6th Ohio soldier describes action at Bull Run

Aldie, June 25 / 63

Lydia,

Once more I have the privelidge to send you a letter from part of Dixie called Aldie which is situated at the East end of the Bull Run mountain. We left Bealton Station and went to Killer Ford done picket duty there five days and fell back by the way of Warrenton Junction & Collett Station to Union mills at which point we camped over night Started nex morning and crossed the Old Bull Run and Yanky Run Battle ground where we saw what would be called a horrible sight to any but soldiers. To give you some idea I will mention that as we ride along the road as side of the road (no fences there) perchance our horses hoof strikes a skull of Yankey or Jonney it goes rolling along the ground a “silent” member of that bloody field. Another place we see a few clods of grey clothes and a pile of bones that mark the resting places of another Chivaly of the Army South. Again you see a hand an arm a leg or foot sticking up for a stem [?]. Human bones, shell Broken muskets Broken cannon are strew thick all over the field. But enough of this. We arrive at Aldie and have a hell of a fight in which we had 3 men killed and 8 or 10 wounded. The fighting has been keep up ever since until yesterday. We drove the “jonneys” through Addie and Middleburg and back to the gap did not think it prudent to go in there so we fell back and are now in camp at Aldie. Lost in killed and wounded in our Reg is about 35. Prisoners 5. Our company has been very fortunate. Not one man has received anything more than a scratch since (one) of our boys had their cap shot off and balls through their clothes but such things don’t hurt anyone. Major Stanhope was shot in the arm below and above the elbow had the bone all taken out of his arm. Rumar says he is dead but it is not credible. Here from the movement of the jonneys lately they act as if they was going to do something. Bully for that make our Generals fight some now. Pennsylvania is doing bully she will defend herself and Josey can hook them in the Rear (Providing he can be found) Report is here that Josey is lost.

The last letter I had a chance to send you was written at Bealton about the 8th I think – I have received no letter from you since that date. I have not heard from Tom since I wrote to him the time I sent him the money. But allright I suppose the people up there are so scart about ther draft that they cannot keep still long enough to write a letter. But if Uncle Sam gets his clutches on them they will get a mighty slight bigger scare I’ll bet. Killpatrick now commands our Brigade it is now known as the Second Brigade or the “Bloody Brigade” of the Second division commanded by Gen Greg. We mis the 1st Rhode Islan Cavalry. They were bully boys. You have read of their fate long before this.

Col L. [Pdi ?] Cesenola of the 4th [?] N.Y. Cavalry was taken prisoner because he could not rally his dam dutch. They have a newspaper report with them Right who is paid for blowin for them that is the reason they had got their name up at home. But here where they are know they are call cowards.

Our 9 months men time is up the 2nd of July. They will hardly celebrate the 4th at home this year. Cherries are ripe here and plenty of them but are bitter with seceshion. Five of our Rg were gobbled up yesterday by bushwackers (our men) were out picking cherries.

Well [?] and have a 4 of July for us fellows down here and believe me yours Dredful bad

Orpheius Kin

*********************


Albinus R. Fell enlisted on 9 December 1861 as a private in the OVC. He was promoted to Corporal in 1862 and then Quartermaster Sergeant in 1863. Known by several self-ascribed names, he primarily signed his letters “Bill” or “William”, although he did, for some unknown reason, occasionally sign off as “Oscar”, “Paul Clifford”, “Sixteenstring Jack”, “Orpheius Kin” or various other obscure names. He does state in one of his letters “…my name I will not write that for various reasons…”, so perhaps it was to purposely conceal his identity. His wife Diana – whom he also referred to as Lydia – had a bit of trouble in her later years claiming his pension due to the discrepancies regarding his name ! A General Affidavit was submitted on Diana’s behalf attesting to the fact that Fell served in the Ohio 6th, that he was the only “Fell” in the company, and while in the service “…Albinus Fell always went by the name of Bill Fell…”. His discharge took place on 12 December 1864 in Petersburgh, VA.

Born in 1840 in Mercer County, PA., Fell – according to his letters – seemed to have had a very difficult time growing up, and in one instance referred to abuse he suffered at the hands of his father. His bitterness regarding his family of origin is palpable and made for a brave, fierce soldier. Fell and Diana married on 14 December 1861 in Trumbull County, Ohio and following his service, went on to have 3 children – Clara, John and Jessie. Fell was employed as a retail druggist and merchant. 

eBay auction item – February 2008 – Item #250214007175

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