• Civil War 2nd Corps Disgraced Rebels at Bristol Station; 1,200 Killed or Wounded, 700 Taken Prisoner; 10th VT LT Killed at Cold Harbor

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                                       Vermont 10th Lieutenant Killed at Cold Harbor

    EZRA STETSON mustered into B Co. of the Vermont 10th Infantry on August 30, 1862. He survived action of Orange Grove, where the 10th had heavy losses, as well as the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House. Stetson was killed at Cold Harbor, where the 10th had 159 casualties.

    In this highly detailed letter, Stetson provides a first-hand account of the 2nd Corps skirmishing with Confederate forces at Bristol Station. “The Rebs lost twelve hundred killed or wounded, seven hundred taken prisoner and five pieces of artillery,” which left the Confederates in disgrace.  In this 4 pp, 7 ¾” x 9 ¾”, Stetson writes to his parents, Camp near Warrenton Junction, Nov. 4, 1863 providing information about the Rebels destroying the railroad.

    “Thinking perhaps you would like to know I am in the land of the living and where I am and what I am doing…I am alive and well although somewhat worn as we have done some hard marching since the 12th of October. The day we left Culpepper we marked that day after 9 o’clock 15 miles and crossed two rivers one of which we forded; our Division brought up the rear of the column on the road. We marched and although the rebs were pressing us pretty hard, our Regt. did not get engaged but there was some pretty hard fighting on another road in sight of us. But we placed the Rappahannock between us and the enemy that night and then we lay down and went to sleep in comparative safety; we remained over one day and in the meantime the Rebels began to cross the strong force above us for the purpose of turning our flank and cutting off our Supply train so in the morning of the second day we took up the march towards the defenses of Washington; that day we marched about twenty-five miles, we on one road and the rebs on another, one parallel with us about neck and neck in the grand race for Centerville Heights and towards night, the head of our Corps came in collision with theirs which resulted in a little skirmishing but did not amount to much. Just then the 2nd Corps joined ours and as we had the road, they had to wait and bring up the rear and we moved on and it was just that trifling fact of their being five minutes late that relieved us and gave them all the skirmishing and the fight at Bristol Station the next day…The Rebs lost some twelve hundred killed and wounded and some seven hundred prisoners and five pieces of artillery. We were during the fight some two or three miles distant supporting a Battery and expecting every moment to be called upon to go in and get our share of broken heads and ‘glory’; but about that time, Johnny reb got enough and the 2nd Corps marched off the field in as good order as through coming from a review when we again took up the march for Blackburns Ford on Bull Run where we crossed and halted for the night for the purpose of guarding the Ford until the 2nd Corps crossed which they accomplished about 2 o’clock the next morning without any interruption. The next day we went to Union Mills where the Orange & Alexandria R.R. crosses Bull Run where we remained some three days during which time the rebs amused us by throwing a few shells into the vicinity of our camp and themselves by destroying the Rail Road which they accomplished most effectively when they fell back towards the Rappahannock and we turned about and chased them again but without as I can see affecting anything to our advantage, but the whole think reminds one of what happened once before when the King of France with forty thousand men marched up the hill and then marched down again. What the next move of the Grand Army of the Potomac will be remains to be seen but we expect but little rest while the roads remain in a passable condition which in all probability cannot be much longer but that there is some move on foot is very evident. I shall try and get leave to come home and visit you this winter. I am as usual in command of the company which makes it difficult for me to leave but hope to be able to do so before spring. Give my love to the family gentry…Your affectionate son, Ezra Stetson…”

    Folds, toning and minor foxing. Overall in excellent condition and very readable. Punctuation added for clarity in places.

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