6 July 1863: “just as we got limburd up and started before a shell came over and struck right squar down by my feet and drove the dirt clean threw the skin”

Item Description: Letter, 6 July 1863, describing Eldridge B. Platt’s involvement in the battle of Gettysburg, where he was blinded for two days from a near miss by an exploding shell. Platt (b. 1847) enlisted as a drummer in the 2nd Connecticut Light Battery on 12 August 1862. By 11 November 1862, he was serving as a cannoneer. He was discharged 10 August 1865.

[Item transcription available below images.]

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Item Citation: From the Eldridge B. Platt Papers, #4767, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Littleton Pennsylvania
Monday July 6th 1863

Dear Father and Mother and all as I have got a little chance to write I will write a few lines and let you know what we have been threw I tell you we have seen a hard time sence we have left verginia we left Wolf run Shoals June 25th and have ben traveling most ever sence we are transfered in to the reserve artillery un Gen [Tylar?] and have ben in the battle at Gettysburg I tell you it was a hard one we got thair thursday July 3rd about 12 oclock and the fight comenced a bout 3 oclock and lasted till night but we did not go in that afternoon but the next morning they comenced a bout five oclock and we was in the rear in the range of thear guns and ours and I tell you the way the rebel shells came over into our camp was not slow they had not fired more than 5 minits be fore we got on to goin to batlle and just as we got limburd up and started before a shell came over and struck right squar down by my feet and drove the dirt clean threw the skin my face all sweled up and my eyes so that I could not see hardly anything for 2 days Captin came up and told me to go in to the hospital and so i did and the doctor gave me some stuf to wash my eyes and face in and made it feel some beter I stad thear over night and they moved their hospital back about a mile back in a peace of woods for the barn was not large enough and I went with them but had to sleep over night out doors for my knapsack was on the … and had not got a blanket nor anything but the next day I found out whare the reserve artillery hospital was and so I went to that and I was all night I stade their till the fight was over and the rebels retreated and the reserve artilary came a long and wated till our batery came and captin put me in the ambulance and so I came a long with the batery to litleton. I was the first and only one that was in the battery that was hurt and they was un a heavy fire fire all day long and only lost 3 horses but we done great … to the rebels. but I have lost my nap sack and every thing that I had al of my close except what I had on overcoat … and bed blankets and medison all I have got is a pair of pants a shirt and a blouce cap a pair of boots and my revolver and about 30 cartriches it was stole of from the … in the battle field but they is one thing that I sorry to tell you I cant tell whare George is I have not seen him sence the battle he is round some whare he did not go on to battle I think he is back to Laney town where the … wagons are I cant write any more this time. I dont know as you can read this I done the best I can I cant see very well now but they are getting well fast goodby for this time do not wory about me and George

E B Platt

 

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