Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

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Leverett Bradley: A Soldier-Boy’s Letters

April 26, 2015

Leverett Bradley: A Soldier-Boy's Letters (1st Massachusetts Heavy Artillery.)

Camp 1st Mass. H. A., Near Burksville Junction, Va.,
April 26, 1865.

Dear Family:

Yours of the 19th has been rec’d. Yesterday was a holiday with us, opening with a salute of thirteen guns, and a gun every half hour during the day, with a National salute of thirty six guns at sunset. We were paraded at 10 A.M. and the orders of the Sect’y of war and Lieut Genl. Grant were read to us. All the men are dissatisfied, stopping here in camp. The army of the Potomac is without an enemy in front, and we lay here waiting orders. I think that the views of President Johnson are very different from what the late old Abe’s were, in regard to the settlement of this great rebellion for which so many lives have been sacrificed. I favor the former’s views, i. e., “Treason is a crime and must be punished.” I hardly think the war worn veterans would be satisfied unless it was done. Genl. Lee must be made an example of immediately and all other Generals in our hands, particularly those who have ever meddled with politics, should suffer their fate. I can’t bring my thoughts to believe that we are soon to go home: but our minds are at ease about fighting. We are expecting good news from Genl. Sherman, but yesterday’s paper had particulars of his negotiation, which has lowered him in my estimation; but “Old Useless” himself has gone down to North Carolina to run the machine. The sun is hot enough to cook coffee in the open air. It is nearly a year since I went home on my veteran furlough, and how many scenes of strife and bloodshed I have since passed through. I had a small idea of the army then; but now I think I can well say that I have been through the mill. F. P., who left us last fall when there was fighting, has returned with Capt’s bars. I assure you he was not welcome amongst those who had done their duty at the front to the present time. I was witness to a big nigger fight last night. They were passed round through the crowd in a hurry. If you have any old magazines about the house, please send them to me, as reading matter is scarce.

Respectfully yours,

L. Bradley, Jr.,
1st Sergt. Co. B.

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