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Hear we are after a march of 16 miles

Hear we are after a march of 16 miles
Hear we are after a march of 16 miles
Hear we are after a march of 16 miles
Hear we are after a march of 16 miles


Sunderland, Darwin
Sunderland, Darwin
Manassas Gap, VA
Original letter: ink on paper, 4 p.


Manasses Gap  Wednesday July 23

Hear we are after a march of 16 miles in the face of the enemy.  We came past the
battle field of bull run yesterday.  3 P.M. well thare is some prospect of a battle hear now, our scirmishers are farely engaged, as I set hear on my knapsack with all my accootrements on and my gun lying by [my] side with the regiment in line, a writing to you I can look a head and on a rise of ground one by about ¾ of a mile away I see the line of rebells scirmishers, and  between me and them is our scirmishers graduly approaching fireing all the time and occasionaly I can see a man fall on both sides (as at least the boys say they can) while I am buisy writing[.] 5 P.M. We have advance[d] on to the ground our boys first commence[d] scirmishers on[.] they have brought in several prisenors that they have jest captured, the whole of our army are [in]advance in coloms from the left, directly in the rear of us is our artillery planted on [the] south [of] a high rise of ground we dast not put it in the front for this reason[.] the ground will not admit of the moveing of artillery with any [?] and thare is danger of its being captured if the rebs should see fit to charge on it, the S— is becoming quite general and is well keep up on both sides.  I expect we shall soon be orderd out to relieve those that are all ready nearly out of amanition.  The ground that we are on now is quite hilly and very good to fight on[.] thare is a streem of water running through the gap also the railroad called the manasses road but it does not look much like a railroad now[.] 6 P.M. The S—, is not quite so warm as it was a few minuits ago[.] thare may not be any thing of much account to night. The 2nd A.C. is on the advance with the 2nd 5th and 12th to support them. the boys are as cool as a cucumber (or as can be expected) they are a little concerned as the boys are in the hay field, whare I suppose they now are putting on their last load of hay for tonight. They are now bringing in some of our wounded and killed. 6 ½ P.M.  The 40 NewYork[,] a sharpshooting Regt has been in the advance on S—, and one of the boys is hear now and I have been talking with him and he says the rebs have killed and wounded a quite a number of our men.  6.50min PM  The S— is become quite warm again and I do not but we may have a chance to fire a few rounds yet to night[.]  7. P.M.  The cannonadeing has commence[d] and things begin to move a diferant appearance[.] one shell jest burst with a few yards of our regiment and they are whisteling around pretty plentifully now[.] 5 minutes later one shells jest burst over our heads, and a piece hit one of our boys on the hand[.]  a shell jest passed over our regiment and killed a Lieut & Sergeant in our brigade out of one of the P. V. V. Regt.
Friday morning, 5 ½ A.M.  I have jest eat a piece of raw pork.  and one hard tack and it is all I have onely what I forage for untill we get back to Piedmont[,] a distance of
15 miles.  Our regiment advance[d] to the front last night to be ready to take up the scirmishing this morning but it appears as though the rebs had made their way up the shanadoah valley for we cannot see nothing of them now[.]  6 A.M.  I have been down about the front of our regiment and I saw four dead rebs laying in front of Co. G.  the Scirmishers sufferd considerable on both sides our line was on a crest of a hill behinde a small strip of woods, a place whare the rebs were in line a S— [.] the night before they [?] on the [?] side and fire over but our boys saw their heads a piered [peered] some of them[.] we lay down in line of battle and got as little rest last night, thare will be no fight[ing] heer this time for our boys have been out some two miles and the rebs have gone.  12.N.  We are now takeing a little rest [h]ear we start back to piedmont whare our supply train is whare we have got to go[.]  [h]ear we can get any rations[.]  I have jest finished picking a rib bone that I broiled over the fire with out any salt to put on it or any kinde of bread to eat with it.  It is extreemely warm hear to day[.] I could roast eggs as well as not in the sun, we start in fifteen minutes for our supply train to get something to eat[.] it is 14 miles to the train and the roads are so bad that they could not come hear, so ending for this time.  Warrenton city monday July 27th when I finished writing to you the other day[.] we were 35 miles from this place but we are hear now[.]  I was taken sick with the sick headache.  the day we left the gap and did not get through to the regiment untill the next morning and I was quite sick all day Saturday but marched 9 miles after 5,oclock P.M. but it was the hardest work I ever done and my baggage was all carried in the supply train and I keepe stupl stubing [stumbling] about as best I could and got to this place as best I could before the regiment which got hear Sunday night by the alminac, but thare is no Sunday hear[,] you can not see any diferance between Sunday and a week day[.] 6 P.M. we have jest had brigade inspection[.] we were inspected by acting brigadier Smith from ohio [.] Frank Jerome was heer to see me to day[.] he is as well as ever[.] he says his capt gave him a blowing up for not takeing me and sending me back to my old regiment when he saw me in Maryland.  I jest saw a paper from home with a list of those that their names were drawn on this draft and I see some of my old acquaintances are drafted[.] I see that Henry Witheral & Edwin Witheral are drafted.  Tuesday July 28th/ The men detailed to go after those drafted to fill up our regiment left this morning[.] the trip through the gap delayed them from going when they intended[.] we are in camp 2 ½ miles from warrenton city in the woods[.] I think we shal[l] stay hear a few days to recruit.  Wednesday July 29, we are yet in our old camp and the boys are getting a little more lively[.] I saw a paper to day with an account of the fight at manasses gap[.] they say that the rebs lost 500 but I do not know whare they got their news but they gave a correct statement in regard to the excelsier briggade they done all the time[.] General Spinola asked for the regiments to help make the charge and they would not give them to him if our hole [whole] corps had been in the charge they could have captured their artillery with out the least doubt.  Our company has dwindled away to 55 men now and ther have not been any killed in battle but they are scatterd through the country hear and thare and one week more of marching and we shall not have more than one half the men we started from camp wheler with 11 months ago yesterday, we have been drawing new clothes to day.
Thursday July 30th  I feel some what better than I did yesterday for we have jest got our mail, and you may bet it was received with pleasure[.] we are out on (picket) to day and when the officer of the day told us that our mail had come thare was one good cheer for it[.] you wanted to know how I was well I am well and in good health, the victories gained by our armies are all true as reported[.] the rebs have been beaten in evry place as yet this summer they gave us the stop on the banks of the Potomac[.]

