WILL TO JENNIE, May 6th
Spotsylvania, Virginia May the 6th 1864
We are in a place they call the Wilderness. My clothes are thick with mud & my hands scratched with Brambles—there is blood on my shoes—there is blood beneath my Fingernails. There is no more Fun, at all, the great mass of us are sunken and sullen. I have stuck a man Dead with my bayonet and his blood is splattered over my face—and I would do it again, dirty Secesh scum. He looked me square in the eyes and I did not flinch, you see, you see the Soldier I have become.
Now there are dead laying on the field & Some of us walk freely among them, taking what we need. Some say that here should be no shame in this as they are dead & gone, and why should the Officers begrudge us the merest trinket for our troubles. What use has a dead man for a watch or a ring or a pair of thick boots? says good old Charlie. But how could it not be a Sin? Tho—I have killed a man Face to Face with my hands, what’s this after that, I ask you?
My dearest. I will come home to you, of that you can be sure.