Hinds, Erastus Fitch
Age: 0, credited to Eden, VT
Unit(s): 46th IL INF
Service: enl, Oneca, IL, 9/10/61, m/i, Pvt, Co. B, 46th IL INF, 9/14/61, dis/dsb 12/10/62; enl, Oneca, IL, 1/24/65, m/i, Pvt, Co. B, 46th IL INF, 2/16/62, m/o 1/20/66, Baton, Rouge, LA
See Legend for expansion of abbreviationsVITALS
Birth: 12/09/1837, Eden, VT
Burial: Broughton Cemetery, Clay Center, Ks
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone researcher/photographer: GardenNana/Findagrave #47047867
Findagrave Memorial #: 84728335
Alias?: None noted
College?: Not Found
Veterans Home?: Not Found
(If there are state digraphs above, this soldier spent some time in a state or national soldiers' home in that state after the war)
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Broughton Cemetery, Clay Center, KS
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Erastus F. Hinds
LAMOILLE NEWSDEALER: APRIL 18, 1862
AN EDEN BOY AT PITTSBURG BEFORE THE BATTLE
PETERSBURG LANDING, TENN. MARCH 31, '62
Dear Friends At Home- I am here in camp. They're are 25,000 men here, and still more coming every day. I cannot look either way, without seeing them passing, to the further side of the camp. There is infantry and cavalry, and any amount of artillery. There are 80,000 rebels within 30 or 40 miles, and they have got a strong fort. Our spies tell us it is built on cotton, and we are going up to see what it is made of, and we are going to have it too, or a big fight, or a foot race. If they run, we will follow them whithin a hairs breadth of h--l, but what we will get get the miserable scoundrels.
One of the citizens told me that the rebels said they expected the d--d Yankees were coming, but did not expect all God's creation. I tell you it made the citizens stare when we landed; and the rebels ran like it tells of in the Bible, "when no man pursueth," but we will give them shot and shell one of these days, it they don't put up the old flag of our country, and come back into the Union. I feel just as safe here, as I ever did at home, right here among the fire-eaters. Little did I think when I left my old home in Eden, that within two years, I should be where shell and grapeshot would rain like as it did at Fort Donelson; but now I know how they fight a battle.
Two days after the fight I was out in the country, walking over the big hills of Tennessee I saw a young lady, and I started to go to her, but when she saw me she started to run, but I called out "halt," and she stopped and stood trembling, till I came up to her. "Oh, don't shoot me" she cried in a loud voice, and it made me feel bad, to think she thought I would be so cruel as to shoot a young lady. She said the rebels told her "we would kill her if we could catch her," and she believed it, and was sure I was going to kill her; but I went home with her and she gave me as good a dinner as I have had for a long time.
We are on the ground where there was a rebel camp from which our gunboats shelled them out and killed a great many of them, and we found them buried--I say buried, but they were only stuck in the ground; some with their feet, others with their hands, and even faces laying in sight; and some stinking on the ground. We saw one grave that looked like a grave, and some of our boys dug into it, and found a rebel colonel, and they dug him up. He was buried in his uniform. Some of the boys cut the buttons off his coat. Perhaps you think I talk as if the dead were of no account; well, dead men have no more effect on me than a dead mouse. I saw piles of them after the battle and marched over them. The woods here are full of shell from two to five miles from the river; the trees are all knocked to pieces by them, and you can find iron on the ground all around here in the woods.
I will close by saying we are going to have the largest fight that we have had yet, and if I die with my face to the enemy, and I trust I will be remembered by my friends in old Eden. I hope the old flag will never fall. It has to go where the Illinois volunteers go, and we are going until we are stopped; and will fight for the stars and stripess, and die if they will not let them wave, but if I live to go through the battle, I will write you all about it, and if not, some one else will write. I don't feel at all afraid, when we talk of the fight, we say we will whip or die.
I will close and go to my bed on the ground. I have made 175 biscuits since noon, and done other work. I am so tired, so good by.
Erastus Hinds: Co. B. 46th Ill. Volunteers
LAMOILLE NEWSDEALER APRIL 30, 1862
The following should have appeared last week, but was crowded out.
