Friday, November 18, 2016

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Lemuel A. Abbott: Friday, June 3, 1864

It still continues to rain a little, but for all this the Second, Sixth and Eighteenth Corps in the order mentioned from right to left, were ordered to charge at 4 o'clock a. m. and not to fire a shot until we got on to the enemy's works, but the charge was not a success. We never even reached the enemy's works. The attack commenced on the right and ran along the line until it reached the left. We advanced under a murderous fire in our front from the enemy's artillery, sharpshooters and when in range of its main line of battle and were simply slaughtered. We have lost to-day over 4,000 in killed and wounded. The total casualties June first and third have been 12,000, of which about 10,000 have been killed and wounded. The number killed in the Tenth Vermont since Tuesday is twenty-two and one hundred and twenty-nine wounded; and in Company K to-day one killed and five wounded. Two killed and nine wounded in two days greatly weakens my command. Captains Lucius T. Hunt and Pearl D. Blodgett were wounded, and Captain E. B. Frost was shot through the head and killed after the assault, by a sharpshooter. The Tenth Vermont lost sixty-two to-day in killed and wounded. We are now intrenching and ordered to act on the defensive. The men of Company K are cool, splendid fighters.

As I sat on the ground this morning with my back against a sapling in the woods, a sharpshooter planked a bullet in the ground about an inch from the calf of my right leg which covered me with flying dirt. He could see my blue pants through the green foliage. I moved. Colonel Schall who was wounded in the arm in the assault on June first and carried it in a sling in the fight to-day, was again wounded in the same arm. He is not a man to take advantage of a wound not totally disabling him to get out of a fight, evidently.

SOURCE: Lemuel Abijah Abbott, Personal Recollections and Civil War Diary, 1864, p. 74-5

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