William H Tatum
Hanover Co. near Cold Harbor
June 2nd 1864
It really seems hard to realize that I am in fours hours walk
of home. From present appearances, I had just as well be far distantfor all purposes of visiting.
I enclose some private notes, as before, which please preserve.
You see I have been some little under fire but none of any account.
My piece is at present in position in rear of where the fighting
occurred on yesterday & out of sight. The enemy take about 200
yards of our works. We had no artillery at the point. Our acting on
the defensive enables them to concentrate heavily at any one point
& we must not expect to be uniformly successful in repelling these
attacks when they come as they did on -yesterday in overwhelming numbers.
It was a small affair however though they will magnify it to a big victory.
It is now my turn to complain of you for not writing. Write
often. One of our number, John Mosely was killed 31st. He
was a good fellow & went out from Richmond with us in .61. Another
“Carey Eggleston”, who lost an arm at Spotsylvania, died
last Sunday. Our wounded are doing well. May these dispensations of
God's providence be sanctified to the good of our souls.
There has been skirmishing all the morning but no attack. Our
rations of meat has been doubled so we get plenty to eat. Tell T. to
come & see us, we will put him in a ditch where the balls wont hit
him. John has the greatest curiosity about everything, at Spot. CH a
shell came over & struck in the
ground to our rear fifty yards, out he runs & digs it up to see what
sort of a thing it was, there was little firing at the time. He is
driving a t present & as we usually send the horses to the rear, he is
not apt to be in as much danger as some of the rest of us. He is also
enabled to carry our baggage on a march on his horses. But do not let
us think too much of safe places, but rather trust in God & that His
all seeing eye is upon us wherever we are. Write & don't copy my style
in writing public news but write home news.
With tender love to all.
Your affectionate brother,
P.S. I am now sitting under five fine cherry trees, and I have just
eaten just as many as I wanted. Our guns are about half a mile in the
rear of the fighting and of course some balls come over here, but I
have a deep hole by the side of my horses to get in. I will give you
some idea how fast the guns have been shooting this morning, just as
fast as I can count.
I would like very much to see you all but there is no chance to go
home while the fighting is going on. I would like very much if T.
could come to see us but I don’t know where he is so we are our selves
let lone directing him.
J . C. Tatum________________________________________________________________I guess with my Great Grand Dad Digging up cannon balls, I can consider myself luck to be here !DT.