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Mallory, Stephen R. to his Wife Angela - Near Cold Harbor [?], Va. - Transcript

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Title:
Mallory, Stephen R. to his Wife Angela - Near Cold Harbor [?], Va. - Transcript
Series Title:
Stephen R. Mallory Papers
Publication Date:

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Subjects / Keywords:
Civil War
History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- United States
Spatial Coverage:
North America -- United States of America

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Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
Mallory5jc

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Monday 30 June [18]62


My D[ea]r Wife
I was out all day yesterday on the field of battle [First Cold Harbor and Battle of Gaine's Mill,
Virginia, Peninsular Campaign, Seven Day's Battle]. The enemy had abandoned his works
during the night, and with his whole remaining force was endeavoring to reach the James River.
We had 50,000 men in pursuit of him. Just at 6 o'clock our advance overtook a portion of his
rear guard and a fight of about two hours ensued, the result of which we as yet do not know, but
the firing was very brisk on both sides. His entrenched camps occupied a larger space than the
entire city of Richmond, and he fled leaving all his tents standing, but destroying a vast quantity
of stores. I was through his abandoned works, which were very strong, and which terror alone
could have induced the abandonment; for we could only have taken them by the loss of thirty
thousand men. Overcoats, blankets, flannel shirts, soda crackers, rusks [type of biscuit],
gingerbread, bayonets, broken guns, empty bottles & tins, tin cups, boots, books, newspapers,
tracts &c &c [etcetera], were scattered over the camps & woods for miles.

This morning we sent a column up far in the rear of their late position, but could see nothing of
them, & my belief is that McClellan [Major General George B. McClellan] is pushing towards
the forks or confluence of the James & Chickahominy rivers, there to intrench [entrench]
himself, receive provisions from his vessels and await reinforcements from Halleck's [Major
General Henry Wager Halleck's] army. Our troops will, I trust, push him to a general
engagement in which case we hope to capture or kill the principle portion of his army. Thus has
his boastful and bullying horde of barbarians been driven from its strong-hold before Richmond.
They are today twenty two miles off at least, in full retreat, with 50,000 men in pursuit.
Prisoners from them represent their army as demoralized & sick of the fight. They report Sickles
[Union General Daniel Edgar Sickles] to be killed.

Our loss in officers is heavy, & among the severely [severely] wounded is Genl. Elzey [Major
General Arnold Elzey], a ball having entered at the chin and come out near the spinal cord. His
recovery is doubtful & his wife is with him. No news from Tim's Regt. At last account young
Saunders was well. I will keep a look out for him, though I have not yet met him.

Wheat [Major Chatham Reoberdeau Wheat, commander, Louisiana Tigers] of La. [Louisiana] &
many others are killed.

This day & tomorrow will be eventful. If we crush out McClellan completely, the backbone of
this campaign will be broken, & crimination and recrimination will be the order among the
papers & politicians of the Yankey [sic] thieves. As it is, even thus far, our success has been
great & glorious. Our men fought like heros [heroes]. In fact, nothing less than a separate &
distinct resolve of each man to take a foeman by the throat and drag him to the Earth could have
won us the battles we have gained, for we took from them position after position, battery after
battery, against all odds & in spite of every loss. In one place at least one hundred of our men
were killed in a little space not a hundred feet square. Men were never more resolved, or fought
with truer desperation. The fall of comrades, friends, & brother around them, instead of
retarding, only urged them on, and they thus drove the enemy step by step for twelve miles with
musketry & artillery playing in their teeth at every step. The Yankey regulars fought well. Their









discipline was far more thorough than ours & their charges, retreats, & maneuvers were all
creditably executed. But then our men rushed at them, every man for himself, shouting curses &
imprecations upon them, & with deadly intent visible in every movement. The Yankeys would
not stand to grapple with our men, but always fled in disorder when we got within a few yards of
them.

I send you papers today with full accounts, & they are not exaggerated, nor indeed are they at all
colored.

I forgot to mention that Whiting sends his love to you, & says that he hopes you won't think hard
of his taking his ring back, & that he always intended to replace it with another & less expensive
one.*

If you want anything from Nassau, make a clear distinct description of it & send it to C.J.
Mitchell & Co. Charleston. Write to them, & they will send for what you may want, from a shoe
to a chemise, only be particular as to everything. If you send for shoes mention the size in inches
as well as numbers.

My love to [Mann?], Mr. Senac & Ruby. Tell Mann the papers are as much for him as for you,
as is all my army news.

My regards to Mrs. [Saunders?] & her family, & say that I will not lose sight of her boy.

God bless you. Do tell me what to say to Whiting- I know he wants a lock of your hair.

