Tuesday, May 22, 2012
"He died for his country, facing the enemy, like a brave soldier"
The following is a letter that was written following the death of Private Rueben Hunley to his wife by one of his comrades in arms, Emory Mitchell. It is an answer from a request by Private Hunley's wife about the particulars of his death. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to attempt to provide some solace to Mrs. Hunley. It is also noteworthy that that Mitchell took that time to write Rueben's wife providing the chaotic experiences he had just witnessed. Private Rueben is the same soldier that wrote the letter I posted previously, that can be viewed here.
Camp near Sharpsburg
Md. Oct. 8, 1862
I have just received a letter from Mr. Weston. He said you wished me to write the particulars in regard to the death of your husband. It was dark when he was shot. There was no one within ten or twelve feet of him. Our company were in front as skirmishers and there fore were scattered no two together but he was seen to fall as if shot dead and was not heard to speak. The next morning I went and found him and had him carried off the field. When I found him, his knapsack had been robed of everything worth taking so I could not find anything worth sending to you. He was shot through the breast and I think he must [of] died instantly. He was my tent mate and I feel lonesome since his death. but he died for his country and faceing the enemy, like a brave solder. He was burried decently by one of our company. Witch is better than some of our brave boys fared. I am sorry I cannot give you more information. I will close by sending my respects to all inquiring friends.
Huntley, Reuben Letters, 1861-1862 [unpublished]. University of Wisconsin Digital Collections http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/WI.Huntley [accessed 5/22/2012.]