Letter: Chaplain Lewis Raymond to Clarissa McBride
Upon the Death of Her Son John Lucian McBride
At Chickamauga, East Viniard Field, Late Afternoon, September 19, 1863

"Tell Lucian's sisters..."

Chatanooga Tennessee
Sept 22, 1863

Dear Madam: With a sad heart I announce to you that your brave and noble boy is a martyr on the altar of his country. He fell shot through the head from the center of his forehead while shouting and urging his comrades on to the severe fight. The fire in which he fell brought down in a few minutes over 90 of our brave men. Col Bradley, Lieut Simons, Lieut Buck, Adjt Moody, Adjt Hall, Sergt Major Casey are among the officers that fell. Lieut Simons and Buck are killed, the others wounded. Capt Theodere Brown Co. C slightly, others severely. Several will lose a leg some an arm. Since Saturday one of the most terrible battles has been raging that history ever recorded. Our army were obliged to fall back and many of the wounded and dead are in the hands of the rebels and your dear boy among them. But the rebels can not harm him now. He was breathing a short time after he fell but wholly insensible. May god in whom you trust sustain you in your deep affliction. Tell Lucianís sisters we had not a braver boy in the regiment and the last thing he said was to shout - to urge on the boys. But you are not alone. Our regt has 20 killed and 95 wounded and over 30 missing. Our brigade is awfully cut to pieces. Many thousands in the whole army are killed and wounded. The fight is not over. We have received reinforcements and we hope to whip the rebels soundly and end the war by the final issue of this and a few other victories. My hands are full. I just look after the wounded. We have many in the city. In haste I am yours in deep sympathy, with sorrow. Hoping your loss may have been eternal gain to the loved son.

Lewis Raymond
Chaplain 51 Ill Vols


Source:
John L. McBride Letters, Mohler Family Papers, Lincoln, Nebraska.

Notes:

  1. Some spellings of soldier names have been corrected.
  2. Lieutenant Otis Moody died on the night of the battle, September 19. Sergeant Major Timothy Casey died about two weeks later.
  3. Regimental casualties for the two days were around 150 (killed, wounded, and missing).