May 21, 1864

Fredericksburg, VA
May 21th 1864

My Dear Wife:

Your letters of May 1th and 8th I received last night and was very happy to hear from you and that you were all well at home as it leaves me at present.

I won the money on that bet. It was only 2 dollars. You shall [have?] half when we get paid. I do not know when that will be.

We captured 2 thousand Rebels last night. They are retreating from the position they were in some 12 miles. Thomas Sayers was wounded and taken prisoner or dead. The boys they could not give much account of him; only [that] he got severely wounded. George Strong got shot through the arm. I see him in the city. He stayed with me all night. Captain Powell is wounded and taken prisoner. Dan Blanchard and Conrad most all wounded or killed.

I am very happy to hear that Mr. Edwards is getting along so well. Hope he will continue so doing, you and him. I see by your letters that you got the money all safe.

This is an awful battle, I will assure you. Our Corps took at one charge 8,684 Rebel prisoners. We have got some about 25,000 prisoners now that we have captured since the commencing of this battle and it has not got through yet nor it won’t as long as Grant has got any men to fight. I tell you that our old Corps has done some awful tall fighting. The Second Corps never got beat yet. That is the one I have always belonged to.

I think the Rebels is retreating to Richmond. I do not know. I do not know of anything more at present. More next time. My love to you and the children and all inquiring friends from your ever true and affectionate husband,

John Bryden

Please to write soon. I never got any letters from father since I gave him that blowing up. Give my love to my mother.

John Bryden, Jr.

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This is written in pencil on lined 8” x 10” paper, folded in half along the short axis to form a four-page signature. There is a watermark on each side of the fold at the top center. The watermark is in the shape of a shield, topped by a crown. The device on the shield is unclear; it may be a bend or a cross saltire.