April 28th, 1862
It has been sometime since I have written a letter to you and, thinking you would like to hear from me, I take this opportunity of addressing a few lines to you. The regiment has been hard at work ever since we arrived here, throwing up entrenchments to protect the artillery and infantry. The work was completed Thursday night and the bombardment commenced early the next morning and continued without intermission until four in the P.M., our regiment meanwhile lying behind the breastworks while a perfect rain of shot and shell came upon all sides of them, many times caving the banks upon them so it was necessary to dig one another out with shovels. Several of our men were hit by balls rolling into the trench upon them, but none were wounded. The artillery lost one killed and two wounded.
The rebels came out with a white flag about four o’clock and a messenger was sent for. Gen. Burnside, also, arrived in the evening. Capitulations were agreed upon before morning and early the next day the “Stars and Stripes” were run up by the 4th R.I. Regiment. The 8th Conn. were not very well suited to do all the work and have the 4th R.I. hoist their flag, but that is all right; it is “Uncle Sam”, anyhow. The prisoners were discharged on parole, much to their gratification and some of our boy’s displeasure. Sightseers say that they had a great time over in Beaufort Saturday when the garrison was set free.
Children looking for their parents, wives for their husbands, fathers for their children and when they were recognized in the crowd such a hugging and kissing as was not often seen was carried on. I forgot to mention that their loss (according to their statement) was 8 killed and 15 wounded, but “Dame Rumor” says they were busy all night burying their dead. There were five guns dismounted in the fort and the inside generally was pretty well used up. Capt. Hoyt has been over to see us today and will probably take charge of his regiment in a few days.
We shall have to go to Newbern tomorrow or next day – distance 42 miles – good tramp for a worn out regiment.
I have the Ague about two days out of three; I have an excellent appetite and eat more victuals and “quinine” than two men should. My discharge was made out the Capt. about ten days since; he says he will do all he can to get it through. Don’t think I am hard sick for I am around cooking and shaking, hardly ever contented to be in my tent. Now that I have told you this, don’t think that I am coming for it is not such an easy thing to get a discharge and as far as living is concerned, I could live three years and shake all of the time, but I never should be of any use to the army.
Write soon and often,