Letter. William Lafayette Barrier, On the Rapidan River, Virginia, to Mathias Barrier, Mt. Pleasant, North Carolina
Barrier begins with news of "the great battle" (the battle of the Wilderness, 4-6 May), reporting great successes for the Confederacy: "We are driving them before us, with great slaughter. The like has never been seen since the war commenced. General Ewell says he never saw the like." It seems improbable, reports Barrier, that Grant will be able to move onward against Richmond. He asks his father to relay news of this success to John Moose and boasts of the prowess of Lee's army. "We have captured between ten and fifteen thousand prisoners and the work is not yet done. I guess they will be willing to make an exchange," says Barrier. "I wonder what Abraham thinks!" Finally, he discloses that he has only been involved in small skirmishes since the fight began: "I have not fired my gun and have not been shot at." He closes as he reports for picket duty and asks in a postscript whether his father has received the coat Barrier had sent him.