Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Lemuel A. Abbott: Saturday, May 7, 1864

Weather very warm, but suited to the work we have got to do. We fell back about a half mile last night, just after Generals Meade and Sedgwick passed our regiment, to some breastworks in which we lay on our arms all night. This morning we were moved to a stronger position on a ridge just to the left of the position we occupied last night, and threw up very strong breastworks, several brass cannon having been placed along the ridge before our arrival. We have remained as support to this artillery all day, but it hasn't been used. The enemy made an attempt to carry the works to our left on the pike early this morning but were repulsed in less than five minutes with a loss of two hundred. We have remained on the defensive all day. The Second Corps repulsed the enemy just at dark, as it was trying to carry their works.

Our regiment has not been engaged to-day, but the suspense has been wearing. The rebel yell when they have made their various assaults at other places on the line to our left, and the ominous bull-dog-like silence along our lines till the roar of musketry commenced when the enemy got in range, made one at the time almost breathless and his heart to stand still on any part of the line. It is awful! But the rebel yell makes one clinch his teeth and determine that it shall be victory for us or death before we will give up our works. But I don't like war and wish it was well over. This is the real thing, though! Grant don't play fight.

Our casualties in the Wilderness including the Ninth Corps were 10,220 wounded, 2,902 missing, and 2,265 killed, making a total of 15,387. The Confederate loss was 6,000 wounded, 3,400 missing, and 2,000 killed, making a total of 11,400. The Tenth Vermont lost nine wounded and three killed.

SOURCE: Lemuel Abijah Abbott, Personal Recollections and Civil War Diary, 1864, p. 48-50

No comments: