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November 30, 2013

Letter from Private John N. Bradford of the 4th Minnesota and a journal entry by Sergeant George Buckman of Company G, 1st Minnesota – November 30, 1863

Filed under: Civil War Daybook — Lori Williamson @ 9:00 am

Partial transcription of Bradford’s letter:
Camp near Chattanooga Ten Nov 30th
darling this is winter indeed[.] I never suffered so much with the cold in Minn. sitting by the fire and writing darling […] we went the next night at 12 oclock[.] we crosed in boats[.] it was the prettiest sight I ever saw[.] thare wase over one hundred boats from 20 to 30 men in each one[.] we had good luck in crossing[.] our Brigade was in advance of our Divis. our Regt skirmished for our Brigade[.] I dont know wether we will [be] noticed  by the papers or not [,] we deserved it[.] we advanced from the river to Mission Ridge[.] it rained all day and was very cold[.] I opend the Ball by taken one prisiner by the name of William C. Bradford[.] the Col complemented me very highly for bravery and good judgment[.] that has never been done before in our Regt[.] the Capt says that winer a sargeants bearth as soon as thare is a vacancy[.] I did not do it for promotion I did it for the funn of it[.]

See whole letter here: 1863-11-30_Bradford_combined

Partial transcription of Buckman’s journal entry:
30th Nov 1863. 4 p.m.
In skirmish line, 300 yds from Rebel fortifications.  Left camp at three. very cold.  Followed the plank road for a couple of miles as far as the 1st Division went yesterday. leaving the road, turned to the left and formed in line of battle, the 1st Minn. being put out as flankers.  It was intended that the attack should commence at 8, but daylight revealed an entrenched position which in the opinion of the men as well as the officers, could not be taken by assault.  But the order had been issued and it must be obeyed, though all felt that few if any would be able to reach the works alive.  An open field had to be crossed which could be swept by grape and canister, besides musketry fire from the breast-works. […]
Gloomily the hours passed.  Death looked us in the face.  The faces of the men told too clearly the danger to be incurred but they were resolute, determined to do their duty, though it was plain that when “forward” was the word, they would walk out to certain death.  In silence we waited orders – Dreadful suspense!  But time passed and no orders – noon – and we are still ready and waiting.  Night came and the attack was not made, a wise conclusion in Gen’l Meade, and we felt relieved. […]
Well the day has gone, it’s events will long be remembered by me.

See whole entry here: 1863-11-30_Buckman_combined

November 30, 1863, Letter from John N. Bradford to his wife Libbie, Bradford, John P. Papers 1862-1864, 1928-1978. Minnesota Historical Society. [P1680 box 6]
November 30, 1863, Sergeant George Buckman journal entry. George Buckman Civil War Papers, 1861-1864, 1897. Minnesota Historical Society. [P2662]

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