[located on the top of first page of original letter]
your last letter bears date July 10th that I have received

[located on the top of fourth page of original letter]
you need not feer for my health for I will be as carefull of it as I posably can[.] no more from me at present, I remain for ever you Son D.W. Sunderl[and]

Colonel Benjamin F. Smith U.S.A. of the 126th Ohio.  The 106th New York and the 126th Ohio were currently in the 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 8th Army Corps of the Army of the Potomac.

Excelsior (Sickles’) Brigade.  Composed of the 70th, 71st, 72nd, 73rd, 74th, and 120th New York Regiments.  The Excelsior Brigade ranked number five for the most soldiers killed in any brigade in the entire Civil War.

Brigadier General Francis Barretto Spinola U.S.A. commanded the independent 7th Brigade of Virginia. 

General Spinola was wounded at Wapping Heights near Manassas Gap, V.A. while leading in this bayonet charge.  The regiments under his command were recalled to pursue Lee’s Army after the battle of Gettysburg.



Rights Management: 
Original materials may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (more information).
Date Original (Precise): 
July 23, 1863


Digitization Specifications: 
Scanned at 600ppi on Epson 1000XL scanner as 48-bit RGB uncompressed TIFF images. Images resized to 960 pixels wide, 150 dpi, and saved as JPEG (level 10) in Photoshop CS5 with Unsharp Mask of 60:1.
Date Digital: 
September 28, 2011