WAUD, ALFRED R. Autograph letter signed to his sister Josephine, New York City, 20 September 1865, 14 pages, folio, small hole affecting text in last sheet.
WAUD'S DRAMATIC REPORT OF HIS WARTIME EXPERIENCES AT CHANCELLORSVILLE, GETTYSBURG, AND OTHER BATTLES
An extraordinary, very long epistle from the great combat artist, describing in great detail and vividness his experiences with the Army of the Potomac in some of its most hard-fought campaigns: "...the last letter I got from home was brought to me by a mail messenger upon the field of Chancellorsville, where we fought for three days against Lee and 50,000, and owning to the stupidity of our general 'fighting Joe Hooker' lost the battle and between 30,000 and 40,000 of the over 100,000 that marched into the woods where the battle was fought. It was a terrible fight, and I had some narrow escapes. The Rebels were desperate and one time succeeded in routing the entire right wing...I galloped my horse as well as I could onwards, towards the enemy through a confused retreating mass of soldiers, servants, wagons, artillery, cattle, etc. till I got a view of the open space over which the enemy under Jackson was advancing some of our troops fighting doggedly, as they retired....I took the train to Frederick where our party exchanged the iron for flesh and blood horses and rode to the Battle of Gettysburgh...Over three hundred cannon were engaging each other, filling the air with shells with bursting, produced nearly as loud a report as the explosions of the guns, the main lines were about three-quarters of a mile apart distinctly marked over the country, by the clouds of smoke which rose....All this time streams of men were moving to the rear some wounded, others carrying those too much disabled to walk, disabled guns lay about surrounded by the dead cannoneers. The artillery which had if possible increased in intensity of fire, now began to slacken and from the enemy side a magnificently solid line began to move across the fields...another made its appearance...and a third line finally came out of the woods...The two first lines, without firing a shot, came silently towards our position, and at the site our batteries broke out with greater determination than ever. The infantry adding a tremendous fusillade from their rifled muskets. Men on both sides fell with fearful rapidity...At last, the rebel line broke and ran back to the cover of the woods, leaving so many of their comrades on the ground that when I stepped out...it was actually impossible to walk without treading upon them...." Entirely unpublished.