A letter from Confederate soldier John Futch to his wife about the death of his brother during the Battle of Gettysburg, August 6, 1863.

In this letter, Confederate soldier John Futch responds to a request from his wife Martha for more information about the death of his brother Charles during the Battle of Gettysburg. Both John and Charles were soldiers from New Hanover County, North Carolina, in the Confederate Army’s Third Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Company K. In September 1863, just two months after Charles’s death at Gettysburg, John Futch was court-martialed and shot for desertion.


Oringe Court House va
August 6th 1863

My Dear Wife
Your very kind and affectionate letter of 2d Inst. came safely to hand and found me as well as usual Its arrival was anticipated and it is not necessary for me to assure you its contents were perused with the most pleasurable feelings Especially that portion that assured me you <??> in the full Enjoyment of that the greatest of blessings health You expressed a desire To know the particulars of Brother Charlys death I will endeavor to give them to you as well as I can When our Regt charged the enemies entrenchments on the <???> near Gettysburg Pa on the night of July the 3d he was wounded on or near the top of his head it did not pass through the brain but I think it must have bruised them as he did not speak after he was hit he was lying down loading at the time I carried him out he seemed anxious to talk to me but could not He lingered till about two o’clock on the 3d when he died. I remained with him from the time he was wounded until he died we buried him on the night of the 3d Only God knows the bitter

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anguish this sad berevement sent thrilling through my sad heart It seems hard to part forever from those our heart treasures But the Lords will be done Let us put our trust in Him He alone can comfort the grief stricken soul and bind up the broken heart - - When you write again I wish you to tell me whether you have drawed anything yet or not and all about it as I felt very anxious to Know We are camped at this place but I cant say how long we will remain here - - You cant imagine how much I want to see you it seems I would give every thing I possess to be with you if only for a short while I trust I shall see you before very long Write as soon as you get this

Your Devoted husband John Futch