Information on the writers
From volume 11, North Carolina Troops 1861-1865: A Roster:
Charles Wesley Leonard, 19 year old farmer of Guilford County, enlisted in Company B, 45th NC Infantry on 4 May 1862 as a Private. He was WIA 21 AQugust 1864 at Charlestown. He was paroled 5 May 1865 in Greensboro. He was born in Guilford County.
Samuel D. Knight, 23 year old farmer of Guilford County, enlisted in Company C, 45th NC Infantry on 3 March 1862 as a Private. He was promoted to Corporal 1 July 1862 and to Sergeant 28 February 1863. He was WIA 1 July 1863 at Gettysburg and promoted to 1st Sergeant 1 September 1863. He was taken POW 19 October 1864 at Cedar Creek and confined at Point Lookout on 24 October 1864 where he died of dibility on 20 December 1864. He was born in Guilford County.
Charles' nickname was "Doc"
I'll leave a blank space on words I could not read from the letter or a question mark after the words I guessed about.
Me and Doc has been thinking about writing to you for sometime though we have not had the opportunity of doing so until now.
We will give you the news as we are able as the fighting we have got rather the best of us.
I think there has been a great loss of life in both armies though we have not lost near as many as the yankees have for for they have done the attacking and we have been mostly in the breast works.
If we hadnt had breast works they would a run us out belive me ____ Regiment has been in seven battles since the fifth of May an have suffered badly for we have done the flanking.
generally,our losses in our Regt. has been about 350 men,about 150 captured,140 killed and the remainder wounded.
We have about one good? Company left? in the fight though we have suffered ____ it more than any others.
We had a Colonel and Major killed.
Only one officer in the Regt. and that is Capt. Donnell and he commands it.
Everything remains quiet today and has been so for three days.
There was a desperate fight last Friday at Cold Harbor.
The yankees tried to take that place.
We repulsed them with awful slaughter and? that was on the rite wing of our army and we were on the left and we were ordered to go and attack them in the rear and we got one line? of their breast works and helt them 36 hours and pressed? them and we got decidedly? the advantage of that days fight with a small loss on our side compaired with them becaused we were protected by our breast works.
This has beat any fighting that ever was known.
If you hear any Successionist say the yankees won't fight,just tell them this is the place to _____ it.
I wish the last one was here and if there is any more fighting to do they ___ had to be in the front and then you would hear crys for peace.
But while they are allowed to remain home "All rite,go out boys,whip them yankees butt,We will have a good time ____ ____ to go there.
This years fighting _____ done? fighting for if such fighting as we have for last month ____ make peace.
There is no use in fighting.
We are lying up and resting now and I suppose the enemy is doing the same.
General Grant sent a flag of truce __ to General Lee a Tuesday for ___ to bury the dead as we held the battle field and he granted him the priviledge of doing so.
There has been no one killed from the neighborhood as I have any knowledge of.
Me and Dock have both escape well.
Lae was captured the 10th of May so he is safe.
I want you to show this letter to Janey Edwards as my views? are about the fighting.
____ that niether army will whip bad still they will continue to fight on? occasionally and? nothing to gain by it
So we will close by hoping to hear from you soon.
Samuel P Knight
and C.W. Leonard
Co. C. 45th Regt. N.C. Troops