Camp 16th Maine Vols.
Near Petersburg, Va.
August 3rd 1864
I received your very welcome letter last evening and was very glad to hear from you.
We have had quite an engagement in our vicinity since I wrote to you last. You will probably read all of the particulars of the fight [Battle of the Crater] before you get this letter. The principle fighting was along Burnsides front. Our corps joins his on the left. The enemy had become very impudent. As our folks did not take much notice of them, I suppose they had come to the conclusion that we had but a very small force here and they made it a practice to open upon us with shot and shell about five o’clock every night wherever they thought they could do the most mischief.
Our folks got everything all ready, undermined one of their forts about half a mile from here and carried in a bit of powder, stationed a large number of siege guns and mortars all along the line besides the light artillery already there. Everything was ready the night beforehand. Just at the break of day the next morning, the signal was fired and in an instant after the fort went up, then our batteries opened all along the line. I suppose the Rebs were somewhat surprised. Their batteries opened on us as soon as possible but were soon silenced and they have not fired a gun along our front since.
There was a great slaughter along Burnsides front on both sides. A great number of negroes were killed. They made a charge and were defeated. The 31st and 32nd Maine were also very much cut up. I think we were lucky in being in the Fifth Corps at that time.
The weather here is getting to be a little more comfortable—that is, it is not quite so warm. My health continues to be very good, I have not heard from home or the boys very lately but am expecting letters from them every mail. They are not quite so punctual about answering my letters as you are.
Tell Abby I was very glad to get a few lines from her and I hope she will try and write again. I did not get the paper she sent but guess it will be along tonight. I am going to try and hunt up her correspondent and get acquainted with him and see what kind of a fellow he is.
Give my love to all the folks and accept a share yourself.
From your nephew, — Albert C. Brown