quite a hard
fight, lasting from about a quarter
past three until night & was renewed this
morning for about an hour. here
we obtained only a very partial success,
occupying a part only of the battle field – at

[page 2]
one time we had here also their
entire camp &c. But were compelled
to abandon this. The above account
is as accurate a one as I can give
from what I heard & saw. Our company
was engaged for not more than an
hour or two & then at intervals. We had
only one man injured; the gunner to the
piece with which I act – badly in the
foot. President Davis, Generals Lee & Davis
&c etc were on the field to day & yesterday.
I am quite sorry to say that Genl.
Johnson was among the wounded, it
is said – severely  tho’ the surgeon says
not mortally. I know of its seriousness
only by rumour – Brigdr. General Hatton of  
Tennessee was killed. B. Gl. Pettigrue
was badly wounded. Why the battle
has lulled until now, I don’t know, save
an occasional shell. It is now half
past two. It ceased about 10 A.M. We
are said to have obtained more
stores &c &c & some artillery, very few

page 3
prisoners. The killed and wounded on both
sides must be quite heavy. Im-
mediately on our left is the Chickahom-
iny, between the contending parties, & for
this reason, the battle was limited & extended no
farther. I don’t know but suppose
our Genl. hoped to ship & capture
that part of the enemy’s forces whi. are
in our front & this side of the chicka-
hominy. This I think they could have

done had night not come so soon.
The enemy were fortifying. The field was
such that we could use very little
artillery – in fact none during the heat
of the battle, It ceased at dark. The
stragglers about are loaded with
Yankee big coats & c&c.
     As to a colt from my mare, exercise your
own discretion entirely. If Wms. horse
is a fine one I would prefer either it or
Scotts horse to a Morgan horse. Tho’
as I said above exercise entirely yr. own
judgment as to these or any horse.

[page 4]
     I omitted to say I don’t think any thing
of great importance has been gained
by the battle. I must close now.
If any occurs & I have an opportunity
before sending this, this evening, I
will add it if I have an opportunity. My best love to all.
Farewell dearest Father
                  Yr affectionate son
                             W. H. Perry Jr.

4 P.M.  All is quiet.

William H. Perry, Jr., 1836-1915, of the Richmond Howitzers; afterward a Virginia lawyer

[the gunner who was injured was  Corp. George R. Crump]

[transcription and annotation by Mary Roy Dawson Edwards]

MSS 7786-d

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