Abiel to John

                                                                                    Front of Petersburg, VA

                                                                                    July 7th, 1864

Dear Brother

            The letter from you and mother mailed the 4th inst. I received last night for which accept many thanks_  Just after I handed the last letter that I sent home to the P.M. here I recd. One containing three ($3) dollars making five ($5) dollars in full I have received from home. It (the money) has already made me feel better or what I have purchased with it has.

            The position of the two opposing forces remains much the same as when I last = that is in front of the 18th corps with the exception of another parallel about 30 yards nearer the reb works. Our Regt. go to the front trenches and stay forty-eight hours & then to the rear for the same length of time. The last time we were up to the front we were near a detachment of the 1st Conn. H.A. Davis Stafford1 was with them. War don’t seem to make him poor at all_ he is now at work cooking_ the detachment have three cohorn mortars. The mortars are fixed on a block of wood four men being able to take the whole establishment up and walk off with it. The mortars are of brass and throw a six inch shell. These shells look and sound very pretty going but not so nice comming. (sp.) The jonnys had a mortar nearly in front of us which they used on us and they made some excellent shots dropping the shells right in the trench but fortunately doing no damage more than to cover the boys with dirt when they burst. One day for dinner David brought in some beans he had cooked Hez2 & myself that were the best stewed beans I have eaten since I have been in the service and the way they disappeared was a caution to Grahamites. Wonder if aunt Ann taught him how to cook if she did just say “thank you” to her for me.

            You say that Hezzie talks of writing to the Col. of the 1st H.A. about George. If he has not written yet he had better write (that is if he knows when George was wounded) to the medical director or the surgeon in charge of the 18th Corps hospital & ask them if on such a person of such a name was treated or brought to that hospital wounded & to what place he was sent to there. I think you would be much more likely to find out that way than in writing to the Col. to find out anything about him & at the hospital they are supposed to keep a record of all men treated but by all means don’t get discouraged you can’t help George any, but keep up good heart_ for while there is uncertainty_ even there is hope. I don’t give him up by any means but I hope for the best.

            Mother asks about H. Davis3 & Oscar4. He is with us now_ Oscar has been in one fight_ the first one we had on May 6th at Port Walthal Junction5 or Heckman’s Farm. Now he is in a Philadelphia hospital As for myself I am feeling the best I have since the campaign commenced thank partly to a little money.

            You say sugar is .21 per pound with you. Yesterday I got an order on the commissary and got a few lbs. For myself and some of the other boys at .20 per the sutlers charge .45 cheese.50 butter when they have it .60.

                                                                                    Love to all Abiel

             If you see uncle Edwards6 ask him if I answered his last


1 David Stafford a resident of Dudley enlisted on May 22, 1861 as a private into Company “D” of the 1st CT Heavy Artillery. He re-enlisted on December 28th, 1863 and was mustered out on September 25th, 1865 at Washington, DC.
2 Hezekiah Davis a 21 year-old farmer from Dudley who enlisted on September 27th, 1861 as a private into Company “D” of the 25th Mass. Infantry. He re-enlisted on January 2, 1864 and was mustered out July 13, 1864 at Readville, MA He was listed as wounded June 18, 1864 at Petersburg, VA
3 Ibid.
4 Oscar Tourtelotte a 22 year-old farmer from Dudley enlisted on October 14, 1861 as a corporal into Company ”D”  of the 25th Mass. Infantry. He was mustered out on October 20th, 1864.
5 Part of the Bermuda Hundred Campaign, the action at Port Walthal Junction was an attempt by Heckman’s Brigade intended to threaten the railroad line that ran north from Petersburg to Richmond.
6 Edwards W. Williams, brother to Abiel’s father Albigence Waldo Williams and son of Rev. Abiel P. Williams (Priest Williams)
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