One of the finest Gettysburg Battle letters - A Confederat...Click the image to load the highest resolution version.
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DescriptionOne of the finest Gettysburg Battle letters - A Confederate Account: Written by Adjutant Charles J.C. Hutson, 1st S.C. Infantry, A.P Hill's 3rd Army Corps.
This 4 page letter in ink is on Confederate brown 8 x 9 ½ inch stationery. It was written from Williamsport, Maryland on July 9th, 1863 by Charles J. C. Hutson, Company H of the 1st South Carolina Infantry. Prior to the war, Hutson graduated from South Carolina College and became a lawyer practicing in Beaufort and Hampton County, South Carolina. He also owned several large rice plantations. Being well educated the letter is articulate and descriptive. Reads in part:
"We entered Penn. with as fine an army as was ever enlisted, lived for some time upon the bounty of that rich country, made the inhabitants feel the horrors of war, frightened the mass of the people and finally fought the battle of Gettysburg, the most severely and hardly contested which I remember."
"Gen. (Robert E.) Lee attacked the enemy in his strong position, a fine eminence of ground, whipped him badly the first day with A. P. Hill's Corps and especially our division, and failed upon the second and third days to carry the heights to which the enemy had fallen back and where he fortified himself presenting natural and artificial fortifications too strong to be taken."
"We lost very heavily and more so I fear than the enemy, but we held our ground, inflicted serious damage to his army and captured thousands of prisoners which I have seen today."
"On the fourth night Gen. Lee retired quietly and has brought his whole army safely to a different base of operations in Maryland. The enemy retired the same night! So I regard the battle a drawn game. Our invasion of Penn. has not been attended with those results which we all expected but time must develop what Gen. Lee will yet do in this country."
"The Yankee cavalry attacked our train wagons a few days ago and I escaped capture by a hairs breath. One of our regimental wagons was taken and several of our men but the rest of us escaped having no way of defending ourselves. The Va. Protecting the train ran and cause the damage."
Our cavalry are a poor set! Our own regiment lost heavily at Gettysburg and I grieve to say that my honored and beloved Captain was killed. Capt. (William T.) Haskell was a noble and brave and Christian hero. It is seldom that we are called upon to mourn the loss of one so universally respected and loved. He was attracting attention on every side and was becoming so well known that he could not have lived much longer without promotion. He was always so kind and friendly to me that I feel his loss terribly. I attended to the last mournful duties which we own to those whom we have affection for and saw that he was placed in a decent coffin and that his grave was properly marked. His countenance in death was remarkably free and indicated a noble soul and was expressive of calm happiness at his last hour, a pleasant smile being clearly visible on his mouth."
"I am glad to say that George Mackay has escaped safely through the battle and commands Co. H."
"You will see a list of casualties in the Regiment in the newspapers. I lost another friend in T. A. Rhodes of our company. I have not heard of Charley Colcock since the night previous to the battle and feel very anxious to hear about him. I trust he has been mercifully spared to us. How thankful we should be that our immediate families and friends have been wonderfully preserved through so many trials."
"Gen. Lee in defense intends to fight the enemy in Maryland. I trust our campaign will be fruitful of great results..."
An excellent content letter. From the Calvin Packard Civil War Battlefield Letter Collection
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