Union Soldier After Gettysburg: "We Will Whip Lee's Army So That He Will Not be Fit to Do Anything More"

July 6, 1863

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Union Soldier After Gettysburg: "We Will Whip Lee's Army So That He Will Not be Fit to Do Anything More"
Autograph Letter Signed
2 pages | SMC 168

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      Background

      On the sultry afternoon of July 2, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, a twenty acre wheatfield, golden with ripening grain, became a morass of terrible noise, fierce fighting, and brutal, unrelenting death. By the end of the day, the wheat trampled, the ground soaked with blood, the place was a no-man’s land, separating the Union and Confederate lines. Here a soldier, Private Ellis Strouss, having somehow survived The Wheatfield intact, writes home to his mother: he is unharmed, he says; the Battle of Gettysburg has been won; and they are confident that now, they “will whip Lee's Army so that he will not be fit to do anything more for some time to come.”

      The Battle of Gettysburg is fought and thank God The Army of the Potomac has been victorious. I took part in the battle with my Regt on the 2nd inst and it has been my good fortune to escape unharmed. I am well and so are the rest of the boys in the Co. I cannot tell yet what the loss of our Regt is. We have many missing who may be either killed, wounded or taken prisoners…. The Loss in the Regt is (as far as I know) Killed 10 Wounded 53 Missing 68…
      Our Corps (the 3rd) has not started yet but we are expecting to go every minute. The Boys are all confident that we will whip Lee's Army so that he will not be fit to do anything more for some time to come.



      Autograph Letter Signed, 2 pages, recto and verso, Gettysburg, July 6, 1863. To “Mother.”
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      July 6th 1863
      Gettysburg, Adams Co, Pa

      Dear Mother, 

      The Battle of Gettysburg is fought and thank God The Army of the Potomac has been victorious. I took part in the battle with my Regt on the 2nd inst and it has been my good fortune to escape unharmed. I am well and so are the rest of the boys in the Co. I cannot tell yet what the loss of our Regt is. We have many missing who may be either killed, wounded or taken prisoners. We do not know of any killed in our Co. The following is a list of casualties in our Co, Wounded, Jonas Snow, Adolphus Thompson

      Missing,

      Sergt Richard Harrington, Lieut Thomas Cropley, Private Horace Sweet [,] Jonathon Locke, Albert L. Peck [,] William J. Spear,

      The Loss in the Regt is, (as far as I know)

      Page 2/2

      Page 2 transcript
      Killed 10 Wounded 53 Missing 68

      I wrote to you on the 4 inst, I will not write much this time, we are after the enemy Our Corps (the 3rd) has not started yet but we are expecting to go every minute. The Boys are all confident that we will whip Lee's Army so that he will not be fit to do anything more for some time to come. We have good news all the while from our pursuing forces. Write to me soon tell Wirt Chase that I will write to him soon. My love to you all  Hoping that this will find you all well.

      From your affectionate son

      Ellis C. Strouss