In Search of Lawtons & Basingers: William Starr Basinger Writes To His Mother, April 16, 1865



Letter (in pencil, manuscript) from Wm S Basinger to his mother, Mrs. J S

Basinger, Savannah, Ga.

                                                April 16, 1865

My dear Mother,

                I write on board a steamer on our way from City Point to

Washington, a train of prisoners.  We were taken with Ewell’s command

on the 6th, at the battle of Harper’s Farm.  The Battln was nearly destroyed.

I lost 25 killed, 27 wounded, and all prisoners.  Rice, King, Turner killed.

Grant very dangerously wounded.  Smith wounded in thigh, Starr in shoulder,

Dillon, thigh; Blois, foot.  These last were doing very well.  Pearson’s

wound not serious.  Dillon was paroled & left with some Amelia friends.

I have a very slight wound in my left hand.  A ball shattered my pistol,

which was held in that hand.  Another my sword in my right.  Another hit

my belt buckle; & another pierced my coat just above the belt.  I saw my

life preserved many times.  The command behaved most nobly.  Made 2 attacks

with the bayonet.  The first drove a regiment & took their colors.  Grant

took them.  Percy Elliott is severely wounded.  Wm Bennett killed; also

Dick Millen.  Will send you from prison a complete account.

                I lost everything, & have not a change of clothes.  Will

have to draw on you for a little money.  I write now by a paroled prison-

er to let you know I am well.  But my grief for my men & for the misfor-

tunes of our country have made the last 10 days the most wretched of my

life.  Tell the Stiles their cousin, Maj. Rob. Stiles, was under my imme-

diate command, & behaved life a hero.  Indeed, I am saluted on all sides,

from the Genl down, with compliments on the splendid conduct of the

troops under my command.

                Be of good courage, & don’t give up.  God will not abandon me.

It is on Him only now that we can rely.

                My love to my sister.     

                                Yrs affly,

                                                Wm S Basinger

Geo. Stiles was with the ambulance train & I don’t know what has become

of him.


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