On the Banks of the Chattahoochee

Since Robert Patterson’s last letter on June 9th, the 61st OVI has been on the move with General Hooker’s XX Corps participating in the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain and following the Confederate Army towards Atlanta.  Ohio in the War reports the following about the 61st OVI: “On June 17th the enemy was driven and skirmished with, and on the 19th and 21st the regiment reached and moved around the base of Kenesaw Mountain.  On June 22nd it moved up still further and built works at Culp’s farm.  While building these works the enemy made a dash on the National lines, and for a few minutes had things all their own way, but the troops rallied and drove them back.  In this affair the Major was killed (Major David C. Beckett).  The Chattahoochee River was crossed at four o’clock in the afternoon of the 17th of June and the regiment went into camp on its banks.”

Robert Patterson’s letter reports that “the Army is at last on the banks of the river and are taking a long looked for and much need rest.”  The 61st is close enough to Atlanta that they can see the church spires of Atlanta.  He goes on to comment about the poor quality of the land — poor soil and thinly populated, but they have good water and are in good health.  He also notes the death of Major Beckett — “He was universally loved by all who knew him and his loss is very severely felt.”  Finally, he reports that the mail has been very irregular and that he had not heard from his mother in a while.

Robert closes his letter with a report of a “grapevine dispatch” that the XX Corps may be reassigned to the Army of the Potomac and be moved to Virginia.  He hopes the rumor is false.

Transcript of Robert Patterson letter, July 10, 1864.

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