40th New York Infantry / Petersburg Campaign / Crater Affair / “Ni**ers” charged Rebels

Camp near Petersburg, Va. 7/31/64
Soldier (Sproul) writes that they broke camp on (7)/26 & marched over to JamesRiver, drove Rebels back & captured four cannons they was 20 lb parrot ri-ed pieces and a number of prisoners then the night of the 28th we recrossed the James and on our way back marching all night layed in a woods the 29 until night and then marched out (our 8 in) and relieved the 18 & 10 corps in front line of breast work. 30th there was a fort of the rebs blown up (which the 9th corps had undermined previous to this). At 4 1/2 o’clock a.m. and then the mortar and artillery all opened which made noise enough I can tell you and the rebs them shells right in our pits made it very uncomfortable for a while. But as soon as the fort was  blown up nigs charged on the rebs adrove them back and took their third line of works but the rebs rallied and drove them back again…” 
“You say that you think and Lincoln will be elected. I hope that he will with all of my heart for there is no other man yet on the board that would  ll his place as he can himself and do as well for the country. So let us all do what we can for the reelection of him who deserves it for the next four years. It is well for us not to give up the race yet for it is but a short time.” 
“Our men is building a railroad along the rear of our army on out to the left where the fth and ninth corps is on the rail road. It has been said that Early has is falling back to Richmond from the valley and to reinforce Lee. So as I said before he will no doubt try the Weldon road… There was a new salute red the other night for the fall of Atlanta it was rather a double salute for they threw shell over in the rebs. It was quite a nice scene to see the shells going across the fields and through the air,” etc.
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