About 8 P.M. on Saturday evening, it was known that the enemy were falling back

Joseph Culver Letter, July 4, 1864, Page 1

Hd. Qurs. 129th Regt. Ills. Vols. Infty.
In the Field 8 miles South West of Marietta,
Ga., July 4th 1864
My Dear Wife

Yours of the 23rd June came to hand yesterday evening, & I am most happy to learn of your good health. All thanks to our Father in Heaven.

About 8 P.M. on Saturday evening [the 2d], it was known that the enemy were falling back, & we were ordered to be in readiness to move at day-light next morning.1 We moved out on the Marietta road at Sunrise through the enemy’s fortifications. We came upon the rear of their columns & opened upon them with two Batteries to which they replied with Energy.2

Thos. Moran of my Company was killed.3 It will devolve upon you to convey the painful intelligence to his family; they live near you. He was a noble man & excellent soldier. He has gone to rest. The affliction will be very severe to his widow and orphans. May God care for them. Tell his wife that if my life is spared I will write to her as soon as we get quieted down. He neither moved or spoke after he was struck; his head was broken in on the right side. We buried him & marked the grave. He lies on the road leading from Marietta to Powder Springs, about one mile from Marietta.

No one else was injured in the Company. We moved about 12 to 16 miles yesterday, but most of the time were hunting the enemy’s position. We are now on the right flank.4 The weather is very warm & it is difficult to make a march.

This the 4th. All our Bands are playing but the day bears but little aspect to the festivities of the day, the booming of the cannon can be heard to our left, & probably before night we will be fighting our way into position. It is supposed that the enemy will not make a determined stand on this side of the [Chattahoochie] river.

Give my love to Mother & Maggie. Tell Mary I accept the Kiss & wish to return it. May our Father in Heaven bless and keep you. He has thus far been with us. Let us trust all to him.

Committing all to God, Good bye,
Your Affect. Husband
J. F. Culver

  1. In the days following the battle of Kennesaw Mountain, General Sherman pushed his right flank units to the southeast. Hooker’s soldiers occupied rifle pits on both sides of the Powder Spring road, and General Schofield’s Army of the Ohio was massed south of Olley Creek. This grave threat to his left compelled General Johnston on the night of July 2 to evacuate his Kennesaw Mountain line and retire into the entrenchments behind Nickajack Creek. Cox, Atlanta, p. 132. []
  2. General Ward reported that as his column advanced on Marietta, via the Powder Springs road, it encountered Rebel cavalry. He called up Battery I, 1st Michigan, which engaged two Confederate batteries unlimbered to the southeast, near the railroad, in a spirited duel. O.R., Ser. I, Vol. XXXVIII, pt. II, pp. 326, 388. []
  3. Thomas Moran, a 27-year-old farmer, was mustered into service on Sept. 8, 1862, as a private in Company A, 129th Illinois Infantry. Private Grunert reported that the projectile scattered Moran’s “brains in every direction.” Grunert, History of the I29th Illinois, pp. 80-81; Compiled Service Records of Union Soldiers, NA. []
  4. On the 4th General Ward’s division took position on the right of Hooker’s corps, near Mill Grove. The Army of the Ohio was on Ward’s right. O.R., Ser. I, Vol. XXXVIII, pt. II, pp. 327, 388. []

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