A letter from Union soldier Samuel Hodgman to his brother about his experience during the Battle of Gettysburg, July 16, 1863.
Samuel Hodgman served with the Seventh Michigan Volunteer Infantry Unit of the Union Army at the Battle of Gettysburg. This unit was assigned to the Army of the Potomac in 1861 and fought the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in battles leading up to Gettysburg, including the Battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville.
Camp near Sandy Hook Md
July 16, 1863
I received your letter yesterday the first I have had from home in some time It has been stirring times with us lately. The other day we were under the fire of 120 guns for nearly two hours. All the protection we had was a slight barricade of rails. There is no use trying to say anything about the cannonade words won’t express it. Somehow we seemed to be out of the range. There seemed to be two strata of the storm one would burst over our heads or after it had passed over us the other would strike in front & ricochet over us. We went in 153 strong &
21 Killed & 40 wounded our Lt Col was killed also W Tripp & W. Smith of Galesburgh (Co. I) I did not get even a scratch. The 7th & 59th N.Y Saved the day on the 2d . Both our flanks were turned and two batteries one each side of us taken by the rebs, yet we stuck to our barricade and fought till they- what were left of them. were glad to come into our lines or skedaddle doublequick Our boys expressed a determination never to retreat one inch from the line as long as they could use bullets or bayonets. We were fully prepared to meet them with either and the only reason that we did not use the bayonet was that we shot them down before they could get to us We have made some tall marches one day 30 miles, another 37 frequently
20 to 25. We are now nearly drilled out. & I have nearly all my last months returns to make out, as I could not do it on the march I have to steal time to write this when I am more at leisure I will write more. I send you some money hoping it may be useful to you. Write often Love to Father Mother & Charlie- I saw Ramsdell, S. Harrison, John Dickie & Osmer Cole a day or two ago at Falling Waters. They were well They say Mart Adams was taken prisoner at Hagerstown. I only saw them for a few minutes
Your Affectionate Brother
Saml. C. Hodgman
3d Brigade 2d Div. 2d A.C.