Letter. Rufus A. Barrier, Camp 8th North Carolina Regiment, near Gaines' Mills, Virginia, to Mathias Barrier, Mt. Pleasant, North Carolina
Barrier reports that there is little fighting, but a great deal of sharpshooting, going on at the time of his writing. "Our regiment is very small since the fight," he says. "We number 180 men at this time. Including the Plymouth fight we have lost 420 men killed, wounded, and missing. We have been in seven fights since the 18th of April. Our flank has been turned by the enemy six times out of seven, which is the great cause of our heavy losses. Our regiment has been surrounded twice so that we had to cut our way out." The regiment has received news that, contrary to earlier beliefs, their Col. Murchison is still alive and may yet recover from his wounds. Barrier believes that Grant's forces have stopped fighting and are redirecting their efforts, "digging their way to Richmond." The enemy has suffered massive casualties; Barrier estimates that the recent slaughter at Cold Harbor far exceeds that of Spotsylvania: "If Grant will attack us a few more times he will be able to destroy his whole army." Barrier figures that he can get by without a horse for several more months and has resolved to wait until prices drop. He has also sent a man to Richmond to see if Mrs. Epps, the woman who originally wrote his parents about his brother William's death, has any things of William's.