Woburn Weekly Budget - July 26, 1862
U.S. General Hospital
West Philadelphia, Pa.
July 26, 1862
You can hardly imagine the joy I feel in once more being able to write with confidence that my letters will be recieved. While in Richmond I wrote three letters, and can only hope you got them. Thursday morning, June 26th, Cos. A, F, D and I went on picket. I remained in camp, but at noon orders came to fall in, and I had to go into Co. C and drag my weary way to Mechanicsville, where our regiment lost four men, though we did not fire a gun. The next move, Co. C was ordered to post pickets, and I stood post, though quite ill, all through the night. At grey dawn we marched, when orders were given to break camp. The army was soon after on the retreat, and we fell back to the woods in the rear of Gaines' House, felled trees, and lay down behind this simple breastwork. The 13th N. Y. was in front of us, and did nobly, three times repulsing the rebels, and capturing a rebel flag. The firing was terrible. About 5 in the afternoon, the 13th boys came over our trees, shooting, "Up, boys, and give 'em some!" We did! but they were too many for us. I was loading my gun when I saw the rebels jumping over the other end of my log. The regiment, flanked on both sides, had fallen back, and a half dozen of us little fellows at the left of the company, who didn't hear the order to retreat, followed suit. We had gone but a few steps when "Halt, 22d!" was shouted, and an attempt made to rally. Those whose guns were loaded, turned and fired. I was capping mine, and had faced about to fire, when snap! a rebel ball went in my left leg, grazing the shin bone, and coming out the lower part of the calf, tearing the flesh out in its passage, making an ugly hole. I was knocked down by it, but tying my handkerchief around the wound, stopped the flow of blood. The balls were flying like rain, so I crawled over the hill to get out of range. A rebel soon came along (his regimnet had passed over me), and pointed a pistol at me. I told him I was wounded and not to shoot. He demanded my gun, and as it was discharged I gave it up. Then striking me on the head with his pistol, and saying "Lay down!" he left me.
Gaines House - Photo from MOLLUS and pencil notes on back from John Lord Parker indicate wounded 22d lay in the front of this house.
On coming to me senses I crawled to a hole and lay there till the rebel "ambulance corps" came and took me to young Gaines House, where my wound was dressed. I lay on the ground Friday and Saturday nights, the groans of the wounded making a poor lullaby. Sunday we started in carts for Richmond, and were stowed on the second floor of the Libby tobacco warehouse, 100 x 60, accommodating nearly 300. My bed was the floor, bedding my overcoat, a stove pipe my pillow. Here we lay, one-third of a loaf of bread a day our rations, until last Tuesday, when we left Richmond, having been released unconditionally. We went by cars to Petersburg, and then to City Point, where we embarked on the S. R. Spaulding. Here I found Charley Sanborn, of Winchester, who is assistant surgeon, and he took me into his ward. We reached Philadephia last night and came ashore this morning, receiving every attention. I am now in "Bed 16, ward G, U.S.A. Hospital, West Philadelphia," a short distance from the city proper. My wound is healing rapidly, and I hobble some on crutches. Every thing here is neat, nice and pleasant, and a speedy recovery is certain.
John Lord Parker