Words fail me. How can I describe the past three days? Horrific. Blood-soaked. Terrifying. My dear, I thought my heart would stop from terror. I watched my dearest friend, Will Harper, bleed to death in my arms from countless bullet wounds littered across his body. This latest battle in Gettysburg has left both sides with wounds of a most grievous kind.
My regiment traveled to Gettysburg in search of shoes. Ours had been reduced to scraps of leather tied to our feet. We hoped the civilians would aid us. Instead, we encountered a southern regiment. General Buford led us and several other regiments against the rebels, but we were forced back. We managed to hold onto some high ground until the day finished.
The following day, General Meade arranged us in a fish hook formation. The rebels ravaged us, and we ravaged them. The whole battle might have been lost if not for the brave actions of the 20th Maine Infantry. They protected the hills from the Confederates until they ran out of bullets. Then they fixed bayonets and charged down Little Round Top. I could hear their crazed yells from where I was at the top of the hook. They kept the rebels from attacking our back side, saving our skins. We fought until late at night, and tens of thousands of men were casualties of war.
On the third day, General Pickett of the Confederacy struck after we were besieged with artillery fire. Fortunately, all the shots went over our heads, so we were relatively unharmed and ready to fight Pickett's men. They were decimated. General Lee had no choice but to retreat to Virginia.
We have won, but at a horrible cost. Never again will Will Harper and I share a cup of coffee over dinner, never again will we engage in our witty dialogue before roll call... Never again will I have a friend such as he. If I die soon, as soon I likely shall, at least I will have a friend on the other side. Farewell, my wife. I have survived thus far, but I believe I shan't for much longer.
I remain your loving husband,
Captain Bruce Stanton