Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.

My ancestors - Cashel - Contents

Letter from Edward Francis Cashel to George Cashel, 1864

Letter from Edward Francis Cashel in Georgetown, DC, to his father George Cashel, Fri 20 May 1864.

Some punctuation added.

Georgetown, D.C.
May 20th, 1864.

Dear father,

I hope you will forgive me for my long silence. There 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. I assure 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) [PAGE] are more 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.

  1. Bull Run (First battle), July 21st, 61, about 25 miles from Washington.
  2. A skirmish in front of Yorktown. Only 2 pieces engaged.
  3. Williamsburg, May 4th, 1862.
  4. Fairoaks, May 31st and June 1st, 62.

  5. 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 cut at [PAGE] 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. We 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, [PAGE] 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.

  6. We retreated that night to Malvern-Hill where we fought next day from 9 a.m. till 10 p.m. Here we had but 1 man slightly wounded. We retreated at night to Harrison's Landing on the James River. The 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. [PAGE] 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.

  7. Battle of South Mountain, Sept 13th, 62.
  8. Antietam, Sept 17, 62.
  9. 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.

  10. Fredericksburg (Second battle), May 3rd and 4th, 1863. Here we [PAGE] had 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 wagon captured.

  11. Battle of Gettysburg, July 3rd, 63. We lost here 2 men wounded, 4 horses killed and 1 wheel smashed by a solid shot.
  12. Skirmish near Culpeper, Sept 13th, 63. 2 men killed, 4 wounded. 4 horses killed and 20 wounded slightly.
  13. 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.

Aunt Jane received your letter yesterday. Let me know how you are all getting along, what William and Blen are doing, and if you are still in the service [PAGE] and how things are generally. I live with Uncle William. Uncle William and Aunt Jane are in good health and desire to be kindly remembered to you. They send you their best love. Hoping you, brothers and sister enjoy good health. I send you all my best love, no more from your unworthy son

Edward F Cashel. [PAGE]

P.S. Direct your letter: E.F.C., Georgetown, DC, US of America

I'll send Agnes some papers in a day or two

Write soon

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