The Civil War Letters of Forrest Little - April 17, 1862

April 17, 1862

Lee's Mills

Yorktown Va
April 17th 1862

Dear Father & Mother

I received your kind letter in due time & I was very glad to hear that you were well as this leaves me in at the present    yesterday the great battle commenced    early in the morning the cannons comenced by tossing the union card over to them and along about noon there was the confoundedest racket that ever you heard    the first shot that the Rebels fired busted right clost by one of the cannons in mots[Mott’s] battery killed and wounded 9 men out of ten    there was one of the poor fellows that a piece of a shell stuck in his breast tearing half of his left side and letting all of his insides out    oh my God that was the awfulest sight that I ever saw in my life    the infantry dident do much till along about 2 Oclock in the Afternoon and then we commenced firing    we fired about 15 rounds then we was ordered to charge on one of their rifle pits    the 3 Vermont charged first but they got Repulsed with the loss of 11 killed and 70 wounded    then the 6th charged and they were Repulsed with the loss of 15 killed and 77 wounded    and then Old General Brooks thought that his Brigade was getting cut up to bad and he wouldent allow the Rest of his Brigade go over the same thing     there was a kind of a creek that the men had to go over before they could get to them    when they went over this creek the water was up above their knees and when they come back they had to swim the water was so deep     to day there aint much agoing on except we are throwing breast works up    to morrow we shall have to fight again    there was 5 killed and 7 wounded in our Regment    in the 2nd there was 1 killed by shell    I tell you father it wasent much fun to hear them old shell whissing over our heads    the Vermont Brigade did All the fighting mostly    General Smith ordered General Brooks to have his whole Brigade charge on the Rebels after these Regiments that I have named over had charged    old Brooks turned around to smith and told him that he that he wouldent do it    why Father the whole division might have charged on them and they couldent have took them    but I must stop    write as soon as you get this    Direct where you always do    all my love to you
From Forrest

Map of Lee's Mills

-- Next Letter: May 2, 1862