Joseph Leavitt, Co. G, 5th Maine, On the Battle (2)

12 05 2012

[Date & Place Unknown]

Dear Father–I will now try to give you A full account of the Battle of Bulls Run which you have been  trying to know about, it is and Old Story but as you have written A number of times about it in you Letters I will set down & try to give you a full account of the affair when we Landed in Alaxandria the only  Regiment that was here was Elmore the Fire Zouaves which was guarding the City with the third & fourth  of Maine the Maine Regiments started from Washington one night before we left & our Regiment went &  Camped about two miles from the City in A place which they call Clouds Mills & staid there about A week & then changed the Camp to A place called Bush hill which was owned by A man by the name of [Strate?] which he said he was A native of Maine but that he had lived Thirty Five years out here & he called himself sixty years old & I should think he was about that we had not been here no longer than three weeks before we had orders to pack up our knapsacks & be ready to march to the Field of Battle which we started the next Morning & we got as far as Springfield that night when we rested for the night & next morning have to start about three oclock for another days march & then every halfe hour throwing out an advance guard to see wether they could see anything of any Masked Batteries we kept on so till dark when the hold Army had to cross A stream of water on A plank which time they were crossing was about three hours & then have to march about Four miles further & then rest for the night the next morning Companies E & G was put on Guard of A thirty two pounder which we guarded till we got to Centreville but there was A great accident in Company E in which A member of that company shott & he died instantly all on that March there was nothing but killing of Cattle Which we eat at noe house we had & plenty of honey we had three hives each one weighing about seventy five pounds we staid at Centreville a week & on the morning of the twenty first of July 1861 which was Sunday whe started for the field of Action which was six miles from Centreville the Brigade in which my regiment was in was put on A reserve one in about three or four hours from the time in which they commenced to Fire we was all on which time we was going three miles was only fifteen minutes when we was the last Regiment to go on & the last to retreat so that you see that the Maine Fifth had A hard chance on the retreat to get off the Maine Fifth has not the praise it ought to have at that Battle & it has dishartened most of its members & there has gone home A great many stories that is not true about the Regiment that retreat was only one day day getting back to Alaxandria when we was getting there at Bulls run three days on the march so that you can see that was A kind of hard march for me but I held out I have gone as far on that old scrape as I can now I must close my letter, I am well & hope by the time you get this that it will find you the same & the rest of the Family give my love to Aunt Remick if she is at home & tell her that I should like to have her to write me A letter

From your affectionate Son

Joseph Leavitt

MSS 66 Albert & Shirley Small Special Collections Library, as transcribed at 150 Years Ago Today

Joseph Leavitt at