In our breastworks, May 27th, 1864
I hardly know how to write there is so much of intense interest to
communicate, but will begin back to May 14th and describe at random what has
occurred since. At that date (Saturday) our brigade formed the 1st line of
battle on the right center. The rebels in our front held a most formidable
position and it was not deemed advisable by Hooker to charge them, though
Genl. Ward was crazy all day to do so; so nothing but skirmishing took place
during the day by us, though in our left the 14th Corps were heavily engaged
We slept on our arms during the night and the next morning (Sunday) started
rapidly to the left where the rebels were ascertained to be massing their
might. Our division was all drawn up in line on the extreme left ready for
work at 12 midnight and in a few moments we learned from our commander the
duty before us which was to charge the enemy's works.
We had formed just beneath a hill whose protecting sides covered us from the
sight of the enemy as our regts. were being massed, an almost deathlike
silence pervaded the ranks. Every man knew that in a few moments death would
be at work among us and all seemed to fully realize the fact, but they all
stood up like men and seemed to vie with each other in real courage.
At 12 we fixed bayonets and dashed over the hill. A perfect shower of shot,
shell and grape met us thinning our ranks sadly, (Tirtlot fell on the first
shot) but without the least check we flew down the hill, crossed the road at
the front, climbed over some breastworks the rebels had left and began the
run of the hill where they were posted.
The 105th was the last regt., but the two in front of us (79 Ohio and 129
Ill.) immediately laid down at the foot of this hill and our regt. ran right
over them. They were behind and in among us which so mixed us up that amidst
the tangled underbrush it was impossible to distinguish our lines and keep
together, so it was every man for himself.
"What a scene now bursts forth; indescribably grand! Unspeakably appalling!
The screaming shells now begin to burst amont us. . . the soul of the man is
lost in the glory of the soldier. . ." George F. Cram
"It seems as though this country was covered with the graves of our brave
boys. I can never pass lighty by one of them but always think that there is
some mother mourning a dead soldier boy." George F. Cram
"I often think should I live to return, I shall look back with great pride
upon my soldier's life. And so I frequently say to myself now, 'It is good
for us to be here.' We are learning much that could not be learned
elsewhere." George F. Cram