This article appeared in the "Cleveland Plain Dealer" shortly after the battle of Gettsysburg. - RJS
From the 8th Ohio Infantry.
The following is from a member of Co. B, Hibernian Guards, (8th O.V) to his father in this city. It will be persued with much interest:
Battlefield of Gettysburg, PA.,
July 5th, 1863
My Dear Father - We have met the enemy and have given him the most decisive defeat that he has gotten in this war. It was the most hotly contested battle of the rebellion. Both armies were composed of veteran soldiers, who had been in many engagements, and, accordingly, it was only after the utmost amount of valor and resistance had been used on both sides that we succeeded in compelling them to relinquish the field, of which we are in undisputed possession, the enemy having entirely withdrawn, leaving us all of his dead and most of his wounded, besides thousands of prisoners.
Our regiment took three stand of rebel colors, being those of the 14th Virginia, 34th North Carolina and 16th North Carolina regiments. Corporal Joseph Evans took two lieutenants and several privates prisoner. The 8th numbered about 216 men. Small as that number was, we alone charged into three brigades, of Pender's division of General Hill's corps, and took 1,854 prisoners. This is no "blow," but the plain truth. But what did it cost us? Out of 216 men that took the field, we had 103 killed and wounded. I do not count those who were only slightly wounded. I myself twice hit by pieces of iron shell from the enemy's artillery, and once the day before by cannister. I was not hurt, although struck three times.
The great fighting of which I speak was on the 3d, although we were engaged on the 2d and 3d. There was a small battle fought on the 1st, but our corps did not get up to the front till the morning of the 2d, and we were sent up to the front at once. Our position was in the centre. You must look to the papers for an account of the three days' battle.
Bang! Bang! There is booming of our field artillery, which, with the cavalry, is pursuing the enemy. I will close by giving you a list of killed and wounded in our company:
Killed - Private George R. Wilson and Wm. Brown.
Wounded - 1st Sargeant John G. Fairchild, and Sargeant Kelly.
I think Fairchild will have to lose his leg, and I am afraid Kelly is mortally wounded. We had six others wounded, whose names I have not furnished.