Letter from Dr. David Ramsey Crawford to Juliana Smith Reynolds, June 14, 1862
I received your kind letter some days ago and was very glad to hear from you and I would like very much to hear from you now as I suppose you have heard of the recent Battle and casualties. It pains me to think of the distress this will cause the friends and relatives of those who have laid down their lives on the battle field to sustain the government on which it has been there lot to be cast. I sympathize from my very soul with those who have been made widows and fatherless and those parents who are berieved of their children. I suppose you have had a full account of the battle for those who have written to you and from the papers and I need not give you a rehersal of it. I suppose you have heard that H.P. Sprague, Rutter, Peter Sharp and Howlett were killed and Stan Burrows, Ben Johnson, Dickey, Wensel were wounded all slightly but Burrows and that Sergt Killgore, [Kilgore] Tilton, Jon Osborn and [??] are among the missing.
I searched the field over and over again to find Tilton and I was with the first that went on the field and the last time I heard from Tilton he was lying behind a log. Joe Dickey was wounded and was making his way of[f] the field and saw him and told him had better retreat as the rebels were surrounding us. He told him he could not move as the balls were coming from front and both side on him then. This is the last was heard of him and all the Regt knows him and I had every one look to find him. There was four men of the Regt taken prisoner. I know this will be a hard shock on you and Uncle Thomas and his brothers and sisters and you have my heart felt sympathy and I think he will turn up all right yet. The Rebels had possession of more than the half of the Battle field to Monday morning and they were very kind to our wounded. They carried them into shade or placed Branches to keep the sun of[f] them and gave them lemonade to drink and told them they knew we treated their wounded well at Williamsburgh [Williamsburg]. This I know to be for J. Smith and I were first in the City (as they call it).
Adjt O. Gray is sick and is quartered in a [?] house a mile or so down the R.R. I was in camp this evening and took supper with Lieut Conser. He is unwell he has the ague. They say Gray will be appointed Capt of Company B. That sleek tongued K.L. Bland has been down to see us and [gone home?] to day. There is no Capt in Co H yet. W.H. McLoughlin who came with Conser from Pittsburg [Pittsburgh] and was Segt Major is now Sec Lieut. I see our [wounded?] 105th [??] from Boston to Norfolk. We have been Reenforced to a considerable extent here and I tell you I needed it as our Brigade and in fact the division was [word missing] when we count out the sick and wounded. We have a new Regt in the Brigade the 20 Indiana and it [?] [word missing] all the old Regt and is placed on the Right wing and 63 has the left and we have the back end of the right. Gen Jamison [Jameson] is sick and gone a way and the Col of the 20 Ind is acting Brig Gen.
About half of the Surgeon of the Brigade are sick some of them a way. Dr. Smith is at a hospital on the Chickahominy, Dr. Heichhold is in camp and [?] Surgeons call for 3 Regt and I have the exclusive charge of the sick of this Regt here which numbers 50 men. Since three of them has the Tyfoid and 15 Billious and 10 or 15 ague and the rest Dysentary and [Diarrhea?]. And all our Regular Nurses are back at hospital. Between this and Fort Monroe and I have 4 men out of the Brass Band and their is only two of them has done any thing yet. But this is the last day I am going [he was?] in this way. This Band by the way has been the greatest nusance belonging to the 105th Regt.
So [?] you could that when I read the news paper as we get it two days behind time and pay the “boy” 10 cts for it. I have not much time to write and when I do write I am interrupted so much I can not write any thing. I got a letter from [?] the same day yours came. She stated she had heard out at Salem that we had had a fight and that the 105th was annihilated. Their was in reality not more than 400 rank and file in the fight as Co G was guarding the Bridge and Co C and I were out making Corduroy Road and did not get to the battle ground til just dark and then only fired a few rounds. Peter Cox got suddenly sick when he saw he was going to have a fight and O. Smith the boys says [stopped?] of[f] a safe distance and that he had some Cartridges the next morning. Cox went clear back to our old camp that night and told he had been in the fight. But I saw him leave his Bunk and did not see him come in a gain and the Boys knew he was lying because his gun was not dirty and when he was questioned about the place they fought he could not tell them. We had 43 killed 42 on the field and there was 1 died [?] one of them before we got him off the field. 120 wounded and 8 missing making a total of 171 out of about 400. We are now in a very unhealthy place nearly as bad as Yorktown. The water is very bad and if it was not that it rains every other day or so it would be very scarce. Well aunt I will close this as it is late and I am sleepy. Do not forget the poor soldier in your pettitions at a time of grace from your affectionate nephew.