6th Ohio Cav soldier letter

Sulphure Springs Va

Oct 22nd [1863]


Once again we of the O.V.C. have the Priveledge of writing to our friends and loved ones at home.  It has been now 14 dayes since we have had one dayes Rest and during that time we onley had 2 Nights sleep.  the most of the time in our saddles nodding and chewing “hard tack” as we march.  Meads Retreat was a splendid thing  every thing was conducted in good order and the Johneys wer beaten every where they attacked us  Some no doubt will censure Mead for falling back but they know nothing of war  his lines wer so situated that the Rebes could move around his Right flank and cumpell him to fall back or be cut off from his supplies  No General can prevent a flank movement by Lee in this country with as small an army as Mead has got now or ever had.   But the Rebes have nothing to Brag of this time  he thought to get our wagon train, But they did not have “Pope” to deal with this time and so got Badley whiped at Bristol and at Kettle Run  Our Regt. had its hotest time at Kettle Run.  we came in and encamped at Kettle Run in the night about 12 oclock with orders to be Ready to move in the morning at 6 oclock.  the Col had just Routed us up and told us to saddle up which we had just finished when Pop, Pop, Whiz, Whiz came the Reb bullets Right into our camp  “We lit out” and met them  gave them the compliments of the morning and went to work with a will  we drove them back twice but they got to thick for us so we dismounted and sent our horses to the Rear  took our carbines a gave one Rousing cheer and Rushed up to a crest of a line of hills which we took and held against a whole Brigade of Reb Infantry untill we wer orderd away and then the Col had to coax, scold, and almost drive the boys away.  He told the boys to Rush for their [lives?] the Rebes wer forming to charge our line  Some of the boys asked him afterwards what he he [sic] said that for  he answered that he wanted to scare the boys but they would not scare worth a dam

the casualties in the skirmish line wer 2 killed  Capt Bowe Mortaley wounded but was still a live the last I heard from him  the ball Passed through his arm and in to his body and could not be got out  he had his arm amputated 4 inches from his elbow  Lieut Bingham severely wounded  Co H had a man shot through the neck  several others wer wounded but I do not think of the names now  during the day we wer obliged to stand under heavy cross fire from the Rebes Artillery  twice we wer cut off from the line of Retreat and surrounded, but we made a hole through in short order  Our loss in horses killed wounded and played out is One Hundred and Thirty Six, and the Rest are in poor condition to go in to a fight just now  But we hope to rest a day or two now.  our boys are tired and worn down but feel in good cheer, and will fight just as soon as Gen Gregg call on his Best Regt to take the fiend where he always puts the 6th in case of a fight and says where the 6th cant go there is no use to send a Brigade…..

Albinus R. Fell of the Ohio Volunteer Cavalary 6th Regiment Company D.

Source: eBay item# 250216383087 (Feb 2008)

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