Pvt. William Ray Wells, Co. I, 12th NY, on Action at Blackburn’s Ford (1)

5 08 2011

July 19

Manassass Junction

Dear Friends,

I presume this will be the last letter I shall ever direct to you. We are within about 3/4 of a mile of the enemy waiting by the road side I do not know what for. We had a slight brush yesterday afternoon with the enemy. Our reg, was marching along when we were fired upon from the bushes. At the first fire there was a young man who stood by my right side fell with a bullet through his head. I gave a glance around to see who it was and then we all fell down and loaded and fired as fast as we could. The enemys balls whistled and rattled by our ears pretty sharp. The boys got mixed at the first fire Co A Co J and part of Co E and Co H I think these were together and I do not know where the rest of the reg, was. us that were together stood it, like tigers and did not retreat until we were ordered to do so and then very sloly. There were some 60 or 70 of our reg killed and wounded. The union forces all drew of about 3 miles and camped over night. We are expecting to attact them now soon. We do not know the enemys exact number but hear they are very strong but I for one am going to do my duty. I hardly ever expect to see home again but if I fall it will be in a good cause. I have not rec’d any letters from any of you (except Mary) since that dated the 9th of July, but I must close. Perhaps forever. From your true son and brother

Ray

Transcription and letter image

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7 responses

5 08 2011
Alan

Do we know the fate of Pvt Wells?

5 08 2011
Harry Smeltzer

I do not.

6 08 2011
tyount

Private wells according to the NY AG reports was killed August 30, 1862 at 2nd Manassas.

6 08 2011
Harry Smeltzer

Thanks for the update, Terrance!

5 08 2011
cwbattlemapart

http://www.secondwi.com/fromthefront/2d%20wis/1861/1st_bull_run.htm

This is another excellent account by a Lt Rollins and other extracts of the 2nd Wisconsin Reg’t (Col. Sherman’s Brigade) of the Action at Blackburn’s Ford that I happened to stumble upon.
A very good read.

5 08 2011
Harry Smeltzer

Thanks for the link. Are you the/an administrator of this site?

7 08 2011
Pvt. William Ray Wells, Co. I, 12th NY, on Action at Blackburn’s Ford (2) « Bull Runnings

[...] By the narrative it appears that Wells is describing again the engagement at Blackburn’s Ford on July 18, as he did in this letter. [...]

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