Letter. Rufus A. Barrier, Headquarters 8th North Carolina Regiment, Petersburg, Virginia, to Mathias Barrier, Mt. Pleasant, North Carolina
Barrier writes in reply to his father's letter of 1 August, glad that his family is in good health and happy to report the same for himself. Everything has been quiet, he says, since last Saturday, when Grant "blew up a portion" of their line (the battle of the Crater, 30 July 1864). "The explosion as represented to me was one of the grandest sights ever witnessed. The earth trembled as if a mighty earthquake had belched forth from the fiery depths of the infernal regions, then came a mighty crash tossing into the air from four pieces of cannon and a number of our poor soldiers who went up with the huge masses of earth to the distance of a hundred feet and falling precipitately in the yawning chasm beneath to rise no more. It was then that the yankees rushed in their hosts of whites and negroes feeling confident that they would march in to the coveted city." Barrier writes that the charge was halted by the Confederates, and comments at length on the number of U. S. Colored Troops killed in the attack ("the blood ran in streams from their worthless carcasses"). The Confederates lost 1200 killed, wounded, and missing, the Union 5000 killed. "We hold the same ground we held before the fight," he writes. Barrier has resolved to send his slave back to Mt. Pleasant for a horse, if one should prove available, and for things to eat and resell in camp. He provides instructions and specifications for what he wants and how best to package it.