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Civil War Letters of the Christie Family

Author: Thomas D. Christie
Date: July 1, 1864
Location: Near Ackworth, Georgia
Addressee: Alexander S. Christie
Description: Shells fly into camp in the midst of heavy fighting.

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The Front, Ga. July 1st/64

Dear Brother:

Your letter with the account of the terrible drouth you were afflicted with, was rec'd on the 28th Ult., having been posted on the 23rd. Pretty quick time from Clyman. But I was disappointed on reading it at the extremely small space you devoted to the account of your late Expedition to Milwaukee, for I wanted a long letter on that subject alone, which I know would be interesting, and which I hope you will furnish us, if you have not already done so.

Here, the position is still unchanged, except that our two wings have swung around toward each other so that Johnstone is now in something of the scrape that Pemberton was the victim of at V'burg. Our wings are very strong in men, but deficient in position, while the rest of the Line is in splendid position, but pretty thin in men. Our Division is on the Left Centre, and is extended over almost twice the ground that it occupied in the first Line of Battle.

We do nothing beyond active skirmishing, the Batteries assisting our pickup when the Rebels get too saucy, and sometimes directing a shot at the heavy works on the Mountain, but in other parts of the Line the fighting has occasionally been very severe. One of these conflicts took place during the night of the 29th in which Davis' Division was engaged. The cannonade & roll of small Arms was very heavy, as heard by us, and we have since heard that the Rebels charged on our fellows, took them by surprise, and were in their pits before our chaps recovered themselves, when an awful hand to hand fight ensued in which the enemy was driven out, swept with canister as they fell back, and in turn charged by our fellows who drove them over their own Rifle Pits, and intrenched [sic] in an advanced position, having taken 500 prisoners, and killed as many more. I am told by an officer who was over the ground yesterday morning that the dead Butternuts lay more thickly than he saw them at Shiloh. But, of course, you have heard of it, and of all our other doings on the Right & Left, so I will confine myself to more individual matters.

We are all the same as usual, and our guns are in the same position as when I last wrote. Bullets fly around pretty thickly and many men have been killed or wounded close by us, but beyond some very narrow escapes the men of the Battery are not molested by the leaden messengers. Jesse, who, by the way, has never felt better in his life, had a bullet put through his tarpaulin which was full of his men at the time.

Did you get that Rebel Newspaper I sent you yesterday yet? I told you in that that my position as Sergeant is secured by an Order from Company HdQrs. I am the only one of the old Corporals who is promoted, the others who were commd'g Platoons as Sergts. having been reduced to their original positions, and some of the men who were acting Corporals have been reduced. It is as I thought it would be in that respect, the Capt. has delayed giving Warrants to us till he saw how we would do in the new positions, and now that we have been fairly tried he retains some permanently and reduces others.

Southwick is put in as Qu. Master Sergt., the old Quartermaster Everts having been assigned to the command of a Gen. Wiltse is confirmed as Corporal, but O'Hara is reduced, for not doing his duty as Corpl. of the Guard recently, they say. My promotion does not elate me much, although of course it pleases me as it is a kind of acknowledgement that my Duty has been done as it should, and although I am a modest kind of a fellow, as you know and do not like to speak much of myself, yet I will indulge for once in a little self-praise by simply saying that if I have not done my duty while in the Service it was not because I have not tried. So that is the last piece of Egotism you may expect from me for some time.

My Gun broke an Axle band by recoil is mending now, and that is why I have a little leisure. Remember me to all as I remember you and accept this from your Loving Brother, Sergt. Christie

[Postscript on page one] John Schaller and George Ehinger were well a day or two ago when I saw them. Send down a half dozen pocket Handkerchiefs, good towel, rough & heavy. Had to leave all these things at H.V.

[Postscript on page four] Will draw pay for the past 2 months as Sergt.

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