Y[ou]rs Affly. [Affectionately]
S.R. Mallory

Mrs. S. R. Mallory


Transcribed by Nicole J. Milano, University of Florida, 2009

*Note: Major Whiting was Angela's unsuccessful suitor prior to her marriage to Mallory.




Full Text

PAGE 1

Monday 30 June [18]62 My D[ea]r Wife I was out all day yesterday on the field of battle [F irst Cold Harbor and Battle of Gaines Mill, Virginia, Peninsular Campaign, Seven Days Battle]. The enemy had abandoned his works during the night, and with his whole remaining for ce was endeavoring to reach the James River. We had 50,000 men in pursuit of him. Just at 6 oclock our advance overtook a portion of his rear guard and a fight of about two hours ensued, the result of which we as yet do not know, but the firing was very brisk on both sides. His entr enched camps occupied a larger space than the entire city of Richmond, and he fled leaving a ll his tents standing, but destroying a vast quantity of stores. I was through his abandoned works, which were very strong, and which terror alone could have induced the abandonment; for we coul d only have taken them by the loss of thirty thousand men. Overcoats, blankets, flannel shir ts, soda crackers, rusks [type of biscuit], gingerbread, bayonets, broken guns, empty bottles & tins, tin cups, boots, books, newspapers, tracts &c &c [etcetera], were scatte red over the camps & woods for miles. This morning we sent a column up far in the rear of their late position, but could see nothing of them, & my belief is that McClellan [Major Gene ral George B. McClellan] is pushing towards the forks or confluence of the James & Chickahominy rivers, th ere to intrench [entrench] himself, receive provisions from his vessels a nd await reinforcements from Hallecks [Major General Henry Wager Hallecks] army. Our tr oops will, I trust, push him to a general engagement in which case we hope to capture or kill the principle portion of his army. Thus has his boastful and bullying horde of barbarians been driven from its strong-hold before Richmond. They are today twenty two miles off at leas t, in full retreat, with 50,000 men in pursuit. Prisoners from them represent their army as demo ralized & sick of the fi ght. They report Sickles [Union General Daniel Edgar Sickles] to be killed. Our loss in officers is heavy, & among th e severly [severely] wounded is Genl Elzey [Major General Arnold Elzey], a ball havi ng entered at the chin and come out near the spinal cord. His recovery is doubtful & his wife is with him. No news from Tims Regt. At last account young Saunders was well. I will keep a look out for him, though I have not yet met him. Wheat [Major Chatham Reoberdeau Wheat, commande r, Louisiana Tigers] of La. [Louisiana] & many others are killed. This day & tomorrow will be eventful. If we crush out McClellan completely, the backbone of this campaign will be broken, & crimination and recrimination will be the order among the papers & politicians of the Yankey [sic] thieves. As it is, even thus far, our success has been great & glorious. Our men fought like heros [heroe s]. In fact, nothing less than a separate & distinct resolve of each man to take a foeman by the throat and drag him to the Earth could have won us the battles we have gained, for we took from them position after position, battery after battery, against all odds & in spite of every loss In one place at leas t one hundred of our men were killed in a little space not a hundred feet square. Men were never more resolved, or fought with truer desperation. The fall of comrad es, friends, & brother around them, instead of retarding, only urged them on, and they thus drov e the enemy step by step for twelve miles with musketry & artillery playing in th eir teeth at every step. The Ya nkey regulars fought well. Their

PAGE 2

discipline was far more thorough than ours & their charges, retreats, & maneuvers were all creditably executed. But then our men rushed at them, every man for himself, shouting curses & imprecations upon them, & with deadly intent vi sible in every movement. The Yankeys would not stand to grapple with our men, but always fled in disorder when we got within a few yards of them. I send you papers today with full accounts, & they ar e not exaggerated, nor i ndeed are they at all colored. I forgot to mention that Whiting sends his love to you, & says that he hopes you wont think hard of his taking his ring back, & that he always intended to replace it with another & less expensive one.* If you want anything from Nassau, make a clear di stinct description of it & send it to C.J. Mitchell & Co. Charleston. Write to them, & they will send for what you may want, from a shoe to a chemise, only be particular as to everything. If you send for shoes mention the size in inches as well as numbers. My love to [Mann?], Mr. Senac & Ruby. Tell Mann the papers are as much for him as for you, as is all my army news. My regards to Mrs. [Saunders?] & her family, & say that I will not lose sight of her boy. God bless you. Do tell me what to say to WhitingI know he wants a lock of your hair. Y[ou]rs Affly. [Affectionately] S.R. Mallory Mrs. S. R. Mallory Transcribed by Nicole J. Mila no, University of Florida, 2009 *Note: Major Whiting was Angela s unsuccessful suitor prior to her marriage to Mallory.