Pvt. Robert Porter Bush, Co. D, 12th New York Infantry, On Blackburn’s Ford

6 01 2018

Letter From Old Virginia.

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The following letter is from a son of Dr. Wyans Bush, of Branchport, who belongs to the 12th N. Y. (Onondaga) Regiment of N. Y. Volunteers:

Arlington Va., July 23d, 1861

Dear Father: — I received your good, though flattering letter the other day, while at Bull’s Run, after the first fight. – I got one from Mr. Clark, and Henry, at the same time; they did me much good.

I suppose you have seen accounts of the fight on Thursday and Sunday. I have seen several, but the N. Y. Times has the most truthful of any of them. I was one of the skirmishers under Capt. Breckensnider, and we went ahead Thursday, and 160 of us engaged the enemy’s force of some ten to twenty thousand, while the brigade were marching a mile, and manoeuvering some at that. We were deployed in a field and marched into a gully. I did not think they were within a mile of us, until I heard the report of a gun close by, and saw one of my comrades fall dead, and instantly a great number of guns were fired at us. We were ordered forward and marched up about five rods of a masked battery, where I staid and shot as fast as I could load and see anybody. They were within a battery, the earthworks of which were covered with green brush, so that it was not all the time that we could see them; but my rifle got so hot that I could scarcely hold it, and I shot only when I could see some one. At length the Regiment were beginning to approach, and the only boy that I could see ran back up the hill and said that we were ordered to retreat. I backed up the Regiment, fell down and let them pass over me, and after resting half a minute, went on again with the Regiment, but they broke and ran, that is most of them. I could not run as I was so tired, but I made good walking time until I found some of the skirmishers, and got into some woods back. All this time, ever since the first ball had flown, there was a perfect shower of balls all around us. I cannot think why no more of us were hit; but I think they shot too high; only a little, though, as some of the boys’ hats were torn off from them.

As to the fight Sunday, I know nothing only what I hear. We were deployed and sent into the woods once.

I have had but little sleep or food, since last Tuesday, when we started, and I am very tired. I will write more soon; we are at present, east of Arlington hights and are going to encamp here.

Love to all, good bye,

R. P. Bush.

Yates County Chronicle, 8/1/1861

Clipping Image

Contributed by John Hennessy

Robert Porter Bush at Wikipedia 

Robert Porter Bush at Fold3

Robert Porter Bush at Ancestry.com 

12th NYSV Roster

 


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