• 10th VT Infantry Private Writes Of Bullet Whistling Passed Him, Rebel Barbarities, Lieutenant Returned From POW Status

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    The 10th Vermont Infantry was organized at Brattleboro, VT, and mustered in for three years of service on September 1, 1862.  The 10th was involved in many engagements, including the Battles of Mine Run, Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, North Anna, Cold Harbor, Winchester, Cedar Creek, Petersburg as well as the Siege of Petersburg and a number of others.

    REUBEN S. KIRK enlisted on December 19, 1863, and was mustered into B Co. of the 10th on January 2, 1864. He was promoted to corporal and was mustered out on June 29, 1865. 

    4 pp, ALS, 5 x 8, to his wife Mary from Camp near Weldon Railroad, February 2nd, 1865, with cover. 

    “Another month has passed swiftly by, a month gone on my second year in the Yankee army. The question comes to mid tonight with force – what will another year bring forth, but still I would not seek to look into those things the only Deity knows. I received a letter from you dated 26th yesterday while on the picket line & I passed a few moments very pleasantly reading it over & over & thinking about Ida, how she looked when writing to father. I have the picture fairly drawn in my mind now & it is a pleasing one...I hope you will go out as much as you can as not to get lonesome & homesick or sick of home rather. I have no choice about you letting the rooms, expect you to do as you please with the house while I am away. I shall not want you to send me any more money. I earned 50 cts. Washing Monday. I pick up some change now & then...so I have plenty...I have got the box of Goodies you sent & am living like a king now...Night before last we got orders to be ready to move at a moment’s notice & I feared I should have to give away about al my stuff but we have not gone yet, & I hope we shall not at present. Out of 5 nights past, I have been on camp guard 28, picket one so tonight I am cotting and having a good sleep...But who knows I shall visit you in my dreams (& hope so)...Sergt. Ross that I tent with received a box the other day from home & nearly half the contents have been taken out... 

    “The Rebs sent out a bullet at the post I was on yesterday, but they did not take any good aim. I heard the ball whistle as it passed us. They are rather saucy. We are so near that we can converse with them by hollering moderately loud. Their camp forces are right in sight of the edge of woods. We are strengthening the works in our front & are working on the forts more or less every week when not on duty.  Today we had target shooting & battalion drill. Lieutenant Thompson of our regiment has got back. He was taken prisoner at Cold Harbor the first of June, also 2 privates. One was taken here near Petersburg in July last. They tell hard stories of Rebel barbarities, too hard to relate. Me thinks they will have sins to account for that are enough to sink any nation.  I received 2 papers also from you a few days ago.  I wish I could get hold of something to send you, but I cannot as I know of. I am attending many meetings evenings when I am not on duty & I think I am profited by doing so...

    “Good night always with a kiss...[Reuben Kirk, 10th VT]

    Unsigned by Kirk but quite obviously his letter.

    Folds. Some staining mostly around the bottom.  Still readable and a fine letter from this important regiment.  Nice cover. 

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