Tuesday May 6, 1863

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[Written during the battle of Chancellorsville in the Civil War, from Minot Melville Kittredge to his parents, half-brothers and their wives, all in Nelson, New Hampshire.]
Tuesday May 6, 1863
My Dear Father, Mother, Brothers and Sisters
Still we are in our trenches. I am still expecting the enemy. I do not hardly know why they do not attack the right of our line. Yesterday eve about 5 o’clock they attempted again to break our center, but were repulsed and out of one brigade that made a charge we judged only about 50 lived to return, while our men suffered but little loss that time. Yesterday after I finished writing, General Robertson took the 13th and 12th and one piece of artillery and made a little reconnaissance and we went out three miles on our right flank. We run across a snag the first thing and had a little muss. We had five men in all wounded and among them was Johnny Peas, you remember him. He used to work for G. Thurston, the ice man. He was wounded in his side. Another was a friend of mine who came out when I did, a south-end boy by the name of Prince. His father is a white washer. We had to come back a little faster than we went out but found out all we wanted to. This is now the eighth day of the fight. How much longer it will last I do not know. I wish we could send a letter but there is not any chance. Will write more if anything new turns up.
I think this will be a rather longer letter than you may want to read but you can lay it by for a rainy day.
Friday May 9th
My Dear Folks at Home
Oh what can I say or write I hardly know. Here we are again this side of the river. We recrossed Thursday morning in a hard rain storm and mud knee deep. But why did we recross you say? I do not know unless the Rebs proved too much for us. We done well while we were over there but if we had stayed 12 hours longer I think we should have never come back any of us. The Rebs had reinforcements from Tennessee and they had lost so many men that I think they would not have given us any [?] but I do not know. We have not got any idea yet of our loss or theirs. Theirs must be very large. What shall we do now I know not. Some think we shall try again soon but I think not, unless we are obliged to anyway. I think we had better let them have their way awhile. I think they have a lot more men than we and we must have more to do anything.
Ten days have passed and I can say this army never seen so hard a time before. The men are all played out, footsore and tired. I was never so near all played out in my life but I think if I can lie still two or three days I shall be all right again.
But I have written enough till I can send it. I received a letter from brothers E and F, sisters D and E and one from Bill Morse. This must do for my brothers and sisters and father and mother, while I remain your affectionate absent and footsore
Write often. I do not know when I shall get a chance to write again, but I want you to write all the same.

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