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Augusta County: Adam Wise Kersh to George P. Kersh, May 15, 1863

Kersh provides a description of the battle of Fredericksburg and talks about the death of Stonewall Jackson.

George P. Kersh

May 15, 1863

Spotsylvania County, VA

Dear Brother

I seat myself to write you a few lines I received your letter in which you wished to know if I would rent my house and lot in Centreville I will rent it for one year to any good substantial man for one year at 30 dollars I told D A Plecker when he was here that I would not sell I wrote an answer to this letter on the 8 May I also answered the one you wrote before this Stating that you had rented the farm for one year and about John Smiths contrariness Not knowing if they come to hand or not I have concluded to write these few Lines The were called to the field of battle at Fredericksburg on the 29th of April We lay around about there in line of battle and shifted from one position to another to reinforce the weakest points for about 9 days we did not get in the fight quite we made a charge one day but were ordered back before we got in shooting distance of the Yankees main lines the Sharpshooters fired on us some but hurt no one We would been apt to had a hot time if we would not have been ordered to fall back as we would have been exposed to the enemy's shells The 15th Va made a charge The Yankee skirmishers and were badly cut up they lost about 60 men altogether killed wounded and taken prisoner the 53 Va made a charge also and lost some men and their colors The 13th 49th 52nd and - - - ? composes our Brigade Extra Billy Smith has command of our Brigade now we belong to General Earley's Division The day of the general fight at Fredericksburg we were held in reserve We had a good view of the fight it was a great sight to see The Yankees just went like chaff before the wind Some balls whistled about where we lay and some shells bursted pretty close to our line One man in our regiment was struck by a piece of a shell of which he died in about an hour by the name of Alves and one was wounded by the name of Rosen A little before sunset we were ordered to the field to relieve some of the regiments: but when we arrived there the firing had ceased and the Yankees had fallen way back next to the river and it was too late to renew the action Next morning the Yankees had all crossed back but a few skirmishers which our men took prisoners the 52nd did not get to fire a gun this fight the day after the fight while sniffing around to another position the Yankees commenced to throw (shells) across the river at us one fell in our regiment and killed 4 men and wounded Six killed Sipes Curry Montgomery and Archy Wounded Lieut. Weller Lieut. Kenny Lieut. Lindsay Davis (privates) Gilliott and Stogdale None in our Company was hurt we all got back to our old Camp on the 7th of May safe and sound five were killed out of our regiment and seven wounded altogether The biggest fighting was done about 13 miles above Fredericksburg they say our men charged Out of their breast works three lines deep They say that the ground looked blue with yanks and our men killed about three to one The Yankees acknowledged they lost about thirty thousand killed missing and wounded about the same that our men estimated their loss at some say our loss was about nine thousand killed missing and wounded the Yankees papers put ours at pretty much the same They say we got about nine thousand prisoners and that the Yankees got about four thousand of ours They say old Joe fallen back from the river here at Fredericksburg no signs of a fight here now where Old Joe will make a break next god only knows They say he is very much depressed Well he ought to bee I wish he would dry up and go in his hole As I have written a letter to you before this concerning the fight I will quit writing about fighting One great loss to our Country is our beloved Jackson he died on the 10th being wounded then taking the pneumonia it soon took him off

The weather has been pretty hot here for a few days the leaves are pretty near as large as they will get wheat looks well through here what is not very much been put out through here John Craun and John Hale arrived here yesterday They say things are a great deal forwarder here than in Augusta Adam H Craun has been elected second Lieutenant in our Company Jacob H. Craun is out of the Guard house Old Mike took all out that was of good standing deducted their wages during the time of their absence The morning of the fight Old Mike said all that would come out and go in the fight would be released A great many come out all the boys belonging to our Company come out except Sandy Frasier and Donner Donner aint to blamed being sick All them that would not come out were sent to Richmond to be court-martialed we have no guardhouse now which makes duty lighter upon us The boys are all well except Luther A Misner Stephen D Elliott and George M Crist they are complaining a little We drill twice a day now for exercise We have good times now I dont know how long we will stay here Whenever the heshians make a break we are ready for them One thing I must acknowledge fighting is not very Pleasant work the worst is going to it but when one is in to it once and fires a few rounds he becomes less excited I hate these infernal bums that the Yankees throw at us they make such dreaded, noise they make one believe they are going to hit him if they dont come near him I will have to close write and give me the news from old Augusta This leaves me well and I hope when these few lines come to hand they may find you all enjoying good health

Yours Respectfully

Adam W Kersh

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