IN THE BATTLE OF PITTSBURGH:
PITTSBURGH LANDING: APRIL 10, 1862
DEAR FRIENDS, --- I take my pen this morning to write you a hurried account of the Pittsburgh battle, and to also let you know that I am still alive. And did not receive the slightest wound, except one ball came so near me it took with it a lock of hair just above my ear, while hundreds of my comrades were shot dead by my side, or torn and mangled and left to die the death of the brave. The battle commenced on Sunday at day break, and lasted till dark. There was not one moment's cessation of the firing of rifles and muskets, and our cannon was giving them shell all day. Our regiment came into the fight about 8 o'clock in the morning, and Oh! My God!, how the bullets did whistle among us. I will bet that our regiment fought against five of the rebels, but in spite of all we could do they drove us back. The bullets came where I laid, ( giving the one shot every minute), like hail. More than fifty bullets came within four inches of my head. It made me think the careless d---ls did not care if they did hit someone. I saw them falling dead all around, but I kept firing my rifle, and did not have time to think that they may kill me, , but the balls came very near me; they went into the ground right by the side of my face. But father, when you tell about smelling the powder in battle, and not liking it, I don't agree with you, for I like to smell the powder, but to hear the balls come so thick, is no fun at least. Well, we retreated back slowly all day;at night the whole army was driven back 5 miles, and the d---ls occupied our camp. Sunday night, but the fun of it was, Old Beauregard told his men that after two hours fighting he was going to water his horse at our landing.. Well, they laid within 1 ½ miles of us, but in the morning we went at them, and of all the slaughtering that was ever done, we done to the miserable wretches that day. The ground was covered with their dead bodies, and it was horrible to hear the groans of the dying. We followed them until we drove them out of our camp; then the cavalry drove them 10 miles before the next morning. Our regiment was engaged three times when we came up to gun shot. We lost 200 as good men as we had, dead and wounded;. Our colonel had two horses killed under him, and at last was badly wounded; it is thought by some that he cannot live, our Colonel, whose name is Davis, is a brave man, in the time of battle he was encouraging us, and telling us to give it to them and doing all he could for the cause for which I fear he will lay down his life. I don't think I could swear that I killed any, but I gave them 600 shots out of my rifle, and I had some good aims; and I held my gun as steady as if I had been firing at squirrels, and was not at all excited. After the fight, and we had picked up our dead and wounded which we could not get away in the times of the fight, I went over the battlefield. The first one I saw was was one that had slept with me ever since we had been in the army. He was shot in the top of the head. There were some 35 of our men laid dead on the ground. I walked on until I had to stop or walk on the mangled bodies of the dead., killed with the shells. They had been there from Sunday morning, and they smelt like carrion; also the ground was strewed with dead horses, and all kinds of baggage carried in war, by armies. All the ground I went over, there was 5 rebels to 3 Union men. The rebels said we did not fight fair; for we mowed them down like grass before the seythe. One place where we fought and where the ground was covered the thickest with them the bushes were all mowed down, and the woods caught fire and their clothes were all burnt off from them; but I can look at them and say, I guess now you will stay in the Union without much trouble.
The way we buried them, we dug trenches 200 feet long, and put them in; some 150, some 200 in one hole. We took some prisoners and they took a great many of our men. One of our Co. is missing; he may be dead, and he may be taken prisoner; but of course you have heard and will hear all the particulars of this more definitely than I give, but I it might be interesting to you to hear it from me, so I write you a few facts.
We are looking for them to come down and give us another call, and if they do come we will give them fits, for the men have all got the grit, and we have got some more men than we had before. But tonight I look to hear the long roll call. I will mail this letter and you will hear soon. We will fight them a while if they pitch into us, and try them a strong pull. We have knocked most of the trees into pieces with our guns now, and we will knock more if they come back to try the Yankees as they call them. The ground now is covered with shells and bullets. I could go out and pick up more cannon balls and shells in two hours than a horse could draw.
I will close by saying that I keep up good courage, and believe that the rebels will soon have to cry for quarters from the hated Yankees. If I live you shall hear from me again.
Submitted by: Deanna French.