[Courtesy Al Magnin]

     On the 15th of June, 1864, when Grant was making that terrible campaign of his, which began in the Wilderness on May 5.  My regiment crossed the James River at a point some distance below City Point which afterwards became so famous as the base of supplies for the army which fought it out on that line.  After reaching the south side of the James we marched in the direction of Petersburg where the colored troops were holding some earthworks forming the outer line of defenses of the city that they had wrested from the rebels.  Our regiment, the 99th Pa Vols. to which the veterans of the 26th (I among the number) had been transferred, relieved the colored troops and on the following morning advanced our line, meeting with most determined and stubborn opposition from the rebels.  Major John W. Moore, who afterwards became Colonel of the 203rd Regiment and was killed at Fort Fisher, N.C., was in command of the 99th and those whose good fortune it was to know that brave and gallant officer need not be told he kept us steadily on the advance.  It is true we made but little progress, but even a few feet gained was considered a considerable gain during the early and in fact through all the stages of siege of Petersburg.  On the morning of the 18th of June we had advanced our line to within a few hundred yards of a long stable on the farm of a man named Cox.  On the other side of this stable the rebels were strongly entrenched.  In front of our regiment was a beautiful grove which covered a hill gently sloping towards us. On the crest of this hill stood the stable.  That morning we received rations, the first we had had for three days, and also the mail reached us and I had the good fortune to receive a letter from home.  The regiment had been massed with the brigade for charge.  An inspection of arms had been had and the men directed not to fire until we had cleared the rebel works.  A battery of our artillery had been run up to the crest of the hill and was pouring shot and shell into the rebel lines.  We were waiting the order to charge.  I was taking a hasty glance at my letter which was postmarked Upper Darby, when Major Moore passing me said jokingly, “Ah you curly headed rascal, you’ll never hear from her again.”  The 40th New York “Mozart” passed in front of us.  This regiment was one of the best fighting regiments of the corps, but it was but a remnant of its former self, being now composed of the remnants of nine different regiments and, consequently, not under much control or discipline.  Added to this was the fact that the term of enlistment of the men was expiring every day.  In the engagements of the two previous days they had broken several times.  This day we were ordered to keep them up.  The command came: “Forward!”  Our battery ceased its fire.  Up the hill through the grove we went with a wild hurrah.  The New York boys ran full abreast of the stable.  The line became broken.  The rebels fully aroused and made aware of our intention were pouring a deadly fire upon our advancing line.  Shot and shell and rifle balls crashed through the frame timbers and weather boarding of the stables, the splinters flying in every direction and making confusion worse confounded.  Major Moore with his sword uplifted was leading or attempting to lead the charging line around the stable.  I had that day been placed in command of A and F companies consolidated and was, therefore, on the right of the regiment.  Noticing a number of the 40th N.Y. making a detour to the rear. I went towards them to intercept them and while parleying with one of them, I felt a sharp twinge in my right hip, at the same time feeling myself whirled half way round.  For a moment I could not realize what had occurred but soon I became faint and saw the blood trickling over my shoe.  Unbuckling my sword belt to give myself relief from some stifling sensation, I took a step or two backwards and fell to the ground weak from loss of blood.  Just at that moment Major Moore rushed by me.  Seeing me, he stooped over, gave me his hand and said, “Great God boy, are you badly hurt/”, and directed a couple of the boys to help me out of the way; while he rushed on in his wild endeavor to urge the boys past the barn and wrest victory out of the apparent disaster which threatened our troops.  The two comrades, who were half leading, half carrying me, soon reached a spot which was sheltered from the bullets of the enemy by a rise in the ground and at my solicitation they left me and returned to their comrades on the hill.  While lying upon the ground listening to the varying changes in the discharges of musketry on the hill and trying to form some opinion as to how the tide of battle was going and at the same time wondering how badly I was hurt, I was struck with astonishment at seeing what seemed to me a full brigade of men rise up not a hundred yards from me, who up to that moment had been lying upon the ground with their arms stacked.  To my delight they advanced and passed over me and soon from the redoubled fury of the fire and the cheers, that of our boys, that came echoing through the valley above the dim of the musketry, I felt a silent “Thank God our boys have won” and made an effort to get further to the rear.  A strip from a window lay close by me and I took hold of it, thinking it would afford me support and had reached the top of an earthwork when, leaning too heavily upon my frail support, it broke and I went head over heels to the bottom of the trench, passing out.  How long I lay I had no means of ascertaining but when I regained consciousness, I was being lifted on a stretcher by a couple of the ambulance corps, who told me they had passed me twice before, thinking me dead.  I was no light weight and weighed then 183 pounds, more than I ever have since and, the stretcher bearers set me down to rest several times before they reached a road where some ambulances were in waiting.  In the ambulance with me were two others one of whom died before we reached the field hospital about a mile from the front.  Here a great many wounded had already been collected but it was not a few moments before I was approached by one of those noble ladies of the Sanitary Commission….