This was his last letter. The last evening of his life was spent in entertaining these officers. The rest must be told in the words of others. The two letters which follow are from his cousin, Captain Rodman of the Thirty-eighth Massachusetts, and from Adjutant Loring of the same regiment. of vast interest. General Paine has just been down to see me, and has given me a fair idea of my position. I am on the extreme right of all.
before Port Hudson, June 7, 1863.my dear uncle,—I wrote you and Aunt S. a few lines on the 28th ultimo, giving you the particulars of William's death on the 27th. I think it best now to give such a connected account of matters that you may know the whole. On the 22d of May we landed at Bayou Sara and marched towards Port Hudson. On the 23d we encamped in an old cornfield about three miles from the fortifications. On the 25th we encamped at a bayou, where we met the Rebel pickets, and had two men killed and one wounded,—none of them my men. On the morning of the 27th we marched to the left, through the woods, into the open space about the works, where the enemy had felled trees to give the batteries range. Then we supported Duryea's regular battery, lying down in the ravine behind the ridge where they were posted, the enemy's works being about six hundred yards distant. Up to about eleven o'clock we had met with but one casualty. About eleven, Generals Grover and Paine ordered us to charge the works. The Twelfth Maine was in front of us. We marched forward on what may be called a natural causeway, which ran winding to the fort, having dark ravines on each side of it. We had passed half the distance between our first position and the work, when we heard a cheer and saw the skirmishers, who had deployed in the ravine, struggling up the slope of the works and fighting hand to hand with the Rebels. So we went forward at the double-quick, to meet the next instant a perfect storm of bullets. The order to “Lie down” was given, and we lay down on the causeway, while our artillery played upon the enemy's works. About twelve o'clock General Paine gave the order for the five right companies to skirmish, the five left to storm the works. A few moments before, I saw William sitting behind a stump a dozen yards in my rear, when a bullet whizzed over me. I heard some one say “Wounded,” and inquired “Who?” and was told, Colonel Rodman.