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Pvt. Charles Hungerford (US7784) wrote to Adam Rickard a letter detailing his experiences at the first battle of Bull Run. A transcription follows: "Dear Friend -- While I have the opertunity to wright I will let you know how I am and where I am. I would have written before had the opertunity presented its self to me. I suppose you have heard of the Battle at Bulls run and its result. Well I was thair on that field for 11 hours and sharper shoting and tawler running you never saw in your life. I was wonded in the leg just above the nee. Its nothing to get hot shot but the worst is to get over it. It was a terble sight to see the wonded ded and dying. I will not attempt to describe it but thair is one thing I will tell you. The bulits flew thicker and faster than the rain drops in a storm. So you can think what a mans thoughts must have been at that moment. Thair was 100 and 25 thousand rebles against 30 thousand of our troops besides the rebles had most battrys to shield them form the unsceasing ame of our riffes which dun great Exicutoon. Besides they had rifles pits to fire from. These are a brest work thrown up with dirt and logs with a trench dug about 3 feet deep and 25 feet wide so when the front rank fiers thay can fall and load while the rear rank tiers over them those pits will hold 2 rig to 18 hundred men thair position is a strong one for thare are sheltered by wood and hills so we have to come right on them before we can all whare to shot That stood the tier well but when it come to the bayents that want thair I wish you could have seen the fire Zuvase (Zouaves) of Elsworth Thay fought like wild beast of the woods. Thay would mount enmys battry and cry out rember Elsworth and fling with charged baynets right through thair ranks and then back again. It was a hard fight I tell you. I had rather storm fort martin than one of thair rifle pits now I tell you the folks up thair it is nothing to talk fight but it is something else down hear for thay fight instid of talking about it. If I could see you I would tell you peticklers but it is hard to wright them for it makes me tird and our retreat from the field you could see wagons broken down the road strewn with rifles knapsacks cartridge boxes sowards and pistals it seamed as if the men kard nothing for thair guns for they thrue them hear and thair and thain all they card for was to lighton thair load to get clear of the ca/very that was fating up thair retreat. I suppose you would like to hear more of the wore. I believe it is the intention to march on bull run. The 25 of August and then if thay did come to terms to turn them out with tar it is the only thing that will drive them from the wood and that will do it with a fierce hot shot and shell and tar balls. Thay can't stand that kind of fight long. Thair was a man hung here yesterday for shooting a woman in the street in Alexandria it was said that she stole 25 dolars of him in Washingotn some time ago that is as much of the thing as I know. The rebles keep a coming to our ranks everyday and tell of the miserable condition thair troops was in. No more when you get this I may be on my way to New York. -- To Mr. Adam Rickard -- From your Friend -- (Signed) Chas. Hungerford --- (adding) My respts to you all good evening ad - Hospital of the wonded’.

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Submitted by Richard Hungerford at 1:24 PM on March 1, 2017.


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