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21st Ohio Infantry - Battle of Chickamauga Letter - Armed with Colt Revolving Rifles, when they ran out of ammunition they made 3 bayonet charges!
This two page letter in pencil also includes the patriotic envelope it was sent home in (stamp missing).  Loyal B. Wort, a 31 year old resident of Hicksville, Defiance County, Ohio, enlisted on 8/29/61 as a MUSICIAN in the 21st Ohio.  He served all three years of his enlistment.  Our letter is written on paper that Loyal had found.  The paper has staining and aging but all the pencil is very legible and nice and dark. 

Artist Heath Rocco has painted a great picture of the 21st Ohio firing their Colt Revolving Rifles at the battle of Chickamauga and that picture would be great to display with this letter.  Here are some of the great lines in the letter:

  • “Our line of battle is formed at this place and whilst I write this our men are a skirmishing with the enemy and I think there will be a great battle fought at this place.”
  • “We had a battle with them on last Sunday and it was a very hard one.  All of our regiment was killed or wounded or taken prisoner except one hundred and eighty.  So. Smith (Solomon Smith Co. E.) was killed dead and John Kauffman (Co. E) is wounded in the arm.  There is but one Captain left in our regt. and five Lieutenants.   Our Colonel is badly wounded.”
  • “Our regt. got out of ammunition made three bayonet charges after all the ammunition was all gone and drove the Rebels and then they had to surrender, but some of the men would not stand it and they cut their way out and ran away.” 
  • “I think Dunafin is taken prisoner (He was and when released was killed in the explosion of the steamer Sultana 4/27/65), there is only 15 men in our company.  I tell you it makes me cry to think of it.”
  • “I tell you this battle beats Stone River.  This was the hardest fighting ever known and it is not over yet.  The Rebels throwed shells in our camp yesterday but they done no damage.  The Rebs have a much larger force than we have.  The prisoners say they have one hundred and fifty thousand.  A part of their Richmond army is here.”
  • “Through the providence of God I am still spared and I hope he will still continue his goodness to me.”
  • “We were forced to fall back and leave the field so we did not get a chance to bury the dead and a great many of our wounded fell in the hands of the Rebs.  It is heartrending to behold a battle scene.”

There was an excellent article in Civil War Times magazine, June 12th 2006 entitled, Battle of Chickamauga: 21st Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry and their Colt’s Revolving Rifles.  We will include a copy of that article.  We will also include a copy of Captain Charles H. Vantine’s report on the battle of Chickamauga.  Truly an excellent letter for the Ohio or Chickamauga collector. 

#L499 - Price $750

         Transcription:                                                                    

                                                                                                 Camp at Chattanooga, Tenn.
                                                                                                                        Sept. the 23rd ‘63

Dear and beloved wife,

It is with the greatest of pleasure that I again pen a few lines to you to
inform you that I am well at this time.  Our line of battle is formed at this place
and whilst I write this our men are a skirmishing with the enemy and I think
there will be a great battle fought at this place.  We had a battle with them on
last Sunday and it was a very hard one.  All of our regiment was killed or
wounded or taken prisoner except one hundred and eighty.   So. Smith
(Solomon Smith Co. E.) was killed dead and John Kauffman (Co. E) is wounded
 in the arm.  There is but one Captain left in our regt. and five Lieutenants.  
Our Colonel is badly wounded.  Our regt. got out of ammunition made three
bayonet charges after all the ammunition was all gone and drove the Rebels
and then they had to surrender, but some of the men would not stand it and
they cut their way out and ran away.  I think Dunafin is taken prisoner
(He
was and when released was killed in the explosion of the steamer Sultana 4/27/65),
there is only 15 men in our company.  I tell you it makes me cry to think of it. 
Well, I got seven letters day before yesterday, one from Allen, one from George,
one from John Ainsworth, and the rest from you and sis.  One of yours had four
stamps in it.  I was glad to hear from you I tell you for it was the first time in
 this month we have not had a chance to write or receive my letters. 

             I wrote you one I think about the 16th of this month but don’t know
whether it went out or not, but hope it did.  I tell you I am as anxious to write
letters to you as I am to get them for I know that you are anxious to hear from
me as I am from you.  I tell you this battle beats Stone River.  This was the
hardest fighting ever known and it is not over yet.  The Rebels throwed shells
in our camp yesterday but they done no damage.  The Rebs have a much larger
 force than we have.  The prisoners say they have one hundred and fifty
thousand.  A part of their Richmond army is here.  Through the providence of
God I am still spared and I hope he will still continue his goodness to me.  This
 is a piece found on old letter that you sent me.  My paper is in my knapsack
and that is on the Colonels wagon.  Will write as often as I can get a chance.  
The battle lasted two days Saturday and Sunday.  We were forced to fall back
 and leave the field so we did not get a chance to bury the dead and a great
many of our wounded fell in the hands of the Rebs.  It is heartrending to
behold a battle scene.  Well, I have written all that I can think of at this time. 
Will Yeagly is safe yet.  I saw him since the fight.  Briton is here and Wane
Miller, and Jake Lowell.  Well good-bye loved one for this time.  L. B. Wort
to S. G. Wort