Basil H. Messler Diary, page 30

July 3-4, 1864

Image of Letter
Click on image for full size

July 3 Sabath Morning at 4 A.M. we landed at Reading and ware soon in line and set out for someplace I new not whare we got some 3 miles from the River and on our ware fired on and one Horse shot and we then captured 4 of the shooting party we then went on to Oaklen[sic] College and there Co. C. was sent on North rode some 3 miles to reconorter and was also fired in to By one Scout we then got some Horses & Mules and returned to the comand which had gone on and ware at Coleman's wating for us we came there about 1 P.M. it being 12 miles from the River they were Pickets put out and considerable of fireing going on during the after noon and night we had a good Supper and linened?? in for the night while camp fires ware burning all around.

July 4th Monday Morning 3 oclock we ware aroused by the sound of the Bugle Breakfast over and every man in saddle by day light eager to Spend a Joyous 4 and so we did we rode out on the Port Gipson road a[sic] ware fired in to in about 2 miles from Coleman's and one of the advance guard was shot dead and one Horse and we ware soon all on in motion and on hand for the 4th of July which had comenced quite lively the comand was soon given for Co. C. to dismount and to prepare to fight on foot and we ware soon in line and advancing. But then the Co. was brough[sic] to a hault and 4 of us ware sent on a head to skirmish with them to accertain there position &C.. we crossed a ravine and I soon got a shot at one and then the Ball was open and we kept firing for an Hour at sight and it was a regular Shooting Match we had some shots come close yet not to tutch I fired 34 rounds the National salute in full and then we ware reenforsed and began to press then and eat Blacberries[sic] between times and then the Black Yankeys came up and we ware relieved they then pressed them to the Bettal Church and then we pressed them on some 3 miles further and then returned to Colemans to rest and had our Diner