48th Ohio Infantry Letter – Near Pittsburgh Landing, Tennessee, March 23rd, 1862 – “I visited the ground where the Secesh buried their dead… I saw the faces of two & one breast looked very bad… shot in the breast & above the eye… the stench was very bad.”
This letter was written by Sergeant William J. Srofe of Company K, 48th Ohio Infantry. The letter is 4 pages in nice dark ink. William writes about 2 weeks before the battle of Shiloh… or Pittsburgh Landing, right where this letter was written from. There had been fighting in that vicinity for the past month and William describes walking over the burial ground of the dead Rebels. He starts the letter by describing their location:

• “We are encamped in the woods about four miles from the Tennessee River. From here to river is a continual encampment. Ours is the 1st division 4th Brigade & on the advanced line. It is about 20 miles to where the Rebels are fortifying in great numbers. Supposed to be two hundred thousand strong. It is no more than 20 miles to the Rebels' encampment. Our forces here number about 125,000 and will be increased by about 40 thousand.”

William goes on…

• “There is several of the boys that are not well but are not so sick as to be in the hospital, but I think they will soon be well again. Attended the funeral of an officer today. He was a Lieutenant in Taylor's Cavalry of Ohio.”

• “I visited the ground where the Secesh buried their dead that were killed at the battle at this point. Some of them was buried about one foot deep & some not so deep. They had been buried about 3 weeks. I saw the faces of 2 & one breast looked very bad. One had been shot in the breast & above the eye. The stench was very bad. I have found 64 lbs. shells & balls here that had been shot by our gun boats two miles & a half from the River & frequently dug a piece of a shell out of the ground. I saw one tree (a popular) about 2 feet over that a twenty-four pounder had gone through & how much further I do not know. We only lost 3 in the battle.”

• “Address me at Louisville Ky. in care of Capt. Peterson, Co. K, 48th Ohio Infantry, Tennessee River Army”

L686OH - Price $235