–Albert C. Brown, 5 August 1864

Addressed to B. T. Brown, Grafton Centre, N. H.

Camp of the 16th Maine Volunteers
Near Petersburg, Va.
August 5, 1864

Dear Brother,

I have just received you letter and hasten to answer it hoping that you will take pattern and answer mine as punctually.

I am on picket today and have not had a very god chance to write but out here we get used to writing almost anywhere. The flies are a great plague to us now. I thought I had saw them thick before, but nothing in comparison to what they are here. The moment you sit down in the daytime, they make a dive for you and you are made of good stuff if you can withstand them. Even while I am writing some of them have the audacity to walk boldly from the paper up my penstock. I have seen but few mosquitoes or black flies this summer. I guess they do not thrive here much. The weather here continues to be very hot but I don’t think it is quite as warm as it was two or three weeks ago. The rain still holds off and the ground is getting very dry and parched.

I suppose you see by the papers that we had quite a duff with the enemy the last of last month. The principal fighting was in front of Burnside’s Corps although our corps did some artillery shooting. The Rebs had become very saucy. About five o’clock every night they would open upon our picket line and wherever else they though they could do the most mischief. Our folks put up with it until they got all ready to shut them up at one blast. We undermined one of their forts about half a mile from here and put under a lot of powder, moved to the front a lot of siege guns and mortars besides the light artillery already there and just at the break of day, the signal gun was fired. The next instant the fort went up burying hundreds beneath its ruin. Then our guns opened upon them a deadly fire all along the line. The Rebs must have been somewhat surprised. They commenced firing as soon as they could but we soon silenced them and made them keep pretty low for one half a day since which time they have not dared to fire a gun and we can move about feeling a little more secure than before.

Well Frank, I don’t have any more news to write. I got a letter from Aunt Polly a few evenings since. They were getting along after the same old sort.

My health continues to be very good. Answer this as soon as convenient and tell Edwin that I believe he owes me a letter.

From your brother, — Albert C. Brown