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Pvt. Charles H. Austin
Company E
14th New York Heavy Artillery
Volunteers


On the Battlefield
Near Petersburg June 18th '64


My Dear Wife

            A few lines to inform you that myself & alfred are (?) well     thank god for (?) in a very hard fight yesterday or last night but alfred & myself escaped without a scratch or scar     in our co there is 26 missing killed & wouded     8 of our co we found dead this morning     the 1 brigade of this division charged on the rebs breastworks & battery yesterday about 10 or 11 o clock & was repulsed     then we layed around all day & about 6 oclock we formed in a ravine & about sundown everything being ready we charged them     there was either 2 or 3 lines ahead of us when we started but they laid down under the destructive fire which the rebs poured onto us     we had to charge over a corn (?) about a quarter of (?)     you can guess whether it was not a pretty warm place for us when the other lines laid down     the cry was forward 14th and forward we went & drove them like sheep & held the works for nearly 2 hours till we got out of ammunition     then they charged us & away we went back as fast as our legs could carry us but rallyed immiediatey & took them & held them & the rebs just got right up & skedadalded & our troops are advanced a good ways in advance of where the rebs was & they say petersburg is on fire & our boys have taken the (?)     this morning we (?) battlefield in entrench (?) the 2d corps has gone ahead to day     we are what they call relieved to day     that is we are in the rear and the others are ahead but I think the rebs are pretty well routed & our artillery playing into them to day & bombarding or shelling petersburg & they say it is afire     thank god he spared me & alfred while many was called away in an instant     it was a pretty hard sight on the field this morning but the dead are buried & the wounded (?) & alls well.     the rebs are whipped & thats what we want     Now darling one I got a letter from your mother last this morning     that paper & them stamps for alf & me & tobacco & money & them combs are bully good one     now darling I was very glad to hear you was over your confinement allright     but if it the little girl had lived it would have been company for you till I return again     but never mind it is for the best you (?) take care now but yourself & (?) come home again we will give (?) i'll bet     dont you think so (?)    just gently hump her through     thats whats the matter & I don't know as we can complain that it did not live on account of trying to get rid of it in the first place     I think we will not do so again for it is not right    dont feel bad about it     it is all for the best & god knows what is the best for us all     put your trust in him     I think we had ought to be thankfull that he has spared you & me so far & I pray he may (?) return     now fannie I feel in good health & spirits     so does alf & Ed tubbs is well    sends his respects     alf & me send our love to all of you     mine I send to you in particular     (?) at present from

Your loving husband Charlie

P.S. I are writing this so (?) when I can send (?) for I know you will be anxious to hear.
we have not got a field officer     dont send letters in care of any captain we have now & they come as well without     keep the little things you got so I can see them when I come home



EDITOR'S NOTES:

Edmund A. Tubbs from Vernon, New York was a neighbor and friend of Charles Austin. Edmund Tubbs enlisted on October 19, 1863 in Utica, New York at the age of 21 years. He was mustered in as a Corporal in Company H, 14th New York Volunteer Heavy Artillery Regiment on December 17, 1863, to serve three years. He was reduced in rank at a later date and died , August 11, 1864, in Filbert Street United States General Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was buried in Philadelphia

Annual Report of the Adjutant-General of the State of New York for the Year 1897, Vol. 4, Wynkoop Hallenbeck Crawford Co., State Printers, New York and Albany, 1898, Pg. 783.


The Fourteenth New York Heavy Artillery Regiment has the distinction of being included among the "Three Hundred Fighting Regiments" chosen by William F. Fox, Lt. Col., U.S.V. in his book entitled "Regimental Losses in the American Civil War, Albany Publishing Company, Albany, N.Y. 1889, p. 190.

In that book he states " On June 17th, 1864, the Fourteenth distinguished itself by its brilliant and successful charge on the works at Petersburg; loss, 38 killed, 152 wounded, 60 missing; total 250. Major Job C. Hedges was killed in this charge while bravely leading his battalion. " .