A good war-date Union soldier’s letter, 4pp. 8vo., written by Pvt. Harlan P. Martin, Co. E, 123rd New York Vols., “In the field near Marietta, Georgia, June 14, 1864” to his mother:
In the field near Marietta, Georgia
Tuesday, June 14th 1864
As I had time today, I thought I would write you a few lines in answer to your letter of May 20th which I received a few days ago, We have moved but a little ways from where we were when I wrote you before. We are still in line of battle and we expect to be engaged every day which I don’t think can be put off much longer. The last 3 days it has rained almost incessantly which of course stopped all movements but today it has cleared up and came off fine and I suppose we will have pretty hot weather for awhile. The cannon have been booming very briskly all the morning off on our left and I guess they are fighting some. The report is that McPherson fought them yesterday on the left and drove them 4 miles and took Marietta. I don’t know whether there is any truth in it. I think a battle will come off in a few days here and it probably would have come off before if it had not been for the weather. The sooner it is through with, the better I believe.
The cars run down to us now. We can hear their whistle every little while so I guess there is no danger of starving although they deal us out pretty scant rations. We could eat more if we could get it.
We are all anxious to hear the news from Virginia but is scarce. We can get a paper. I wish you would send me a Washington County paper once in a while. It seems as if you might come across one once in a while and send it. Any county paper you come across.
The 93rd Regiment, I suppose, got cut up pretty bad. They have had some terrible fighting there.
There was 2 Ledgers I did not get. I get the single Ledger and handkerchief. I believe I wrote for a blank book. I have one filled ready to send as soon as I can get a chance. We are now about 25 miles of Atlanta. One battle, I think, will decide the thing. This is the only place [Joseph E.] Johnston can make a stand this side of there, and if we are successful here, we will reach Atlanta without much more trouble. I hope this summer winds up the fighting.
Who lives in your house? Write soon and give my love to Grandmother and the rest. How long is Grandmother going to stay with you? Goodbye.
— H. P. Martin
Co. E, 123rd N. Y. Vols.
1st Brigade, 1st Division, 20th Army Corps
P. S. I want you to enclose one dollar in the letter to Harpers and send it right away. Enclose a dollar, seal it up, and send it. I have no envelope to send it. Direct on to Harper & Brothers, Publishers, Franklin Square, New York.