Enos Bloom writes home


July 12,1862-Camp near Harrison�s Landing

Dear Father,

It is some time since I wrote to you, or received a letter form you, but I now tell you the reason I did not write sooner was I wanted to hear from the boys that were taken prisoners. But I can hear nothing. I suppose you heard that we were all taken: but we were not. Eight of us were excused from picket duty and that is the reason we escaped. I will tell you how they were taken: Three companies out of our regiment were ordered out to skirmish; Company K (ours) was the farthest in the woods and was surrounded; Company D was next to them and they had hard scratching to escape. The major was in command, and was with Company D, and made a narrow escape also.

But he made it by running his mare into a swamp halfway up her sides, leaving his mare there to die. She was in so deep that he could not get to his holsters; he also lost a boot. He came across a secesh cavalry horse and mounted it and rode into camp and ordered us to fall into rifles pits and give them hell when they came to get ourselves. we all fell into the pits, but Company K was not there. The adjutant said that he would go and see if he could find them, but before he got out of sight we saw the enemy coming in the woods till they looked blush with them. Then our batteries began playing on them and we were ordered to hold our fire till they came close enough.

There was a swamp between them and us, so they had but one place to cross at, unless they went up on our right. They had to cross single file. They came up on a charge thinking to take our battery. We did not fire a shot till they came up within 100 yards of us, then we gave them what the Major told us to give them. We piled them up by the hundreds making a perfect bridge across the swamp. So it went on till 10 o�clock at night. I did not get hurt except for a piece of shell that hit a tree and glanced down in the pit hit me across the toes, smashing one of them. If it had hit a little further back it would have smashed my foot. Then the Adjutant came a long and got wounded in the head badly.

The next morning our troops had to retreat. What was left our regiment was ordered to hold the ground or rather to cover the retreat. There was 84 thousand of them against the Pennsylvania Reserves. The right wing of our regiment did not hear the order to retreat and the Rebels crossed the swamp above and came in and captured Company E-the colour company, together with the beautiful flag with �Dranesville� inscribed upon it-also one platoon of Company D, and four of the eight members left of Company K, to wit: William Henry, William Williams, William Humphreys, and Thomas Conklin, taken or killed. This left four of us to fight our way through, to wit: William Addleman, Manning Dunn, Cortez Bloom, and myself. Brother Isaiah was taken with the rest of the boys. Tell mother not to fret for him for he is safe, and I expect he will soon be paroled, when he can go home and you can se him and hear what he has to say.

Well I must go and tell you about the next day�s fight. We marched till non, halting at a pretty good place, where we stopped to give them a taste of Yankee blood. they came up in awful force against our little squad. We fought till almost dark. Reinforcements did not reach us by two hours as soon as they should have done; and the secesh had fresh troops to put in every hour. But we had none and had to stick to it till we were done out and overpowered by the enemy. they had the woods and we had the open field. They drove us back and here came very near being panic among our teams and troops. Had it not been for the Irish Brigade coming up just there would have been an awful slaughter. But they gave three cheers for the Union and went in on a charge, and drove back at the point of bayonet. We lost our brave General Reynolds here, who was wounded and taken prisoner. He was a brave and good officer.

Our loss was heavy, there�s was much heavier. The four of us of Company K were all safe; we came out to fight without a scratch. We all fell back two miles that night and rested the next day. Here, old Simmons, Colonel of the Fifth Regiment, took command as Brigadier General. When night came we got orders to march. the little squad of Bucktails were called up in line to take the lead. We marched to daylight, the road being so shut up with teams and wagons we could hardly get along. We got breakfast, when we marched till noon; than stopped till night, when we went on picket duty and remained all night. Then we went to a field and layed there till about 11 o�clock when the enemy appeared and we had to get our little squad ready for action.

Our Cannon soon commenced playing on them. One rebel regiment came up, when our Fifth was ordered to charge, which they did, and took nearly one regiment prisoners. We were then ordered to go over and assist, which we did. We thought the secesh were all gone, and were lying down on a small hill when a brigade of the enemy came up out of the woods unexpectedly and poured in volley after volley until we were ordered to retreat back to the woods, and we had to get up right among the bullets. The air was blue with them. I saw 20 of our boys fall there less than a minute.

I stopped behind the first tree I came to and thought I would fight a little on my own hook. I fired 18 rounds at them when they were not more than 150 yards from me. I made some of them bite the dust. Two of them started to take me prisoner. I did not see them until they came up, when I shot one of them. The other ordered me to give up and throw down my gun, but I put a cartridge down it when he drew up to shoot. I told him not to shoot, I would give up; and as he was coming up I put a cap on my gun and still held at the hip; when I let the rammer fall to the ground he was no more than five steps from me. I did not sight the gun, but pulled the trigger. He jumped about two feet high and hollowed �My God I�m shot and fell to the ground dead. I then saw them coming up over the hill and had to skedaddle. It was getting dark and I felt the field. Cortez Bloom was wounded in the foot so there was but three of us left.

It is very lonesome, and I was home. I am cook at the hospital. I like it. We have plenty to eat. Nothing more at present. I don�t know whether you can read this letter, for I am tired and it is written in a hurry. Tell sister Margery that I will write to her soon. I wrote to you to send me some postage stamps. Did you get the letter? Direct where you did. Good-bye. From Your son.

Enos Bloom

Thanks Ed Morgan for this letter







U. S. C. T.

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