Charles Oscar Torrey,
Ambulance Corps, 27th Iowa Infantry,
Second Brigade, Second Division, XVI Corps.
Letter of April 11, 1865
Source: Sellers, John R., Civil War Manuscripts.
Library of Congress, Washington, D. C., 1986.
Submitted by Camille Corte
Archivist, Historic Blakeley State Park
Head Mobile Bay Near
Fort Blakely (sic) Mobil (sic)
Ala April 11th 65
Here you see a fair specimen of Southern skill in the manufacture of writing paper. It seems to me some our our Northern Merchants use (?) a superior article for wraping (sic) paper. When I wrote you last April 9th I told you strong symptoms were viable for smelling gun powder stronger than at any other time since we commenced this Mobil (sic) siege. In that one case I proved to be a prophet for a big fight came off that very night. I was up to the Regt. that P.M. about the hour of 3 & found the boys rolling their blankets & filling their haverbags for a 44 (?) hour operation. About 5-30 All strings were ready & the Fort was charged & carried capturing 3000 men & 33 pieces of ordinance (sic) & quite a good many stores & Rebel Hospital & etc. Now I know you are anxious to know who was killed & wounded. Well our Regt. only had 3 hurt, one badly wounded Sergt. Jackson. Co. B, & two slight wounds. We were uncommonly fortunate. I never saw a grander set of boys than they were after the fight. So much accomplished & with so small loss. So far as the 27 was concerned but other Regs. lost pretty heavy. The total loss of our Division is about 130 wounded & 30 or 40 killed. Perhaps it is less but I think it is rather large. A large proportion of the wounded are badly wounded, quite good many amputations. I was up till 2 o'clock the next morning bringing in the wounded & helping them about Hospital what I could. 1st Division 13 Corp lost 50 or 60 killed & wounded. Our Brigade brought out 780 privates, 12 line officers and one colonel. The 3rd Brigade brought out 1100 I here (sic). The Brigade the 21st Iowa was in was not in the charge. I saw Sam Gilbert & Fox & Manchester today. The boys were all right side up. Our Brig. moved their camp inside the Fort yesterday. I was down there last night (having heard that a mail had come in) and got three long affectionate letters from my --?--. You can bet I was glad to get them. I am always glad to get your letters even if I should get one every day but when I don't get them very often I am doubly glad. If [ever? or even?] Nos. 28, 28, & 30. In two of them I found a dollar back each. I am glad to get the mony (sic) although there is no foreseeable chance to spend any here now, but perhaps there will be soon. I have several sheets of paper & envelopes that I can use. I have four sheets more of Rebel paper that was give to me.