May 20th, 1864.
I hope you will forgive me for my long silence.
is no use in trying to excuse myself for I know very well that
I am greatly to blame for not writing to you regularly.
you that such will not occur again. I have just returned to
Georgetown from the Army in which I served 3 years. I was
sworn in for 5 years, but Congress passed an Act that all persons
who enlisted in 61 were to serve only 3 years, putting
the Regulars and Volunteers on the same footing. I enlisted in the
Regular Service preferring it to the Volunteers as they (R)
disciplined and better officered.
I have been in a great many battles, and thank God I never
received a scratch or wound in the whole campaign. I have been
present and engaged in the following battles.
Bull Run (First battle),
July 21st, 61, about 25 miles from Washington.
A skirmish in front of Yorktown.
Only 2 pieces engaged.
May 4th, 1862.
May 31st and June 1st, 62.
Glendale, or Charles City Cross Roads,
June 30th, 62.
Here we had the hardest fighting. The Rebels charged our Battery
3 times and were repulsed each time with great slaughter, we using
double canister while it lasted and then spherical case and shell
¼ second (time). Our Battery at this time was a 6 gun brass
(Light 12 pounders) Battery. The greatest range being as follows:
For solid shot 1780 yds.
Spherical case 1300 yards.
Shell 1200, and canister 300 yards.
The time of fuse required for spherical case and shell at greatest
range is 5 seconds, so you see when we had to cut our fuses ¼ second
that it was pretty close work. Some of the Rebels at one time were
between our guns but were repulsed by our Infantry Supports.
left the field after firing away all our ammunition. This was the
first fight in which we lost any men or horses. We lost 1 man killed,
20 wounded and about 30 horses killed. We also lost 1 gun
in leaving the field, 2 of the drivers being wounded at that time
and 2 horses killed.
We retreated that night to Malvern-Hill
we fought next day from 9 a.m. till 10 p.m.
Here we had but 1 man
We retreated at night to
on the James River.
whole army encamped around here until we left for Maryland. A Rebel
Battery followed the Army up to this place and shelled our Camps
wounding several men.
2 of our pieces were ordered to engage the enemy whilst our
Infantry got in rear of them and captured 4 pieces of Artillery
and 500 prisoners. Our Army was completely worn out when we
got to Harrison Landing, having been fighting in daytime and retreating
at night for 7 days and 7 nights.
Battle of South Mountain,
Sept 13th, 62.
Antietam, Sept 17, 62.
Dec 13th, 1862.
Fredericksburg (First battle).
Here we were
engaged 4 days, 13th 14th 15th and 16th.
We lost in this battle
2 men killed (heads blown off), 14 men wounded and 20 horses
killed. 7 wheels of gun carriages blown to pieces.
Fredericksburg (Second battle),
May 3rd and 4th, 1863. Here we
but 1 horse killed, 13 men taken prisoners.
30 horses, 1 Battery wagon,
1 Forge, 4 government wagons and 24 mules and 1 two-horse
Battle of Gettysburg,
July 3rd, 63.
We lost here 2 men wounded,
4 horses killed and 1 wheel smashed by a solid shot.
Sept 13th, 63. 2 men killed, 4 wounded.
4 horses killed
and 20 wounded slightly.
2nd skirmish near Culpeper, Nov 8th, 63.
Battery Commander's leg shot off.
1 man wounded severely in the
arm and side,
1 horse killed.
This is the last fight I have been in.
received your letter yesterday. Let me know how you
are all getting along,
are doing, and if you are
still in the service
and how things are generally. I live with Uncle
Uncle William and Aunt Jane
are in good health and desire
to be kindly remembered to you.
They send you their best love.
you, brothers and sister enjoy good health. I send you all my best
love, no more from your unworthy son
Edward F Cashel.
P.S. Direct your letter:
E.F.C., Georgetown, DC, US of America
I'll send Agnes some papers in a day or two