Item description: Letter, dated 17 May 1864, from L. L. Polk to his wife Sallie. He gives an account of the Battle of Proctor’s Creek, a Confederate victory in Virginia under General Beauregard.
[transcription available below images]
On the Turn Pike
Between Richmond & Petersburg
May 17th 1864
My own dear wife,
Thank God I am yet able to write. What troubles, what trials, & dancers we have passed through since I wrote you none can tell only those participating. Suffice to say that yesterday was a glorious day for the South. A desperate battle was fought near the Bluff. Commencing early in the morning & lasting nearly all day – our Brigade opening the fight bu assaulting the enemy in his breastworks & driving him in confusion before us. Loss very heavy on both sides. We are now pressing his rear as he flies to cover of his gun Boats. Captured 4000 prisoners & a battery. Slaughter of the Yankees desperate. Fighting on our side as gallant as ever. We had our killer – Frank Ratliff. [?] or more mortally wounded, Kirby Pope shot through both lungs. The Gillmores safe. Joseph Moore badly in hand & arm. A list will be published. I took a gun when we entered the fight & we all shot away our ammunition, over 40 rounds, & just at that time the enemy left his entrenchment & fled. The victory is complete though dearly purchased,. We will hardly meet him again as he is under his boats down at the junctions of the two rivers.
I would have written before but there was no possible chance to get a letter to Peters burg to mail. I do not know that I can get this through though I hope it will reach you. As soon as we get a chance I will write you again. We are now in line of battle, though the Yanks are gone & we have been on hard duty night & day for 34 days, all worn out & exhausted, but in high spirits. I saw Rit at Kinston as I left & had no time to write a word, asked him to write a word, asked him to write to you for me. His Regt is at Petersburg I hear. I wish I could write more but I cannot. Sallie no hot be uneasy. Trust in God. Pray for his mercy & thanks him for his goodness. Nothing but his more than good Providence saved me yesterday. I stood by a small tree to shoot & 9 minie balls pierced it, not higher than my head. We drove them gloriously before us, I now hope that I can get letters to you, as they have left the RRoad. I will write often with the hope that you will get one. Not heard from you since I left Kinston. Hope & pray you are well, & all the family., May God bless & protect you is the constant prayer of your devoted husband,
L. L. Polk.
Be of good cheer. Write to Petersburg Va.