Source: Brookville Republican, May 17, 1865
Courtesy of Patricia Steele
Camp 105th P. V. V.
Near Burksville Junction, Va.
April 25, 1865
Thinking that a few lines from the "Wildcat" Regiment (with which you and your readers are well acquainted,) might prove interesting after the victorious campaign, which we have so recently passed through, I accept this opportunity for informing you of its recent casualties and sad whereabouts, at the present time. Our regiment numbers about five hundred and sixty men present for duty and twenty-two officers, commanded by Maj. James Miller. Of this number, three hundred are recruits, who came to us a few days previous to breaking camp, in front of Petersburg.
On the 28th of March, we left our winter quarters, and started on the campaign, with heavy loads on our backs, and cartridge boxes full of the missiles of death and anxious hearts, (such as soldiers only know.) regarding the results attending our labors. Our way was toward the left of our lines, but only a short distance, (in the vicinity of Hatchers Run,) were we came to a halt, a front, and proceeded to advance toward the lines of our defeated brethren, the "Johnies." We were not long in finding them, (but only in small force) who rapidly fell back, only exchanging compliments. Several lines of works were taken with but feable resistance, until we crowded them closer than the rules of "etiquette" would limit, when they asserted their rights, and disputed our further advance; but assertions at such times are not taken for facts by the advancing foe, and consequently we called for a test and a proof of their right to dispute the advance of "Uncle Samuel's boys," on the fields of the Old Dominion. Skirmishing and charges followed until they were compelled to yield to such forcible arguments as were presented for their consideration.
The night of April 1st and the morning of the 2d, will long be remembered by every officer and soldier who participated in the grand, terrific and simultaneous attack. From the Appomatox to the extreme left, where Gen. Sheridan done his glorious work, it was one continuous thunder of artillery, and roar of musketry, until the enemy, unable to longer withstand the remendious assault, were forced to retreat, leaving behind their dead and wounded, together with thousands of prisoners. We hastily followed them up, and they were compelled to abandon both Petersburg and Richmond, the great stongholds of Rebellion and Treason. On and still they went, in hope to evade our unpleasant company; but in this they were doomed to disappointment, as we were continually tormenting them with shot, shell and minnies. From Petersburg to Clover Hill, the place of their surrender, it was almost constant skirmishing and charging, wherever they wer bold enough to make a stand.
The scene at the surrender was one which richly paid for all fatigue and danger endured. "Such Cheering;" such throwing up of hats,a nd other expressions of joy and victory were never before witnessed, and the enthusiasm existing from Generals to privates, was unbonded. For once the Army of the Potomac breathed free, and bright hopes of future happiness and reunion cheered their dreary life and gave fresh spirit to their souls. This was on the ninth of April, being less than two weeks from the opening to the closing fo the campaign, as full of fruitful victoriesas any that ever honored the army of Napoleon or Alexander. We soon commenced our retreat toward Petersburg, and are now resting from our labors about midway between the two points, near Banks' Junction on that of the South Side and Lynchburg and Richmond Railways. Our camp is a beautiful grove, and we are now awaiting orders. We are all anxious, now that the work of conquering is done, to receive orders to proceed to the Keystone State and once more enjoy the comforts and blessings of civil life, and that of a redeemed nation.
Our total loss was only twenty wounded and three killed, which is almost miraculous considering the many places of danger encountered. "The fight is fought and the victory won," and all are now desirous of enjoying the rights of citizens, and may our hopes be crowned with reality, is the prayer of your humble subscriber.
The news of our noble President's death came like a mighty shock upon the whole army, and all lament his loss, but I trust his successor will meet (sic.) out punishment to traitors, wherever found, and carry on the work of restoration, which President Lincoln had so gloriously begun.
With much respect, I remain a friend of Liberty and Justice,
C(assius). M. M'Crea
© Alice J. Gayley, all rights reserved
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