from The Webster Times, 2 July 1864 (Volume VI #17), contributed by Mike Branniff
From the Fifteenth Regiment

The following letter from a member of Company I, 15th Mass. Regiment, was received a day or two since, by relatives of the writer, and has been handed to us for publication.

Near City Point, Va. June 25, 1864
Dear Mother:
I have sad news to write this time. The old 15th are nearly all taken prisoners, colors and all. This occurred on the afternoon of the 22d inst. The rebels came in upon our boys and took them entirely by surprise. The 19th Mass., 57th and 82d N. Y., and part of the 42d N.Y., all belonging to our brigade were also captured. The boys were anxiously counting the days that would elapse before they would start for home; but thereís no knowing when they will get home now.

I suppose you will want to know how I escaped capture. I was that morning sent back by Major Hooper to the wagon train, where the Regimental records were, to make out some paper relating to the discharge of the regiment. Maj. Hooper escaped, and a few others. We draw rations now for twenty-five men. Adjutant [Cornelius E.] Wilder and three line officers (Capt. May and Lieuts. Hastings and Coulter), were captured, about seventy-five in all. I am still working on the papers, and shall have all I can do until my time is up. I am very sorry that we lost our colors. It makes me feel sad whenever I think of it, and that is all the time. I will tell you all of the particulars when I get home, which will be in a few days if nothing happens to prevent.

We had been told that the people of Worcester were making preparations to receive us on our return home; but we canít return as a regiment, for our National colors are gone with the captured portion; that is the regiment proper is captured.

There is no one left who knows anything about the papers, except myself and Captain Stanton, our former Adjutant, who has just come back to the Regiment. He was wounded in the battle of the Wilderness. We shall have all we can do for a fortnight or more to straighten them out. I am messing with the rest of the non commissioned staff, and have plenty to eat and drink.

Hastily and affectionately yours,
D. W. Freeman,
Sergt. Maj. 15th Mass. Regt.