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Scarce 1st Delaware Infantry Battle Letter - Written on the Battlefield of Spotsylvania Court House! - By Major William F. Smith - Rebel Colonel Surrenders to Colonel Thomas Smyth, Smith hit in his boot by a bullet, written on rebel paper
This 2 page letter is written in easily read pencil (rarely did anyone write in ink directly on a battlefield). William F. Smith enlisted as a Captain in Company D of the 1st Delaware Infantry. Following the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House, the 1st Delaware would fight through the entire siege of Petersburg. 5 months after writing this letter, Smith would be severely wounded in the right leg causing amputation.

Here is the letters great content:


  • We have been fighting for eight days and have whipped the Rebels every day.
  • Our Regiment charged on the Rebels Breastworks yesterday morning at half past four a.m. and took a Regiment of Rebels prisoners. 
  • The commanding officer gave his sword to me and Lt. Draper took their colors. 
  • Tom (Col. Thomas Smyth) ordered a Rebel Colonel to surrender and he did so in quick to the rear. 
  • We have lost 148 men killed, wounded & missing in this fight. All three of us are well and not harmed. I received a ball in my boot, but it did not enter my flesh.
  • This is Rebel paper that this is written upon. The Rebels retreated last night leaving all their dead and wounded in our hands.
  • In our charge yesterday the whole corps was engaged. We took seven thousand prisoners and twenty-six pieces of artillery. 
  • I have not time to write any more for we have to follow the Rebels. 
  • P.S. Col. Smyth was wounded yesterday on the charge in the thigh not seriously. 
  • I remain your affectionate son, William F. Smith.

#L695DE - Price $395































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