Byrns, William – December 16, 1862

Michigan Civil War Collection Letters

Click here for this soldier’s biography:

Regiment: 1st Michigan Infantry

Battles Mentioned: White Hall, NC

Historical Figures:

My dear Florence,
I wrote you on the eve of our departure from this camp. We left early on the AM of the 11th. We lay all that day and the next waiting to cross. At 2pm the 13th we crossed near the lower part of the city & immediately went to the front & engaged. Early in the day a Brigade had charged over a field some 1/4 a mile or more & lay exposed to a fire from the enemies sharpshooters. We formed and charged to secure a position to support them.
We went across that field exposed to a severe fire of artillery. Our division lay there engaged all that PM. They were not relieved that night, nor the next day, until the 2nd night when under cover of night another division relieved them.
The papers will tell you of our great losses & small gains. The loss in our Regt. is about 80 including 7 officers – 2 killed, 3 dangerous & 2 slightly wounded. The 18th Mass. in our Brigade has suffered more than we. Humphreys Division of our Corps has suffered terribly.
Our forces evacuated last night, & probably the enemy have possession of the city now. Again I have passed through safe, though with a narrow escape. While going up on the charge I was struck on the ankle with a piece of shell & bolded over very handsomely, but seeing my foot uninjured I recovered my feet & place & went on to the advanced line. Did not feel at all hurt while we were engaged – all the PM – but after dark I found my leg a good deal swollen & quite painful. Took an ambulance & went into F. & the next AM could but hobble. But yesterday twas better & today I go without a cane. I will write more when I recover from the fatigue & excitement of the past 5 days.
I can but bless Power who has kept me safe. May we soon see the day when we can return to our homes. Captain Parsons is uninjured.
Pray for me & write me very often.
Yours, Wm. Bryns