Charles City Court House, Va
June 15, 1864
Night before last I had to fall back on the march to the rear of the column and part of the time I was alone as far as earthly friends was concerned for we was amongst the rebs, but I felt that Jesus was more precious to me than ever before since I have been in the service. So let us still continue to put our trust in God and he will bring us out more than conqueror.
I hope these few lines will find you all in good health. Give my love to Johnny and kiss him and Lena for me. I would like to see you all but that is impossible at present, but I believe this summer will end the war. I left the White house on the 9th and came to the regiment on the 10th. I felt it my duty to go to the regt. although I could have stayed there. Grant has changed the base of supplies to the south side of the James River and we are laying one mile from the river waiting to cross. We shall go up to Petersburg, I expect, but I do not know, for things are uncertain here. Keep up your spirits and trust in God.
When I come to the regiment it laid at the railroad bridge on the Chickahomony river on the Richmond and West Point railroad, doing picket duty in sight of the rebs, and could talk with them. Some of them are dissatisfied and some are bitter on the Republicans for they have still got the negro on the brain.
The weather is nice here today and it is pleasant in the shade. Give my respects to all our friends. You will have to borrow money of somebody for I can't help you until I am paid off, and I believe that Richmond must soon fall and then we will stop long enough to be paid.
more at present, but still remain your loving husband,
G, 4th Dela. Vol. 2nd Brigade, 4th Division, 5th Corps.
City Court House
Petersburg, June 1864
The Confederate defense of Petersburg was in the hands of General Pierre G.T. Beauregard. His small number of troops were able to hold off the Federals from June 15 to June 18th, 1864 until reinforcements arrived.
Stephen was with the 5th Army Corps under commanding officer Major General Gouverneur K. Warren, Fourth Division - Brig. General Lysander Cutler, 2nd Brigade - Col. J. William Hofmann of the 56th Pennsylvania Infantry, 4th Delaware - Lt. Col. Charles E. Lamotte. This brigade included the 3rd Delaware, 4th Delaware, 76th New York, 95th New York, 147th New York, 56th Pennsylvania and the 137th Pennsylvania.
At midnight on June 16th, 1864, Warren's 5th corps arrived at the lines. On June 17th, Beauregard pulled his line back to the outskirts of Petersburg.
June 18, 1864
At dawn, approximately 70,000 Federal troops advanced to find empty trenches abandoned the night before by Beauregard. Lee arrived around 11 am to support him. General Lee had no other option than to defend Petersburg. The Confederates had surrounded it with such fortifications, that this was only the beginning of 10 months of grueling trench warfare.
June 19, 1864
Mrs. Stephen T. Buckson,
We can offer you only our heartfelt sympathy at the loss of one who is so near to you.
Union Soldier in Petersburg Trenches
The Official Reports from the Battlefield:
Previous Letters-7/1863 - 3/1864 Previous Letters-3/1864 - 6/1864
There are many places to collect information on the Civil War. Since I am in the Washington, D.C. area, I have the great advantage of the Government Archives, in additional to any books that can be found.
But for now, I would like to mention that most of Matthew Bradys' images of the Civil War are in the Public Domain, and can be found at the National Archives Picture Division in Tacoma Park, Maryland, or the Library of Congress, just to mention a few. All of the battlefields that Stephen Buckson mentions are also within the general Washington, DC area.
Much of the history written here is from various sources, the regimental history of the Fourth Delaware Regiment is from The Official Records of the War of the Rebellion and also from Institute for Civil War Research thanks to Mr. J.F. Walter.
for Civil War Research
J. F. Walter
7913 67th Drive
Middle Village, NY 11379
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