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    Shiloh, bloody Shiloh - April 6-8, 1862

    Battle of Shiloh Content Letter by Jacob M. Porter of the 8th Ohio Light Artillery. Five pages, with letter closing and signature on the sixth page. 7" x 9.25". Pittsburgh Landing, Tennessee. Porter has dated the letter March 11, 1862, but March is crossed out and corrected in pencil, "April". Written in ink with excellent content, in part: "...General Grant issued an order a few days after we arrived here that no mail should go from this camp until after the battle that we have just passed through or you should have heard from me long before this... we started down the Mississippi River and did not stop until we arrived at Cairo. We landed there a short time and from there we struck the Ohio River and went up to Fort Henry. Remained there but a short time however there we began to see the fruits of Sesess as it had been but a short time after the battle and everything was torn to atoms. Fort Donelson is but 12 miles from there and that is the only escape they had. We then struck the Tennessee River and went to Paduca. There we found about 10 thousand soldiers in camp several regiments from Ohio... I am happy to inform you that I have just passed through one of the Bloodiest and most hard fought battle that was ever fought in America without the least wound... While many thousands around me fell never more to meet their friends and loved ones at home, never did I witness such a scene nor do I ever again wish to while I live as there was here during this battle. And to cross over the Battle Ground after they had ceased firing was one of the most horrible scenes that any eye could gaze on. John Kruck and myself hitched up 4 mules to our Baggage Wagon after the Enemy was Whipped, and hauled the wounded and dead off the field. There was lots of the Rebels that would just beg for us to take them along. But John told them he would not take a damned one of them until our men was attended to first... The Rebels attacked us on last Sabbath morning the 6th just at daylight when we were not expecting an attack at all... But to our surprise we found them right into our camp with 10 thousand strong; 3 of our Regiments was thrown out immediately into a line of battle. But what few of them were not killed were compelled to retreat back before they could be reinforced... Our men were so surprised and scared at the sudden attack so that they could not fight. At the first of the engagement our men retreated back 4 miles before they made a stand. And I can assure you both sides fought like Tigers until almost dark when the Rebels were compelled to retreat back. Our battery was in the fight when they made one of their heaviest charges on Sunday afternoon. Beauregard was in command at that time himself. There was 3 Regiments came up within 3 hundred yards of our battery. We were on top of a hill and we just poured the shells and cannon ball into them without the loss of any of our men and drove them back. The battle lasted nearly 3 days before we whipped them but we have nothing to brag of... When you write direct your letter to Jacob Porter, Pittsburgh Landing Tennessee in care of Capt. Markgraf 8th Ohio Battery..." Porter goes on to incorrectly report the death of General Braxton Bragg, but is correct in reporting the news of Joseph E. Johnston's death. Shiloh was the bloodiest battle, to that point, in the war.

    Flattened folds with wear and small separations thereat. First pages shows light soiling, with light creasing throughout; no doubt the result of repeated reading upon initial receipt. A fantastic letter! Porter enlisted as a private in January 1862. He mustered into the 8th Ohio Light Artillery in March of 1862, just a month before writing this letter.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2015
    12th-13th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
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