Gloucester Point, Opposite Yorktown Va
Apr 27th 1864
I now seat myself to let you know how & where I am. Well this day finds me in the very best of health & spirits. I wrote in my last that there was prospects of our leaving Jacksonville Fla., we started from there the 21st & arrived here last night. We are now on the oppisite side of the York river to Yorktown Va., called Gloucester Point it is a very handsome place, good water & c. There is a large army concentrating here I know nothing about how many only that as far as I can see there are camps, & troops coming all the time.
There is 29 batteries of light artillery or 174 guns. Richmond must fall this time, if it cannot be taken with the army that is about to march on to it I think they ought to acknowledge the Southern Confederacy, don’t you? I cannot tell you much about things here for I have not been here long enough to find out. We had a nasty trip coming here the boys were awful sea sick & worse than that a good many were drunk: one fellow they was going to put in irons & he got away from the officers & climbed the mast of the ship 100 ft high they loaded a gun & was going to fire on him Gen Foster told him again to come down & he concluded he would. I never want to go on another salt water trip as long as I am in the service.
You need not be alarmed about my…..about all things I dispise that the most I recd yours of Apr 10 before we left Jacksonville. I shall have to be brief with this as our camp must be fixed &c&c. I will write just as soon as we get things arranged &c.
Hoping you will excuse this I close.
Address yours to Yorktown Va.
Robt L. Coe
The 112th New York is attached to the 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 18th Army Corps, to July, 1864.
Glouster Point Va., May 1st 1864
It is with the greatest pleasure that I take this opportunity to inform you of my general good health & c. I wrote you the next day after our arrival here, but very brief.
Today is Sunday the first day of May. it is raining some. My health is excellent as is also the whole regt. we are in good condition for marching, which we shall have to do soon. Everything is being got in readiness for the move about to commence! All things that we do not necessarily need on the march have been turned over to the quartermaster.
Yesterday we had a grand review & muster of all the troops on this side of the river. it was the hardest review I ever was on. We had to go out in heavy marching orders, everything we had shelter tents & all, then muster lasted from 10 till 11 o’clock then at 12 we marched about a mile & was reviewed by some petty brigadiers then had to wait till half past five when Gen Butler came & reviewed us again. “Old Ben” is a queer looking old fellow but understands his….
I don’t know but it is all right to take men out for 6 to 8 hours with 50 lbs on their backs without letting them rest. I am willing to do anything that is reasonable & right but as to making us ………………………………….was not what I enlisted for.
I tell you this war is carried on in to popular a scale if some of our officers who wear stars & stars could be put on the same grade with a capt., the war would be brought to an end much sooner, there would not be as much object in prolonging the war. I don’t want you to think that I am entirely discouraged for I am not I believe there is some good generals that want to see the war end & the union restored & if only such could lead our army that we now have we could crush the rebellion in 3 months if not sooner.
I have just read the Herald of the 29th it has but little news. the rebs are concentrating a large force at Richmond & c. Richmond must fall the soldiers are all eager for the trying struggle to come if our army is successful at Richmond the war will virtually be ended. If you do not get a letter from me very regular for a while you need not think strange for we shall be on the march & will not have much opportunity. Address your letters to Fortress Monroe Va. 112th Regt N. Y. Vol.
We are in the 2nd brigade 3rd division 10th army corps. Brigadier R.S. Foster in command of the brigade; the regts in the brigade are the 8th Maine 13th Indiana 169th N.Y. & the 112. the 8 & 13 are veteran regts. Write often & I as often as convenient.
Robt L. Coe
In the field May 8th 1864
I now seat myself to inform you of my wherabouts & c. We are stopping at present on the road from City Point to Petersburg about 4 miles from Petersburg. We started from Yorktown the 4th the whole force then came this way. there is two army corps the 10th & 18th we are in the 10th. Yesterday we advanced 2 miles toward Petersburg & encountered the enemy in force a brisk skirimish commenced which lasted about 3 hrs. Our regt was on the left & was not engaged though there was some wounded in 2 regts of our brigade the 13th Ind & 9th Maine the 9th Maine has been put in our brigade in place of the 8th Maine. The exact loss I cannot state but there must have been quite a number. Maj. General Butler & Gilmore have both been here. whether Butler is going to take the field in person I cant say the men have all confidence in him. Never did I hear such cheering as when he passed by. I understand that the 18th corps is at our left & that there is a large force in our rear and that you may look out for a grand thing soon. Our regt yesterday drove the rebs & succedded in burning a railroad bridge & destorying the communications between Petersburg & Richmond if this railroad is held it will be a hard blow to the rebs for it cuts off their communications with N. Carolina & Richmond. I have not time to write much. I will write often if there is any chance to send letters: Address your letters to Co H 112 N.Y.S.V. Fortress Monroe Va
Hoping these few ill written lines will find you all well I close.
Robt L. Coe
This was the last letter in the collection preserved by Birdsell, Sarah, and Emma Coe. Robert Was killed June 1st 1864 in Cold Harbor, Va.
Collecting the dead at Cold Harbor April 1865 Library of Congress photo
Unburied dead near Cold Harbor Library of Congress photo
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